Christmas/ Dinner/ Easter/ Side dish/ Thanksgiving

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

13 November 2022 | Last Updated: 19 November 2022 By Aleksandra

These make-ahead mashed potatoes are the best mashed potato recipe to make ahead! They remain fluffy and creamy and so delicious. If you want to make things easier for yourself before the big day this is a recipe for you!

Make-ahead mashed potatoes are being scooped with a large spoon from a baking dish.

Ingredients

Below you will find information about the ingredients and how to prepare the recipe. For the measurements and detailed instructions scroll down to the printable recipe card.

Here’s what you need to make this easy recipe:

Labeled ingredients for make-ahead mashed potatoes.
  • potatoes – you want to use starchy/mealy potatoes such as Russets or your mashed potatoes will be gluey and far less creamy
  • butter – we’re turning butter into brown butter for a more complex and delicious flavor
  • rosemary – to flavor the butter with a herby fragrant flavor, can be omitted or you could also use thyme
  • garlic – the recipe calls for 10 cloves of garlic but don’t worry, it really won’t be too garlicky – boiled garlic loses its harsh flavor
  • sour cream – essential for this recipe, it makes the mashed potatoes creamy and adds a pleasant, tangy flavor to them
  • cream cheese – makes the mashed potatoes creamy but it could be omitted
  • milk and heavy cream – you could also use half and half instead
  • salt and pepper to taste – pepper is not always added to mashed potatoes but I like to add a small amount

How to make make-ahead mashed potatoes step by step

Cubed potatoes in a white pot. Riced potatoes and a potato ricer in a casserole dish.

STEP 1: Cook the potatoes: Peel the potatoes and cut into even-sized chunks (about 1 1/2-inch or 4 cm). Add them to a large pot along with peeled cloves garlic (don’t worry, the dish won’t be too garlicky). Pour cold water to cover the potatoes. Season the water well with salt. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.

Drain the potatoes in a strainer then return to the pot. Cook over low heat for 30-60 seconds, stirring, until all the remaining moisture is evaporated. Take off the heat.

Prepare a 9×13 inch (23x33cm) baking dish. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) (if you’re planning on baking this right away).

STEP 2: Mash the potatoes and garlic cloves using a potato ricer or potato masher (potato ricer is best for fluffy mashed potatoes, it’s shown on the photo above) while the potatoes are still hot directly into the baking dish.

Brown butter with rosemary in a saucepan. Brown butter is being added to riced potatoes in a baking dish.

STEP 3: Make brown butter: Add butter and rosemary sprig to a medium saucepan and cook it over medium heat until it’s melted, then cook for 2-3 more minutes or until it’s golden brown and smells nutty. It should be just light golden brown and not dark golden brown. Reduce the heat when you see it’s starting to brown to avoid burning it. Discard the rosemary.

STEP 4: Add the brown butter to the potatoes and stir to combine.

Milk and cream mixture is being added to mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes ready to be baked in a baking dish.

STEP 5: Add sour cream, cream cheese, milk, and heavy cream to the same pot. Whisk until smooth and cook until very hot but not boiling.

Add the mixture to the potatoes and stir until combined. It will look soupy at first but the potatoes will absorb it all.

Season with salt to taste and a small amount of pepper (if it’s missing some flavor, usually you just need to add more salt).

STEP 6: Even out the surface with a spatula.

Even out the surface with a spatula.

Now you can put the casserole in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, take it out of the fridge and let stand for 30 minutes (optional), then bake at 375°F (190°C) for 45-50 minutes or until hot and browned on the surface. You can also bake it right away.

Enjoy!

Make-ahead mashed potatoes in a large baking dish.

Storage

You can keep uncooked casserole in the fridge for up to 3-4 days and bake it when you’re ready to serve it.

After it has been baked, you can cover the dish loosely with a clean kitchen towel and it will be still warm even after 40 minutes.

You can keep cooked casserole in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in 350°F (180°C) oven until warm. It tastes also very well reheated.

If you don’t want to bake these mashed potatoes, it will also work, just make sure that all the liquids and butter that you are adding to your potatoes are hot (the potatoes themselves should also be still hot).

It’s better to store this casserole uncooked in the fridge and then bake it before you plan on serving it than baking it first and then reheating.

