Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

In search of the easiest and best make-ahead mashed potatoes? These extra-rich mashed potatoes can be refrigerated or frozen, then reheated when you're ready to eat.

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Elise Bauer

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 volcanoes?) and they are the easiest thing in the world to make ahead.

Stress-free! (At least the potato part.)

An Easy Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes Recipe

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 of hours before dinner time, then let come to room temp and bake. Easy!

adding garlic to mashed potatoes mixture
Elise Bauer

Make Ahead and Refrigerate or Freeze Your Mashed Potatoes

Once prepared, let the mashed potatoes cool completely, then cover and store in the fridge for up to two days.

You can also freeze these mashed potatoes for up to two weeks. The high fat content in these mashed potatoes means that they will freeze and thaw just fine.

How to Properly Freeze Mashed Potatoes

To freeze, first line your casserole dish with a layer of aluminum foil followed by a layer of plastic wrap. Add the mashed potatoes, cool completely, then freeze in the casserole dish until solid.

Once frozen, use the foil to lift the mashed potatoes out of the pan by lifting up on the foil. This way, the mashed potatoes are molded in the shape of your casserole dish, but your dish isn't tied up in the freezer for weeks. (The layer of plastic wrap between the mashed potatoes and the foil protects the potatoes from picking up a metallic flavor from the foil.)

Cover the top of the frozen mashed potatoes with plastic wrap and another layer of foil, so the mashed potatoes are completely protected. Freeze for up to two weeks.

cooked make ahead mashed potatoes
Elise Bauer

Steps for Reheating Mashed Potatoes

Frozen mashed potatoes can either be thawed overnight in the fridge, or warmed while still frozen. Either way, unwrap the block of mashed potatoes from the plastic wrap and foil, and place it back in the original casserole dish. If thawing overnight, cover and place in the fridge.

If your mashed potatoes are thawed, followed the baking directions in the recipe as written. If baking from frozen, add 15 to 20 minutes onto the warming time. You may want to stir the mashed potatoes once or twice while baking to make sure they are warming evenly.

If the frozen mashed potatoes seem a bit watery when reheated, just stir in some more butter or cream cheese.

More Favorite Potato Side Dish Recipes

Do You Need to Use a Potato Ricer?

A potato ricer creates the fluffy texture in these mashed potatoes, but if you do not have a ricer, other methods work, too. Use a hand potato masher or an electric hand mixer but make sure the potatoes are hot when you mash them so they do not become gluey.

Reheating Mashed Potatoes FAQ

Can you reheat or keep warm in a slow cooker? Yes, you can reheat both frozen or thawed make ahead mashed potatoes in the slow cooker. Put them in the slow cooker on low, stirring occasionally. Mashed potatoes that go straight from freezer to slow cooker need to thaw out some before stirring. Turn the slow cooker down to warm when you have heated the potatoes through.

Should mashed potatoes be thawed before reheating? No, you don't need to thaw the mashed potatoes before reheating them in the oven or the slow cooker. They will take longer to reheat than thawed mashed potatoes, though, so factor that extra time in.

Can you freeze the mashed potatoes in a foil pan and reheat in it? Yes, you can freeze this dish in a foil pan and put the pan in the oven, omitting the plastic wrap placed under the potatoes mentioned above in the How to Properly Freeze Mashed Potatoes section.

More Make-Ahead Recipes You'll Love

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 70 mins
Total Time 85 mins
Servings 6 to 8 servings


  • 4 to 5 pounds potatoes (russets, Yukon Gold or a combination), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

  • Salt

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and kept whole

  • 1 small sprig fresh rosemary

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 8 ounces cream cheese (full fat), room temperature

  • 1/2 cup plain or Greek yogurt (or sour cream)

  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh minced rosemary

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Chives, for garnish


  1. Cook the potatoes:

    Place peeled, cut potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold water to an inch above the potatoes. 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.

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

    boiling potatoes before mashing
    Elise Bauer
  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 and the garlic cloves in a large bowl.

    A ricer will yield fluffier, less gluey, mashed potatoes.

    adding garlic to mashed potatoes mixture
    Elise Bauer
  3. Mix in the 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 tablespoons 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.

    make ahead mashed potatoes in mixer
    Elise Bauer
  4. Place in a 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 tablespoon of 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; see headnotes for more detailed freezing and reheating instructions.)

  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.

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Elise Bauer
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
422 Calories
15g Fat
64g Carbs
10g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 422
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 42mg 14%
Sodium 1036mg 45%
Total Carbohydrate 64g 23%
Dietary Fiber 7g 23%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 28mg 138%
Calcium 130mg 10%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 1633mg 35%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.