How To Thicken Instant Mashed Potatoes

How to Thicken Instant Mashed Potatoes: Quick Fixes

Last Updated on May 19, 2024 by Shari Mason

Making rich and velvety instant mashed potatoes can be a quick and simple process! Sometimes, they may turn out too runny, but I have found some easy methods to fix this issue.

You don’t need to be a chef to make instant mashed potatoes as good as homemade ones. I have some handy tips to turn your watery potatoes into a thick and tasty side dish in no time. 

Let’s dive in and make your mealtime a delight!

7 Ways To Thicken Instant Mashed Potatoes

1. Include a Thickening Agent

Mashed Potatoes

One effective way to thicken instant mashed potatoes is by incorporating a thickening agent like cornstarch [1] or flour.

If you find your mashed potatoes are too runny, mix a small amount of either cornstarch or flour with cold water to create a smooth paste. 

“My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with.”

– Oprah Winfrey, American Host

Gradually stir this into your potatoes and gently heat the mixture. In just a few minutes, the texture becomes thicker and creamier, resulting in the perfect consistency to complement your main course. 

This simple adjustment ensures that your instant mashed potatoes are quick to prepare and delightfully satisfying in texture and taste.

2. Add More Flakes

Adding more flakes is a straightforward and effective method to thicken instant mashed potatoes to your liking. If they turn out too watery, stir in additional potato flakes until the desired consistency is achieved. 

The extra flakes absorb excess moisture, instantly transforming your runny mixture into a thicker, creamier side dish. 

This adjustment allows you to enjoy the rich and comforting texture of mashed potatoes that perfectly accompanies any meal, ensuring each bite is as satisfying as it is delicious. 

Adjusting the quantity of flakes gives you control over the texture, ensuring a perfect side dish every time.

Check out these methods to remove lumps from the gravy here.

3. Use Less Liquid

Using less liquid is a preventative measure to ensure instant mashed potatoes have the perfect creamy consistency. If you often find your potatoes too runny, consider reducing the water or milk initially added. 

By doing so, the mixture remains thick and hearty from the start. If you’ve already added too much liquid, do not worry – heat the potatoes over low heat to evaporate some excess moisture, stirring occasionally. 

This adjustment yields a thicker consistency, enhancing the texture and flavor of this beloved side dish making every mouthful a comforting experience.

4. Cheese to the Rescue

Cheese can be your best ally in the quest to achieve the perfect thickness for your instant mashed potatoes. 

By simply stirring in a handful of your favorite shredded cheese – be it cheddar, mozzarella, or another variety – you introduce an additional layer of flavor and contribute to a thicker, creamier texture. 

The cheese melts seamlessly into the warm, prepared potatoes, binding the mixture for a richer consistency. 

It’s a delightful solution, ensuring each spoonful of your mashed potatoes is as flavorful and satisfying as perfectly thickened, turning an essential side dish into a gourmet treat.

You might also like to read about tips to keep mashed potatoes warm in a crock pot here.

5. Mix in Instant Gravy

Bowl of Mashed Potatoes

Mixing in instant gravy [2] is another ingenious hack to turn watery instant mashed potatoes into a flavorful delight. Prepare a thick instant gravy and gradually incorporate it into the mashed potatoes, stirring until well combined. 

This enriches the potatoes with a savory touch and enhances their consistency, making them thicker and more indulgent. 

It’s a two-fold benefit that elevates the taste and texture of the mashed potatoes, transforming a seemingly bland side dish into a flavor-packed accompaniment that steals the spotlight during mealtime. 

Each bite promises a delightful blend of flavors, marked by the distinguished touch of perfectly thickened gravy.

Find out how restaurants keep mashed potatoes warm here.

6. Stir in Cooked Veggies

Introducing cooked veggies is a nutritious and tasty way to enhance the texture of instant mashed potatoes. Blend cooked cauliflower or broccoli into a smooth puree and mix it into your watery mashed potatoes. 

The vegetables absorb excess liquid and produce a thicker, more robust texture. Additionally, they infuse a burst of flavor and nutrients, turning a simple side into a healthier, gourmet dish. 

“Turning watery to wonderful: the art of perfecting instant mashed potatoes lies in the simple dance of balancing textures and flavors, making each bite a creamy embrace of comfort.”

– Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice

It’s an easy adjustment that guarantees a bowl of mashed potatoes boasting the perfect consistency and an enriched taste profile, making every bite a delightful harmony of flavors and textures.

7. Add Bread Crumbs

Bread crumbs offer a quick and handy solution to thicken instant mashed potatoes effectively. By sprinkling a generous handful of bread crumbs into the potatoes and stirring, you can transform a watery consistency into a thicker, heartier texture. 

The bread crumbs absorb the excess moisture and add flavor and texture, ensuring each bite is rich and satisfying. 

This method not only remedies the consistency issue but also introduces a subtle, delightful crunch, elevating the instant mashed potatoes into a side dish that’s flavorful and texturally pleasing to the palate.

Related Posts:


Can I use milk to make my instant mashed potatoes thicker? 

Yes, adding more potato flakes or reducing the initial amount of milk can help achieve a thicker consistency.

But what can you substitute for milk in mashed potatoes?

Will adding cheese change the flavor of my instant mashed potatoes? 

Cheese will make the potatoes thicker and add a creamy, rich flavor to the dish. Choose your cheese type based on the flavor profile you desire.

Key Takeaways

Transforming runny instant mashed potatoes into a thick, creamy delicacy is easy with the right tips in hand. 

Whether adding more flakes, reducing the liquid, incorporating cheese, mixing in instant gravy, stirring in cooked veggies, or even using bread crumbs, each method offers a unique touch to the dish’s texture and flavor. 

It’s all about balancing ingredients and using creative tweaks to elevate the humble instant mashed potato into a gourmet side dish. 

These tested and proven tips ensure that every serving of instant mashed potatoes is a spoonful of creamy, comforting delight, ready to complement any meal. 

Enjoy the process and savor every bite!


Shari Mason

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *