The Best Way To Enjoy Instant Mashed Potatoes

To make instant potatoes taste more like the real thing, try adding in a can of new potatoes.

By Trista Sobeck | Updated

instant mashed potatoes

Is there any better comfort food than instant mashed potatoes? Creamy, rich, delicious, and made fast. Because grocery store prices have increased at least 13 percent in the last couple of months, folks are trying to eat like a king on a pauper’s budget. And it’s possible with a couple of changes to shopping and a little bit of know-how.

According to Tasting Table, adding a can of new potatoes can thicken and enhance instant mashed potatoes so much that tasters cannot tell the difference between mashed potatoes from a box and mashed potatoes from someone spending all day cooking them. Of course, adding spices such as chives, as well as feta cheese is always a winning addition.

Instant mashed potatoes, although never a choice over “fresh” mashed potatoes, are a great way to go because they save time that no one has anymore. Perhaps during a big Thanksgiving meal, traditional mashed potatoes are worth it. But, for a typical Tuesday or Thursday meal, most people are looking for quick and tasty. 

Instant mashed potatoes were available in stores beginning in the early 1950s by the company now known as French’s. The product was initially called mashed potato granules and was actually flash-dried mashed potatoes. They were improved by a Canadian food scientist resulting in potato flakes. The flakes broke down in hot water and were a bit smoother than its predecessor. Most folks thought they would be used primarily for soldiers in war or when going camping. They weren’t really thought of to be a typical family dinner. 

This is more than likely true because during the 1950s and ‘60s most women were not members of the workforce and would be housewives, washing, cleaning, and cooking all day. Mashed potatoes were more than likely a staple. As more women moved into the workforce, the need to quicker and easier to prepare foods increased. So, the popularity of instant mashed potatoes rose. 

Although instant mashed potatoes are not exactly potatoes, they are potatoes that have gone through a complicated process of mashing and dehydrating. All you have to do is add hot water or milk, and they are also available in many different flavors.

Instant mashed potatoes are great for families in a hurry and what’s more, they you won’t find yourself with tons of left-over food, as you may with traditional potatoes. As we focus on not spending a lot and not wasting a lot in the coming months and years, adding a can of whole potatoes to instant mashed potatoes is a terrific option for dinner.

Although instant mashed potatoes are not as healthy as traditional mashed potatoes, as they are missing some of those vitamins that can only be obtained from fresh vegetables, they are still a great alternative. In addition to adding a can of potatoes, you can also add, milk, chicken broth, butter, sour cream, cream cheese, or just some salt and pepper.

Depending on what brand of instant mashed potatoes you purchase, you may find yourself using different add-ins to get just the right taste. And, be sure to simply choose a yummy soup as another side. With the right main dish, you’re a culinary genius.