Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes - these mashed potatoes are incredible!


These Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes have become a holiday staple at my house. You can prepare them a day or two ahead of time, refrigerate them, then bake them on the day of. 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.

This recipe is a combination of my own traditional mashed potato recipe and The Pioneer Woman’s Creamy Mashed Potatoes.  I’ve been making these for several years now, and they are always a huge hit! I make these the night before Thanksgiving and pop them in the refrigerator. They get pretty chilly overnight, so I take them out several hours in advance before baking them.


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.


Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

I like to use a hand masher for my mashed potatoes, but a potato ricer or a hand mixer works wonderfully too! Once you have the mashed potatoes ready, transfer them to a casserole dish.

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes


The butter dotted on top of the potatoes gives them the wonderful golden crust!

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes - these are amazing!

You may also like my Corn Casserole recipe!

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Servings: 10
  • 5 pounds of russet potatoes peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 12 tablespoons of butter 1 1/2 sticks
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 8 oz of softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup of half and half heated
  1. Place potatoes in a large pot and fill with water.
  2. Bring potatoes to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Once potatoes are tender, drain really well in a colander.
  4. Return potatoes to pot.
  5. Cube one stick of butter and add to hot potatoes.
  6. Sprinkle in salt and pepper and begin mashing using a hand masher.
  7. Mash until smooth.
  8. Add softened cream cheese and mash until combined.
  9. Stir in hot half and half.
  10. Transfer potatoes to a baking dish.
  11. Slice remaining butter into six slices and lay on top of mashed potatoes.
  12. Bake potatoes at 350 for 35-45 minutes until top is golden brown.
  13. Sprinkle with finely diced chives.


Thank you Ree – The Pioneer Woman, for inspiring this recipe!

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  1. Definitely a great idea for Thanksgiving or any other large meal requiring a lot of prep. Anything that can be made or prepped the day before is awesome.

  2. Mashed potatoes are my favorite food! These look awesome!

  3. Nancy Lewis says:

    Want to try it sounds so good

  4. Julie Halvorsen says:

    What size baking dish do you use? I’d like to try this for Thanksgiving. Thank you for your help!

  5. Looks like a great recipe! Do you think I could make ahead and freeze?

    • I don’t think potatoes freeze well, but I haven’t tried it personally. You can refrigerate these up to three days ahead though! Thanks for a great question!

  6. This looks like an awesome idea! I was wondering how much you can taste the cream cheese though? I hate straight cream cheese, but understand it helps make things oh so creamy.. Could I use a different cheese or would that mess up the texture too much? Thanks for any idea!

  7. Marlene Mueller says:

    I have six children, their spouses and 19 grandchildren. On Thanksgiving I make 15 lbs of potatoes using this same recipe. I add some sour cream also. I use a huge disposable foil pan (doubled) to accommodate for the weight. I make them the night before Thanksgiving, put them in the fridge covered with plastic wrap or foil. They come out perfect every time. My family LOVES these. They would clobber me if I ever did not bring these. It is a labor of love, but I love seeing and hearing how they appreciate them every year. GOBBLE GOBBLE!!!

  8. Hi Melissa, thought you’d like to know Ive made something Very close to this for years and always put some in individual ramekins that can go from freezer to oven (the 2 cup sizes) to have for those busy days and it freezes very well.

  9. Do you cook them uncovered the whole time or just at the end?

  10. Hi Melissa, These look yummy! Do you refrigerate before the baking stage? Or do you bake, then rebake day of?

  11. These potatoes look incredibly! I love the make-ahead option. This would be perfect for Sunday lunch. Thank you! Pinning! 🙂


  13. Could I substitute the cream cheese with plain greek yogurt, and use low-fat half and half to make a “heart smart” version?

    • I haven’t tried it, but I think I would try reduced fat cream cheese rather than the yogurt. I think it would work either way, but I thing the rf cream cheese would have the most similar texture. Good luck! Let me know how it turns out!

  14. Dixie Rieger says:

    I put half cream cheese and the other sour cream. These are delicious.

  15. Can you use sour cream instead of cream cheese? Thank you.

  16. Made them early in the day for our Thanksgiving dinner. How nice to not have to be fussing with potatoes at the last minute. They were delicious and everyone loved them. I think this will be a new tradition! Thank you!

  17. Hi I was just wondering what is half and half. So looking forward to trying this
    Thanks a million

    • Half & half is a dairy product that is half cream, half whole milk. It’s found where the milk and cream are in the store. If you can’t find it or they are sold out, you could make your own, for this recipe just do 1/2 cup cream, 1/2 cup whole milk.

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