Mashed potatoes can do anything. Not only are they the centerpiece of any respectable holiday dinner, they’re the ultimate anytime comfort food. When you’re feeling overwhelmed (who isn’t right now?), sometimes all you want to do is curl up on the couch with a big bowl of buttery carbs. Whether you dress mashed potatoes up or serve them simply, they’re always a hit.
While making mashed potatoes from scratch is fairly simple, it’s still time consuming and well, you have to have potatoes. With so many of us socially isolating right now and trying to go to the store as little as possible, instant mashed potatoes are the answer.
Boxed mashed potatoes may have gotten a bad rap over the years, but the ones on the market now are so good, they’ll fool even the pickiest eaters. They’re made from real spuds, just ones that have been cooked, mashed, and dehydrated to make your life a little easier. Plus, they come in a variety of ways to please all kinds of palates. Scroll down to shop FIRST for Women’s picks for the best instant mashed potatoes.
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1. Best for a Large Family
Idahoan Buttery Homestyle Mashed Potatoes, Value Pack
Where to buy: $34.95, Amazon
You can’t go wrong with Idaho potatoes! This three-pound box contains 48 servings in 12 family-sized pouches, so in just four minutes, you can have the homemade taste of creamy, buttery mashed potatoes ready for a family dinner. They’re so delicious, no one will know you didn’t spend hours preparing them.
Don’t believe us? Trust this satisfied Amazon reviewer: “They are so good. I use only water and they taste fantastic. My kids really like them. Sprinkle cheese on top for a treat! And one box goes a very long way. Great product. Exceptional taste.”
2. Best for Solo Dining
Idahoan Buttery Homestyle Mashed Potatoes, Single-Serving
Where to buy: $9.40, Amazon
On your own for dinner or just want a snack to tide you over? Enjoy the same buttery taste as the Idahoan potatoes above, sized for single servings. Sold in a pack of 10, all you need to to make these mashed potatoes is add water, stir, and zap in the microwave for 90 seconds. Yum!
3. Best for Variety
Idahoan Flavored Mashed Potatoes, Variety Pack
Where to buy: $18.99, Amazon
Another scrumptious choice from Idahoan, this 48-serving box includes four delectable flavors: Buttery Homestyle, Roasted Garlic, Four Cheese, and Loaded Baked Potato. Ready in four minutes, it’s easy to whip up a different kind for every member of the family — or bring a variety to your next potluck, whenever that may be.
4. Best Organic
Edward & Sons Organic Mashed Potatoes
Where to buy: $13.92, Amazon
These homestyle organic mashed potatoes are 100 percent vegan, ready in four minutes, and can be made on the stovetop or the microwave. Whether you make them as a side dish, or use to top a healthy shepherd’s pie, rest easy knowing they’re gluten free, paleo, keto-friendly, low-sodium and ethically sourced. Delicious and good for the earth — what could be better?
5. Best Health Conscious
HealthSmart Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Where to buy: $16.95, Amazon
Potatoes aren’t known as a high-protein food, but these instant mashed potatoes have 11 grams of protein per serving, so they’ll keep you full for longer. Plus, each serving has only 110 calories and 0.5 grams of fat. Gluten free and garlic-flavored, these are as good for you as they are good to eat.