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Course: Sides & Salads
Keyword: Holidays, Leeked Whipped Potatoes, Thanksgiving

Leeked Whipped Potatoes

ACTIVE TIME: 50 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 45 minutes
Yield: 12 servings
There are many simple pleasures in Thanksgiving dishes, but mashed potatoes are the topper. Kids love 'em, adults love 'em, and you're about to love making them.
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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  • 4 pounds russet potatoes (about 7 medium)
  • 11 tablespoons high-quality unsalted butter
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts only, cleaned and sliced into thin rings
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt, divided
  • 6 fluid ounces heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, plus more to taste

Specialized Hardware

Salad spinner
a colander that fits into a large bowl or a pot with a pasta insert for soaking potatoes
Potato masher
Electric hand mixer
ACTIVE TIME: 50 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 45 minutes
Yield: 12 servings


  • Peel and roughly chop the potatoes into quarters (if potatoes are especially large cut them into 2-inch pieces).
  • Place potatoes in a salad spinner or a colander set inside a large bowl. Fill with water to cover the potatoes by 1 inch and let soak 30 minutes. (Covered potatoes can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours.)
  • Meanwhile, combine the butter, leeks, and chives in a 2-quart saucepan and place over medium heat. When the butter has melted and it starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the butter is flavorful but the solids have not browned, 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and set the butter aside. (The solids can be reserved for stirring into the final dish or for another use.)
  • Remove the potatoes from the water and drain, being careful not to stir up the starch that has settled on the bottom. Move the potatoes to a 6-7-quart pot and cover with fresh water by 1 inch. Add 3 tablespoons of the salt and place over high heat until water comes to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to medium to maintain a gentle but not full or “rolling” boil. Cook the potatoes gently until the internal temperature of the potatoes reaches 205 degrees and the thermometer probe meets barely any resistance, 10-12 minutes.
  • Drain the potatoes then rinse thoroughly with hot water and allow to drain again.
  • Heat the cream in the microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute, or until the temp is around 120 F. Avoid boiling.
  • Return the potatoes to the pot and stir over low heat for 1 minute to dry them further. Add the melted butter then roughly mash the potatoes with a potato masher, being sure to press the masher all the way to the bottom of the pot. Add the warmed cream and white pepper. Add the remaining tablespoon of salt a teaspoon at a time to your liking. You may not need all of it.
  • Whip the potatoes with an electric hand mixer, starting on low then boosting the speed to high for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl, add the reserved leeks and chives if desired, and whip for 10 more seconds. That's it. Whipping any further will result in gluey...not fluffy. Transfer to a large (ideally warmed) bowl and serve to a grateful world.
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