We tried 4 brands of instant mashed potatoes and the winner was clear

Instant potatoes PROMO

  • INSIDER tried four of the most popular brands of instant mashed potatoes: Hungry Jack, Idahoan, Betty Crocker, and Stop & Shop's store brand.
  • Betty Crocker was the winner, even though it had more of a grainy polenta texture than fresh mashed potatoes.


If we had to pick the Thanksgiving side that's the most tedious to make, it would have to be mashed potatoes. Between peeling dozens of potatoes, waiting for them to boil, and mashing them up, it's a time-killer that can make meal prep a lot more stressful

In other words, there's no shame in choosing to whip up instant mashed potatoes to save time and energy, but which brand should you pick?

As part of our ongoing taste test series, we tested four popular brands of instant mashed potatoes to determine which was the easiest to make and most authentic in terms of taste. In the past, we've tried everything from pie crust to canned green beans. 

The brands we sampled were:

  • Betty Crocker ($1.09)
  • Hungry Jack ($3.79 for economy size)
  • Idahoan ($1.39)
  • Stop & Shop store brand ($1.69)

Out of the four brands we tried, only one version of instant mashed potatoes impressed us.

SEE ALSO: We tested 4 different potato mashing techniques — and there's a clear winner for the creamiest puree

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First up was Betty Crocker's instant mashed potatoes, which was a powder mix.


The first mashed potato mix I tried was made with powder and required mixing with milk, water, and plenty of butter. The prep time was under five minutes, and was fairly simple to make.

Betty Crocker's potatoes tasted the most like the real thing.

Even though the overall texture was more like polenta or cornmeal than a traditional mashed potato dish, I was surprised at how natural these potatoes tasted. With plenty of dairy added to the mix, the taste was creamy and buttery. I would definitely not turn down these mashed potatoes if they were served to me, and I may even buy them again.

Next, I tried Hungry Jack, which only came in economy size at my supermarket.


This giant box of instant mashed potatoes was unwieldy and difficult to measure. I made two servings according to the measurements on the box — and added butter, salt, milk, and water — but it barely made enough for a few spoonfuls.

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