Homemade Mashed Potatoes With Evaporated Milk

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If you’re searching for a homemade mashed potatoes recipe with a difference, you must try these mashed potatoes with evaporated milk. A Southern specialty, they’re richer in flavor, creamy, and the perfect side dish.

Bowl of homemade mashed potatoes.

Classic mashed potatoes are the perfect comfort food, aren’t they? My family always insists my grandma make a big batch whenever we visit for dinner. That’s because she makes her mashed potatoes with evaporated milk, which makes them that much more fluffy, creamy, and delicious. 

Evaporated milk made its first debut in Illinois, but it took off like wildfire as soon as Southerners discovered it. Due to our overwhelmingly hot climate, milk spoilage was a particular problem in this area of the country, and having shelf-stable milk that would keep even in the summertime was almost too good to be true.

This old-fashioned mashed potatoes recipe is simple to follow with minimal ingredients. Serve your creamy mashed potatoes alongside popular Southern main dishes, like fried chickencrispy breaded pork chopsslow cooker pulled pork, and meatloaf. It’s also a great holiday recipe served alongside some crockpot turkey breast.

You should also keep reading as I share how to perfectly boil and mash your potatoes for the best homemade mashed potatoes you’ve ever eaten. Enjoy!

Ingredients for homemade mashed potatoes with evaporated milk.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Salt
  • Potatoes
  • Evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • A pinch of pepper

Wash, peel, and slice potatoes.

Bring pot of water to boil.

Put a pot of water on the stove and turn it on medium so it can be getting good and hot.

Add about a teaspoon of salt to the water.

Add potatoes to pot and bring to a boil.

Add potatoes and bring water to a boil.

How long do you boil potatoes?

You want your water to be gently boiling the entire time the potatoes are cooking. How long you cook them here is key. My grandmother uses a pressure cooker to make her deliciously creamy homemade mashed potatoes. In absence of a pressure cooker, I use the old-fashioned method of cooking them until they cry uncle or about an hour or so.

Yes, I seriously did say an hour. I’m just shocking y’all left and right today, aren’t I?

Add evaporated milk to potatoes.

After they are done cooking and fork tender, drain potatoes and put in your entire can of evaporated milk.

Add rest of ingredients to potatoes in pot.

Add your 1/2 cup of butter.

I know it may seem like a lot of butter but honestly, can we ever have too much?

You can use real butter if you’re not as cheap as me.

Add another teaspoon or so of salt.

This is to taste. I prefer to under season my food if I am going to be serving it to company because this allows them to season it to their taste rather than have to eat it according to how I prefer it. I know many people who prefer very little to no salt and many more who prefer twice as much salt as I do!

Finally, add about 1/2 a teaspoon of pepper.

There is such a thing as white pepper which will not leave dark specks in your mashed potatoes if those bother you.

Mash potatoes using a hand mixer.

Now just use your hand mixer and beat the living mess out of everything until it is smooth and creamy.

How to mash potatoes

For the perfect mashed potato dish, I like to do this with my stand mixer and let it run for a few minutes. If you are feeling lazy or just want mashed potatoes with a more “country” feel, you can just use a potato masher and do it by hand. A potato masher is this neat little device that I have two of and use for pretty much everything except mashing potatoes.

This is one of my potato mashers, but I tend to use it for meatloaf mixing more often than not. I also have this waffle head potato masher.

Bowl of homemade mashed potatoes.

Serve your fluffy mashed potatoes straight away alongside other side dishes like butter beans, hush puppies, green beans, and fried okra. Enjoy!


Store leftover mashed potatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat leftovers in the microwave. If you want to freeze your mashed potatoes, check out this recipe.

Recipe Notes

  • Before you mash your potatoes, add chopped green onion, chopped parsley, or crumbled bacon for additional flavor.
  • You can use regular milk to make these homemade mashed potatoes, but the evaporated milk makes a difference and gives the dish a richer flavor. 
  • Most old recipes which call for evaporated milk will have it simply listed as “pet milk,” which was (and is) a very popular brand of evaporated milk. I have never found a generic that didn’t taste exactly the same to me as the name brand when it comes to evaporated milk.
  • Don’t confuse evaporated milk with sweetened condensed milk.
    • Sweetened condensed milk has had water removed and sugar added, yielding a very thick and rich product. If my blood sugar would allow it, I’d happily live on sweetened condensed milk, that stuff is AWESOME.
    • Evaporated milk has had water removed but no sugar added. However, the natural sugars which occur in milk are more concentrated and this produces has a richer flavor (which is one reason why I really like it in my coffee). You can actually reconstitute evaporated milk with equal parts of water to have the equivalent of fresh milk.

However, both evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk are browner in color than regular milk due to the heat in the pasteurization process causing a slight caramelizing to the natural sugars. Evaporated milk is also great in macaroni and cheese. Just substitute regular milk for evaporated milk when you want that richer flavor.

Recipe FAQs

What are the best potatoes to use in mashed potatoes?

The best potato variety to use in this mashed potato recipe is russet potatoes, red potatoes, or Yukon gold potatoes.

Check out these other marvelous mashed potato recipes:

Mashed Sweet Potato Recipe

Freezer Mashed Potatoes

Thomas BBQ Mashed Potato Salad

Mozzarella Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potato Cakes Recipe

Fancy Mashed Potatoes With Cheese

Homemade mashed potatoes with evaporated milk.

Homemade Mashed Potatoes

A Southern specialty, these homemade mashed potatoes with evaporated milk are the perfect side dish, with a rich and creamy flavor.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: mashedpotatoes, potatoes


  • 5 lbs mashed potatoes or 7-8 medium-sized potatoes
  • 1 small can of evaporated milk 5 ounces
  • 1 stick butter 1/2 cup
  • 1 tsp salt for water
  • 1 tsp salt for potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


  • Peel and cut the potatoes into slices or large cubes.
    5 lbs mashed potatoes
  • Fill a large pot with enough water to cover potatoes. Add 1 tsp of salt. Add the potatoes, bring to a boil, and boil gently for about an hour or until extremely tender.
    5 lbs mashed potatoes, 1 tsp salt for water
  • Drain potatoes and add all other ingredients. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
    1 small can of evaporated milk, 1 stick butter, 1 tsp salt for potatoes, 1/2 tsp pepper
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!



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