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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.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 12 servings (1 cup each)
Calories 259kcal


  • 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


  • 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 165 degrees.


  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.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 104mg | Potassium: 860mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 406IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 2mg