Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

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When it comes to holiday dinners, the more dishes you can make ahead, the better, right? Mashed potatoes are central to our holiday meals (how else can you make gravy volcanos?) and they are the easiest thing in the world to make ahead. Stress-free! (At least the potato part.)

In this simple recipe we are are mashing boiled potatoes and garlic (a potato ricer is helpful for making everything fluffy), mixing them with butter, cream cheese, yogurt, and a touch of rosemary. The cream cheese helps fortify the mashed potatoes so they reheat well, and the yogurt gives them a light tang. You could also use sour cream.

Heap the baking dish with the potatoes, and chill until a couple hours before dinner time, then let come to room temp and bake. Easy!

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Note on freezing. If you freeze and then defrost, you may need to stir up the mashed potatoes before baking.

Ingredients

  • 4 to 5 pounds potatoes (russets, yukon gold or a combination), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • Salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and whole
  • 1 small sprig fresh rosemary
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided 2 Tbsp and 1 Tbsp
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (full fat), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plain or greek yogurt (can sub with sour cream)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh minced rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Chives for garnish

Method

1 Cook the potatoes. Place peeled cut potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with an inch of cold water. Add 2 teaspoons of salt to the water. Add the garlic cloves and rosemary sprig. Heat on high to bring to a boil, then reduce to low, cover to maintain a simmer until the potatoes are just cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes.

make-ahead-mashed-potatoes-method-1

Once potatoes are done, drain the potatoes. Discard the rosemary sprig, save the garlic cloves with the potatoes.

2 Mash the potatoes and garlic cloves. While the potatoes are still hot, use either a potato masher or a potato ricer to roughly mash the potatoes in a large bowl. A ricer will yield fluffier, less gluey, mashed potatoes.

make-ahead-mashed-potatoes-method-2

3 Mix in cream cheese and yogurt. In a large upright mixer (or if you have strong arms, you can do this by hand), add the riced or roughly mashed potatoes into the mixer bowl, along with 2 Tbsp of butter, the softened cream cheese, and the yogurt. Mix on low to start, then increase the speed to medium and mix just until everything is well incorporated. (Don't overmix!) Stir in the minced rosemary, the salt and pepper. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

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4 Place in casserole dish. Butter generously the inside of a 2-quart casserole dish. Add the mashed potatoes, and spread out in an even layer. Dot with the remaining 1 Tbsp butter.

At this point, you've done the make-ahead part of the recipe. You can cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to bake. You can make up to 2 days ahead. (Or you can freeze for up to 2 weeks ahead.)

5 Bake. When ready to make, remove from refrigerator and let sit for an hour to come to room temperature. Bake at 350°F for 30 to 45 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.

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Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

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6 Comments

  1. Stephanie

    I did three Christmases today and a Christmas eve party last night, and this recipe saved my life. I made them exactly to the instructions given here, fixed it all up yesterday afternoon, threw it back in the oven an hour before my second Christmas party, and strolled out the door. They were an absolute hit, and I got tons of compliments. The texture was perfect. Cooking the potatoes with garlic and rosemary is something I’ve never tried before, and I may never leave out that pairing again.

    Thanks for a great recipe!

  2. Renee

    Love new ideas for everyday foods. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Elise!

  3. Margaret B

    Can you taste the cream cheese in this dish. I have some family members who prefer plain old mashed potatos with nothing fancy added.

  4. Laura ~ RYG

    I just know that it’s the mashed potatoes that super stress out my mom for the holidays. She’s always trying to time things perfectly and ends up leaving them in the water too long and they get all sticky and gluten-y! So I would LOVE and welcome the opportunity to relieve her of this stress by bringing the mashed potatoes to our gathering. It’s amazing these re-heat well (yah for cream cheese I guess) because most M.P.’s do NOT re-heat well. I already know from the photo’s that I’m going to be blown away by these and cannot wait to try. Plus, I have to go to my in-laws first for 3 hours and then we drive to moms (an hour away) so I have to bring things that re-heat well!!!!

  5. Roxana

    Oh my goodness, yes! If I can make these ahead of time, what a HUGE time saver it will be over the holidays! These potatoes are so beautiful too, I love how you’ve done them!

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