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Homemade Make-Ahead Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Make these incredibly Make-Ahead Creamy Mashed Potatoes in advance, preparing them up to two days before and easily reheating them in the oven, microwave, or slow cooker when needed.

An essential component of nearly every festive feast, Thanksgiving mashed potatoes hold a special place in the hearts of many. This beloved side dish, synonymous with Turkey Day, garners universal admiration.

Classic mashed potatoes tend to lose their texture when prepared in advance, frequently ending up dry, grainy, or overly sticky—a disappointing outcome for a special occasion. The idea of mashing potatoes at the last minute, amidst the chaos of managing numerous dishes in a bustling kitchen filled with guests of all ages, can be quite stressful, to say the least.

Potatoes are usually the most time consuming to fix right before dinner. I made this recipe yesterday and just baked before our Holiday meal. So easy and good.

It is a great way to free up your time so you can work on other side dishes.

Homemade Make-Ahead Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Easy Recipe

To alleviate the hustle and bustle of holiday cooking, we’re here to guide you through preparing mashed potatoes in advance, using only a few pounds of potatoes, milk, butter, cream, salt, and pepper. In just 25 minutes, you can have these make-ahead mashed potatoes ready, and for added convenience, you can even prepare them the night before.

So, when dinner rolls around, you can relax a bit more, reassured that all you need to do is place your pre-prepared casserole dish in the oven, slow cooker, or microwave.

By following these steps, you can enjoy the convenience of having delicious, mashed potatoes ready to go, allowing you more time to enjoy the festivities during the Holiday season with your guests.

This recipe is perfect for your next dinner party, Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas Dinner, or your Sunday family dinner.

Our whole family loves these fluffy potatoes.

Make Ahead Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe Tips for Success

Make-Ahead Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe Tips for Success

Achieving perfect mashed potatoes involves a combination of technique and attention to detail. Here are some tips for success:

Choose the Right Potatoes

Opt for starchy potatoes like Russets or Yukon Golds for the fluffiest texture.

Evenly Sized Potato Chunks

Cut the potatoes into evenly sized chunks to ensure they cook at the same rate. About 1-inch chunks.

Start with Cold Water

Place the potatoes in cold water before bringing them to a boil. This helps them cook evenly.

Don’t Overcook

Cook the potatoes until they are fork-tender but not mushy. Overcooking can lead to a gummy texture.

Drain Well

Ensure the potatoes are well-drained after boiling to prevent excess moisture in the mashed potatoes.

Use a Potato Ricer or Masher

A potato ricer or masher helps achieve a smoother consistency. Avoid using a food processor, as it can make the potatoes gluey.

Warm the Butter and Cream

Use warm butter, milk, or cream when incorporating them into the mashed potatoes to maintain a warm temperature.

Add Ingredients Gradually

Add butter, milk, and cream gradually to control the consistency. You can always add more but cannot take away. Adjust the consistency with additional warm milk or cream if needed.

Season Thoughtfully

Season the mashed potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Consider adding roasted garlic, herbs, or grated cheese for extra flavor.

Cool Before Refrigerating

Allow the mashed potatoes to cool to room temperature before refrigerating to prevent condensation in the container.

Reheat Properly

When reheating, add a little extra butter or cream to maintain creaminess. You can reheat in the oven or on the stovetop.

Garnish Creatively

Garnish with chopped fresh herbs, chives, or a pat of butter just before serving for a finishing touch.

Experiment with Mix-Ins

Get creative with mix-ins like roasted garlic, sour cream, cream cheese, or grated cheese for added flavor and richness.

Homemade Make-Ahead Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe
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Homemade Make-Ahead Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Make these incredibly Make-Ahead Creamy Mashed Potatoes in advance, preparing them up to two days before and easily reheating them in the oven, microwave, or slow cooker when needed.
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: copycat, easy side dish, holiday side dish, make ahead, microwave recipe, slow cooker, steak side dish
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 351kcal

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Ingredients

  • 9 Medium Potatoes 3 pounds
  • ¾ Cup Milk
  • ½ Cup Heavy Cream
  • ½ Cup Butter
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Pepper

Instructions

  • Scrub potatoes. Peel and remove eyes. Cut into 1-inch chunks. Optionally, you can leave the skins on, if desired. Place the potato chunks in a large pot and cover with cold water (salted if desired).
    9 Medium Potatoes
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender (about 15-20 minutes).
  • Drain the potatoes and transfer them back to the pot. Mash the potatoes using a potato masher or a ricer until smooth and free of lumps.
  • In a 1-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted. Measure out 1/4 cup of the milk mixture; cover and refrigerate.
    ¾ Cup Milk, ½ Cup Heavy Cream, ½ Cup Butter, 1 Teaspoon Salt, 1/8 Teaspoon Pepper
  • Add remaining milk mixture to the mashed potatoes and mix until well combined. Depending on the type of potatoes used, you may need to add a bit more milk to make them creamy. Adjust as needed to make potatoes smooth and fluffy.
  • Season the mashed potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Remember, you can always adjust the seasoning later.
  • Allow the mashed potatoes to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, transfer the mashed potatoes to a large, airtight container.
  • Refrigerate the mashed potatoes for at least 4 hours or overnight. This allows the flavors to meld and the potatoes to set.

