Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

The friendliest place on the web for anyone that enjoys cooking.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

coffeedrinker

Assistant Cook
Joined
Nov 17, 2022
Messages
1
Location
minneapolis, mn
I would like to do mashed potatoes ahead of time, and heat medium-sized batches in the microwave, to spare myself some of the intense half-hour of craziness when the turkey comes out, the gravy is simmering, someone has to carve and mash potatoes, and everybody's wondering how late dinner will be.

I have perused lots of make-ahead recipes, and they all seem to have either sour cream, or sour cream and cream cheese.

I guess I'm wondering why.

Does anyone know why this would be the standard for this dish? And can anyone weigh in on characteristics that these methods produce (sour, creamier, etc) ?

I want them to be a traditional mashed potato, but it looks like the sour cream is a must, and I'm curious about it.
 

Katie H

Site Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Messages
16,590
Location
I live in the Heartland of the United States
As far as I am concerned, all you need is some whole milk, butter and salt and pepper. This is my go-to way of making mashed spuds. If they need to be kept warm, I put them in my smallish crock-pot on the WARM setting and they are just fine.

I prefer to use a traditional masher instead of a mixer. I feel the mixer causes a gooey gluten-like mass. Besides...I love a lump or two of the real thing.
 

msmofet

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Messages
13,184
Make your potatoes mashed the way you like them.
I make my mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, sautéed mushrooms, stuffing/dressing and anything else I can do the day before and put in oven safe dishes. An hour before the turkey is done, I take out the sides to warm. When the turkey comes out of the oven I put the sides on a sheet pan and place in oven to heat.
 
Last edited:

msmofet

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Messages
13,184
As far as I am concerned, all you need is some whole milk, butter and salt and pepper. This is my go-to way of making mashed spuds. If they need to be kept warm, I put them in my smallish crock-pot on the WARM setting and they are just fine.

I prefer to use a traditional masher instead of a mixer. I feel the mixer causes a gooey gluten-like mass. Besides...I love a lump or two of the real thing.
I make whipped/mixer potatoes when my hands are in bad shape. They always come out like wall paper paste. One DD loves them that way. But I also like a lump or two in my mashed.
 

Roll_Bones

Master Chef
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
5,716
Location
Southeast US
As far as I am concerned, all you need is some whole milk, butter and salt and pepper. This is my go-to way of making mashed spuds. If they need to be kept warm, I put them in my smallish crock-pot on the WARM setting and they are just fine.

I prefer to use a traditional masher instead of a mixer. I feel the mixer causes a gooey gluten-like mass. Besides...I love a lump or two of the real thing.
Agree. Simplicity is the key to better mashed potato's. I have done it all from roasted garlic to cheese. We like plain mashed potato's the best. Milk, butter (the real thing and lots of it) salt and pepper.
OP. Make you mashed potato's anyway you like them. Even the day before is fine. Refridgerate until needed.
Then bring to room temp and either microwave them or heat up in the oven.
I don't agree with some that say the microwave changes the taste of food. Or at least I may not be able to tell any difference.
Note: Make sure to whip/stir them up good before serving and while reheating.
 

CharlieD

Master Chef
Joined
Oct 17, 2004
Messages
9,964
Location
USA,Minnesota
Make mashed potato the way you like. Sour cream adds flavor, if you like that flavor, otherwise soft butter, warmed up whole milk and you will be fine. I like to add few coves of garlic and or onion while cooking and maybe a spoon or two of beef soup powder, but not chicken, adds interesting flavor. Some people add salt and pepper during mashing, to me it's just weird. It's like eating potato with salt on a side. Salt needs to dissolve and integrate into potato. Pepper is another thing, can be added latter.
Cook ahead of time. Put them in the oven in the last half an hour of cooking turkey, you'll be fine.
Incidentally, hate lumps. Might as well serve potato whole or in chunks, if you ask me. Taste, very personal thing.
 
Last edited:

cookiecrafter

Senior Cook
Joined
Aug 10, 2021
Messages
306
Location
Chicago
No matter what method and ingredients that you use, your mashed potatoes will get watery and sometimes runny overnight in the fridge. I keep a box of instant potatoes on hand. Usually 1/4 cup will tighten up the problem.
 

CharlieD

Master Chef
Joined
Oct 17, 2004
Messages
9,964
Location
USA,Minnesota
No matter what method and ingredients that you use, your mashed potatoes will get watery and sometimes runny overnight in the fridge. I keep a box of instant potatoes on hand. Usually 1/4 cup will tighten up the problem.
Not necessary, unless you don't know hat you are doing. Properly made mashed potato is not going to get watery overnight, Maybe in couple-three days or so, but not overnight.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
50
+1.
Mashed potatoes are one of the first dishes i prepare on Thanksgiving day. I keep it in a small crock-pot on the warm setting.
Tool of choice is a potato ricer. Only on holidays. For everyday cooking I just use the potato masher for ease of clean up.
 

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
29,295
Location
near Montreal, Quebec
I agree that the mashed potatoes can be made ahead and reheated. I have only had watery mashed potatoes when I froze them. I just stirred the excess water back into them before heating them in the microwave. I don't honestly remember how well that worked.

I have also tried adding sour cream, cream cheese, and butter to the mashed potatoes, all at once. It was a friend's recipe for "the best mashed potatoes ever". Well, they weren't. They were a bit overwhelmed by all the additions. A little bit of any one of those would probably have been better.
 

jennyema

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Mar 1, 2002
Messages
10,523
Location
Boston and Cape Cod
I’m making a filet of beef and mashed potatoes for 10 on Saturday for my wife’s birthday. Also a veg and cold beet salad and an elaborate charcuterie board.

im going to make the potatoes around 1-2 and keep them in a crock pot until 7. I’m hand mashing them with a masher and just using butter, salt and half and half.

I’ll report back. I’ll try to get a pic, too.
 

dragnlaw

Site Team
Staff member
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Messages
7,989
Location
Waterdown, Ontario
One Christmas made almost all the vegies a week or two before. Had absolutely no problem with them. Put them in a cold garage to defrost the day before, were perfect to reheat the day of.
 
Top Bottom