This recipe can also be frozen (I have only tried to freeze baked casserole). Thaw in the fridge then reheat in the oven until warm through.

Top tips for best mashed potatoes

  • you can add more liquids to this mashed potato recipe if you’d like them even more creamy but I prefer not to do that – if made with too much dairy, the potatoes have a more pronounced dairy flavor instead of “potato flavor”
  • a variety of potatoes really matter – use starchy/mealy potatoes for this recipe, such as Russets, Yukon Gold potatoes will also work but Russets are better
  • use a potato ricer (and not a masher) for the fluffiest potatoes (but if you prefer chunkier mashed potatoes, you can go with potato masher)
  • stir riced potatoes with butter first, and then add the remaining ingredients
  • making brown butter adds an additional step to the recipe but it really improves the flavor
  • sour cream is key for the best mashed potatoes
  • cook the potatoes briefly in the pot after draining them to remove extra moisture from the potatoes
  • start the potatoes in cold water – this way they will cook evenly
  • potatoes should be evenly sized so they cook evenly
  • don’t let the potatoes overcook
  • don’t overmix the potatoes – stir all the ingredients just until combined, overmixed potatoes can end up gummy (also avoid using a stand or hand mixer)
  • mash the potatoes while they’re still hot

More mashed potato recipes

Make-ahead mashed potatoes are being scooped with a large spoon from a baking dish.

Below you will find information about the ingredients and how to prepare the recipe. For the measurements and detailed instructions scroll down to the printable recipe card.

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

These make-ahead mashed potatoes are the best mashed potato recipe to make ahead! They remain fluffy and creamy and so delicious. If you want to make things easier for yourself before the big day this is a recipe for you!
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Make-ahead mashed potatoes in a casserole dish.
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5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 394kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs (2.25 kg) Russet potatoes starchy potatoes
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 stick + 2 tablespoons (145g) butter
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 cup (240ml) sour cream
  • 4 oz (115g) cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • Peel the potatoes and cut into even-sized chunks (about 1 1/2-inch or 4 cm). Add them to a large pot along with peeled cloves garlic (don’t worry, the dish won’t be too garlicky). Pour cold water to cover the potatoes. Season the water well with salt. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.
  • Drain the potatoes in a strainer then return to the pot. Cook over low heat for 30-60 seconds, stirring, until all the remaining moisture is evaporated. Take off the heat.
  • Prepare a 9×13 inch (23x33cm) baking dish. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) (if you're planing on baking this right away).
  • Mash the potatoes and garlic cloves using a potato ricer or potato masher (potato ricer is best for fluffy mashed potatoes) while the potatoes are still hot directly into the baking dish.
  • Make brown butter: Add butter and rosemary sprig to a medium saucepan and cook it over medium heat until it’s melted, then cook for 2-3 more minutes or until it’s golden brown and smells nutty. It should be just light golden brown and not dark golden brown. Reduce the heat when you see it’s starting to brown to avoid burning it. Discard the rosemary.
  • Add the brown butter to the potatoes and stir to combine.
  • Add sour cream, cream cheese, milk, and heavy cream to the same pot. Whisk until smooth and cook until very hot but not boiling.
  • Add the mixture to the potatoes and stir until combined. It will look soupy at first but the potatoes will absorb it all. Season with salt to taste and a small amount of pepper (if it’s missing some flavor, usually you just need to add more salt).
  • Even out the surface with a spatula. Now you can put the casserole in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, take it out of the fridge and let stand for 30 minutes (optional), then bake at 375°F (190°C) for 45-50 minutes or until hot and browned on the surface. You can also bake it right away.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • After these mashed potatoes have been baked, you can cover the baking dish loosely with a clean kitchen towel and they will be still warm even after 40 minutes.
  • You can keep cooked casserole in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in 350°F (180°C) oven until warm. It tastes also very well reheated.
  • If you don’t want to bake these mashed potatoes, it will also work, just make sure that all the liquids and butter that you are adding to your potatoes are hot (the potatoes themselves should also be still hot).
  • It’s better to store this casserole uncooked in the fridge and then bake it before you plan on serving it than baking it first and then reheating it.
  • I recommend topping the potatoes with chives before serving.
  • Calories = 1 serving (1/10 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Diet Vegetarian
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