The main dish will not be as notable if it is not accompanied by a delicious side dish. And what is the quintessential side dish if not mashed potatoes?
It is incredibly easy to make, and it has a quick preparation time. But even if it is not extremely complicated to prepare, there can be a few bumps in the road during the process.
In fact, there is nothing worse than when you have guests for dinner, and everything is going smoothly until the worst happens. While you are adding the final touches to your mashed potatoes, you drop a little too much salt on them.
Unless you dropped the whole saltshaker into your side dish though, salty mashed potatoes are still salvageable, and here’s how.
How to fix salty mashed potatoes
Adding too much salt in mashed potatoes might seem like the most terrible thing you could do while cooking dinner, but do not panic yet!
There are a few methods that help neutralize salt in food, but not all methods work for all dishes.
For example, the good old advice of adding more water to dilute the salt ratio might work on something watery like a soup. But it will definitely give you not-so-great results with mashed potatoes.
Water will make your mashed potatoes way too liquid, and it will ruin their wonderful silky and delicate texture.
We also do not recommend adding a mixture of different spices to your mashed potatoes to try to resolve your issue.
In many instances, different spices already contain salt in them, making the saltiness in your mashed potatoes even worse.
Therefore, how do you fix salty mashed potatoes? Follow our easy trick below to assure a quick and effortless rescue of your delicious mashed potatoes side!
1. Milk and Butter
A liquid you could use to make mashed potatoes less salty is milk. Whether it is regular milk or plant-based milk, it will help dilute the salt in your mashed potatoes without making them too runny like water does.
On top of that, it is a great thing that the perfect recipe for mashed potatoes already requires milk in it. It makes the whole dish creamier and nicer to the palate.
Simply add a little bit of milk at the time while stirring your mashed potatoes. Allow it to absorb the liquid properly before pouring some more.
If you happen to add a little too much milk, you could move your mashed potatoes to a baking tray and pop them in the oven at 325°F for 10 to 15 minutes.
This will give you a fancy twist to your potatoes side dish and it will salvage your precious culinary work.
If you do not want to include more milk in your mashed potatoes, you could also try using some unsalted butter.
If the damage is not too substantial, it is possible to add a piece or two to make mashed potatoes less salty.
It is not recommendable to add too much, otherwise, it will make your side dish too full of saturated fats and a little too buttery to the taste.
To try to avoid mixing too much milk or too much butter with your mashed potatoes, it is even possible to include and combine the two.
Add a few tablespoons of milk, stir well, then add one or two chunks of unsalted butter. After you are done stirring, if your mashed potatoes are still too salty, you can add a little more milk or butter to the mixture.
This method is remarkably similar to adding milk or butter to your mashed potatoes. If you have not used milk yet, you can add some cream to the mixture.
Being thicker than water or even milk, it will make your mashed potatoes creamier and fluffier, and it will also help tone down salty food.
However, we do not recommend using too much cream, as it might alter your mashed potatoes completely. So if adding cream to your dish does not work, you might want to consider preparing it again.
If you are one of those people who believe that hope dies last, we might have a few more methods for you!
3. Lemon and White Vinegar
This might sound like odd advice, but adding one or two tablespoons of something acidic like lemon juice or white vinegar might help.
Neutralizing salt in food is always a little complicated, but acidic substances might work against the saltiness, trying to bring back balance to your food.
Using lemon in your mash potato dish might sound a little weird, and it is totally legit to think that it will likely leave a bitter aftertaste to your food.
Surprisingly, a few drops of lemon juice actually add more flavor to the mashed potatoes. There is a chance you will love it so much, it might even become a constant in your recipe in the future!
If you don’t have any lemons at hand, you can add a tablespoon of white vinegar, but try not to overdo it. There is a chance that your food will go from salty to sour in a matter of seconds!
These are both decent, viable options to fix over salted mashed potatoes. But if you do not feel like risking it by including acidic ingredients, there might be one more trick for you to learn and try.
4. More Potatoes
If you do not want to alter your mashed potatoes by adding milk, butter, cream, lemon juice, or white vinegar, the only other option is to include more potatoes.
