These make ahead mashed potatoes are rich, creamy, and perfect for the busy holiday season. Prepare them up to three days ahead, then bake them in the oven until they're golden and bubbly. It's an easy time-saving recipe that you can reheat in an hour!

Love mashed potatoes as much as we do? Try our sour cream and chive mashed potatoes or use up the leftovers in these cheesy leftover mashed potato cakes.

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes for thanksgiving with a serving spoon taking a scoop

Stress a little less this holiday season with these make ahead mash potatoes. They're incredibly creamy and come out of the oven with golden crispy edges.

You no longer need to furiously mash hot steaming potatoes while you're juggling the rest of dinner. This time-saving recipe can be made in advance and stored in your fridge until the day of.

Simply prepare the mashed potatoes as you normally would, adding a little extra liquid so that they stay nice and soft. Then, transfer them to a casserole dish, cover them with aluminum foil, and store them in your fridge. When the time comes, pop them into the oven for an hour, and that's it!

Mashed potatoes are a quintessential Christmas and Thanksgiving side dish that everyone adores, and now you can enjoy making them, too!

Can you make mashed potatoes ahead of time?

Yes, you can! For the longest time, we didn't know that make-ahead mashed potatoes were a thing, but turns out it is. We were skeptical so we had to try them for ourselves, and we were surprised at how easy and delicious they are. The mashed potatoes can be made up to three days ahead of time and stored in the fridge, so it's a lifesaver during the holidays.

Pro tip: you need to add extra liquid to your mashed potatoes if you're planning on reheating them. If you don't, you'll end up with dry mashed potatoes. Make them so that they are a tiny bit on the runny side so that they'll be perfectly creamy by the time you warm them up.

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes in a casserole dish

Ingredients you'll need

Here's what you'll need to make this creamy make ahead mashed potato recipe:

  • Russet potatoes – we like the classic fluffy taste and texture of russet potatoes, but if you have a favorite variety like yukon gold, feel free to use them.
  • Garlic – a generous amount of garlic (yes, six cloves!) adds dimension and flavor. But don't worry, the garlic flavor is subtle.
  • Sour cream – sour cream makes these potatoes extra creamy and gives them a bit of tang.
  • Cream – heavy cream or whole milk adds creaminess and loosens up the potatoes.
  • Butter – for that irresistible butter flavor and added richness.
  • Sea salt – salt makes everything pop.
  • Minced chives – for topping.

We also mix some of the cooking liquid into the potatoes. This is our favorite way of making the potatoes extra creamy.

How to make mashed potatoes ahead of time

Mashed potatoes are a quintessential Christmas and Thanksgiving side dish that everyone loves. And making them in advance will save you time and hassle on the big day. Here's how to make them in a few simple steps:

  1. Boil the potatoes and garlic until they're tender. You'll know they're ready when you can pierce them with a knife or fork. Scoop out a cup of the cooking water, then drain the potatoes.
  2. Add the potatoes and garlic cloves back into the pot, then add the butter and let it melt. Add the sour cream, cream, and salt and give everything a good mash. You want the potatoes to be slightly thinner than usual, so add a bit of the reserved cooking water to thin them.
  3. Butter your casserole dish and transfer the potatoes into it. Cover the dish with foil and allow it to cool before transferring them to your fridge. You can now store them in the fridge for up to three days.
  4. When it comes time to cook them, be careful not to put the cold casserole dish into a hot oven as it can crack. Either place the baking dish in a cold oven and turn it on (so it warms up slowly) or place the casserole dish on your counter for at least a half hour to warm it up before adding it to the hot oven. Cook the potatoes covered in foil for 45 minutes, then remove the foil for another 15 minutes. If you like them nice and brown (like we do), broil them for a few minutes at the end. Top with minced chives and serve them hot alongside your holiday meal!

Full recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes on a white plate

FAQS

How long do leftovers keep?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat them in the oven or if you prefer, in the microwave.

Can I microwave the potatoes instead of baking them?

Sure! We much prefer baking them as they look so pretty coming out of the oven and they can be served right in their baking dish. But if you'd like, you can microwave them and transfer them to a serving bowl.

How far ahead can I make mashed potatoes?

You can make these mashed potatoes up to three days ahead of time. Simply cover them with foil and store them in your refrigerator.

Can you freeze these mashed potatoes?

Yep! Adding fat like cream and butter helps them retain their texture. Freeze them in your casserole dish or in a reusable silicone bag like these stasher bags.

What to serve with make ahead mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes are crucial to any holiday meal, but they're also a creamy and comforting side dish any time of the week. Serve them alongside Thanksgiving favorites like turkey and brussels sprouts, or with a simple protein main like juicy baked pork chops and a simple spring mix salad.

Festive side dishes that pair perfectly with make ahead mashed potatoes

a casserole dish with mashed potatoes that are browned on top

More mashed potatoes recipes

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes in a casserole dish

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

These make ahead mashed potatoes are rich, creamy, and perfect for the busy holiday season. Prepare them up to three days ahead, then bake them in the oven until they're golden and bubbly. It's an easy time-saving recipe you can reheat in an hour!

If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!

4.96 stars (25 ratings)
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Ingredients

  • 5 lb russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup sour cream, can be light
  • ½ cup cream, or whole milk
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 teapoons sea salt
  • Minced chives , to serve

Instructions 

  • Put the potatoes and whole garlic cloves into a large pot and cover with 1-inch of cold water. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid and then drain the water from the pot.
    5 lb russet potatoes, 6 cloves garlic
    image for recipe instruction
  • Add the butter to the pot and give it a few minutes to melt. Add the sour cream, cream, butter, and salt and mash the potatoes with a potato masher until smooth. Thin the potatoes with a little of the reserved cooking liquid. You want the potatoes to be slightly thinner than normal.
    1 cup sour cream, ½ cup cream, ¼ cup butter, 2 teapoons sea salt
    image for recipe instruction
  • Transfer the potatoes to a buttered casserole dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Let the potatoes cool before moving the casserole dish to your fridge. Can be made to this step up to 3 days in advance.
    image for recipe instruction
  • Put the mashed potatoes into your oven when it's cold – see notes. Turn your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it reaches temperature, set a timer for 45 minutes. Then, remove the foil and continue to bake for another 15 minutes, until it is bubbling and hot. If you want the potatoes a little extra browned, broil them for a few minutes. Serve topped with minced chives.
    Minced chives
    image for recipe instruction

Notes

Putting a cold glass or ceramic casserole dish into a hot oven can cause it to crack. To avoid this, we heat the oven with the cold casserole dish in it. If your oven is hot (say, from cooking a turkey) make sure to let the mashed potatoes sit on your counter for at least half an hour before you put them into the oven. 
If you'd prefer, you can also reheat these potatoes in a microwave. 
Serving: 1 = ¾ cup, Calories: 261kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 22mg, Sodium: 149mg, Potassium: 1021mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 239IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 82mg, Iron: 2mg
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