Oven Reheating Method

  • When ready to bake, Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Spoon the mashed potatoes into a buttered 2-quart casserole dish. Reheat reserved milk mixture in microwave. Then pour milk mixture over potatoes.
  • Bake uncovered 55 to 60 minutes or until potatoes are heated through. Just before serving, stir potatoes.

Slow Cooker Reheating Method

  • Grease the slow cooker with a little butter or cooking spray to prevent sticking.
  • Spoon the make-ahead mashed potatoes into the slow cooker.
  • To prevent the mashed potatoes from drying out, add a small amount of warm milk or cream. Start with a few tablespoons and adjust as needed during the reheating process.
  • Set the slow cooker to the low or warm setting. Avoid using the high setting to prevent the potatoes from drying or burning at the edges.
  • Cover the slow cooker with the lid and allow the mashed potatoes to heat through. This typically takes 1 to 2 hours, depending on the quantity and thickness of the potatoes.
  • Just before serving, give the mashed potatoes a final stir.

Microwave Reheating Method

  • If the mashed potatoes seem a bit dry after refrigeration, you can add a splash of milk or cream to restore creaminess. Mix it in well.
  • Cover the container with a microwave-safe lid, plastic wrap poked with a few holes for venting, or plate to help retain moisture and prevent splatters.
  • Heat the mashed potatoes on medium power to ensure even reheating. Start with 1-2 minutes. If you are reheating the entire batch, it generally takes about 15 minutes total to reheat.
  • After the initial heating, stir the mashed potatoes to distribute the heat evenly. Check the consistency, and if needed, continue microwaving in short intervals until they reach your desired temperature.
  • Once heated through, remove from the microwave, give the hot potatoes a final stir. Season to taste, then transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh chives or parsley if desired.
  • Serve the make-ahead mashed potatoes hot, and delight in the creamy, flavorful goodness with your holiday meal.

Your Own Private Notes

Notes

A 2-quart oval casserole holds the same amount of potatoes as an 8x8x2-inch baking dish. This recipe should also fit well in a standard 9×13 inch baking pan.

What type of potatoes work best for mashed potatoes?

For the creamiest and fluffiest mashed potatoes, it’s generally recommended to use starchy or high-starch potatoes. The most popular choice for mashed potatoes is the Russet potato. Here’s why:
Russet Potatoes:
These potatoes have a high starch content and low moisture, resulting in a light and fluffy texture when mashed.
They absorb butter and cream well, contributing to a rich and creamy consistency.
Yukon Gold Potatoes:
Yukon Golds are another excellent choice for mashed potatoes.
They have a slightly lower starch content than Russets but are more flavorful and butterier.
Yukon Golds produce a smooth and velvety mashed potato texture.
Avoid waxy potatoes like red or new potatoes, as they tend to be firmer and are better suited for dishes where you want the potatoes to hold their shape.
While Russet and Yukon Gold are the most commonly recommended types, you can experiment with other varieties based on your preferences.

Nutrition

Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 409mg | Potassium: 1061mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 615IU | Vitamin C: 47mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 2mg

What type of potatoes work best for mashed potatoes?

For the creamiest and fluffiest mashed potatoes, it’s generally recommended to use starchy or high-starch potatoes. The most popular choice for mashed potatoes is the Russet potato. Here’s why:

Russet Potatoes:

These potatoes have a high starch content and low moisture, resulting in a light and fluffy texture when mashed.

They absorb butter and cream well, contributing to a rich and creamy consistency.

Yukon Gold Potatoes:

Yukon Golds are another excellent choice for mashed potatoes.

They have a slightly lower starch content than Russets but are more flavorful and butterier.

Yukon Golds produce a smooth and velvety mashed potato texture.

Avoid waxy potatoes like red or new potatoes, as they tend to be firmer and are better suited for dishes where you want the potatoes to hold their shape.

While Russet and Yukon Gold are the most commonly recommended types, you can experiment with other varieties based on your preferences.

Easy Baked Mashed Potatoes

Can you reheat Make-Ahead Creamy Mashed Potatoes in the slow cooker?

Yes, you can reheat mashed potatoes in a slow cooker, and it’s a convenient method, especially when you’re dealing with a large batch. Allow two hours to reheat.

Restaurant Tip. This is the way that restaurants keep their mashed potatoes warm for serving. Once they are heated through, turn the temperature down to low and you can serve them for a few hours.

Here’s a simple guide on how to do it:

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes Reheating

Ingredients

1 Make-ahead mashed potato recipe

Instructions

Grease the slow cooker with a little butter or cooking spray to prevent sticking.

