Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

These Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes are your Thanksgiving Day dream come true. Mash them up the day before, and heat them in the oven or slow cooker. If it’s your job to bring the potatoes, your job just got easier.

Thanksgiving’s favorite vegetable may have some competition this year with my recipe for the most fabulous  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 shows.

These Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes are your Thanksgiving Day dream come true. Mash them up the day before, and heat them in the oven or slow cooker. If it's your job to bring the potatoes, your job just got easier.

Need 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.

Can you make mashed potatoes ahead of time? 

It’s just not true that you need to make mashed potatoes the moment before everyone sits down to eat. That just sets things up for certain disaster, making sure they’re hot enough, smooth enough, or fluffy enough.


No one has time for that this year!

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 devoured.

The trick? Dairy and fat. Cream cheese, sour cream, and a little pat of butter, all of which reheat beautifully,  melt into the spuds and make overnight storage possible, without sacrificing flavor or texture. That’s what will make them so delectable the next day.

How do you make mashed potatoes ahead of time?

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?

  1. First, if you want to be really prepared, you can peel and cube the potatoes, submerging them in water, up to 24 hours in advance (keep them in the refrigerator).
  2. Then it’s time to boil them. I salt the water, too, to season the potatoes while they cook. Once they are fork tender, it’s time to mash.
  3. The potatoes first get mashed with cream cheese. In another bowl, combine the beaten egg whites, sour cream, salt, pepper, and spices together; this is then folded into the potatoes. I use a couple lightly beaten egg whites to add body to the potatoes.
  4. If you’re baking the potatoes the next day, pour them into a buttered baking dish, cover with foil, and refrigerate. If you’re using the slow cooker to make mashed potatoes, do the same with the inside of a crock pot. Don’t forget to drizzle the potatoes with melted butter!
  5. That’s all there is to it. When you’re ready to bake, bake them covered at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10-15 minutes.

What are the best potatoes for mashing?

If I get to choose my favorite, I choose higher starch potatoes, like Russets or Yukon golds, for 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 give you gluey, pasty spuds.

Can you make make-ahead mashed potatoes in a slow cooker?

What a fabulous idea, and of course you can! Making mashed potatoes in a crock pot frees up oven space and guarantees your potatoes will be piping hot, too.

Once you make the mashed potatoes in the recipe, transfer them to the crock of a slow cooker or crock pot and refrigerate them until you need them. Heat them on low (or warm) until hot, adding more butter if needed.

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!

What can you add to mashed potatoes?

Some people like to keep it simple, while others like to get fancy. If you’re wondering what you can do to dress up 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!

Herbed 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.

This Thanksgiving season is all about early and easy. For more make-ahead inspiration, see my Make-Ahead Roasted Turkey, Make-Ahead Stuffing, and Make-Ahead Pumpkin Pie recipes, all guaranteed to make the holiday feast delicious, memorable, and a little bit easier. 

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

These Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes are your Thanksgiving Day dream come true. Mash them up the day before, and heat them in the oven or slow cooker. If it's your job to bring the potatoes, your job just got easier.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword potatoes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 281 kcal


  • 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


  1. 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.

  2. In a large bowl, mash potatoes with cream cheese. Combine egg whites, sour cream, onion powder, salt, and pepper; stir into potatoes until blended.

  3. Transfer to a greased 3-quart baking dish. Drizzle potatoes with melted butter. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

  4. 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.

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

    • 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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