I wanted something tasty to go with my low-fat meatloaf, but didn’t want to totally ruin the work I’d done towards making something “low fat”- so I tried out these mashed potatoes. I was initially skeptical at how little butter they contained- typically, I don’t favor mashed potato recipes, I normally just mash up some boiled potatoes and continue adding butter until I’m satisfied (read: high butter content).

But consuming and creating the mashed potatoes means that I carry the knowledge of how many tablespoons of butter I put in- so I take a page from Cookie Monster’s book, and know that mashed potatoes are a sometimes food.

But this recipe contained 1 tablespoon of butter for the whole recipe, using 2% milk and low-fat sour cream to maintain the creaminess. Was it the best mashed potatoes I’d ever had? Well, no. Did they have a sad ersatz low fat flavor? No- they just taste more potato-y and less rich. And were the pretty great? Yes- and if I incorporate this recipe into my repertoire, maybe mashed potatoes will be a more frequent sometimes food.

Note on this recipe: The flavor of these mashed potatoes significantly changes when you store it- so make these right before you plan to eat them – once they have been stored and reheated, the sour cream becomes the strongest flavor, which isn’t so bad if you like sour cream a lot (I certainly do) but the freshis definitely closest to traditional mashed potatoes. 

Lighter Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes (about 4 medium), scrubbed, peeled, and cut into chunks
  • Salt
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk, warmed
  • 1tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4cup low-fat sour cream
  • Ground black pepper

1. Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover the potatoes by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until a fork can be slipped easily into the center of the potatoes, about 18 minutes. Drain the potatoes.

2. Set a food mill or ricer over the now-empty but still-warm saucepan.* Working in batches, drop the potatoes into the hopper of the food mill or ricer and process into the saucepan.

3. Stir in the milk and melted butter with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Gently fold in the sour cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

*If you don’t have a ricer (I don’t!) you can use a hand mixer or standing mixer to mash up the potatoes. Potato mashers  are a cheap non-electric way to get the potatoes mashed up- although while we’re on the topic, you can get hand mixers for less than $10 at Target.