A deliciously creamy mashed potato recipe that you can make in advance and store to save time and get ahead for big meals like Christmas dinner and Thanksgiving. Just reheat when you are ready to serve. Make ahead mashed potatoes are our ultimate Christmas dinner time saving hack.
About these make ahead mashed potatoes
We are BIG fans of any way we can save time and effort when making big meals like Christmas dinner, Thanksgiving or maybe a Sunday roast for a crowd.
If you have ever wondered "can you make ahead mashed potatoes ahead of time", the answer is yes! This recipe is so easy to throw together and then just store it until you are ready to reheat and serve. Lots of different ways to adapt it with add-ins too.
You will have enough to do on Christmas day with all the other parts of the big meal. So save yourself some time with make ahead mashed potatoes. Don't worry, even though you are making these in advance they are still deliciously creamy. Plenty of butter and a little cream helps with that.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Potatoes - You can use any potatoes for make ahead mashed potatoes, however starchy and fluffy potatoes work the best. King Edwards, Maris Piper, Russets, Yukon golds, Desirée or Rooster work really well for making the perfect mashed potato.
- Butter and Cream - This is what makes a perfectly creamy mashed potato recipe. The key to freezing and reheating mashed potatoes is that they have plenty of fat in them.
- Salt and pepper - Generously season.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make ahead mashed potatoes - Step by step
One: Put the chopped potatoes into a pan (a). Cover in boiling water (b).
Two: Bring to the boil again. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
Three: Once cooked, mash the potatoes to your desired consistency.
Four: Leave to cool and transfer to a bowl. Cover tightly and refrigerate. This will keep in the fridge for 2 days.
Five: When you are ready to serve the potatoes, put the cream and butter into a pan (a). Gently heat until the butter has melted (b), about 2 minutes.
Six: Stir in the potatoes, continuing to heat gently.
All the flavour in these make ahead mashed potatoes comes from the cream and butter. Then you could add some extra flavour with some mature cheddar or cream cheese stirred in at the end. However, there are a few other flavour options as well.
You could add in some rosemary or thyme, or if you wanted a summer version to these, then you could add basil and lemon. Parmesan is also a good alternative to cheddar.
If you like a kick of heat in your food, then you can stir in some dried red chilli flakes. Want to make them really indulgent? When you add the cheese, stir in some cooked chopped bacon. Next. Level. Potatoes. Try our Air Fryer Bacon.
For something a little different, pesto stirred into mashed potatoes is really good. So are caramelised onions.
Mashed potatoes are such a versatile side dish, you can serve them with pretty much anything. We served ours with vegetarian sausages and Minted Peas then smothered it in Onion Gravy, but we love it as an alternative to roast potatoes with a roast dinner. Why not try our Slow Cooker Roast Beef or Perfect Roast Chicken?
However, here are some of our favourite recipes that go perfectly with it too:
- Homemade Fish Fingers
- Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Honey and Lime Chicken
- Lemon and Rosemary Chicken
- Sausage and Lentil Stew
- Easy Italian Chicken
- Chicken Kiev
Make ahead and store
The whole appeal of this recipe is making it in advance and then reheating it when you needed, so here are the different ways that you can do that.
Fridge: Leave the mashed potatoes to cool and transfer to a bowl. Cover tightly and refrigerate. This will keep in the fridge for 2 days.
Freezer: You might be thinking "can I freeze mashed potato?", the answer is yes! If you are going to freeze mashed potatoes, then add the cream and butter first and freeze. Then add a little more butter and cream when reheating. So, make the mashed potatoes, with butter and cream, and once cooled put them in freezer bags and lay flat in the freezer. You can do this up to a month in advance.
Defrost: You can defrost at room temperature and it will take about 5 hours.
Reheat: When you are ready to serve the potatoes, put the cream and butter into a pan. Gently heat until the butter has melted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the potatoes, continuing to heat gently.
If you are reheating frozen potatoes that already have the cream and butter in, then you can reheat it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and stir in some cream and butter before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
We use a really sturdy potato masher to mash our potatoes, as we are fine with a few smaller lumps. However, if you like your mashed potatoes super smooth, then get yourself a potato ricer. This gives you really smooth and creamy potatoes, and makes sure that they aren't overworked like they would be with a masher, which is key if you are going to use leftovers to make gnocchi.
Whilst leftovers of this side dish is rare in our house, if you do have any leftovers then there are a few really good options to make sure that nothing goes to waste. You can make leftover mashed potato cakes by mixing them with an egg and a little flour, then forming into patties and frying. Or, you can make our Leftover Mashed Potato Gnocchi.
You will need to swap the cream and butter for plant based versions.
We go with 200g/7oz of potatoes per person. Adults might have a little more and kids might have a little less.
If you don't want to cook the mashed potato ahead of time, but just prepare it, then you could peel and chop the potatoes and then keep them in a pan of cold water in the fridge until the next day.
More potato recipes
Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
- 800 g (1.75 lb) Potatoes - peeled and diced
- 200 ml (0.75 cups) Cream
- 40 g (0.25 cups) Butter
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- Put the chopped potatoes into a pan. Cover in boiling water.
- Bring to the boil again. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
- Once cooked, return to the hob and let steam dry.
- Mash the potatoes to your desired consistency.
- Leave to cool and transfer to a bowl. Cover tightly and refrigerate. This will keep in the fridge for 2 days.
- When you are ready to serve the potatoes, put the cream and butter into a pan. Gently heat until the butter has melted, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the potatoes, continuing to heat gently. Season to taste.
- Cut all the potatoes to the same size to ensure that they all cook the same.
- If you prefer chunky mashed potatoes, then don't over mash them. We like ours really creamy and fluffy.
- We find using a potato masher is fine, however if you like really smooth potatoes then you can use a potato ricer.
- Add salt and pepper at the end to season, that way you can taste them and add more if you prefer.
- You don't have to peel the potatoes, and leaving the skin on will save even more time and still keep the fibre.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.