Store-Bought Mashed Potatoes: Best 9 With Taste Improvement Tips

While making mashed potatoes is fairly simple, it’s still time-consuming and well and you need to have potatoes. If you don’t have time to go to a store and/or cook, instant mashed potatoes are the answer.

Boxed mashed potatoes have been in the market for years. They’re made from real spuds, just ones that have been cooked, mashed, and dehydrated to make your life a little easier. Moreover, they come in a variety of ways to please all kinds of palates.

9 Best Instant Mashed Potatoes

Betty Crocker Instant Mashed Potato Buds

These potato buds from Betty Crocker are made from real potatoes that have a light and fluffy texture. You can incorporate additional ingredients, such as water, milk, salt, and margarine to level up your batch of mashed potatoes in minutes.

This is my favorite brand – it just feels like a homemade dish.

Idahoan Honest Earth Creamy Instant Mashed Potatoes

Idahoan Honest are another favorite of mine.

These mashed potatoes are packaged without chemical additives or preservatives. These gluten-free homestyle flakes from Idahoan Honest Earth are made with only natural ingredients, such as Idaho potatoes, butter, sea salt, and natural flavoring.

To prepare, just add hot water, season to taste, and stir.

Idaho Spuds VeggieMash Instant Mashed Potatoes

Are you looking for a daily supply of mashed potatoes?

Then this instant mashed potato from Idaho Spuds is a great option. It ensures that your little ones are getting their daily veggie intake or if you’re on the hunt for a healthier option for instant mashed potatoes, check out.

VeggieMash from Idaho Spuds are made with a mixture of cauliflower and potatoes. This side dish can be flavored with butter and savory herbs and tastes just like real mashed potatoes.

Edward & Sons Organic Mashed Potatoes

These home-style organic mashed potatoes are vegan, gluten-free, and certified USDA Organic. They provide the rich, comforting taste of home cooking in just 5 minutes. This side dish is easy to prepare by placing them on the stovetop or microwave.

They make a good complement to dishes like shepherd’s pie!

Potato Pearls Excel Mashed Potatoes

These potato pearls are highly reviewed due to their similarity to traditional mashed potatoes in both texture and taste. With only minutes of preparation time, Potato Pearls are Gluten Free, flavorful, and made with 100% USA Grown Potatoes.

It is a best-selling brand of foodservice mashed potatoes, due to ease of preparation, zero waste, and longest holding time.

Augason Farms Gluten-Free Potato Gems

These certified gluten-free potato gems from Augason Farms mix well with water to make smooth, creamy, and downright delicious mashed potatoes. I love its light, buttery, and natural flavor. They come in resealable canisters for easy storage.

Bob Evans Original Mashed Potatoes

If you lack the time to prepare and need mashed potatoes right away, these microwaveable Original Mashed Potatoes from Bob Evans are here to save the day. They are made of potatoes, whole milk, and butter.

Idahoan Buttery Homestyle Mashed Potatoes

If you are looking for a quick snack that tastes great and will not require you to add many ingredients, this product works wonderfully. Just add some water, put it in the microwave, and wait for about 1 minute and 30 seconds.

On top of that, it’s made from 100% real Idaho potatoes, which are known for their fluffy texture. Enjoy the mashed potatoes along with rolls, veggies, or meat dishes for a flavorful meal.

I like these mashed potatoes for their rich, buttery flavor and a creamy, light texture. It is easy and quick to prepare, making people happy, and can be enough as a standalone lunch.

You can substitute water with milk and add some extra butter for an even more indulgent taste. You can add spices, bacon bits, or shredded cheese to make the mashed potatoes more savory as well.

Bob’s Red Mill Potato Flakes Instant Mashed Potatoes

These potato flakes can deliver the lip-smacking homemade flavor that you crave in just a few minutes. Moreover, you can easily make them using a stovetop or microwave.

These versatile potato flakes can be used in different recipes. They can be an excellent gluten-free alternative to regular breadcrumbs, helping you create a crispy coating for meat and seafood. You can also use them as a thickening agent for sauces or gravy.

