Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

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 indulgently creamy, fluffy bliss.

Make ahead mashed potatoes in white serving dish.

Thanksgiving’s favorite vegetable may have some competition this year with this clever recipe. It’s the simplest thing ever, but no one at the table needs to know you made them the night before, in between episodes of your favorite tv show.

This 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. Cream cheese, sour cream, and beaten egg whites give the mashed potatoes extra body. That makes them an absolute breeze to reheat when you’re ready to feast, with zero sacrifice to flavor or texture.

Recipe ingredients: 

Labeled make ahead mashed potato ingredients in various bowls.

Ingredient notes:

  • Potatoes: For the fluffiest, smoothest, and most flavorful mashed potatoes, choose higher starch potatoes, like Russets or Yukon golds.  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.
  • Cream cheese: Reduced fat (sometimes called Neufatchel) works just as well.
  • Sour cream: Reduced-fat sour cream or crème fraîche also works.
  • Egg whites: A couple lightly beaten egg whites help stabilize the spuds. Fresh from the egg or pasteurized from the carton is fine.

Step-by-step ingredients:

  1. Peel and cube the potatoes, then submerge them in cold water up to 24 hours in advance (keep them cold in the refrigerator). Add the potatoes to a large pot of salted water. Cook the potatoes in boiling water until fork tender.
    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. 
  2. Drain the potatoes and mash them with the cream cheese.
    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. 
  3. Mash in sour cream, onion powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Fold in egg whites until uniformly combined. 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!
    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. 

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Yield: Five pounds of potatoes should (hopefully) feed 12 people generously.
  • Storage: Wrap the potatoes in plastic and refrigerate until you’re ready to reheat.
  • Freezing: This recipe has enough fat to protect the potatoes during the big freeze. Wrap tightly in plastic and a layer of aluminum foil, label, and date. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. Enjoy within 6 months.
  • 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 165 degrees when they’re ready to serve.
  • 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 165 degrees when ready to serve.
  • Goat cheese: Substitute half of the cream cheese with full-fat goat cheese. See my recipe for Boursin Mashed Potatoes, too, if you love cheese.
  • Roasted garlic: Make your own roasted garlic, and add roasted garlic to your mashers.
  • Truffled potatoes: Drizzle white truffle oil over the potatoes instead of (or in addition to) melted butter.
  • Herbs: 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.
  • Leeks: Crispy fried leeks are fun and so good when sprinkled on top of mashed potatoes just before serving.

Make ahead mashed potatoes with melted butter in a white serving dish with a spoon on a blue towel.

More delicious potato recipes:

Make ahead mashed potatoes in a white bowl.

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

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. 
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 261kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds potatoes peeled and cut into wedges (see note 1)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces cream cheese cubed (see note 2)
  • 1 cup sour cream (see note 3)
  • 2 teaspoons` onion powder
  • 2 egg whites beaten (see note 4)
  • 1 tablespoon butter melted

Instructions

  • In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, add potatoes and 2 tablespoons salt. Add cold water to cover potatoes by 1 inch.
  • Over medium-high heat, bring to boil and partially cover pot. Cook until potatoes are tender and a fork can be easily slipped into the center, stirring once or twice, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well, tossing in colander to remove excess water.
  • Wipe pot dry. Return potatoes to pot, add cream cheese, and mash to a uniform consistency. Mix in sour cream, onion powder, and salt and pepper to taste (I like 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper). Fold in egg whites 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.

Notes

  1. Potatoes: For the fluffiest, smoothest, and most flavorful mashed potatoes, choose higher starch potatoes, like Russets or Yukon golds.  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.
  2. Cream cheese: Reduced fat (sometimes called Neufatchel) works just as well.
  3. Sour cream: Reduced-fat sour cream or crème fraîche also works.
  4. Egg whites: A couple lightly beaten egg whites help stabilize the spuds. Fresh from the egg or pasteurized from the carton is fine.
  5. Yield: Five pounds of potatoes should (hopefully) feed 12 people generously.
  6. Storage: Wrap the potatoes in plastic and refrigerate until you're ready to reheat.
  7. Freezing: This recipe has enough fat to protect the potatoes during the big freeze. Wrap tightly in plastic and a layer of aluminum foil, label, and date. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. Enjoy within 6 months.
  8. 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 165 degrees when they're ready to serve.
  9. 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 165 degrees when ready to serve.
  10. Goat cheese: Substitute half of the cream cheese with full-fat goat cheese. See my recipe for Boursin Mashed Potatoes, too, if you love cheese.
  11. Roasted garlic: Make your own roasted garlic, and add roasted garlic to your mashers.
  12. Truffled potatoes: Drizzle white truffle oil over the potatoes instead of (or in addition to) melted butter.
  13. Herbs: 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.
  14. Leeks: Crispy fried leeks are fun and so good when sprinkled on top of mashed potatoes just before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 105mg | Potassium: 865mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 402IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg
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  1. Dave

    This is basically how I make mine plus I add some buttermilk also and they are super flavorful. But I never tried using egg whites. I shall this thanksgiving to see how there are the next day upon reheating.5 stars

  2. Lynn

    Why do you have to use reduced-fat cream cheese and sour cream? Can’t you use full fat versions?5 stars

    1. meggan

      Hi Lynn, honestly that’s a complete mistake! I would personally never buy reduced-fat anything, I don’t cook with it, it doesn’t belong in my kitchen. So I’m not sure how that happened. You should use full-fat versions, there is no issue with it, and it will be superior. I’ll be fixing the post! Thanks and sorry about that. -Meggan

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