Spinach mashed potatoes are creamy, cheesy, and flavorful! This easy recipe can be made with fresh spinach or frozen in about 30 minutes! They’re loaded with spinach, garlic, cream cheese, cheese, and milk or cream!
Mashed potatoes with spinach go with any main dishes you’d serve traditional mashed potatoes with. You’ll love them with Classic Slow Cooker Roast Beef, Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Chops, and Tenderloin Steaks!
This post was originally written in 2016. I updated the post and the recipe in 2023 with new instructions and images. The first recipe was made with chopped spinach to make green mashed potatoes. If you still want green potatoes, follow the recipe except chop the spinach in a blender before adding it to the potatoes.
I live in Idaho and that means we’re pretty serious about potatoes! Every year I plant russets, Yukon Gold, and red potatoes and store them to use throughout the winter. I know a good potato side dish recipe when I see it!
These creamy mashed potatoes really are easy enough to make for a perfect side dish for any weeknight dinner.
The green spinach mixed in with the potatoes adds a great pop of color and makes them extra pretty! This potato recipe is perfect for serving with Christmas dinner, or it’s really fun for St. Patrick’s Day!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Quick and Easy! Making mashed potatoes with spinach isn’t any more complicated than making them without it. I love making them in the pressure cooker and it only takes about 30 minutes to whip up a batch.
Yummy! This recipe makes super creamy mashed potatoes. Adding spinach makes them pretty and gives them a little extra nutrition. My kids devour them and that’s saying something because they usually turn their noses up at green leafy vegetables!
Simple ingredients! You need normal ingredients like potatoes, cream cheese, and butter. I have made them using substitutions too. I have all the tricks for what works best!
Let’s go over some options and variations. I always use what I have on hand instead of making a trip to the grocery store. For a full list of ingredients scroll to the full recipe at the bottom of this post.
Potatoes: Yukon gold and russet potatoes are the best for making mashed potatoes because they have low moisture and high starch content. You can also use red potatoes but they will be a little less fluffy.
Spinach: Fresh or frozen spinach will work great. I prefer fresh baby spinach leaves. Be sure to use a bag of frozen spinach instead of a box because it’s easier to use as much or as little as you’d like. The thawing time is less too.
Cheese: Cheddar cheese, pepper jack for some extra spice, mozzarella, or Colby Jack are all good options.
Cream Cheese: I always use regular full-fat cream cheese because it is thicker and creamier. Reduced-fat cream cheese has extra liquid added to it. You certainly can use low-fat cream cheese in this recipe.
Cream: I love using heavy cream to make mashed potatoes because it’s so rich and decadent. If you’re after a healthy spinach recipe you can use whole milk, 2% milk, or even low fat.
Butter: I always use real butter because I’m a dairy farmer and we believe in real butter! Salted or unsalted either will work great.
How to Make Mashed Potatoes with Spinach
Step 1: Scrub, peel, and dice potatoes.
Step 2: Cook the potatoes. My favorite method is using a pressure cooker. I’m going to give instructions for using either the Instant pot or a slow cooker.
Instant Pot: Add diced potatoes, salt, and enough water to cover about half of the potatoes. Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. Quick release and check to make sure the potatoes are soft enough that they can easily be poked with a knife.
Stovetop: Add peeled and diced potatoes to a saucepan. Add enough water to cover the potatoes by an inch. Add salt. Turn the heat to high and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low enough to keep a gentle boil, typically between medium heat and medium-high heat. Cover and boil potatoes for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender enough to be poked with a knife.
Step 3:While the potatoes are cooking saute the spinach. Set a skillet over medium heat. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the spinach. Stir occasionally until wilted. Sometimes I rough chop the spinach before sauteing because my boys like smaller pieces of spinach. You can also skip this step and add raw, uncooked spinach to the mashed potatoes. The steam will help it wilt a little bit. I prefer sauteing in first.
Step 4: Drain potatoes. Return to the pressure cooker or pot. The heat from the pressure cooker will help absorb some of the water from the potatoes. Mash potatoes with the potato masher.
Step 5: Add spinach, melted butter, room temperature cream cheese, warm cream, garlic paste, grated cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until the butter and cheese are melted and the cream cheese is incorporated.
Step 6: Taste test and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Spread in a casserole dish. Serve.
- If you’re using frozen spinach buy the kind in the bag instead of the box. The box is harder to thaw and is a lot of spinach.
- Frozen spinach is a little more wilted than fresh so it isn’t as important to sauté it. Thaw and mix spinach and potatoes together.
- If you wan to sauté frozen spinach you don’t need to thaw the spinach first, just heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the frozen chopped spinach. Sauté until wilted.
It’s fun to switch this delicious side dish up! These are good options for add-ins!
- Fry and drain bacon to add
- Feta cheese for a bit of a tang
- Hot sauce for extra spice
Pro Tips and Tricks
- Use red potatoes and leave the skins on for a rustic look.
- Adding melted butter and warm cream helps it to incorporate into the potatoes and it doesn’t cool the potatoes.
- Garnish with chopped parsley or grated parmesan cheese.
How to Make Spinach Mashed Potatoes Ahead
This recipe is a great make-ahead recipe.
- Follow the instructions to make the potatoes.
- Put them in an oven-proof or microwave-proof serving dish.
- Refrigerate up to 2 days before serving.
- Bake or microwave the potatoes until warm through. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the dish you’re using. The potatoes will cook faster if they are in a shallow dish. Bake at 375 degrees. Most likely it will take between 30-45 minutes to bake.
Refrigerator: They will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freezer: Mashed potatoes freeze well. They’ll last up to 2 months in the freezer. Be sure to store them in an airtight container.
Thaw: Thaw potatoes in the refrigerator overnight. Thawing time will vary depending on the size of the container. Or, thaw at room temperature only until defrosted.
How to reheat mashed potatoes:
Microwave: Reheat the whole dish until warmed through, or individual portions until warmed through. Time will vary depending on the wattage of the microwave and how much potatoes you’re reheating.
Oven: Bake potatoes at 375 degrees until warmed through.
Heavy cream or half-and-half are great options. In fact, I like using them better than regular milk because they are richer.
Russet and Yukon Gold potatoes are both great choices. They have a higher starch content than some other varieties which makes fluffy mashed potatoes.
Other Potatoes Recipes:
Spinach Mashed Potatoes
- 3 pounds potatoes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup butter
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
- 2 cups cheese
- 6 ounces spinach
- Scrub, peel, and dice potatoes.
- Cook potatoes.Instant Pot: Add diced potatoes, salt, and enough water to cover about half of the potatoes. Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. Quick release and check to make sure the potatoes are soft enough they can easily be poked with a knife.Stove top: Add peeled and diced potatoes to a saucepan. Add enough water to cover the potatoes by an inch. Add salt. Turn the heat to high and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low enough to keep a gentle boil. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender enough to be poked with a knife.
- Saute the spinach by setting a saucepan over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add spinach and stir occasionally until wilted. The spinach will wilt quickly and reduce in size significantly.
- Drain the potatoes. Return to the pressure cooker or pot. The heat from the pressure cooker will help absorb some of the water from the potatoes. Mash the potatoes with the potato smasher.
- Add spinach, melted butter, room temperature cream cheese, warm cream, garlic paste, grated cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until the butter and cheese are melted and the cream cheese is incorporated. The steam from the hot potatoes will wilt the spinach. (See note for more wilted spinach).
- Taste test and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
- Fresh or frozen spinach may be used. Thaw and drain frozen spinach before adding.
- For completely green mashed potatoes chop spinach in a food processor before adding it to the potatoes. You don’t need to saute them.