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Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes with a pat of butter melting on top, in a white bowl.

Mashed Potato Myth Busted!

I know, I know… We’ve all heard you can’t make mashed potatoes ahead because their taste and texture will change. I’ve heard it a million times, but Pepé and I are here to tell you it can be done. We know, because we’ve reheated mashed potatoes probably hundreds of times. 

Step By Step Instructions

Peeled and cubed russet potatoes in a grey saucepan, covered with water.

Peel and evenly cube potatoes into medium chunks (about 1.5” – 2” / 3cm – 5cm each.) Place cut up potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water by about 1/2” / 1cm and season with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. I prefer to use a sauce pan that won’t be damaged by a hand mixer because I mix them right in the pan. If you don’t have one, then you’ll have to mix them in a separate bowl. Boil for 5-7 minutes or until potatoes pierce easily with a fork. Drain the water from the pan Immediately! * See note below.

Cube of butter in a saucepan with milk.

Meanwhile, heat the milk and butter in small sauce pan on low. Do not boil. This is optional, but will help keep your potatoes warm. Adding cold milk and butter, will cool your mashed potatoes down. You can also heat butter and milk in a large measuring cup in the microwave.

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Add seasonings and mix in pan with a hand mixer on high until light and fluffy. Add more milk or butter if needed, but do it in small amounts so your potatoes don’t get runny. You can keep those wonderful spuds warm on the stove or in the oven set to 225°F/105°C/Gas Mark 1/4 for quite a while.

Cooked cubed potatoes, butter, milk, seasonings in a gray pan.
Whipping mashed potatoes with a hand mixer in a grey saucepan. There's a nutcracker who looks like a chef in the foreground.
Pepé is quite happy with the texture. They are perfectly fluffy and buttery mashed potatoes.

Top with more melted butter if you’d like then serve, or put the lid on and refrigerate. These delicous mashed potatoes are great with our Easy Pan Gravy made from meat drippings.

Perfect mashed potatoes with a pat of butter melting on top in a white bowl. There's a nutcracker who looks like a chef in the foreground.

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

These fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes are a family favorite. Make them ahead for a less stressful holiday dinner and more space in your oven.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Christmas, Comfort Food, Healthy Side Dish, Make Ahead, Mashed Potatoes, Potatoes, Thanksgiving
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 215kcal

Equipment

  • Hand Mixer

Ingredients

  • 2 Large Russet Potatoes (2 – 2.5 Pounds / 907g – 1174g )
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
  • 4-6 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt (plus more for boiling)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder (optional)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon White Pepper (optional)

Instructions

  • Peel and evenly cube the potatoes into medium chunks (about 1.5” – 2” / 3cm – 5cm each.) Place cut up potatoes in large saucepan and cover with water by about 1/2” / 1cm and season with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. I prefer to use a sauce pan that won’t be damaged by a hand mixer because I mix them right in the pan. If you don’t have one, then you’ll have mix them in a separate bowl. Boil for 5-7 minutes or until potatoes pierce easily with a fork. Drain the water from the pan Immediately! * See note below.
  • Meanwhile, heat milk and butter in a small sauce pan on low. Do not boil. This is optional, but will help keep your potatoes warm. Adding cold milk and butter, will cool your mashed potatoes down. You can also heat butter and milk in a large measuring cup in the microwave.
  • Add seasonings, and mix in the pan with hand mixer on high until light and fluffy. Add more milk or butter if needed, but do so in small amounts so your potatoes don’t get runny. You can keep them warm on the stove or in the oven at 225°F/105°C/Gas Mark 1/4 for quite a while.
  • Top with more melted butter if you’d like then serve, or put the lid on and refrigerate.

Reheating in the oven:

  • Take Your mashed potatoes out of the refrigerator at least 2 hours before you plan to serve and let them gently come to room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F/165°C/Gas Mark 3
  • Cover mashed potatoes with oven proof lid or foil and place them in the oven on center rack. Cook for about 15-20 minutes. Stir them gently just so they can cook evenly. Cover and cook for an additional 15-20 depending on how many you’re reheating. Stir them again and serve, or keep warm in the oven at 225°F/105°C/Gas Mark 1/4. I find that stirring with a fork instead of a spoon helps keep them fluffy.

In a microwave:

  • Cover potatoes with plastic wrap and cook on 20% to 30% power for a couple minutes. Repeat for one minute, stir and continue until they are heated through. The idea is to get them warm slowly. Remeber the fork to keep them fluffy.

Notes

Never let your potatoes sit in the water after they are boiled or they will not have the right texture later. They will start to soak up all that water and disintegrate. If you’re not ready to mix them, just drain, cover with a lid and set aside.

Nutrition

Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 278mg | Potassium: 736mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 266IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg
Are there secret ingredients to make ahead mashed potatoes?

No, it’s just the method you use to reheat them. You have to warm them slowly over low heat. They need to be covered so they don’t dry out, and stirred occasionally to distribute the heat. 

Do make ahead mashed potatoes have different ingredients than regular potatoes?

Nope, it’s just how you re-heat them. Different recipes might have an effect, but this recipe, which is my everyday mashed potato recipe, doesn’t require special ingredients. 

How do you reheat mashed potatoes?

Reheating in the oven: 
Take your mashed potatoes out of the refrigerator at least 2 hours before you plan to serve them and let your scrumptious spuds gently come to room temperature. 
Preheat oven to 350°F/165°C/Gas Mark 3
Cover mashed potatoes with oven proof lid or foil and place them in the oven on the center rack. Cook for about 15-20 minutes. Stir them gently just so they can cook evenly. Cover and cook for an additional 15-20 depending on how many you’re reheating. Stir them again and serve or keep warm in an oven set to 225°F/105°C/Gas Mark 1/4. I find that stirring with a fork instead of a spoon helps keep them fluffy. 

Reheating In a microwave: 
Cover potatoes with plastic wrap and cook on 20% to 30% power for a couple minutes. Repeat for one minute, stir and continue until they are heated through. The idea is to get them warm slowly. Remember to use a fork, not a spoon to keep them fluffy.

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Other Side Dishes You Might Like

Roasted Green Beans with Lemon & Garlic

Single layer of roasted green beans with sliced lemons on top.

Colorful Roasted Fall Veggies

Colorful roasted vegetables ((butternut squash, red onions, brussles sprouts, fennel bulb and candy cane beet root) in a white bowl.

Easy Pan Gravy

Square white plate with Chicken leg quarter, peas and mashed potatoes. Gravy is being poured out of a white dish onto the mashed potatoes.

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