The Unexpected Condiment For Creamier Mashed Potatoes

A popular side dish for meaty entrees, the potato takes on many forms as a food phenomenon. Mashed, baked, scalloped, and more, potatoes add a hearty comfort factor to a good meal. They may even help promote digestion when paired with a juicy steak or other red meat, according to the steak experts at Ruth's Chris. And while the possibilities may sometimes seem overwhelming when it comes to picking the right potato side dish for your meal, creamy, savory, buttery mashed potatoes are always an easy choice.  

But truly mastering mashed potatoes can be surprisingly tricky, due to the multitude of opinions on how to reach the pinnacle of potato perfection. Two of the most well-known additions to mashed potatoes are butter and milk, and although many recipes have these in common there are outliers with variations to help you get just the right consistency. Blogger Mad About Food suggests whipping the potatoes with a little sour cream, whereas Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman) adds cream cheese and swaps out the milk for half-and-half, per the Food Network. But there's another magic ingredient that will take your mashed potato texture to a whole new level, and it's probably something you already have in your kitchen.

More than sandwiches and salads

From the classic club sandwich to chicken salad, mayonnaise is well known for uniting flavors in a variety of dishes for years. The condiment is especially adept at holding everything together while adding some often-needed moisture to whichever recipe it is a part of. The reason behind this special talent is that mayonnaise contains emulsifiers, which means that it can serve as a thickening agent, help preserve the flavors and consistency of food, and also make things smooth and creamy (via Food Insight).

Even for mayo-averse individuals, there's no denying that the condiment is a great way to make mashed potatoes ultra-creamy — and luckily for all the haters out there, its taste is not really detectable. LifeHacker suggests using a small amount of mayonnaise (a few tablespoons at most) next time you whip up a batch of mashed potatoes for the perfect texture.

Adding mayo to the dish may even inspire you to try out other unconventional mashed potato mix-ins, like incorporating lobster into the spuds for an over-the-top meal.