Instant Mashed Potatoes

photo credit: gourmetsleuth

History Of Instant Mashed Potatoes

In 1952 the first instant mashed potato product was produced by the RT French Company.  That product was "mashed potato granules".  The product did not actually get produced, commercially until 1955.

In 1962 According to Canadian Geographic, research scientist Edward Asselbergs invented instant mashed potato flakes which was made using a different (than RT French's) process.

Asselbergs created the dehydrated flakes while working for the Department of Agriculture in Ottawa.  The purpose of his invention was to create foods (more than just potatoes) fortified with protein for use in nutrient-deficient countries.  He also intended to create a convenience food that could be used as military rations and even for weekend campers.

Since that time instant mashed potatoes have found their way into the kitchens of millions of homes throughout the world.

Potato Flake Types

Here is a short description of the various potato flake types produced for consumer use.  You can read more information about these processes on the website.

Standard Potato Flakes - This is the instant potato product that is the most well-known and widely used of all the dehydrate potato types. Prepared they have a slightly dry, mealy texture similar to that of freshly made mashed potatoes.

Standard Granules - Granules are prepared using sliced, cooked and dried potatoes. They are further processed to provide a dried granular texture The granules reconstitute so well that the prepared potato granules taste very similar to fresh mashed potatoes.

Mashed Potato Mixes - These made by combining potato flakes and granules and various seasonings to make convenient flavored mashed potato dishes.

Other Dehydrated Potatoes -  These potatoes can also be purchased dehydrated and diced or sliced or grated for an any number of household uses. Use to make soups or casseroles or even a frittata.  They offer a time savings because they are peeled and already sliced, diced etc.  Additionally once hydrate the flavor is superior to the typical granule or flaked potato product.

Fun Fact about Instant Mashed Potatoes

How To Prepare Instant Mashed Potato Flakes

Typically a liquid (commonly milk and water) is heated to a boil along with margarine or butter. The flakes are added to the pan, stirred, then covered and allowed to stand until the liquid is absorbed.  The potatoes need to be fluffed with a fork to further incorporate the ingredients and improve their texture.

make instant mashed potatoes

Other Uses

The flakes can also be used as a coating for meats and for quick versions of gnocci or even use as a thickener as you would corn starch.  Use as a binder in meat loaf, or crab cakes and even an extender for flour. This is a common grocery store item

Nutrition Facts

Based on prepared mashed potatoes

Serving Size 1/2 cup
Serving per Container 3

Calories 180
Calories from fat 60

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g* 10%
Saturated Fat 0g 6%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 1%
Sodium 15mg 15%
Total Carbohydrates 17g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 6%
Sugars 1g
Protein 2g

Vitamin A 2%
Vitamin C 6%
Calcium 8%
Iron 0%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Instant Mashed Potato Substitutions

See product ingredient information as well as substitutions and equivalents.


Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.