Mashed potatoes are the perfect blank canvas. If you’re making them at home with just boiled potatoes, butter, and cream, chances are they could use a little something to make them taste like…well, something. If you’ve got a stock pot full of homemade mashers—or you accidentally bought some really bland premade or instant mashed potatoes—and you’re wondering how to flavor mashed potatoes, we have ideas. From fancy flavored butter to a seasoning packet you’ve mostly used for dips, here are five ways to add flavor to mashed potatoes.
- Fabrique Delices Black Truffle Butter
Please hear me out when I say that you should not replace all of your butter with Fabrique Delices Black Truffle Butter! As delicious as that would be, your wallet will be screaming, crying, and throwing up after you check out. Plus, this stuff packs a lot of umami per spoonful. There are real bits of black truffle mixed into the butter, so a little goes a long way, even when you’re dealing with supremely bland mashed potatoes. When it comes to how to flavor mashed potatoes, you kind of can’t go wrong with black truffle. Trust us.
Read the full ranking of the best butter
- Cabot Pimento Cheese Spread
Compared to shredded cheese, pimento cheese is arguably a better way to add flavor to mashed potatoes. It’s creamy, which means it’s easier to incorporate into your pot of mashers and it brings way more flavor to the mix than regular shredded cheese would. Cabot Pimento Cheese has a lot of great flavors to bring to your mashed potatoes: sweetness from the pimento peppers, saltiness from the cheese, and a nice bite on the finish from the spices. If you’re looking for a stupidly simple way to level up your mashed potatoes, buy some pimento cheese (and then eat the rest with crackers—you’ve earned it).
Read the full ranking of the best spreadable cheese
- Cabot Wickedly Habanero Cheddar Cheese
Some like it hot. Yes, that’s the name of an old movie, but it’s also a truth about food—some people love spice. And if you’re hosting heat heads, shred some Cabot Wickedly Habanero Cheddar Cheese into your pot of hot potatoes. Besides having a nice, peppery heat, this Cabot cheddar is super high quality and flavorful—and the more flavorful the cheese, the more flavorful your mashed potatoes. Be warned: The heat is no joke, but the 30 sticks of butter you put into your pot should be enough to cut it just a little bit.
Read the full ranking of the best cheddar cheese
- Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Soup & Dip Mix
We already know that Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Soup & Dip Mix is the not-so-secret ingredient in many a Midwestern chef’s favorite homemade foods, and it also happens to be a great way to add flavor to mashed potatoes. It’s made with MSG and soy sauce, which means it packs a lot of salty, savory, umami flavor. And onions just go perfectly with potatoes. Think of it this way: When you use this soup mix to make dip, what do you scoop it up with? Potato chips! See?! This is a brilliant idea (and I’m from the Midwest, so you can trust me on this one).
Read the full ranking of the best powdered dip mix
- Mushroom & Company Multipurpose Umami Seasoning Blend
Speaking of umami, there’s no easier way to add a dash of umami to bland mashed potatoes than by adding a dash of Trader Joe’s Mushroom & Company Multipurpose Umami Seasoning Blend to your mashed potatoes. It smells super mushroomy, but even mushroom haters will be into the way it makes everything taste just a little bit better—it’s one of those spice rack heroes that wakes up all the ingredients in a dish. Use it to flavor your mashed potatoes and you’ll probably want to use it to flavor everything else on your plate, too.
Read the full ranking of the best Trader Joe’s seasonings