Consumer Report: Mashed Potatoes in a Pinch

By: Lauren Evans Email
By: Lauren Evans Email

Nothing says "home-cooked meal" like mashed potatoes-- the ultimate comfort food and a staple of a Thanksgiving feast.

But it's no secret getting the meal together takes a lot of time.

So could store-bought mashed potatoes possibly fit the bill? You might be surprised what Consumer Reports' tests turned up.

Consumer Reports' Erin Gudeux tested a dozen store bought brands, including ones from Pillsbury, Hungry Jack, and Betty Crocker.

"Our trained panelists tasted the potatoes not knowing which was which for two weeks to find the best," Gudeux explains.

There were seven of the dry, instant kind you add ingredients to, as well as three refrigerated ones … and even two frozen mashed potatoes.
"Several of the dry, instant potatoes were not great," says Gudeux.

Of those, Whole Foods Original Instant Mashed Potatoes rated the lowest.

"Testers said they were thin, soupy, and bland, and they even had a slight cardboard-like flavor," Gudeux says.

But plenty of the store-bought mashed potatoes were pretty tasty. And testers found the best by far is Bob Evans Original Refrigerated Mashed Potatoes.

"They were creamy and flavorful and even had a black pepper kick," says Gudeux.

And all you need to do is heat them and serve.

If you're opting for store-bought mashed potatoes, you probably could use some help with the gravy. Consumer Reports' tests of instant gravies found Knorr's Roasted Turkey Gravy Mix is very good, and it just might fool your guests.

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