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Homemade Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

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  • Prep 25 min
  • Total 25 hr 40 min
  • Servings 8
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Quintessential to almost all holiday meals, but most famously eaten on Turkey day, Thanksgiving mashed potatoes are the one side that’s truly adored by everyone. That's why we're showing you how to make mashed potatoes ahead of time, with nothing more than a few pounds of spuds, milk, butter, cream, salt and pepper. Make-ahead mashed potatoes can be prepped in just 25 minutes, and you can even make them the night before, so come dinnertime you can stress a little less knowing all you have to do is pop your prepped casserole dish in the oven.
Updated Nov 29, 2021
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  • 9 medium potatoes (3 pounds)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup whipping (heavy) cream
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  • 1
    Scrub potatoes. Leave skins on, if desired, or peel thinly and remove eyes. Cut into large pieces. Heat 1 inch water (salted if desired) to boiling in 3-quart saucepan; add potato pieces. Cover and heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cook covered 20 to 25 minutes or until tender; drain. Shake pan gently over low heat to dry potatoes.
  • 2
    Heat milk, whipping cream, butter, salt and pepper in 1-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted. Measure out 1/4 cup of the milk mixture; cover and refrigerate.
  • 3
    Add remaining milk mixture in small amounts to potatoes in medium bowl, mashing with potato masher or electric mixer after each addition. (Amount of milk needed to make potatoes smooth and fluffy depends on kind of potatoes used.) Beat vigorously until potatoes are light and fluffy.
  • 4
    Spray 2-quart casserole with cooking spray. Spoon potatoes into casserole; cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
  • 5
    When ready to bake, heat oven to 350°F. Reheat reserved milk mixture in microwave. Then pour milk mixture over potatoes. Bake uncovered 40 to 45 minutes or until potatoes are hot. Just before serving, stir potatoes.
  • 6
    ALTERNATE METHOD: Only have one oven and need to bake all your sides at the same temperature? You also can reheat these at 325°F. When ready to bake, heat oven to 325°F. Reheat reserved milk mixture in microwave. Then pour milk mixture over potatoes. Bake uncovered 60 to 65 minutes or until potatoes are hot. Just before serving, stir potatoes.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1
    A 2-quart oval casserole holds the same amount of potatoes as an 8x8x2-inch baking dish.
  • tip 2
    Drying the potatoes for a bit after boiling them ensures the potatoes will be fluffier than if they are waterlogged. Russet or Idaho potatoes are the best variety to use in this recipe. They're easier to peel, light and starchy. Use either an old-fashioned handheld potato masher (the kind with a grid head works particularly well) or an electric hand mixer, just be watchful the potatoes don’t become overworked and gluey.
  • tip 3
    Warm milk slightly so that potatoes stay hot while mixing. This can be done in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stovetop.


320 Calories, 17g Total Fat, 4g Protein, 35g Total Carbohydrate, 3g Sugars

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories from Fat
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
1 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 3 1/2 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • When something as delicious as mashed potatoes is involved, it’s no wonder there’s some jostling for credit about who invented the iconic dish. Some food historians say that 17th century England was the birthplace of our now-beloved mashed potatoes and gravy, while others credit a 1771 potato-making competition hosted by a Frenchman named Antoine Parmentier as the event that started the centuries-long craze. While we may never know the whole story, we can offer you plenty of information on the whole potato, from savory skin to meltingly soft insides, in this guide to making perfect mashed potatoes every time (hint: don’t forget the cream cheese). If you’d like to add some creative twists to this basic recipe, check out Betty’s collection of best mashed potatot recipes which includes add-ins like garlic, pesto, ranch, wasabi, beer, Asiago, bacon, Brie, parsley and chipotle (not all at once, but hey, you could try). There are even versions of cauliflower and pumpkin mash, as well.
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