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Best Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes and Gravy Recipe

I love most any homemade mashed potatoes and gravy recipe but this is the best Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and gravy recipe I know of! Loaded with sage infused browned butter and lots of white cheddar cheese, this simple recipe is always a hit!

I don’t think I’d be lying if I said everyone thinks their homemade mashed potatoes and gravy recipe is the best, but this Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and gravy recipe really is!

Creamy and luscious and so easy to make, this brown butter mashed potatoes side dish with Cheddar cheese and sage is pretty special.

Yes, I love making this Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and gravy recipe all year long, but especially for Turkey Day.

I don’t care whether you like these taters with or without lumps, but no one likes them gluey, so be sure to pay attention.

​What type of potatoes to use for the Best Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes and Gravy Recipe?

I’m sure you’ve noticed the different types of potatoes like Yukon Golds, and the floury russet potatoes which are starchy but full of moisture.

Waxy potatoes tend to be a sweeter potato and are great when you want the potato to hold its shape like in potato salad.

Baby potatoes, red potatoes and fingerlings are good examples of a waxy potato.

thanksgiving mashed potatoes and gravy recipe in white bowl

Russets are great for mashed potatoes because they break down when boiled and they also make great French fries because their interiors stay creamy.

According to Martha-yes, that Martha, Yukons are an all-purpose potato and can be prepared just about any way you want.

So take your pick. Yukon gold potatoes  or Russets?

Just make sure to not over mash the Russets or they will end up sticky and gluey, because of their starch content.

There are a million ways to make mashed potatoes but I always rely on butter, heavy cream and whole milk or half and half.

Want sour cream or cream cheese? Those work, too!

And don’t forget the potato masher or the potato ricer if you have one.  

Truly I think it’s dangerous to use an immersion blender or food processor, because it is too easy to overbeat the taters!

Have an electric mixer with a paddle attachment? That is more controllable, so if you are making these mashed potatoes for a large group and want to give it a go, that’s OK by me.

Me? I stick with a fork, wooden spoon and my potato masher.

I like to peel my potatoes for Thanksgiving to make them extra special, but when I’m in a hurry, if I’m using Yukons, I skip that step.

4 pounds of potatoes makes enough for about 10 servings. If you want a smaller batch just cut the recipe in half.

best Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and gravy recipe in white bowl with sage

How To Make the Best Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes:

Dice the potatoes into approximately 1 1/2″ cubes and place in a large pot of very salted boiling water. Cook until tender which only takes about 12 minutes.

Worried about the water boiling over? Just place a wooden spoon across the top of the pot!

Don’t overcook or the potatoes will start to fall apart.

And don’t be tempted to cook large pieces of potato.

I find that when you do the outsides get soft but the insides are still hard.

​Boil the potatoes until they are fork tender. Yes, stick the fork in and see for yourself. It should easily pierce a piece of potato.

Immediately drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Stir over medium heat until the excess moisture evaporates.

This mashed potatoes recipe is made with brown butter as the secret ingredient, but if you want, just melt the butter and call it a day.

I also like to add fresh herbs to the butter and sage is my favorite, especially when I’m making this Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and gravy recipe.

Honestly? Sage is the Thanksgiving herb, is it not?

best Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and gravy recipe in white bowl

Let the herbs infuse the butter while the potatoes are cooking. But don’t be afraid to mix in more, fresh or dried, for extra flavor.

Add the cream and half and half to the melted butter and  slowly pour the mixture into the dried potatoes.

Mash the potatoes using whatever method you prefer.

Pro Tips: If you want to make this homemade mashed potatoes recipe a bit healthier, you may add chicken broth in place of some of the milk or cream.

And if you love cheese, stir in some grated sharp white cheddar cheese for the best potatoes ever.

However, you can also add cream cheese for an extra creamy texture.

Don’t forget to season well with coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Place the potatoes in a buttered baking dish and cover with plastic wrap, unless baking right away.

This Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and gravy recipe can be made up to 3 days ahead.

When ready to bake take them out of the refrigerator early, so they can come to room temperature.

Please do not mound them in a bowl as they will take longer to reheat. 

A shallow baking dish works better. And later if you want to scoop them into a serving bowl to place on the holiday table, that’s OK by me.

You could also use a microwave-safe bowl and heat the creamy mashed potatoes slowly in the microwave.

And at any time you feel the potatoes are drying out while reheating do not be afraid to pour a bit more milk, cream or half and half on the top or on the sides.

I promise it will be absorbed before you serve the potatoes.

Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and gravy recipe in white bowl with silver spoon

My favorite way to serve these perfect mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving Day?

I love them on their own with roast turkey and I also love them with this simple gravy that requires no turkey drippings.

As long as you have a container of turkey broth or chicken broth, you can make this tasty gravy.

Potatoes and gravy are simple foods that require simple ingredients.

In my opinion, simple foods are often the best recipes.

Gravy without drippings

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container.

Garnish with green onions or some extra chopped sage. 

Don’t be afraid to add a drizzle of warm butter on top, because I have never heard anyone complain about too much butter.

Potatoes are a personal favorite of mine and I love just about any potato recipe.

This one is full of lots of Thanksgiving flavor but feel free to doctor it up as you see fit.

And have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and gravy recipe in white bowl with silver spoon

Best Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes and Gravy Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 to 45 Minutes
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 10 Servings 1x
  • Category: Side dish
  • Cuisine: American


It’s hard to go wrong with browned butter mashed potatoes and gravy, but this is the best Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and gravy recipe I know of!


Units Scale

4 pounds Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5″ cubes

1/2 stick butter plus more for drizzle

2 T minced sage plus more for garnish

3/4 c heavy cream or 6 oz softened cream cheese

3/4 c half and half

2 1/4 c shredded white Cheddar Cheese (I use Coastal)

Salt and fresh black pepper to taste (You may need up to 1 t of salt but this all depends on how much you salt your cooking wter)

Sour cream is optional but if you want the great flavor don’t be afraid to stir a few tablespoons in.


Butter an 8 to 10 cup shallow baking dish.

Cook potatoes in a large pot of salted boiling water for about 12 minutes or until tender.

In the meantime melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 2 T of minced fresh sage and stir until butter begins to brown, about 3 minutes. If you want butter to brown, simmer the butter until it becomes silent. Add the cream and half and half and bring to another simmer.

Drain potatoes and return to pot. Stir over medium heat until dry. Add the cream mixture and mash the potatoes. Stir in 1 3/4 c of grated cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to prepared dish and sprinkle with 1/2 c of cheese.

Preheat oven to 375. Bake uncovered until heated through and golden brown, about 45 minutes.

If you stored these in the refrigerator, place on counter until they come to room temperature. You can reheat them slowly in intervals in the microwave, stirring at each interval. OR place the baking dish into a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for up to 45 minutes uncovered until hot inside. Baking time will vary depending on the baking dish size and how room temperature the potatoes are.


Please read the post for extra tips!

Thanks Bon Appetit for inspiration.

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Linger, Kristy Murray

Thursday 9th of November 2023

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy!! It's one of those simple pleasures of life! And definitely the comfort of all comfort foods. It's gotta be one of my favorites on the Thanksgiving table. What a fabulous idea to make it with browned butter.