Just wait till you taste one of my favorite side dish recipes, Rustic Mashed Potatoes for Two. Not only is it the best and loaded with flavor, but it is also a one-pan wonder with baby red potatoes topped with a tasty sauce made with tangy cream cheese and fresh chives.
Like my Easy Air Fryer Hasselback Potatoes, this indulgent potato recipe is for two. Of course, if you need to serve more folks, it’s easy to scale both recipes up.
Why you will love this recipe:
- It’s quick and easy; you can have this delicious side dish on the table in less than 15 minutes.
- You don’t have to peel or cut up the potatoes.
- It only takes minutes to whip the sauce up.
Only six ingredients:
All you need are small red potatoes, cream cheese, butter, fresh chives, kosher salt, and ground black pepper.
How to make it:
Place the spuds in a medium saucepan and add water to cover by at least an inch. Add one teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When the water boils, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for another 10-20 minutes.
How long it takes the spuds to cook depends on their size. They are done when they are tender, and you can easily stick a fork in them.
When the spuds are done, remove them from the heat. Before draining them reserve one-half cup of the cooking liquid and set aside. Pour them into a colander to drain.
Put the spuds back in the pan and let them sit for a few minutes to let the steam escape.
While the spuds are cooking, combine the softened cream cheese and butter in a small bowl. Add two tablespoons of the reserved cooking water, one-fourth teaspoon of salt and pepper, the chives, and stir to combine.
Use the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher to gently smash the potatoes just until the skin breaks. Do not mash.
Add the cream cheese mixture and combine, being careful not to break up the chunks of potatoes. Add one to two tablespoons of the reserved cooking water and stir to combine.
Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately.
This recipe as written makes two huge portions. Depending on what else you are serving, you can probably get at least three and maybe four servings out of it.
If you need to serve more folks, you can easily double or triple the recipe. This recipe allows you to scale it up or down but it doesn’t change the amount of the reserved cooking water you need to add. You will have to do this manually. It’s better to err on the side of too much water rather than too little.
Make sure your potatoes are roughly the same size so that they will cook evenly. If you have any that are larger than the rest, cut them in two. How long it takes the spuds to cook depends on their size. They are done when they are tender, and you can easily stick a fork in them.
You can substitute any small or baby potatoes for the red potatoes.
Leftovers can be stored tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to four days. To reheat, place them on a microwave-safe dish and heat them in the microwave for a minute or two.
This recipe can be made ahead and reheated covered in a 350-degree oven until it is warmed through. If you are going to make it ahead, add a few more tablespoons of the reserved cooking water to your sauce to make sure the potatoes don’t dry out.
If you make it ahead, you also might want to reserve about a tablespoon of the chopped chives to garnish it with.
What to serve with it:
I served this delicious side dish with Easy Pan Seared Salmon with Asparagus, but it would pair equally well with Baked Grouper with Tomatoes and Artichokes or Chicken with Mushrooms and Herbs or even my Easy Southern Style Blue Crab Cakes.
Here is a link to all of my main dish recipes if you need more menu suggestions.
If you like potatoes as we do, I think you may like these side-dish recipes as well: Old-Fashioned Creamed Potatoes, Easy Southern Potato Salad, Easy Southern Crispy Fried Potatoes, and Southern Candied Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans.
Here is a link to all of my side dish recipes if you need more inspiration or menu ideas.
★ If you make this recipe, please leave a comment and give it a star rating. I would love to know how you liked it!
Thank you so much for visiting Grits and Pinecones!
Easy Rustic Mashed Potatoes for Two Recipe
- 12 ounces small red potatoes unpeeled (12 ounces = about 12 small 1 to 2-inch potatoes)*
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese softened
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons reserved cooking water divided( add more if you want a creamier consistency)
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives minced
- 1-¼ teaspoons kosher salt divided
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and add water to cover by at least an inch. Add one teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When the water starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for about 10-20 minutes. How long it takes the potatoes to cook depends on the size. They are done when they are tender and you can easily stick a fork in them.
- When they are done, remove from the heat and reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid. Pour the potatoes into a colander to drain them. Put them back in the pan and let them sit for a few minutes to let the steam escape.
- While the potatoes are cooking combine the softened cream cheese and butter in a small bowl. Add two tablespoons of the reserved cooking water, one-fourth teaspoon of salt and pepper, and the chives and mix well to combine. Add more water if you want a creamier consistency.
- Use the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher to gently smash the potatoes just until the skin breaks. Do not mash.
- Add the cream cheese mixture and combine being careful not to break up the chunks of potato. Add two tablespoons of the reserved cooking water and stir to combine.
- Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if needed, and serve immediately.
*This post was originally published July 26, 2017. It was republished on June 6, 2020, with resized images, expanded directions, and new tips.
I would like to make this dish and double it. In the notes following the recipe it states,
“This recipe allows you to scale it up or down but it doesn’t change the amount of the reserved cooking water you need to add. You will have to do this manually.” I find this a bit confusing. Are you saying that the amount of reserved water used doesn’t increase if you double the recipe?
I’m sorry for the confusion. Yes, double the amount of reserved cooking water. You may not need it all, but add slowly and stir until it is the constancy you want.
I hope you enjoy it!
Sharon, I love the creaminess you added with the cream cheese. And skin-on mashed potatoes are my favorite. This is such a comfort food in the greatest sense and in my book can be eaten at any time of the year. Yum!! Thanks so much for sharing.
I can not express how much i love potatoes! I is absolutely unhealthy but i love them as crispy chips, french fri’s, gnocchi noodles oh i just love them. Yum, this looks tasty & it’s making me hungry.
Hi Leslie, thanks so much for leaving a comment. I am with you, I love potatoes prepared anyway, and I could eat them every day! This is a really quick and easy recipe too which makes it even better. Let me know what you think if you try it out!
Our resident potato lover has made these twice and has really enjoyed them, including as leftovers. He remarked after dinner tonight that “these are pretty damned good.” I thought you would enjoy that.