What Is The Difference Between Mashed Potatoes And Creamed Potatoes?

Mashed potatoes and creamed potatoes are two popular side dishes that grace many dinner tables around the world. These tasty and versatile sides can be paired with a wide variety of main dishes and are often enjoyed on their own as well. Although they may seem similar at first glance, there are actually significant differences between the two dishes, and these differences can have a noticeable impact on taste, texture, and appearance.

In this article, we delve into the key distinctions between mashed potatoes and creamed potatoes. We explore the unique characteristics of each dish, from their ingredients and preparation methods to their flavor profiles and ideal serving situations. Whether you’re a culinary enthusiast looking to expand your repertoire or simply curious about the differences between these two classic sides, this article is sure to provide insights and inspiration.

Quick Summary
Mashed potatoes are made by boiling potatoes until they are soft, then mashing them together with butter, milk, salt, and pepper to create a creamy texture. Creamed potatoes, on the other hand, are made by cooking potatoes in a creamy sauce made from milk, butter, and flour, resulting in a more savory dish with a thicker consistency.

Methods of Cooking

The method of cooking plays a significant role in the difference between mashed potatoes and creamed potatoes. Mashed potatoes are traditionally made by boiling peeled and cubed potatoes in salted water. Once the potatoes are cooked, they are drained and mashed using a masher or a fork. Sometimes, butter and milk or cream are added to enhance the taste and texture of the mashed potatoes.

On the other hand, creamed potatoes are made by combining cooked and slightly mashed potatoes with a cream-based sauce. The potatoes are usually cooked with butter, salt, and pepper until they are tender. Then, a mix of milk or cream and flour is added to create the sauce, which is then mixed with the potatoes. This dish has a creamier and smoother texture compared to mashed potatoes. Ultimately, the difference between mashed and creamed potatoes lies in the method of cooking and the addition of dairy-based ingredients.

Ingredient Analysis

When it comes to ingredient analysis, the primary difference between mashed potatoes and creamed potatoes is the consistency of the dish. Mashed potatoes are made using boiled or baked potatoes that are then mashed with a potato masher or electric beater. Typically, milk and butter are added to the mashed potatoes to make it creamy, fluffy, and buttery. However, it’s worth noting that some folks prefer to leave out the milk and butter and simply mash their potatoes with salt and pepper. The result is a fluffy, thick bowl of delicious mashed potatoes.

Creamed potatoes, on the other hand, are made using boiled potatoes that are then cooked with heavy cream, butter, and garlic, giving it a rich, savory flavor. Additionally, creamed potato recipes sometimes also call for ingredients like bacon, onion, and chives to add more flavor to the dish. Unlike mashed potatoes, creamed potatoes have a slightly thicker consistency that feels velvety and silky when eaten. Typically, this creamy side dish is a bit heavier on the stomach, making it perfect for winter evening meals when you need a little warming up.

Texture and Consistency

Potatoes are a staple food in many cuisines around the world. While mashed potatoes and creamed potatoes might sound similar, there is a significant difference between the two when it comes to texture and consistency. Mashed potatoes are well-known for their fluffy and smooth texture, while creamed potatoes have a creamier and more velvety consistency.

Mashed potatoes are made by boiling the potatoes until they are cooked through, then they are mashed and often mixed with butter, milk, salt, and pepper to get a smooth consistency. On the other hand, creamed potatoes are cooked in a sauce made with cream, butter, flour, and milk, resulting in a rich and creamy texture that is usually served as a side dish or an accompaniment to meat dishes. Ultimately, the texture and consistency of the potato dish you choose to make will depend on your preferences, and what you plan on serving it with.

Nutritional Variance

Nutritional variance is one of the most significant differences between mashed potatoes and creamed potatoes. Mashed potatoes are generally higher in calories and carbohydrates as they usually contain butter, cream, and milk. The addition of these ingredients not only adds flavor but also contributes to the caloric content of the dish. However, mashed potatoes are also a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6.

