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Make Ahead Easy Mashed Potato Recipe

This deliciously Easy Mashed Potato Recipe makes the best make-ahead side dish! Creamy and lump-free, these heavenly mashed potatoes will be the star of any meal.

An easy mashed potato recipe in a bowl topped with butter and rosemary

Growing up, I only had ever eaten instant mashed potatoes, and I thought they were the best thing ever. And it’s easy to see why; mashed potatoes are at the top of so many people’s list of comfort foods. What is it about a basic bowl of a starchy vegetable that can make us feel loved and safe? My guess is it is the butter. Butter pretty much rules.

On the surface, mashed potatoes seem like they should be one the simplest side dishes to make. You take potatoes, boil them, and then mash the snot out of them. Top with butter and serve. Boom, done. With very little extra work though, your mashed potatoes could go from a decent side, to straight up winning the Thanksgiving dinner table.

cubed potatoes in a teal dutch oven

Everyone has tater preferences, but whether you are in the lump or no lump camp, I’ve never heard anyone say “man, I sure love me some mashed spuds that taste like a forkful of glue”. Potatoes contain starches that are activated by smashing/mashing/blending. Too little mixing and they can taste underwhelming.

But too much mixing and you are left with gravy topped paste. Not that I like gravy. Gross. The secret to the best mashed potatoes is to find a happy medium, and I accomplish this with a ricer.

A ricer is basically a potato press that works like a giant garlic press. You put cooked spuds in the hopper, push down, and potato “rice” comes out. It is how many people process their potatoes for homemade gnocchi. It results in a fluffy bowl of spuds that only need limited dressing up, a quick stir, and they’re ready to go.

potatoes in a ricer

The ricer is an amazing product, but there are some other tried and true tricks that can make sure your judgy Aunt Gladys keeps her trap shut about the quality of your cooking.

Five Tips for the Best Easy Mashed Potato Recipe:

  1. Use a mixture of different kinds of potatoes. Starchy, waxy, and baking spuds all add their own perfect quality to your side dish. I usually use a mix of russets, golds, and a few red potatoes (those buggers are delicious, but HARD to peel). If it is in your budget, look for organic potatoes, as their conventionally grown cousins are very high on the list of contaminated veg.
  2. Peel, rinse, and cut your potatoes to a uniform size. I cut a normal-sized potato into 16 pieces. Large chunks will result in longer cooking time, and pieces too small can turn water-logged quickly. I have had this peeler for 14 years, and it has never let me down. Comfy grip, still sharp, and works every time. TWSS.
  3. Cook the potatoes in cold water without any added salt. Add your spuds to a pot of cold water, and then bring to a boil. Bonus: you can even peel, cut, and place taters in the water the morning of Thanksgiving. Keep a lid on the top, and they’ll be ready to cook later in the day without any oxidation (browning).
  4. Warm the “extras” you’re adding to the spuds ahead of time. Cold butter, cold milk/cream, and cold anything else will react negatively to the nice toasty warm taters you are ricing. Plus, you’ll have to mix everything longer to combine, which will activate the starch and lead to glue. A vicious circle my friends. A vicious circle.
  5. Use a ricer. But only if you want to make amazing spuds. Proceed with caution, because you will be volun-told to bring mashed potatoes to all future family gatherings.

potatoes that have been riced in a teal dutch oven

How to Reheat Mashed Potatoes

Place in a covered dish in the oven at 300 degrees for 20-30 minutes. You may need to add a bit more cream/milk/or stock to make sure the texture is to your liking.

Regardless if you are feeding a crowd, or just have a really big craving for some buttery carbs (and frankly, when are you not?), serving a giant bowl of this deliciously easy mashed potato recipe will be a surefire hit. Nay, they will rock the socks off of you and all of your guests. Which will be super awkward for my friend Elaina who has issues with feet.

A green bowl full of an easy mashed potato recipe on a wooden board with salt and pepper shakers

Making this recipe or others?

Post a photo on my Facebook page, share it on Instagram, or save it to Pinterest with the tag #sustainablecooks. I can't wait to see your take on it!

An easy mashed potato recipe in a bowl topped with butter and rosemary
Print
5 from 2 votes
Make Ahead Easy Mashed Potato Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

This deliciously Easy Mashed Potato Recipe makes the best make-ahead side dish! Creamy and lump-free, these heavenly mashed potatoes are the star of any meal.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Keyword: Best Mashed Potatoes
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 251 kcal
Author: Sarah
Ingredients
  • 5 lbs potatoes mixture of gold, russets, and red potatoes are my fav
  • 4 oz cream cheese softened (half of a brick)
  • 8 tbsp butter 1 stick, softened
  • 1 cup chicken stock + more to taste
  • 1 cup cream or milk warmed + more to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Fill one-third of the largest stockpot you own with super cold water. 
  2. Peel potatoes and rinse. Cut in half down the middle the long way. Then cut each oval down the middle (the long way again). Cut each section into fours; each potato should be cut into 16 pieces. Place in the stockpot. 

  3. Add enough water to cover all the spuds completely. Boil for two minutes, and then reduce to medium-high and cook until the tip of a knife can pierce through one of the potatoes.

  4. Drain the potatoes, and add the softened butter and cream cheese to the bottom of the pot that the potatoes were just in. The butter and cream cheese should start sliding around the bottom and melting. 

  5. Using a large spoon, fill your ricer halfway and press the potatoes over the pot. Repeat until all the potatoes have been through the ricer.

  6. Using a large spatula, fold the potatoes into the butter and cream cheese. Slowly add your chicken stock, cream or milk until the potatoes are the exact consistency you want. Salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe Notes

Make sure to warm your milk or cream before adding to the potatoes.

 

One of my favorite variations on traditional mashed potatoes is to add a drizzle of wasabi paste. The taste is insane and each bite is a mixture of spicy, creamy, and salty.

 

If you want to make the potatoes later, cover the potatoes with cold water and store in the fridge until ready.

Nutrition Facts
Make Ahead Easy Mashed Potato Recipe
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cup)
Calories 251 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 20%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 36mg 12%
Sodium 140mg 6%
Potassium 952mg 27%
Total Carbohydrates 28g 9%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 0g
Protein 6g 12%
Vitamin A 8.7%
Vitamin C 31.3%
Calcium 8.2%
Iron 41.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This deliciously Easy Mashed Potato Recipe makes the best make-ahead side dish! Creamy and lump-free, these heavenly mashed potatoes will be the star of any meal. #sustainablecooks #mashedpotatoes #thanksgivingrecipes #thanksgivingsides #sidedishes

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3 comments on “Make Ahead Easy Mashed Potato Recipe”

  1. Oh. My. Gosh. These potatoes are possibly the best thing I’ve ever cooked. I wanted to do them for Thanksgiving, but figured I should test them first. So I tested for some (picky) visiting family a couple weeks earlier, and they were a hit! On Thanksgiving, it was awesome to be able to cook them and keep them warm in the Instant Pot, and at least free up a small amount of space in the kitchen. The only bad thing about these was that we had no leftovers after Thanksgiving dinner! (Sob!)