I am very impressed with the versatility of these potato flakes.

They can be used for making soup, coating meat, baking bread, and of course, whipping up mashed potatoes. Because the product contains dehydrated potatoes without any add-ons ingredients, you may add their own choice of seasonings.

How To Make Instant Mashed Potatoes Taste Better?

With just a few simple tweaks and some creative add-ins, instant mashed potatoes can surpass the homemade kind but have their unique taste.

Instant mashed potatoes are made from russet potatoes that have been cooked, mashed, and then dehydrated.

This is how potato flour is made. Instead of milling the dried potatoes into a fine powder, they’re crystallized into flakes, keeping them from clumping when you reconstitute them.

Do not confuse potato flour with potato starch. The difference between the two is that potato flour is made from dehydrated potatoes. Meanwhile, potato starch is only the dried starch that has been extracted from the potato. You cannot make mashed potatoes from potato starch.

If you’re planning to fill your pantry with instant mashed potatoes, avoid products that contain ingredients other than dried potatoes. You no longer need to look for butter flavoring, added salt, or anything else since you’re going to be flavoring and seasoning your mashed potatoes yourself.

store bought mashed potatoes

Add Butter and Salt

If you are looking for ways to level up your instant mashed potatoes, keep in mind that jazzing up mashed potatoes is a normal thing to do.

You can add chopped fresh herbs like chives or parsley, chopped cooked bacon, crumbled blue cheese, roasted garlic cloves, and so on to enhance the instant your mashed potatoes. Butter is a must and not sour cream, as is sour cream.

Instant potatoes offer a couple of additional variables for you to experiment with. For instance, an example of instruction in a pack of instant mashed potatoes is for you to bring water to a boil, then add butter and salt. You can either substitute chicken stock or any other stock, for that matter, instead of water.

The next step is to remove it from the heat, then add cold milk. Again, here you have the opportunity to replace cream, or evaporated milk, or buttermilk.

Add the Lumps Back in

To save time and eliminate the need to traffic in raw potatoes, you may use canned new potatoes.

This is a shelf-stable product that you can keep alongside the potato flakes in your pantry. Once ready, open the can, drain and rinse the potatoes. Put them in a small saucepan along with 1/4 cup of milk. Bring to a boil, boil for one minute, then remove from the heat.

Now, using a potato masher, mash the potatoes to the desired degree of lumpiness, then stir those handmade lumps to make instant mashed potatoes.

Fold in Mayonnaise

Whether you mash with a ricer or mash the potatoes with a fork, there’s one way to make them even creamier, the addition of mayo. Even the store-bought stuff, when folded in, creates an irresistible richness and luscious texture.

Swap the Potatoes

Sweet potatoes have a buttery texture and sweetness that makes them an ideal accompaniment to traditional and nontraditional Thanksgiving menus. You can usually find them covered in marshmallows or drizzled with maple syrup, which is perfectly delicious.

Add Paprika, Sriracha or Tabasco

From spicy chiles to Sriracha, most people love to add some heat to their food. Adding smoked hot paprika (a.k.a. pimentón de la Vera) can add a subtle smoky flavor. It can be stirred in or sprinkled on top. If you use hot sauce, like Tabasco, it blends easily with room-temperature butter to serve at the table.

Top With Crispy Bacon

Even if you’re set on the classic white potatoes and butter, or if you have a little time to prepare, try adding chopped crispy bacon or fried shallots to your mashed potatoes. The toppings are familiar but add fantastic texture.

Add Some Root Vegetables

If you want to make your mashed potato more flavorful, try incorporating different veggies into it. Not only does it add flavor, but it has lots of health benefits. Think parsnips, celery root, and turnips. Adding just enough can enhance the earthy flavor of the potatoes while keeping the dish classic and nostalgic.

How To Choose Instant Mashed Potatoes – Buying Guide

Let’s move on to the selection process. Choosing an instant mashed potato dish is not as simple as it might sound, because you have to consider different types of potatoes, the flavor of the product, and the ease of preparation. If you want to learn more, read on.

