This is my favorite recipe for the holidays, especially for large groups, Best Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes. Who doesn’t love mashed potatoes & gravy with turkey or ham? These potatoes taste great and best of all they can be made days ahead-of-time and reheated in the crock pot! A Stress-Free traditional side dish for the holidays. I’m also sharing a bonus Fall Salad recipe at the end of today’s post.
Hosting a Holiday meal often means also entertaining guests the entire DAY or several days for out-of-town guests. To keep your entertaining stress at a low, set your table early, prep your vegetables and choose Make-Ahead recipes, that can be done prior to arrival of guests. Traditional mashed potatoes seem to be a last-minute dish, made while the kitchen is in disarray…while the turkey needs to be carved. To me, getting all the food – at the same time – to the table while HOT – always seems challenging, whew! So mashed potatoes already hot in the crock pot, just add a big serving spoon…Simple!
The Best Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
- 5 lbs Russet (or yukon gold) potatoes (I prefer russet)
- 8 oz pkg Cream Cheese
- ½ c Butter, softened and sliced
- 1 tsp Salt (leave out if you use the Hidden Valley seasoning)
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- Peel & Cut potatoes into quarters (or eighths if the potato is larger) and place in a large pot. (Not the crock pot yet)
- Cover potatoes with cool water THEN bring to a boil without lid.
- Boil for around 7 minutes, until your potatoes are tender. Watch them, using fork poke to test.
- Drain – I then return them to the still hot pot and stir over no heat until moisture is gone and I mash them a bit, then move to mixing bowl to mash more before next step.
- Add your cream cheese and sour cream until well blended. I do this with masher first then use a power mixer to whip to preferred consistency (rustic or smooth.)
- Add the optional flavorings (garlic, parsley) stir or slowly beat in.
- Reminder! Dot with Butter before heating to serve, and add Salt and Pepper.
- If preparing ahead of time: cool and refrigerate the mashed potatoes (that includes all steps above). May be refrigerated up to a week. To reheat, set out to take chill off. Put in lightly greased crock pot. Since it is cold it will take a longer time to reheat, stir occasionally to get heat evenly. Watch that the lid doesn’t cause too much moisture to gather, if it does, remove lid or move to side. *
- If serving Same day: Place warm potato mixture in a lightly greased crock pot and heat on low for 2 hours, stirring and checking occasionally. watch for condensation. *
- *For Alternate heat method – reheated instead in oven – dot with butter and bake in casserole 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Tip: When choosing recipes for your Holiday Menu, consider how the colors of the food appear together on the plate, especially at Thanksgiving. My favorite colorful salad recipe to serve at Thanksgiving is Spinach & Persimmon Salad – it is as beautifully Colorful as it is Tasty. Download it HERE.
What Holiday foods do you prepare early?
Thanks for Meeting Me Lakeside!
FYI: to get recipes posted early enough to use for Thanksgiving, I switched-out my pre-scheduled posts. So Wednesday will be Weekend Wanderings, where I’m sharing a podcast I came across. Then the following week, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” here at the lake cottage. Don’t forget to pop in!