Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes Recipe

a bowl of mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes are generally known as a dish that doesn’t reheat well.  When you make mashed potatoes the most common way – by mashing them with hot milk and butter – they taste great while still hot, but not so great the next day.  This make-ahead mashed potatoes recipe makes the potatoes that taste just as good reheated as they were when they were freshly made!  This recipe uses cream cheese, but don’t worry – the mashed potatoes don’t taste cream-cheesy :)  They taste like great mashed potatoes with perfect texture, and you can never tell that they were made ahead!

I use this make-ahead mashed potatoes recipe to make the potatoes for the holiday parties.  I make them 2 days before the party and refrigerate them.  Then 3 hours before the party I move the mashed potatoes from the refrigerator to the slow cooker, and turn on the slow cooker on High for 1 hour, then put it on Warm.  The mashed potatoes will be piping hot and taste as if they were just made – without any stress of making mashed potatoes at the last minute!  This is the ultimate make-ahead party side dish!

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings: 12


5 lbs potatoes
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
8 oz sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper


For the mashed potatoes, you need a potato masher.  Never use the food processor or hand mixer to mash potatoes, or they’ll turn out gummy.  For more details on mashed potato secrets, see how to make perfect mashed potatoes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut into quarters.  Gently put the potatoes in a boiling water by using a big slotted spoon.  Cook for 25 minutes.

After the potatoes have finished cooking, drain them and put in a large bowl.  Heat the milk in a microwave for 30 seconds.  Add the milk to the potatoes and mash with the potato masher.

Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the potatoes.  Add sour cream and cream cheese.  Mash with the potato masher until everything is combined and smooth.  Taste to see if there is enough salt.  If not enough salt, keep adding salt a little bit at a time until it’s right.

Refrigerate the mashed potatoes until you are ready to reheat them.

make ahead mashed potatoes in a dish

make-ahead mashed potatoes going in the refrigerator


  • I love these! I like to add shredded cheese, bacon bits and green onions on top,too!

  • Will try it one of these days. I like the idea of letting it keep warm in the slow cooker while finishing up the rest of the meal. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  • Delicious! Looks so creamy – I miss potatoes :( lol

  • I love mashed potatoes. They are perfect in bakes or side dish. Thanks for sharing this recipe with adding sour cream into it. Sounds so good! :)

  • Liz

    Such a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing…my kids and hubby adore mashed potatoes and these would be perfect for company or just a normal dinner. YUM.

  • This is a great tip! Thanks for sharing.

  • What a great recipe for mashed potatoes. The one thing I don’t like about mashed potatoes is that they don’t reheat well, this recipe solves that problem. Thank you for sharing.

  • Well this is jsut mind-boggling, isn’t it? And so enticing, apart from the pain that would result from my stupid lactose intolerant stomach!

  • Thanks for the tip! I’ll definitely be trying it for Christmas dinner.

  • That’s great because it’s lovely to have mashed potatoes but you usually need to be timing them to be ready right when everything else is being prepped for the table. I agree – re-heating them doesn’t really work. I must get myself a slow-cooker.

  • ive never put cream cheese in mashed potatoes–but these sound awesome!

  • This is a great recipe and concept!

  • This is inspired, inspired stuff. Thank you!

  • Cream cheese in mashed potatoes, yowsas!! Sounds delicious.

  • A friend shared this recipe with me years ago, but after our last move, I couldn’t find it and couldn’t remember exactly how to make it! Thank you for posting–it is so nice to be able to make the potatoes ahead of time.

  • What a great idea – it would be so practical to be able to make them a day or two ahead. I have made them a hour ahead and kept them warm on the stove-top and that seems to work well, too.

  • This is great Melanie. I’ve wasted so many potatoes, thank you.

  • Zoe

    Thanks for sharing such a great cooking tip!

  • Yum! My family loves mashed potatoes!

  • I like the idea of warming them in a slow cooker. Ive always found it difficult to re-heat mashed potatoes evenly. This might help!

    And, thanks for visiting my blog! Hope to see you around more :)

  • Von

    I’ve never actually tried keeping my mashed potatoes (because it always gets eaten up! haha…) but if I ever host a party, I’ll know where to go to look for a mashed potato recipe i can make ahead! :) Your mashed potato looks so creamy and delicious too!

  • I was curious how you make it and now learned the secret is cream cheese! What a great tip that we all can use when we need to make the mashed potato ahead. Thanks for sharing!

  • Dan

    Nice tip – I’ll need to remember that. I’ve made them that way before but they didn’t last for leftovers.

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