Spoon the make-ahead mashed potatoes into the slow cooker.

To prevent the mashed potatoes from drying out, add a small amount of warm milk or cream. Start with a few tablespoons and adjust as needed during the reheating process.

Set the slow cooker to the low or warm setting. Avoid using the high setting to prevent the potatoes from drying or burning at the edges.

Stir the mashed potatoes occasionally to ensure even heating. This helps distribute the heat and maintain a creamy consistency.

If the mashed potatoes seem too thick, you can add more warm milk or cream and stir until you reach your desired consistency.

Cover the slow cooker with the lid and allow the mashed potatoes to heat through. This typically takes 1 to 2 hours, depending on the quantity and thickness of the potatoes.

Just before serving, give the mashed potatoes a final stir, garnish with fresh herbs or additional butter if desired, and serve.

By reheating mashed potatoes in a slow cooker, you can keep them warm and ready to serve without the need for constant attention. This method is especially handy when preparing for a large gathering or holiday meal.

Reheat Mashed Potatoes in the Microwave

Reheat Mashed Potatoes in the Microwave

You can reheat the make-ahead mashed potatoes in the microwave for a quick and convenient option during the Holidays. Here’s a simple guide:

Spoon the desired amount of make-ahead mashed potatoes into a microwave-safe dish or plastic wrap poked with a few holes for venting.

If the mashed potatoes seem a bit dry after refrigeration, you can add a splash of milk or cream to restore creaminess. Mix it in well.

Cover the container with a microwave-safe lid or plate to help retain moisture and prevent splatters.

Heat the mashed potatoes on medium power to ensure even reheating. Start with 1-2 minutes. If you are reheating the entire batch, it generally takes about 15 minutes total to reheat.

After the initial heating, stir the mashed potatoes to distribute the heat evenly. Check the consistency, and if needed, continue microwaving in short intervals until they reach your desired temperature.

Once heated through, remove from the microwave, give the hot potatoes a final stir. Season to taste, then transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl.  Top with 2 tablespoons of butter and serve warm.

Keep in mind that microwave cooking times may vary, so adjust accordingly based on your microwave’s wattage and the quantity of mashed potatoes you are reheating. This method is a quick solution for enjoying creamy mashed potatoes without much hassle.

What to do with leftover mashed potatoes?

Leftover mashed potatoes can be repurposed into various delicious dishes. Here are some creative ideas for what to do with leftover mashed potatoes:

Mashed Potato Pancakes:

Mix in some chopped herbs, cheese, and an egg to the leftover mashed potatoes. Form patties and pan-fry them until golden brown. Serve with sour cream or applesauce.

Shepherd’s Pie:

Use leftover mashed potatoes as a topping for a quick shepherd’s pie. Layer them over a mixture of cooked ground meat, vegetables, and gravy, then bake until the top is golden.

Mashed Potato Casserole:

Mix in additional ingredients like cheese, sour cream, and herbs, then bake the mashed potatoes in a casserole dish until they form a golden crust.

Potato Dumplings or Gnocchi:

Combine mashed potatoes with flour and an egg to make potato dumplings or gnocchi. Boil them until they float to the surface, then serve with your favorite sauce.

Potato Fritters:

Mix shredded vegetables with leftover mashed potatoes, form patties, and pan-fry for tasty vegetable fritters.

Potato and Cheese Pierogi Filling:

Use the mashed potatoes as a filling for homemade pierogi. Combine them with cheese, onions, or other desired ingredients.

Potato Bread or Rolls:

Incorporate mashed potatoes into your bread or roll dough for added moisture and a subtle potato flavor.

Potato Toppings for Casseroles:

Spread leftover mashed potatoes over the top of casseroles like shepherd’s pie or baked pasta for a comforting and flavorful crust.

Potato and Veggie Hash:

Sauté leftover mashed potatoes with diced vegetables and any leftover meats for a quick and hearty hash.

Get creative and adapt these ideas to suit your taste preferences. Leftover mashed potatoes are versatile and can be transformed into new and exciting dishes.

How to Freeze Your Mashed Potatoes

Just store in a large freezer bag, freezer-safe storage container, or a tightly covered freezer-safe casserole dish and pop it in the freezer. They will stay fresh up to 3 months.

No matter which method you choose to reheat, you may want to stir a little butter and/or cream into your mash once it’s heated to make it extra smooth and creamy.

Then reheat using the slow cooker, oven, or microwave.

We have a few more delicious recipes for you to explore.

AboutVictoria

You can find Victoria crocheting, quilting, and creating recipes. She has cooked in restaurants for over 20 years, including many larger parties. In her professional career, she has worked in management in a wide variety of businesses including higher education as a dean of a division. All the while attending college part-time to achieve her doctorate in higher education with an emphasis in e-learning.

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