Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes Recipe

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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

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  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 :)

  7. 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!

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