Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

A big bowl of mashed potatoes makes a great side dish when you’ve got company coming for a meal. But sometimes when you’ve got company coming, it might feel like you don’t have time to peel all those potatoes. For those times, I like to use this easy mashed potato recipe that’s a great option for doing all the peeling, boiling, mashing, and mixing the night before, and the mixture will still heat up great again the next day when company is coming.

A serving dish of mashed potatoes

There have been plenty of times though when I’ve made this mashed potato recipe right at the time when we wanted to eat it rather than using it as a “make ahead” option. Either way, the flavor of these potatoes is great and everyone loves them!

The Helpful Mashed Potato Ingredient – Sour Cream!

This mashed potato recipe uses the traditional additions of butter, salt, and pepper, but then there’s one more ingredient that gets stirred in and that’s sour cream. The sour cream adds a nice flavor boost and helps give the mixture a nice creamy texture that holds up in the refrigerator if you want to make these mashed potatoes the night before.

Cutting up potatoes to prepare Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

To get things started you’ll need about 8 or 9 medium sized potatoes. I always use the good old fashioned russet potatoes.  The potatoes need to be peeled and cut into chunks, and then boiled in a sauce pan for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. You will have a full pan of potatoes!

Boiling potatoes to make mashed potatoes

Then the potatoes can be drained and added to a large mixing bowl. To the mixing bowl you’ll add 4 tablespoons of butter, 1-1/2 cups of sour cream, 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt, and a ¼ teaspoon of pepper.

And then I use my electric mixer to whip everything together and create some nice fluffy mashed potatoes. You know how some people like to lick the beaters after making frosting for a cake? Well, I love to lick the beaters after making these potatoes.  *Yum*

Whipping potatoes to make mashed potatoes with sour cream

Then, as mentioned earlier, these potatoes can be ready to eat at this point if you wish. BUT – if you wanted to use this recipe as a make-ahead option, you can now spoon the mixture into a 2 quart casserole pan and pop it into the refrigerator.

A large bowl of Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

The next day when it’s time to reheat the casserole pan with the potatoes, you’ll put them (covered) into a 325 degree oven for 45 minutes. Then uncover and stir them around, and they will probably need about another 20 to 30 minutes to cook uncovered to make sure the mashed potatoes are completely heated through.

Sometimes I add a crumb topping to the potatoes for that last 30 minutes. This can be done by mixing ¼ cup of bread crumbs or cracker crumbs with 1 tablespoon of melted butter and then sprinkling it over the potatoes.

Perfect Potatoes for Holidays and Potlucks

Because this recipe uses 8 or 9 potatoes, it does make a good size batch – and that makes it a perfect choice to bring as a side dish to a holiday gathering or to a potluck. The extra flavor boost that’s already added of sour cream and butter means you don’t need to worry about including any gravy either. They taste perfect just the way they are!

This post was first published April, 2011 and updated November, 2021

Make ahead mashed potatoes

More Recipes To Try:

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

These potatoes can be made ahead of time the night before and then popped into the oven the next day making them a very helpful time saver during a busy holiday dinner. Even though you can make this dish ahead of time, they taste great if you want to eat them right away too!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Potatoes
Yield: 10 servings
Author: Beverly


  • 8 or 9 Medium Russet Potatoes – peeled and cut into chunks
  • cups Sour Cream
  • 4 Tbl Butter or margarine
  • tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pepper

Optional Topping:

  • ¼ cup bread crumbs or cracker crumbs
  • 1 Tbl Melted butter or margarine


  • Place the peeled chunks of potato into a large pan and cover with water. Heat to a boil on the stove, and then boil gently until the potatoes are cooked and tender when poked with a fork (about 15 to 20 minutes).
  • Drain the potatoes and place them in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the sour cream, butter, salt, and pepper to the bowl.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the ingredients until well mixed together and fluffy.
  • If you want to eat the potatoes right away, they are ready at this point! If you are making them ahead, place the mixture into a 2 quart casserole pan, cover, and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  • The next day when you want to heat the potatoes for serving, bake them in a 325 degree oven, covered for 45 minutes. (Covering them with tin foil works well if your casserole pan does not have a cover that can be used in the oven).
  • Uncover and stir. At this point you can you can add the optional crumb topping if you wish by mixing the crumbs and melted butter together and sprinkling the mixture over top of the potatoes.
  • Continue heating, uncovered, for an additional 20 to 30 minutes to make sure the potatoes are completely heated through.

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    1. I haven’t personally tried freezing these potatoes, but I think it would be possible. After freezing, I would let them thaw for a couple of hours before reheating.