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These make ahead mashed potatoes are the perfect recipe for any holiday. Make them up to a day ahead! They’re full of butter and cream cheese and are the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had.


bowl of mashed potatoes

Growing up, we didn’t eat lots of mashed potatoes. When we did I always thought they were meh (albeit, we ate a lot of boxed mashed potatoes back then). Also: I didn’t like gravy because I was insane.

As an adult I have fallen head over heels in love with mashed potatoes. Even though they weren’t a holiday staple in my family, they were in Mel’s, so every Thanksgiving and Christmas I find myself making a million side dishes to satisfy all the cravings.

It also doesn’t hurt that lately I’ve been craving mashed potatoes – a LOT. Like, sometimes I have to buy them in the deli section at the grocery store or order them as a side dish at a restaurant because I NEED MASHED POTATOES AND I NEED THEM NOW.

Therefore, I had no problem making these make ahead mashed potatoes for this post. We had them for dinner and then I had them for lunch – twice.

Mashed potatoes are fantastic all year round, but I always find myself making them at holidays. On holidays, I’m the make ahead queen because doing things last minute is not in my wheelhouse.

These make ahead Mashed Potatoes are the perfect way to get ahead of your holiday cooking!

spoonful of make ahead mashed potatoes

You can make mashed potatoes ahead of time?

Yes, you CAN! I make these up to 24 hours before serving and they’re just as good as fresh.

How does it work? A couple of secret ingredients go into my mashed potatoes, ensuring they’ll be as rich and smooth as the second you make them:

  1. Butter
  2. Cream Cheese

Hefty doses of both butter and cream cheese in these mashed potatoes ensure a fluffy creamy side dish!

Here are a few tips for how I make my make ahead mashed potatoes:

  • I use 1/4 cup butter and 4 ounces cream cheese per 3 pounds of russet potatoes.
  • You don’t have to peel them, but I do when it’s a holiday. Regular days? Rarely do I peel my potatoes.
  • I use WHOLE milk during my mashing. I mean, it’s a holiday: fat-free need not apply.
  • Mash them with a potato masher or use a mixer, depending on if you like lumps or want a creamy smooth potato.
  • Season with seasoning salt to taste. I love Lawry’s but you can use your favorite brand.

overhead shot of make ahead mashed potatoes

Once you have your potatoes mashed, I place them in my serving container and cover until ready to serve.

How do you reheat mashed potatoes?

  • If I make these the day of serving, I just leave them on the counter, covered. They’ll stay mostly warm depending on how long they sit, then I pop them into the oven while the turkey or meat rests (or I reheat in the microwave).
  • If I make these the night before, I make sure to remove them from the refrigerator to come to room temperature, then I pop them in the oven or microwave to reheat. If they’ve sat overnight, you may need to add a bit more milk to get that creamy texture.

Serve warm with more butter and LOTS of gravy! In my world, turkey or roast beef need not apply, ha!

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bowl of mashed potatoes

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

5 from 4 votes
These make ahead mashed potatoes are the perfect recipe for any holiday. Make them up to a day ahead! They're full of butter and cream cheese and are the best mashed potatoes I've ever had.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Serving Size 1 serving


  • 3 pounds russet potatoes
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning salt or to taste
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  • Peel and dice potatoes. I like to dice them small so they cook faster. Add them to a large pot and fill with water one inch above the potato line.
  • Bring to a boil and cook about 10-15 minutes (cooking time will depend on potato size), or until the potatoes are fork tender (when stabbed with a fork they fall off on their own).
  • Drain the potatoes and place them back in the pot. Place the pot back on the burner over very low heat. Mash with a potato masher until all the big chunks are broken up.
  • Add the cream cheese and butter to the pan. Put the lid on top and let sit for about 30 seconds, then mash the cream cheese and butter into the potatoes, adding the milk and seasoning to taste. Add more milk if desired for creamier mashed potatoes.
  • Remove from heat and serve or place in serving dish.
  • Make ahead instructions: make up to one day ahead. Store in a covered container. Let come to room temperature before reheating. Reheat in the oven or microwave until hot. You may need to add a bit more butter or milk to get them back to desired texture if you’re reheating.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • For best results, use whole milk, regular butter, and full-fat cream cheese.
  • Use a mixer if you want silky smooth potatoes.
  • I use Lawry’s Seasoning Salt. Use your favorite brand.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 979mg | Potassium: 738mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 380IU | Vitamin C: 9.7mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1.5mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

**Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!**

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Last Updated on May 13, 2020

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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  1. Mashed potatoes are everything!! Extra butter and gravy please! I’m definitely craving holiday food after reading this!