How Many Potatoes Do You Need For Mashed Potatoes?

Who doesn't love mashed potatoes? Whether you make them for the holidays or once or twice a week for dinner, there is nothing like the taste of creamy homemade mashed potatoes. Although they are always a fan favorite, it's often difficult to gauge how many potatoes you need to make enough mashed potatoes to go around. If you have ever been unsure and used too many or too few potatoes, don't despair! We are here to help you unravel the mystery of how many potatoes you will need so that there are mashed potatoes for all.

How many potatoes you will need will depend on the size of potato you use and how much each person will eat. In general, you can expect to use about one medium/large potato per person, which will provide each diner with about one cup of mashed potatoes.

Making mashed potatoes shouldn't be a source of stress and confusion, so if you want to learn the ins and outs of making enough mashed potatoes to feed everyone at your table, keep reading and start peeling!

A mashed potatoes boiled puree in cast iron pot, How Many Potatoes Do You Need For Mashed Potatoes?

How Many Potatoes Should You Make Per Person For Mashed Potatoes?

It never fails: every time you make homemade mashed potatoes, you end up either making too much and having a ton of leftovers. Or you end up having to give each person a tiny portion because you underestimated how many potatoes you would need so that everyone could get their fair share.

Cooking experts all agree that when making mashed potatoes, each person you are cooking for will need about 1/2 pound of potatoes so that everyone will receive a serving that equals 1 cup.

But how many potatoes are in a 1/2 pound? There are a few variables when it comes to figuring out how much a potato weighs that we will discuss below. In addition, you must also think about who you are feeding and how much they will eat.

Boiling potatoes on a stainless pan


The first thing you will have to consider is the size of potatoes you are using when you are doing your calculations. If you are using medium/large potatoes, then one potato per person will be sufficient. If the potatoes are medium-sized, you will need 1-2 potatoes for each person you are feeding. If you use smaller potatoes, then 4-5 potatoes are probably closer to a 1/2 pound.

If you want to be extremely accurate with your weights, you can always use a kitchen scale to weigh the potatoes. That way, you can make sure that the potato or potatoes you are using per person weigh 1/2 pound.


Something else to consider when you're counting out spuds is the appetites of those you are feeding. If you know that you are making mashed potatoes for a group that loves them and asks for seconds and thirds, it's probably not a good time to skimp. In that case, you will likely want to err on the side of caution and throw a few extra potatoes in the pot so that there is plenty to go around.

If you are cooking for smaller appetites or a group that is watching their carb intake, you might be able to cut down on the number of potatoes you use. The secret is always to anticipate the needs of those you are feeding so you don't waste food or make too little.

What Is One Serving Of Mashed Potatoes?

Mashed potatoes on a blue bowl

When you are trying to figure out how many potatoes you need per person, it's helpful to know how big a serving of mashed potatoes is. According to the US Department of Agriculture,  one serving of mashed potatoes is 1 cup. This equals about a 1/2 pound of potatoes per person.

Although this is the standard serving size, you can choose to go larger or smaller depending on the needs of those you are feeding. If you are cooking for a crowd that loves mashed potatoes, you might want to consider two cups as a serving size. A group of children might only need 1/2 cup as a serving.

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How Many Potatoes Is One Pound?

Potatoes on small household scales

Figuring out how many potatoes you need for recipes can be confusing, especially when there are quite a few different sizes of potatoes. One pound of potatoes will make about two servings of mashed potatoes that are one cup each, but how many potatoes will you need?

If your recipe calls for one pound of potatoes,  you can expect to use about two medium/large sized potatoes of any variety to equal that weight. If your potatoes are small/medium-sized, then one pound will equal about three potatoes. If you use small potatoes, you will need about 8-10 potatoes to make one pound.

How Many Potatoes Does It Take To Make 6 Cups Of Mashed Potatoes?

Since each cup of mashed potatoes equals about 1/2 pound of potatoes, then for six cups of mashed potatoes, you would need three pounds of potatoes. Six medium-large potatoes or 24-30 small potatoes would be the number of potatoes needed to make six cups of mashed potatoes for your guests.

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How Many Pounds Of Potatoes Does It Take To Make 50 Pounds Of Mashed Potatoes?

So let's say you are cooking for a big holiday party or a family reunion. There will be a ton of people there, and you will need 50 pounds of mashed potatoes! How many potatoes will you need for that much food?

Even though this might seem like a daunting task that involves complicated math, it's pretty simple. All you have to do is remember that you will need one medium/large potato for every 1/2 pound of mashed potatoes and then do the math. For 50 pounds of mashed potatoes, you will need about 100 medium/large potatoes. Although it might seem impractical, if you prefer using small potatoes, you will need about 400-500.

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How Many Potatoes Do You Need Per Person For Fries?

Potato fries in a plate

We've been talking a lot about mashed potatoes, but what about french fries? How many potatoes will you need to make french fries for your family and friends?

As a general rule, you will need four medium potatoes for each person you will be feeding. If your eaters have larger or smaller appetites, you will want to adjust accordingly.

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A Final Word On Potatoes

Fresh potatoes on wooden background

We hope this cleared up any confusion about how many potatoes you will need to use to feed your hungry crew. Whether you're having a party, preparing a holiday meal, or just making dinner for your family, you now have the tools you need to make sure you have enough potatoes to get you through the meal.

Preparing mashed potatoes isn't rocket science, and once you remember that each person equals 1/2 pound of potatoes, you'll be all set. So get peeling, boiling, and mashing, and have no fear that there will be plenty of mashed potatoes to go around!

If you are a potato lover who would like more information about cooking potatoes, feel free to explore these other articles on Kitchen Seer.

Should Mashed Potatoes Be Lumpy?

Should You Boil Potatoes Before Roasting Them?

How Long To Boil Potatoes For Mashed Potatoes – By Type Of Potato

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