On the other hand, creamed potatoes may contain fewer calories and carbohydrates as cream is usually used in smaller quantities. However, creamed potatoes may not have the same nutritional value as mashed potatoes, as cream does not add much nutritional content. The addition of other ingredients such as cheese, sour cream, or bacon can also significantly increase the calorie content of creamed potatoes. Therefore, if you are looking for a more nutritious option, mashed potatoes may be the better choice.

Regional Differences in Preparation

Regional differences in the preparation of mashed potatoes and creamed potatoes are quite significant. In the southern United States, for example, creamed potatoes are often made with milk, cream, butter, salt, and pepper and are served alongside country-fried steak, catfish, or pork chops. In the Pacific Northwest, mashed potatoes are made with cream cheese, sour cream, chives, and garlic, and they are usually served with roasted chicken or beef.

In Europe, the preparation of these dishes varies by country. In the UK, mashed potatoes are traditionally made with cream and butter and are served with bangers and mash or roast beef. In France, they are sometimes served as pommes puree, which is made with butter and heavy cream and often served as a side dish for meats or fish. The specific ingredients and variations in preparation vary, of course, but it is interesting to observe the different regional approaches to these two very similar dishes.

Culinary Uses of Mashed vs. Creamed Potatoes

When it comes to culinary uses, mashed potatoes are a versatile side dish that pairs well with a variety of main courses. They are often served alongside grilled meats, fish, and vegetables. Mashed potatoes can also be used as a base for other dishes, such as shepherd’s pie or potato pancakes. Some chefs even use mashed potatoes as a thickener in soups or stews, which adds a creamy texture and enhances the flavor of the dish.

Creamed potatoes, on the other hand, are typically used as a side dish that adds a luxurious touch to a meal. They are often served with meat dishes that have a rich gravy, such as roast beef or chicken. Creamed potatoes also pair well with fish dishes, and can be topped with herbs or garlic for added flavor. In addition, they can be used as a base for creamed vegetable soups or as a filling for savory pies. Overall, both mashed and creamed potatoes offer endless culinary possibilities in the kitchen.

Popular Variations and Combinations

Popular Variations and Combinations

When it comes to mashed and creamed potatoes, there are numerous variations and combinations that can be added to enhance the flavor and texture of this classic side dish. One popular variation of mashed potatoes is adding roasted garlic, which adds a deep, savory flavor that complements the creaminess of the potatoes. Another variation is adding shredded cheese, which can turn a simple side dish into a decadent comfort food.

As for creamed potatoes, variations include adding herbs like thyme or rosemary, which can add a subtle, earthy flavor. Bacon bits and chives are also popular additions that give a crunchy texture and savory taste to the creaminess of the potatoes. Additionally, creamed potatoes can be combined with roasted vegetables, such as carrots or beets, to add more color and nutrients to the dish. Overall, the possibilities are endless when it comes to variations and combinations for both mashed and creamed potatoes, allowing for a personalized touch to this classic side dish.


In conclusion, mashed and creamed potatoes may seem similar, but they are fundamentally different in preparation, texture, and flavor. Mashed potatoes use boiled potatoes that are mashed with milk, butter, and possibly cream to create a fluffy, creamy texture. They are usually served with gravy or as a side dish to meat dishes. Creamed potatoes, on the other hand, are made by heating cream, butter, and seasonings before pouring them over cooked potatoes. The result is a rich, velvety sauce that coats the potatoes and provides a savory side dish that pairs well with roasted chicken or beef.

Ultimately, the choice between mashed and creamed potatoes comes down to personal preference and the dish they are accompanying. Mashed potatoes are a classic comfort food that provides a simple and tasty side dish, while creamed potatoes offer a more decadent and flavorful option for special occasions. No matter which you choose, potatoes are a versatile and nutritious addition to any meal.

Leave a Comment