Salt & Vinegar Mashed Potatoes

November 11, 2019
16 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

For better mashed potatoes, take a cue from potato chips. Salt-and-vinegar is one of the most popular flavors for good reason: These ingredients balance all the richness and heaviness. The same idea can be applied here. Traditional mashed potatoes are all richness and heaviness—butter! milk! potatoes!—but by bumping up the salt and adding a whisper of vinegar, the recipe feels new again. I like malted vinegar (probably from all the times I’ve shaken it over French fries), but white, apple cider, and rice work too. This recipe is inspired by Diane Morgan’s Genius Mashed Potatoes, which taught me to add the butter, then the milk, so the butteriness gets to the shine. Serve with a pat of butter on top if you want to gild the lily—I always do. About the type of potato: Most people prefer starchy Russets, because they yield extra-fluffy mashed potatoes. I oscillate between those and Yukon Golds, which have a golden color and an especially potato-y flavor. Pick your favorite (or, if you’re feeling rebellious, do a mix). —Emma Laperruque

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Salt & Vinegar Mashed Potatoes
  • 2 pounds Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, melted
  • 6 tablespoons whole milk, warmed
  • 2 teaspoons malt vinegar, plus more to taste
  • Flaky salt, to sprinkle on top
  1. Chop each potato into sixths or eighths, trying to keep the pieces about equal in size. Add these to a pot, along with the water and 2 teaspoons salt. Set on the stove over medium-high heat to come to a boil. Cook the potatoes for 10 to 15 minutes, until you can easily break apart a piece with a fork.
  2. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them, then add them back to the hot pot on the stove, but with the heat off. Mash the potatoes with a masher (or, if you don’t have one, a big fork), until they’re as broken down as possible. Add the melted butter and stir until smooth-ish. Add the milk and stir again. Now add the vinegar and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Stir, then taste. More salt, vinegar, or butter? More milk to thin out? Adjust accordingly.
  3. Serve immediately with a pat of butter and flaky salt on top. You can also keep these warm on top of a double boiler, or reheat them (adding more milk as needed) just before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • FrugalCat
  • Emma Laperruque
    Emma Laperruque
  • citylove
  • lilian89878
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

32 Reviews

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burnardshaw April 5, 2023
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brushjl April 1, 2023
Served eight? I guess with very small portions, but a delicious recipe.
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harleywatsan February 10, 2023
It works especially well with white balsamic vinegar. Almonds, salt and pepper potato chips, and other snack foods are my favorites Armoury Crate
johnmarkos February 18, 2023
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johnmarkos February 18, 2023
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harleywatsan February 10, 2023
It was excellent when made with white balsamic vinegar. My favourite foods are almonds, salt-and-pepper potato chips, and others. Blox Fruit ScriptPC
weejayrane January 27, 2023
With white balsamic vinegar, it turned out great. Almonds, salt-and-pepper potato chips, and other snacks are favorites of mine.
alexreynolds December 6, 2022
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mfenske November 19, 2022
These have become a household staple and people LOVE them!!!! The only change I made is to oven roast the potatoes instead of boiling them to give them a nice toasted flavor with the potatoes. I'm curious how these would turn out on the grill.
FrugalCat April 7, 2022
Came out great with white balsamic vinegar. I'm a big fan of salt n vinegar potato chips, almonds, etc.
nextdoor November 26, 2019
These are terrific! I used russets, and malt vinegar, followed recipe exactly. Very happy with result, surprised that just 2 teaspoons of vinegar could elevate mashed potatoes like this!
Emma L. November 26, 2019
Yay, so glad you like 'em!
karin S. November 15, 2019
I have a salt & vinegar roasted potato recipe that I believe is from Nigella & the potatoes are cooked in a vinegar & water mix. Could I use that instead of adding vinegar later. It tastes great as roasted potatoes so don't see why it wouldn't work here.
susanv November 15, 2019
Three cups water in which to boil two pounds of potatoes...should it not be more water?
Emma L. November 15, 2019
Hi! That amount of water is correct. If you need to add a little more to make sure the potatoes are submerged (depending on your pot shape/size), feel free—just adjust the salt accordingly.
susanv November 15, 2019
Thank you!
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