My secret trick for hosting Thanksgiving successfully? Make the mashed potatoes early on Wednesday! Since we always have a large group of potato-lovers at our Thanksgiving celebration, peeling, cooking, and mashing potatoes (10+ pounds) is a time-consuming task.
With this casserole, getting the potatoes off the Thursday to-do list is not only possible, but it’s really delicious too. The cream cheese, sour cream, milk and butter keep the potatoes light and fluffy overnight. They add great flavor too.
I use yellow potatoes for my casserole, but any baking potato would also work well.
On Thursday I just pop them into the oven and heat them up in time for dinner. The trickiest part might be planning the oven time/space. We usually fry the turkey, so I have plenty of oven space at my house.
The potatoes can be ready and hot when the rest of the meal is ready without any additional effort during Thanksgiving crunch time. Your focus can be on the turkey, gravy and other sides.
This has been a winning tradition for many years at our house and even many mashed-potato snobs have become big fans! Try it out and let us know how it goes.
This recipe can be made up to 1 full day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.
Fluffy Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
5 lb Potatoes
8 oz Cream Cheese, cut into chunks
1 c Sour Cream
1/2 c Milk
4 T Butter
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
Chopped Fresh Chives or Parsley, optional
Fill a large pot (at least 5 quarts) halfway with cold water. Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks 1.5-inch square, dropping them into the pot as you go.
Add more cold water to cover the potatoes by 1-2 inches. Stir in enough salt so that the water has a mildly salty taste.
Cover tightly and bring to a full boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and set the lid askew. Continue cooking at a moderate boil for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender when pierced by a sharp knife.
Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.
Add the cream cheese to the potatoes. Mix with a hand mixer until the cream cheese has melted in.
Beat in the sour cream, butter and milk. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer potato mixture to a buttered 9 x 13 baking dish. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Bake the covered casserole until the potatoes are heated through, about 30-40 minutes.
Sprinkle top with chives and parsley, if using, and serve hot.