Perfect Meal-Prep Creamy Mashed Potatoes are great for busy weeknights or big events where you want to work ahead as much as possible.
This is my go-to work-ahead mashed potato recipe for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.
Peeling and pre-soaking ahead of time removes a lot of the hands-on work from go-time.
They always come out creamy and delicious—and perfect for dousing in my Easy, Rich Turkey Gravy.
You might wonder why anyone would want to make mashed potatoes in advance.
If you've ever made a holiday dinner for a crowd, you know that you want to do everything you can to reduce your workload. I use the same strategy with Make-Ahead Green Bean Casserole.
What kind of potatoes should I use for make-ahead mashed potatoes?
I prefer Yukon gold potatoes, but russets will also work.
The higher starch content of these varieties makes the results light and fluffy.
If you use waxy varieties like red potatoes, the resulting mash takes more mashing to make them creamy.
This puts your mash at serious risk for becoming gloppy.
Can I leave the skin on my potatoes?
I only make "skin on mashed potatoes" if I'm not serving with gravy, like in my Mashed Potatoes with Horseradish.
In that case, I use red potatoes because the skins are thinner and easily digestible.
Can I add extra flavorings to my mashed potatoes?
Simplicity is best for these mashed potatoes, because let’s face it: everyone wants to drench their mash with your fabulous gravy anyway.
Why frou-frou them up with horseradish, cheese, or anything else that might clash with your masterpiece?
Can I make mashed potatoes in advance?
You've come to the right place! Make-ahead mashed potatoes are absolutely a thing.
Option 1: Soak the potatoes ahead of time
The "meal prep" part of Perfect Meal-Prep Creamy Mashed Potatoes is this.
I peel the potatoes in advance and do a pre-soak in lots of water.
Not only does this meal-prep step simplify making the potatoes later on, but it also gets rid of excess some starch that can make mashed potatoes gluey.
This means that you can peel the potatoes the day before.
For big events like Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner, I always go this route. Then I take them out of the fridge, drain them, and boil until soft.
Option 2: soak and mash the potatoes ahead of time
You can make this entire recipe in advance, which makes this make-ahead mashed potatoes rather than just "meal-prep."
Simply transfer the completed mashed potatoes to an oven-safe casserole dish and refrigerate covered with plastic wrap. They'll keep up to 2 days.
On the day you plan to eat them, take them out of the refrigerator an hour in advance so they start coming up to room temperature.
Then remove the plastic wrap and brush the top with olive oil or melted butter.
Cover with foil and bake at 375º for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and continue baking until the center of the potatoes reaches 165º.
Here's what the entire process looks like (with the exception of baking the finished potatoes):
Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinner is the one time of year that I choose not to take the low-calorie route.
I go all in with plenty of butter, heavy cream, and milk (I also sometimes add sour cream).That's it! I hope your holiday crowd enjoys these creamy, decadent mashed potatoes. AND that the make-ahead strategy takes some of the stress out of making dinner!
If you're getting ready for a big turkey dinner with all the fixings, be sure to check out my recipe links below!
Have a wonderful holiday season!
- 4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
- 8 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup sour cream, optional
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste), divided
- ¼ teaspoon of pepper (or to taste)
- Peel the potatoes and cut into ~1" cubes. Cover the cubes with cold water by about 2 inches; refrigerate for at least 2 hours up to overnight.
- Drain the potatoes. In a large pot, cover the potatoes by 2 inches with cold water. Add half of the salt. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer until a knife slips in and out of your potato slices without any resistance (12–15 min). Drain.
- Put the potatoes back into the pot and add the butter. Stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper. Add the milk, heavy cream, and sour cream (if using—it adds extra creaminess). Stir to combine, then mash to desired consistency with a hand mixer or potato masher. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 611Total Fat: 11gSodium: 458mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 7gSugar: 5gProtein: 11g
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate: if you are tracking this information for medical purposes, please consult a trusted external source. Thanks!