If you still have potatoes left at home, or if you have the chance to go grab more at a nearby supermarket, this is the only way out!
Grab more potatoes, make sure to skin and scrub them before repeating the same process you have done with your previous potatoes.
Boil them, mash them but do not salt them this time! Add them plain to the rest of the mashed potatoes. This will help balance the level of saltiness in your dish.
One sound piece of advice is not to salt the water where you boil your potatoes. They tend to absorb lots of water as they boil. Subsequently, they absorb whatever has been added to the bubbling water, in this case, salt.
Therefore when you are preparing mashed potatoes, do not salt the water, but add salt after you mash them. Make sure to whisk your potatoes properly after salting them, and taste as you go to make sure they rise to the levels desired.
If you do not have more potatoes at home, and if you do not have the chance to get more, try adding mashed cauliflower or other mashed roots, like carrots, sweet potatoes, or even turnips.
5. Sour cream and Greek yogurt
Sour cream and Greek yogurt are fantastic allies if you dropped a little too much salt in your mashed potatoes.
The creamy texture and the tangy taste of sour cream, preferably fat-free, will perfectly neutralize the excessive salt in your potatoes. It will also give a fancy twist to your side dish!
Plain Greek yogurt is also an amazing alternative, although it will give your mash a sharp aftertaste. Its thick consistency will be able to make your mash into fluffy, silky heaven, though.
There is not an actual ratio you need to go by. Just add either sour cream or Greek yogurt to your mashed potatoes and taste as you go to make sure you reach the level needed.
If you go with Greek yogurt, just remember to use a plain one (fat-free is preferable in this case as well).
6. Serve with less salty dishes
Toning down salt in your main dish, or other foods while serving your salty mashed potatoes might help you in the kitchen. It might seem too obvious, but it will do the trick.
That’s because you might not have time to fix your salty mashed potatoes. In that case, serving less salty food throughout your meal is an easy and quick fix.
The lack of salt in your dishes, mixed with the saltiness of your mash potatoes will create a balance that might be able to trick your guests!
How to make perfect mashed potatoes
Every family has the recipe to prepare the perfect mashed potatoes. There is always a secret ingredient to make this side dish totally irresistible.
First of all, when you select potatoes for your mash, always use bigger ones. Peel the skin off and give them a good rinse under cold tap water.
Now, it is possible to proceed in two alternative ways:
- Take the potatoes and place them in cold water in a pan and allow them to boil for up to an hour or so.
- (Alternatively) Chop the potatoes into chunks that are roughly the same size before submerging them in cold water. Remember, do not salt the water!
- Cook on medium-high heat for 40 minutes if you cut your potatoes into chunks, up to an hour if you are cooking your potatoes whole.
- Once you can stick your fork through the potatoes, drain the excess water and add them to a big enough bowl.
- Take a potato masher (if you do not possess one, a normal fork will do) and begin to mash the potatoes until only a few chunks are left.
- You can finally add salt now, some black pepper, and some regular or plant-based milk to the dish.
- Whisk your mixture and seasoning properly. Keep mashing the various potato chunks until you obtain silky, creamy mashed potatoes.
- Once you have added all this to the mixture, it is finally time for the secret ingredient. One thing that adds that extra flavor to regular mash potatoes is nutmeg. It makes it so rich and tasty, once you try it, you will never go back to your usual, old mash potatoes.
Remember, it is better to add salt after squashing them, for one simple reason. Potatoes tend to absorb lots of water while they boil. Therefore, it is easy to obtain excessively salty potatoes if you add salt both before and after boiling/mashing them.
The trick is to gradually add salt after your potatoes are already mashed and to taste as you season. But if things get a little out of hand and your mashed potatoes are a little too salty, do not worry.
Simply add some more regular milk/plant-based milk to your mixture to balance the saltiness. Unsalted butter or cream will do the trick as well!
Or if you have leftover potatoes laying around at home, boil them and add them to your mash. Increasing the volume of your potatoes in your mash will balance the salt in them.
Last but not least, you can add a tablespoon or two of something acidic, like lemon juice or white vinegar. It will alter the taste of your mashed potatoes a little bit, but it will solve your problem.
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