Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes – creamy, buttery mashed potatoes that can be made up to three days ahead and heated before serving to save time.
Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes Recipe
These Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes have become a holiday staple at my house and are our absolute favorite side dish. You can prepare them up to three days ahead of time, refrigerate them, then bake them on the day of serving. It’s a great time saver, and these mashed potatoes are absolutely incredible. Creamy and buttery, with a slightly crunchy golden crust on top. These make ahead mashed potatoes are truly heavenly. If you make these mashed potatoes for any holiday or event, be prepared to be in charge of the mashed potatoes for every event!
Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes Ingredients
- Potatoes – Russet Potatoes are the classic potatoes used for mashing. I recommend buying the biggest potatoes you can find to avoiding spending too much time peeling. It’s a lot easier to peel just five 1 lb potatoes! I will usually buy them individually at the grocery store vs buying a big bag. Plus, you can get ones free from spots or sprouts. This is my favorite tip for all mashed potatoes. This really cuts down on the total time for prep. Bigger potatoes are much easier to peel. Yukon Gold potatoes would be the best substitute.
- Butter – 1/2 a cup butter at room temperature (one stick of butter). I recommend using salted butter for savory dishes. If you only have unsalted butter, ad an extra pinch of salt to the potatoes.
- Kosher Salt – I use Morton’s Kosher Salt, two teaspoons. If using table salt, decrease recipe amount by half. If cutting back on salt, you can start with one teaspoon salt and adjust as needed.
- White Pepper – white pepper has a different, more mild flavor than black pepper and is a classic with mashed potatoes. Bonus: Little kids won’t see any black flecks. 😄 1/2 teaspoon pepper, adjust as needed.
- Cream Cheese – at room temperature. This is the secret ingredient that makes them so good as a make ahead recipe!
- Half and Half – warmed, stir in a little at a time and adjust as needed.
How to Make Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
- Peel russet potatoes and cut into two inch chunks. Place in a large pot filled with cold water. Bring water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer over medium heat. Let simmer for about twenty minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender.
- Drain well and return to warm pot for mashing or a large bowl, if you prefer.
- Using a potato masher, mash potatoes with softened butter, salt and pepper. Then mash in softened cream cheese. Stir in warm half and half.
- Taste potatoes and adjust seasoning, as needed.
- Transfer to a 9×13 casserole dish and store tightly covered with aluminum foil up to three days ahead. I usually make these on Tuesday to serve on Thanksgiving Thursday.
- Potatoes will be chilled through, so remove them several hours before heating so they can come to room temperature.
- Heat covered with aluminum foil for traditional mashed potatoes, or leave uncovered for a golden brown top.
- Top with fresh chives or green onions.
How to Make Mashed Potatoes Ahead of Time and Reheat in the Oven
- Prepare this recipe up to three days ahead.
- Let cool, then add pats of butter to top. Cover tightly and refrigerate.
- Before heating, remove potatoes from fridge for 1-2 hours so they come to room temperature.
- Cook as directed in recipe card.
- This is the best method for fresh and delicious mashed potatoes.
- Note: If you leave the potatoes uncovered in the oven, they get a beautiful golden brown crust on top!
- The secret to really great mashed potatoes is to drain them really well, so if you are doubling this recipe, make sure you drain the potatoes in two batches. Ten pounds of potatoes don’t drain as well when dumped into a colander all at once.
- Use a hand potato masher for textured potatoes, a potato ricer for completely smooth mashed potatoes and an electric hand mixer for a combination of the two. If using a hand mixer, be careful not to over mix or they can become gummy.
Make Ahead Garlic Mashed Potatoes – Prepare the potatoes as directed, except replace the softened butter with garlic butter. To prepare the garlic butter, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 2-4 whole peeled and smashed garlic cloves to butter. Remove from heat and let garlic cloves flavor butter while peeling and boiling potatoes. Once you are ready to add the butter, remove whole garlic cloves from butter before mashing for a subtle garlic flavor. If you want to mash garlic cloves into the potatoes, use a fork to mash cloves, then add into potatoes.
Cheesy Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes – Prepare the potatoes as directed, but stir in 1 cup of cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. If adding cheese, reduce kosher salt by 1/2 teaspoon.
Sour Cream and Chive Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes – substitute 1/2 cup of the half and half for 1/2 cup sour cream and stir in 1-2 tablespoon of chives after mashing. Top with additional chives.
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Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes - fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes that can be made up to three days ahead and heated before serving to save time.
- 5 pounds russet potatoes peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
- 12 tablespoons butter 1 1/2 sticks
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 cup of half and half heated
Place potatoes in a large pot and fill with water.
Bring potatoes to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Once potatoes are tender, drain really well in a colander.
Return potatoes to pot.
Cube one stick of butter and add to hot potatoes.
Sprinkle in salt and pepper and begin mashing using a hand masher.
Mash until smooth.
Add softened cream cheese and mash until combined.
Stir in hot half and half.
Transfer potatoes to a baking dish.
Slice remaining butter into six slices and lay on top of mashed potatoes.
Cover and bake potatoes at 350 for 35-45 minutes until heated through. For a golden brown top, leave potatoes uncovered.
Sprinkle with finely diced chives.
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