Store-Bought Onion Dip Is The No-Brainer Upgrade Your Mashed Potatoes Need

Mashed potatoes are that creamy, salty side dish you can pair with almost any hot food. While potatoes are the main ingredient, they're often enhanced with different flavors and seasonings, then made creamy with milk, butter, or even sour cream — which help make them so rich. But rather than just building texture and flavor with those typical dairy ingredients, take it a step further: Add a little onion dip.


Your mashed potatoes should never be dry, and that's where the dairy comes in. But adding a little store-bought onion dip into the mix takes the dish to new heights with less work. You get that same creamy texture, as well as built-in flavor. This is because, aside from the onions, these dips are often enhanced with ingredients and seasonings like onion powder, garlic powder, and chives. Pro tip: you can even reach for a refrigerated dip at the store, as it will likely have more dairy than the shelf-stable ones in the chip aisle.

Onion dip is your ticket to delicious mashed potatoes

When you think of what makes mashed potatoes taste good, you're probably thinking of its creamy, fatty ingredients. The fat in ingredients like milk and butter keeps us coming back for more — but many refrigerated onion dips already contain ingredients like milk and cream. By adding these dips to your potatoes, those two ingredients are taken care of. However, depending on your preferences, you might want to add more milk and butter. These dips tend to be pretty high in fat, which our taste buds often associate with more flavor because, in part, fat absorbs and enhances flavor compounds, and then releases those compounds slowly as you eat.


The ratio of how much dip to add ultimately comes down to personal preference, but a safe bet is one cup of onion dip for every pound of potatoes. If you want to add it to taste, always start small and build up if needed. Add a little dip, then combine it with the potatoes and give it a taste until it reaches that flavor and creamy texture you're looking for. You can even cook the potatoes in half and half for an even richer flavor.

Other ways to enhance your mashed potatoes

If you don't want the thickness of a cream-based dip, there are other ways to enhance the flavor of your mashed potatoes. Dip mixes are available at most grocery stores, so try adding a French onion dip or even a ranch dip packet with the potatoes. Then, you can adjust the milk and cream to your liking. This leaves you with potatoes with the exact texture you're looking for but loaded with additional flavor. For the best flavor, one whole packet (usually about one ounce) will work for three pounds of potatoes, so if you're making less than that, adjust accordingly.


If you want extra creamy mashed potatoes, don't shy away from heavy whipping cream. It has more fat than whole milk or half and half, which will impart even more flavor, and it will undoubtedly give this side dish that restaurant-quality whipped, creamy texture. A combination of heavy cream, butter, and your favorite seasoning packet will do the trick if you don't want to add a store-bought dip.