Instant Pot

Instant Pot Buttermilk & Leek Mashed Potatoes

October 13, 2018
19 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

Nora Ephron wrote in Heartburn, "In the end, I always want potatoes. Mashed potatoes. Nothing like mashed potatoes when you’re feeling blue. Nothing like getting into bed with a bowl of hot mashed potatoes already loaded with butter, and methodically adding a thin cold slice of butter to every forkful. The problem with mashed potatoes, though, is that they require almost as much hard work as crisp potatoes, and when you’re feeling blue the last thing you feel like is hard work.” Well, here's my answer: the world's easiest mashed potatoes. Seriously—you don't even have to drain the pot after boiling.

All variations are fair game with these potatoes: If you don't feel like rinsing and chopping leeks, swap in shallots, more garlic, a yellow onion, or nothing at all. You can skip the wine and just deglaze with another splash of broth if it suits you better. Nora's extra butter-garnish is, however, strongly suggested for serving.
Ella Quittner

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: "Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes Are a Bear Hug of a Dish." —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Instant Pot Buttermilk & Leek Mashed Potatoes
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, thoroughly rinsed and sliced into thin rings
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus 4 tablespoons, plus more for garnish (optional, but is it really?)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into six pieces each (I leave mine unpeeled, but you can peel depending on your personal preference)
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth (you can substitute vegetable)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons (heaping) kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 handful finely chopped chives or scallions for garnish (optional)
  1. Set your multi-cooker to the sauté setting. Once it’s hot, cook the garlic and leeks in 1 tablespoon of butter until they begin to get translucent, about 3 minutes. Deglaze with the wine, and bring to a simmer. Add the potatoes and broth and give everything a stir. Cover and set to pressure cook on high for 9 minutes.
  2. Once the pressure cooking is complete, let the pressure release naturally for a few minutes before utilizing the instant release function.
  3. When the pressure is released, uncover and add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Begin to mash the potatoes in the pot. As you do, drizzle in the buttermilk and cream, then mix in the salt and pepper. Mash to your desired smoothness. Adjust seasoning to taste. To serve, garnish with more butter and chopped herbs if using.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Erin Brady Harlow
    Erin Brady Harlow
  • Ella Quittner
    Ella Quittner
  • Scott Basye
    Scott Basye
  • d

19 Reviews

Erin B. November 22, 2023
I am getting ready to make these tomorrow and this will be the third Thanksgiving in a row that they have joined our feast! For anyone hesitating, I recommend giving them a try. Just skipping the mess of boiling the potatoes, the yucky colander afterward, then the worth it.
d December 31, 2020
Love the simplicity of this recipe. Thank you for sharing. With the majority of the ingredients, no motivation to shop last minute, and almost no Instant Pot experience, I decided to give it a go despite very little Instant Pot experience. Leeks or veggie broth may have made all the difference, as we didn’t care for the chicken broth flavor or the extra liquid I didn’t drain off. Next time I may try just water and drain. It was all so easy and I’ll definitely use this recipe again and with leeks.
Cody M. November 28, 2019
I love this recipe. The leeks make the potatoes so flavorful. This is my go-to recipe from now on. Thank you
Sydney O. March 5, 2019
To be completely honest, I've always avoided making mashed potatoes. In my mind, it's too much work for a boring form of an already boring side (don't hate me). One day, I made braised short ribs and was basically required to make mashed potatoes. I found this recipe and it is a total game changer! From start to finish, it took no more than 30 minutes- no peeling, no boiling, no draining, no worrying about the right consistency! The leeks add just enough excitement without taking over, so they can be paired easily with any dish. I don't have to avoid mashed potatoes any longer!
Ella Q. March 5, 2019
I'm so happy you enjoyed it, Sydney!
Nancy January 10, 2019
I made this, but had planned the timing poorly and a client came in to my home workplace before I was able to open the lid and add in the cream & buttermilk. Maybe that's why my mash is thinner than I would like. And 2 tbsps of salt came out too salty. Bummer! Overall I can still serve it... but it's not my best work...
Susan F. April 7, 2019
Hi Nancy, you might have already discovered this since posting your comment in January, but the recipe calls for 2 teaspoons (heaping) kosher salt - not tablespoons.
mcdenver December 30, 2018
I’m excited to try this recipe in my new 6 quart IP but the IP instructions say to “always add at least 2 cups of water or other liquids so enough steam can be generates to cook under pressure.” It looks like this recipe only includes ~1 cup of liquids. Has anyone had any issues?
Kath D. April 11, 2019
I have a 6 Qt. And have not had any problems with only using 1 cup of liquid.
Read November 22, 2020
I tried this in my 3 quart—it fits without problems, but it did come up "burn" (the IP's message) and indeed it did: burnt on the bottom of the pot. I ended up giving up on trying to finish it in the IP, transferred it to a covered pot in the oven.
Robert V. November 20, 2018
Terrific recipe. Was able to do this exactly as instructed and it tasted great. Left the skin on and you hardly notice them. Loved the texture that cooking the potatoes in the pressure cooker had. As with any instant pot recipe, make sure you budget time for the pot coming up to pressure and for pressure release. It will be my potato recipe this Thanksgiving.
Ella Q. November 20, 2018
Hi Robert,

I’m so happy to hear that! Enjoy your Thanksgiving.

Ellen G. November 15, 2018
These Instant Pot Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes are so delicious! Since the potatoes are not covered in water and boiled, they do not get waterlogged, and that really allows the potato flavor to shine through. And there is no draining, so there is no messy colander to clean up either. I used an 8 qt. Instant Pot and I sized the recipe up by 1.5 (see my remarks in the questions) and it worked perfectly. It took about 40 minutes from the start of cooking (all ingredients were prepped) to make the recipe. My husband, who is not a mashed potato fan had three helpings. Can't wait to make these for my family on Thanksgiving.
Ella Q. November 15, 2018
Hi Ellen,

Thank you for sharing! I'm so glad you and your husband enjoyed it :)

Kathy November 9, 2018
I don't have an Instant Pot, but I do have an electric pressure cooker (which I bought less than a year before the I.P. came out - sigh). I'm hoping that this recipe will work the same? Thanks!
Lee A. November 15, 2018
It should work the same way in your pressure cooker.
Rosa J. November 6, 2018
Just made these, the proportions are perfect! Will be saving this recipe for Thanksgiving.
Ella Q. November 6, 2018
Glad to hear it, Rosa!
Scott B. November 15, 2019
I'm assuming these could be made the day before and transferred to a serving dish you could heat up, yes?