Look for starchy potatoes

First and foremost, you have to consider the potatoes. You can make mashed potatoes with the right variety of spud. It’s important to choose products that are made with starchy russet potatoes that are soaked up in butter and milk to give you a rich, creamy taste.

Because of the high starch content, they don’t hold their shape well. This quality helps your mashed potatoes to have a fluffy and light consistency.

Also, many products boast about being made from Idaho potatoes. What’s so special about these potatoes? When the name “Idaho potato” comes up, a lot of people think of top-notch russet potatoes.

They are grown in volcanic, mineral-dense soil in Idaho, which is ideal for growing potatoes. Potatoes grown in this type of soil are low in moisture and fall apart easily. If you are looking for a light and fluffy mashed potato that melts in your mouth, then look for Idaho potatoes.

Also, try to avoid products that are made with waxy varieties, such as New or Red Bliss potatoes, because they will create a gummy texture. Yukon Golds have medium starch content and won’t mash up well either.

Because of this, they have a creamier flavor. If you are looking for light mashed potatoes with a natural creaminess, look for a product that is made from half russets and half Yukon Golds.

Consider the type of dairy used in the recipe

The best-mashed potatoes are made with only a few simple ingredients, such as potatoes, butter, and a type of liquid dairy, like milk or cream. Though the type of potatoes matters a lot when getting the correct texture, the dairy will provide the mashed potatoes creaminess and richness.

Hence, check the package to see the kind of dairy used in the recipe. Butter is commonly found in the majority of instant mashed potatoes. It gives them an indulgent, to-die-for flavor.

On the other hand, liquid dairy like milk, half-and-half, buttermilk, or cream makes the consistency luscious. It also improves the taste and the richness. As you notice that some instant products use nonfat dry milk, buttermilk, cream, or regular milk.

Of course, dairy with a higher fat content makes the flavor tastier. For something lighter, look for a product with regular milk. For ultra creaminess and richness, buttermilk and cream are the way to go.

You can also find products that are made of potato flakes only without any dairy, allowing you to choose what kind of dairy you want to add.

Choose between plain potato flakes and mashed potato mixes

Both potato flakes and instant mixes produce steamy, creamy mashed potatoes in a few minutes. However, keep in mind that they work in different ways. To decide which one meets your needs better, here is a brief comparison of the two.

Mashed Potato Mixes

Mashed Potato Mixes Are Already Seasoned and Just Need Water

In case you don’t know, instant mashed potatoes are usually made from real potatoes that are manufactured and dehydrated. If you are looking for a quick meal or snack, these mixes offer the most convenience. It is because you don’t have to add any extra ingredients. Just add some water, and you can cook the mix on the stovetop or in the microwave, and you’re good to go!

Instant mashed potatoes come in various flavors.

For those who prefer flavorful mashed potato, choose a classic flavor. If you want some interesting notes, look for a product that comes with herbs or roasted garlic.

If you are a cheese lover? Some instant mashes are flavored with sharp cheddar, parmesan, Monterey pepper jack, or even different kinds of cheese.

For a more savory taste, opt for mashed potatoes that are loaded with bacon bits. There are many flavors available, so explore to find what’s best suited for your taste.

Potato Flakes

Potato Flakes are Versatile, allowing you to Customize the Flavor.

Potato flakes are also a convenient option, which can help you make some tasty mashed potatoes in a minute. These potato flakes are essentially dehydrated and can turn into mashed potatoes with some hot water or milk. They come without any seasonings; therefore, you can add any dairy and spices you like to achieve your desired flavor.

On top of that, potato flakes are versatile and can be used in many different recipes. They are also great to thicken gravy or sauces, making a delectable base for potato soup and can be used in place of breadcrumbs.

Adding potato flakes to your meatballs or meatloaf will keep them moist and tender as well!


Instant mashed potatoes are a great and convenient way to satisfy your cravings. To find a good one, make sure that the product is made from starchy potatoes because they will give your instant mash potato light and fluffy texture.

If you are looking for good instant potatoes, go with Betty Crocker Instant Mashed Potato Buds.

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