When there's a recipe for Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes, Thanksgiving is as easy as it gets. Mash them up a day or two before, then gently reheat them in the oven or slow cooker. Every bite is creamy, fluffy bliss.
Need a Thanksgiving potluck recipe? If it's your job to bring the potatoes, well then, your job just got easier.
Thanksgiving's favorite vegetable may have some competition this year with my recipe for the most delicious mashed potatoes in the world. They're so indulgent, they taste like you've been at the stove all day. Little does anyone have to know you made them the night before, in between episodes of your favorite tv show.
Need make-ahead mashed potatoes for 100 or even more make ahead mashed potatoes for a crowd? Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.
Mashed potato myths:
It's just not true that mashed potatoes have to be made in a frenzy, seconds before everyone sits down to eat.
That just sets things up for certain disaster, because it's easy to make mistakes when you're in a hurry and everyone's hungry
This perfect mashed potato recipe has a few tricks up its sleeve to make sure that fluffy, creamy, and decadent mashed potatoes can be made the day before and still be absolutely fabulous.
The trick? Dairy and egg whites. Make ahead mashed potatoes made with cream cheese, sour cream, and beaten egg whites, all of which give the mashed potatoes body and reheat beautifully, melt into the spuds and make overnight storage a breeze, without sacrificing flavor or texture. That's what will make them so delectable the next day.
How to Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes:
Unlike my super simple, no-muss, no-fuss version of traditional mashed potatoes using only three ingredients, these mashers are a little more--shall we say--rich?
(Oh, and these photos take you through the steps without using specific ingredient quantities. Especially for Thanksgiving, everyone may need a different amount of mashed potatoes, depending on their crowd. Look at the recipe card below for specifics!)
- First, peel and cube the potatoes, then submerge them in cold water up to 24 hours in advance (keep them cold in the refrigerator).
- Then add the potatoes to a large pot of salted water. Cook the potatoes in boiling water until fork tender.
- Next, drain the potatoes and mash them with the cream cheese.
- In a separate bowl, combine the beaten egg whites, sour cream, salt, pepper, and spices together; fold the mixture into the potatoes.
- Spread them into a buttered casserole, cover with foil, and refrigerate them until you need them. If you're reheating the mashed potatoes in a slow cooker, use inside of a crock pot. Then drizzle the potatoes with a little melted butter!
Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes in Slow Cooker:
Reheat the mashed potatoes in the crockpot or slow cooker on LOW until heated through, adding more butter if necessary. Check their internal temperature with a food thermometer--they should be 160 degrees when they're ready to serve.
Plus, you can keep make ahead mashed potatoes warm in the crock pot all day long.
Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes Casserole in the oven:
Reheat the mashed potatoes in an oven set to 350 degrees. Bake them for about 50 minutes, covered with foil, then remove the foil and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes. Check their internal temperature with a thermometer--they should be 160 degrees when ready to serve.
What are the best potatoes for mashed potatoes?
One of the secrets to the best mashed potatoes is choosing the right kind of potato.
For the best mashed potatoes, choose higher starch potatoes, like Russets or Yukon golds. They make the fluffiest, smoothest, and most flavorful mashed potatoes.
Waxy potatoes (such as new, red, or white varieties) require more mashing to become creamy, which could result in gluey, pasty spuds. Save these for another recipe.
How to Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes without cream cheese:
Here are some ideas for ultra-creamy mashed potatoes that doesn't require cream cheese:
- Heavy cream. Whipping cream makes an excellent stand in for cream cheese.
- Crème fraiche. This luxe ingredient is easier to find than ever and adds a delightful tanginess to everything it touches.
- Neufchatel. A soft cheese with a French origin. It melts into hot potatoes like a dream.
- Ricotta cheese. Soft, pillowy ricotta makes an excellent cream cheese substitute.
Can you make mashed sweet potatoes ahead of time?
If your family loves mashed sweet potatoes, I bet this recipe would work really well. Let me know in the comments how it goes for you!
Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes variations:
Whether you need make ahead party mashed potatoes, or just a small amount for two, potatoes take just about anything you can give them--that's why everyone loves them.
If you're wondering what you can add to dress up simple mashed potatoes, here are some stellar ideas:
- Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes: You could substitute half of the cream cheese with full-fat goat cheese. See my recipe for Boursin Mashed Potatoes, too!
- Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Make your own roasted garlic, and add roasted garlic to your mashers.
- Truffled Mashed Potatoes: If you have some, drizzle white truffle oil over the potatoes instead of (or in addition to) melted butter!
- Herb Mashed Potatoes: Use the extra fresh herbs from your shopping to make an herb butter to mix into your mashed potatoes, or simply garnish the spuds with a sprinkle of fresh chopped chives.
- Mashed Potatoes with Leeks: Crispy fried leeks are fun and so good when sprinkled on top of mashed potatoes at the last minute.
Make Ahead Mashed Potato Recipe
- 5 pounds potatoes peeled and cut into wedges
- 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (1 package) cubed
- 2 egg whites beaten
- 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 2 teaspoons` onion powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- Place the potatoes in a large pot or Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain.
- In a large bowl, mash potatoes with cream cheese. Combine egg whites, sour cream, onion powder, salt, and pepper; stir into potatoes until blended.
- Transfer to a greased 3-quart baking dish. Drizzle potatoes with melted butter. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove potatoes from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, covered, for 50 minutes. Uncover potatoes; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until a thermometer inserted into the potatoes reads 160 degrees.