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Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Remember whipping up potatoes at the last minute before holiday meals? Never again! These are the most delicious mashed spuds we've ever tasted - but best of all, you can make them the day before the feast.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. + chilling Cook: 15 min.
  • Makes
    12 servings (3/4 cup each)


  • 4 pounds medium potatoes (about 12), peeled and quartered
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh chives, optional
  • 2 tablespoons 2% milk


  • Place potatoes in a large saucepan; add water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook, uncovered, until tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add potatoes; beat until light and fluffy. Beat in butter, seasonings and, if desired, chives. Transfer to a greased 2-1/2-qt. microwave-safe dish. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  • Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before heating. Microwave, uncovered, on high 10 minutes, stirring once. Stir in milk. Microwave until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • These mashed potatoes are perfect for your make ahead thanksgiving menu or as a time-saving option for your Christmas buffet.

  • Editor's Note
    This recipe was tested in a 1,100-watt microwave.
    Nutrition Facts
    3/4 cup: 247 calories, 13g fat (8g saturated fat), 38mg cholesterol, 359mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein.

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    Average Rating:
    • Cindy
      Nov 27, 2020

      I cooked this for Thanksgivng dinner thinking that it was going to be really good. Not a favorite at all, no one at my house cared for them.

    • dublinlab
      Dec 26, 2019

      Very tasty. Great to have one job done when having company. I did not add the paprika, l like the colour of potatoes and loved the flavour. I put a blob of butter on top, Janet. VFE

    • Deb
      Nov 27, 2019

      I don't know if my paprika was super fresh but the one teaspoon of paprika basically turned my potatoes pink. They're not fluffy and white as the reviews say so I'm disappointed that I just spent an hour-and-a-half making these. They taste okay but I was expecting more from all the glowing reviews, so if you're making these make sure and cut down the paprika a lot!

    • Corwin44
      Nov 24, 2016

      These were the best mashed potatoes. I will be using this recipe as my go to from now on. I made these for thanksgiving and everyone loved them. I have two ovens so I baked them in a 9x13 pan at 350 for one hour. Making the potatoes the evening before definitely made thanksgiving run smoother. I used a 5lb bag of potatoes which had exactly 12 medium potatoes and made the recipe as directed. It was the perfect mixture of ingredients to make creamy yummy mashed potatoes that were not liquidy or dry. I didn't use chives, but I did use cream cheese with chives. Yummy.

    • Brossi
      Apr 2, 2016

      Wonderful recipe. The whole family enjoyed this dish. Used 6 large potatoes. Would absolutely make this again. Thanks for an awesome recipe.

    • sgronholz
      Nov 29, 2015

      I made a batch and a half of these delicious potatoes for our Thanksgiving meal this year. I stirred up the recipe the day before, then warmed them (on low) for 4 hours in my 5-qt. crock pot, stirring occasionally . Everyone loved them! I will definitely be making this recipe again!

    • apple1
      Oct 2, 2015

      I have made these several time and prepare them the day before. I put them in the crockpot and store in the fridge until the day of. I only turn the crock pot on about 2 hours before we are eating to warm them. No need to have them heating all day.

    • peacharmadillo
      Jan 1, 2015

      We feel it tastes better on day two and prepare it in advance on purpose.

    • Mommalovespink
      Dec 17, 2013

      Great recipe... It was so nice to make ahead and have ready for Thanksgiving dinner!! So fluffy and creamy; will absolutely make again.

    • DrewDrawed
      Nov 21, 2012

      Restaurant quality - reminds me of a steakhouse version of mashed potatoes I've had. They're light and creamy texture, lots of flavor in each bite!