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Reduce your Thanksgiving Day stress with Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes. These creamy, fluffy potatoes can be mashed a few days in advance and reheated in the oven or a slow cooker.

Make ahead mashed potatoes in white serving dish.

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 secret? 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.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled make ahead mashed potato ingredients in various bowls.

Ingredient notes

  • Potatoes: For the fluffiest, smoothest, and most flavorful mashed potatoes, choose high-starch potatoes like Russet, Idaho, or Yukon gold 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.
  • Cream cheese: Reduced-fat cream cheese (sometimes called Neufchâtel) works just as well. Or, substitute half the cream cheese with full-fat goat cheese.
  • Sour cream: Or substitute crème fraîche.
  • 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 instructions

  1. 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.
Peeled, cut potatoes in a pot for boiling.
  1. 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.
Cooked potatoes in a silver colander.
  1. 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 ½ teaspoon pepper).
A pan full of mashed potatoes.
  1. Fold in egg whites until blended. Transfer to a greased 3-quart baking dish. Drizzle potatoes with melted butter. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Make ahead mashed potatoes with melted butter in a white serving dish.
  1. 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 165 degrees.
Make ahead mashed potatoes with melted butter in a white serving dish with a spoon on a blue towel.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipes makes about 12 cups mashed potatoes, enough for 12 (1-cup) servings.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freezing: This recipe has enough fat to protect the potatoes in the freezer for up to 6 months. Wrap tightly in plastic and a layer of aluminum foil, label, and date. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Slow cooker: Reheat the mashed potatoes in the crockpot or slow cooker on LOW until heated through (165 degrees on an internal thermometer), adding more butter if necessary.
  • For chunky, rustic-style potatoes: Use a basic potato masher. A waffle-head masher will mash the potatoes into a smoother consistency, if you like them somewhere in-between.
  • For super-smooth mashed potatoes: Use a potato ricer (peeled potatoes) or food mill (unpeeled potatoes). These gadgets make the smallest, finest pieces of cooked potato, which fluff up beautifully.
  • Classic mashed potatoes: For the classic version without the secrets, try my best mashed potatoes recipe.
  • Garlic mashed potatoes: Toast garlic in a skillet (or roast whole bulbs of garlic in the oven), peel, mince, and add to your mashed potatoes. You’ll need about 2 bulbs of garlic (40 cloves) for every 5 pounds of potatoes.
  • Cauliflower mashed potatoes: For a low carb, highly satisfying side dish, try cauliflower mashed potatoes (without a potato in sight).
  • Boursin mashed potatoes: Soft-skinned small red potatoes mixed with fresh herbs and a block of Boursin cheese. You don’t even have to peel the potatoes!
  • Mashed sweet potatoes: These mashers are flavored with fresh thyme and a touch of brown sugar.
  • Small batch: Making mashed potatoes for your next date night in? Try my scaled-down mashed potatoes for two recipe.
  • 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.
A plate of roasted trukey, stuffing, vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy, and cranberries.

A Complete Make Ahead Thanksgiving

The most important feast of the year just got easier with my menu for a Complete Make Ahead Thanksgiving. Make the turkey ahead, make it all ahead, make your life easier with these great recipes!…

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More Thanksgiving recipes

Make ahead mashed potatoes in a white bowl.

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Reduce your Thanksgiving Day stress with Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes. These creamy, fluffy potatoes can be mashed a few days in advance and reheated in the oven or a slow cooker.
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Servings 12 servings (1 cup each)
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 259

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 ½ 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 165 degrees.

Notes

  1. Potatoes: For the fluffiest, smoothest, and most flavorful mashed potatoes, choose high-starch potatoes like Russet, Idaho, or Yukon gold 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.
  2. Cream cheese: Reduced-fat cream cheese (sometimes called Neufchâtel) works just as well. Or, substitute half the cream cheese with full-fat goat cheese.
  3. Sour cream: Or substitute crème fraîche.
  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: This recipes makes about 12 cups mashed potatoes, enough for 12 (1-cup) servings.
  6. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  7. Freezing: This recipe has enough fat to protect the potatoes in the freezer for up to 6 months. Wrap tightly in plastic and a layer of aluminum foil, label, and date. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  8. Slow cooker: Reheat the mashed potatoes in the crockpot or slow cooker on LOW until heated through (165 degrees on an internal thermometer), adding more butter if necessary.
  9. For chunky, rustic-style potatoes: Use a basic potato masher. A waffle-head masher will mash the potatoes into a smoother consistency, if you like them somewhere in-between.
  10. For super-smooth mashed potatoes: Use a potato ricer (peeled potatoes) or food mill (unpeeled potatoes). These gadgets make the smallest, finest pieces of cooked potato, which fluff up beautifully.
  11. Classic mashed potatoes: For the classic version without the secrets, try my best mashed potatoes recipe.
  12. Garlic mashed potatoes: Toast garlic in a skillet (or roast whole bulbs of garlic in the oven), peel, mince, and add to your mashed potatoes. You’ll need about 2 bulbs of garlic (40 cloves) for every 5 pounds of potatoes.
  13. Cauliflower mashed potatoes: For a low carb, highly satisfying side dish, try cauliflower mashed potatoes (without a potato in sight).
  14. Boursin mashed potatoes: Soft-skinned small red potatoes mixed with fresh herbs and a block of Boursin cheese. You don’t even have to peel the potatoes!
  15. Mashed sweet potatoes: These mashers are flavored with fresh thyme and a touch of brown sugar.
  16. Small batch: Making mashed potatoes for your next date night in? Try my scaled-down mashed potatoes for two recipe.
  17. 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 259kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 6gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 104mgPotassium: 860mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 406IUVitamin C: 37mgCalcium: 64mgIron: 2mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. Can I pre-bake the potatoes and then warm it up the next day? I don’t want to require the oven for over an hour on thanksgiving day. What are your recommendations on how long they should bake for on each day so they don’t dry out.

    1. Hi TeeKay, I don’t recommend doing that with this recipe, they will turn out dry. You can reheat this in a slow cooker if you want to avoid the oven. – Meggan

  2. I’m going to try your entire make-ahead meal for this Thanksgiving! I do have one question. You recommended reheating the potatoes and turkey at 350 degrees, but the stuffing needs to be baked at 400 degrees. I’d like to do them all at the same time. Could I compromise and do 375, adjusting the times? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Lydia, great question! 375 degrees would be best. I would add about 5 minutes to the covered baking time for the stuffing, and then adjust the uncovered time as needed. I would also check in early with the potatoes and turkey to make sure they don’t over cook. Thank you and take care! – Meggan

  3. 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

    1. 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