Make Ahead Thanksgiving Day Mashed Potatoes

potatoI loved mashed potatoes. Real mashed potatoes. Growing up my family always made real mashed potatoes when we had them for a holiday or meal. They were creamy and buttery and wonderful! My in-laws usually made fake potatoes, which took me a little bit of time to get used to. The taste and texture just isn’t the same.

We live in Michigan, but my mother-in-law’s family is in Louisville, KY and we try to go visit for at least one holiday each year. For the first holiday that we spent in Kentucky we ate the holiday meal at my husband’s great-uncle and aunt’s house. She made mashed potatoes to go with the meal and as I was eating them I noticed something wonderful… lumps!

I love mashed potatoes that have a few lumps in them because you know they are real!

Well, I commented on the lumpy potatoes, meaning it as a compliment and to let her know how much I loved them, never considering the fact that she could take it negatively. Oops! She was pretty insulted. I kept trying to reassure her that I liked the “lumpy potatoes”. I’m not sure she ever really believed me.

Now the running joke each holiday is about when I insulted Suzie’s mashed potatoes!

Well this year we are going to Kentucky for Thanksgiving and I am making the majority of the dinner, including the mashed potatoes. I am trying to be proactive and find ways to make preparing the meal easier so everyone can enjoy more of the day instead of stressing about the meal. I found a great sounding recipe to prepare the mashed potatoes the day before (or maybe a few days before) and then warm them in the crockpot while the rest of the meal is cooking for the day.

I did a trial run of the potatoes to make sure that they would come out the way I wanted them to, after all I love mashed potatoes and I don’t want to take a chance on yucky reheated potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner.

Here is the recipe that I used:

       Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

5 lbs. potatoes

3 oz. cream cheese

4 oz. sour cream

½ c. milk

  • Peel and cube the potatoes. Boil them until tender. Drain and mash potatoes. Stir in cream cheese, sour cream, and milk. As an option you can put the potatoes in a casserole dish and cook at 325 degrees for 50 minutes, but I thought they were great just with stirring them in. A second option is to store the potatoes in the fridge or freezer to save for reheating in the crockpot.

The original recipe I had found called for double the cream cheese and sour cream and some onion salt, but I personally felt like it was too much. I usually just make potatoes with a little milk, butter, and salt, so I changed it up a little.

The day I made them they were wonderful! They were extremely creamy and you could pick-up just a little bit of a cheese taste, but not enough to make it weird putting some gravy (or creamed corn like when I was growing up) on top.

I put them in the fridge and two days later I put them in the crock pot first thing in the morning and set it on low (after about 4 hours I switched it over to warm and I probably should have done that sooner). They stayed in all day and I stirred them on occasion. I was planning on adding a little milk and butter to them, but they were still so creamy that it wasn’t needed.

We had them with dinner and they were just as good as the first day! I am so excited to be able to cook the potatoes up ahead of time and lighten my Thanksgiving Day load.

What about you, do you have any other make ahead recipes that you use for the holidays?







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