Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

Total Time
1hr 5mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 35 mins

From "Barefoot Contessa At Home" by Ina Garten. She says, "whenever I'm in San Francisco, I have to go to Zuni Café. Judy Rodgers, the amazing founder, told me that her buttermilk mashed potatoes were so popular that whatever she pairs with them on the menu is the most popular dish that night. I came right home and made my version of her famous dish." Have not tried these as yet, but they are a good read. Am posting here for safe-keeping. However, I did include some parsley to the dish.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-1/2" cubes.
  3. Add them to the boiling water and bring the water back to a boil.
  4. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes fall apart easily when pierced with a fork.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the whole milk (ONLY - don't be tempted to heat the buttermilk with the whole milk and cream; it will curdle) and butter in a small saucepan, making sure it doesn't boil.
  6. Set aside until the potatoes are done.
  7. As soon as the potatoes are tender, drain them in a colander.
  8. Place a food mill fitted with a small disk or blade over a heat-proof bowl.
  9. Pass the potatoes through the food mill, turning the handle back and forth.
  10. As soon as the potatoes are mashed, stir in the hot-milk-and-butter mixture with a rubber spatula.
  11. Add enough buttermilk to make the potatoes creamy.
  12. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and the pepper, or more to taste, and serve hot.
  13. To keep the potatoes warm, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water for up to 30 minutes.
  14. You can add a little extra hot milk to keep them creamy.
  15. Enjoy!
  16. The Barefoot Contessa served this with roast capon, green beans with shalotts, orange-honey glazed carrots and pumpkin mousse parfait.


Most Helpful

I tried to make these for dinner tonight. However after I added the warmed milk and butter mixture the potatoes were nice and creamy, if I added the additional buttermilk they would have been too thin. So we had to settle for regular mashed potatoes instead of buttermilk mashed.

whtbxrmom October 02, 2012

This dish was a big hit at our house for Thanksgiving--I used the Yukon Gold potatoes as suggested, which are excellent for mashed potatoes. I added two cloves of garlic when boiling them and mashed the cloves along with the potatoes. I cut the potatoes in half to keep from absorbing too much water when boiling, and peeled them after they cooled a few minutes. The potatoes were so tender, we didn't use a food mill, just a hand masher. Potatoes were one of my favorite dishes on the table this year; thanks for sharing a great recipe!

rochsann December 18, 2008

I liked reading your recipe description and decided to make these for Thanksgiving dinner. I was looking for a real "classic" tasting dish and this fit the bill! I made the day before and topped with a drizzle of buttermilk before wrapping with plastic. I reheated slowly (low power) in the micro and they stayed creamy (yea!). Thanks so much, for posting, Manami- Roxygirl

Roxygirl in Colorado November 28, 2008

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a