How to Make Ahead and Reheat Mashed Potatoes

How to Make Ahead and Reheat Mashed Potatoes

Learn how to reheat mashed potatoes after making them ahead of time. These make-ahead mashed potatoes are easy to make ahead of time and reheat and will be the most popular dish on your dinner table.

Easy to make ahead of time, these simple mashed potatoes will be the most popular dish on your dinner table.

Be sure to make plenty because you’re going to want enough to have leftover mashed potatoes.

This easy side dish is the ideal companion to roasted turkey, pot roast and holiday ham.

At our house, mashed potatoes are the star of the show every Thanksgiving and Christmas.

What you don’t eat can be stored in the fridge for the next day.

Cubed potatoes in a pot of water

My recipe for make-ahead mashed potatoes uses three simple ingredients including potatoes, a little butter and milk.

No sour cream.

No cream cheese.

There are many mashed potato recipes out there and plenty of reheating methods one could follow.

But for those spud lovers out there who just want a foolproof recipe, just follow the mashed potato recipe card below and read the tips ahead of time.

Can you make mashed potatoes ahead of time?

Like me, I’m sure you’re busy in the kitchen preparing everything else that must go on the holiday table.

And you know the expression, “Too many cooks in the kitchen.”

That’s why I will whip up a pot of mashed potatoes days ahead and finish them off just before the Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner.

That way I eliminate the mess, finishing the dish at the last minute and it makes for easy cleanup. Plus I maintain my sanity.

The trick is holding off on the butter until you are ready to serve.

Once you are ready to serve, it’s time for the creamiest potatoes.

Mashed potatoes being mashed

For best results follow my favorite method and these tips for making creamy potatoes

  • Stick with Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes.
  • Place your potatoes in cold salted water then bring to a boil.
  • Never leave boiled potatoes in the water. Drain them immediately.
  • Use a potato ricer or masher and don’t over mash.
  • The more fat in your milk or cream, the creamier your potatoes will be.
  • Warm the milk and butter before adding to the mashed potatoes.

Store the potatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for stove top or crockpot rewarming or in an oven safe baking dish for oven rewarming.

How to reheat mashed potatoes on the stove top

Place the cold potatoes in a large pot on the stove top on medium heat.

Melt the butter in the microwave or in a small saucepan.

Drizzle in the butter as you stir the potatoes from the bottom of the pan.

Once the potatoes have warmed, are easy to stir and light and creamy, transfer to a serving bowl.

How to reheat mashed potatoes on the slow cooker

Melt the butter first. Place the cold potatoes in the crockpot on low heat.

Reheat slowly adding the butter as you stir occasionally.

The reheating time takes a while to warm but is the easiest way to reheat potatoes.

Once the potatoes are warm throughout, give the potatoes a quick stir and they are ready to serve.

How to reheat mashed potatoes in the oven

Store the make ahead mashed potatoes in a even layer in baking dish so they can go right in the oven when rewarming.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. While the oven is warming melt the butter.

Add a splash of milk and the melted butter to the potatoes and bake until they are heated throughout to an oven temperature of 165 degrees, about 20 – 30 minutes.

Mashed potatoes in a white bowl.

Why are my Yukon Gold mashed potatoes gummy?

To prevent mashed potatoes from having a gluey texture, you must stay away from a blender, mixer or food processer.

Overworking the boiled potatoes will result in too much starch being released and will yield gummy and glue-like potatoes.

Use a potato masher or rice peeler instead and avoid repeated stirring.

More sides for Thanksgiving dinner

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How to make ahead and reheat mashed potatoes

Ali Randall
Learn how to reheat mashed potatoes after making them ahead of time. These make-ahead mashed potatoes are easy to make ahead of time and reheat and will be the most popular dish on your dinner table.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 8-10 Idaho Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 3/4 cup whole milk or heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup melted butter


  • Peel, rinse and chop the potatoes into small 1-inch cubes or chunks. Fill a large saucepan with cold water and season with a pinch with kosher salt.
  • Place the potatoes in the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Stir potatoes occasionally and pierce with a fork to test they are done. Drain the potatoes in a colander then return to the pot.
  • Heat the milk in a small saucepan or in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl. Next, add the hot milk before mashing the potatoes with a masher.
  • Transfer the potatoes to an airtight container or metal bowl covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  • Before serving, return the cold mashed potatoes to a pot over medium heat or slow cooker on low and add the melted butter.
  • Stir the potatoes occasionally to fluff and incorporate the butter. Keep warm until serving time.
  • Transfer the warm potatoes to glass bowl or serving dish and serve. Season with salt and black pepper.


  • Do not overcook the potatoes.
  • Leaving the boiled potatoes in the water will result in gummy potatoes.
  • Allow the potatoes to drain for a few minutes before returning to the pot.
  • Do not over mash the potatoes.
  • Using a mixer results in gooey potatoes.
  • Stick to a potato masher or ricer to create the creamiest potatoes.
This recipe was originally published December 4, 2017.
Keyword How to reheat mashed potatoes, Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Easy Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes | | Easy to make ahead of time, these simple mashed potatoes will be the most popular dish on your dinner table. #mashedpotatoes #thanksgiving

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12 thoughts on “How to Make Ahead and Reheat Mashed Potatoes”

  • This is such a great timesaving tip. I’ve only ever made mashed potato when I’m ready to eat it – but great to know holding off the butter until you’re ready to serve them means you can cook the potatoes ahead!

    • Any way I can save time in the kitchen during holidays I do. Holidays are a time for families and while kitchen time is fun, limited kitchen time is better. ?

  • What a time saver! I never thought of making the mashed potatoes ahead. That will free up my stove for other pots!

  • I am planning our family Thanksgiving meal now and plan on using this recipe to serve 16. I tend to be very detailed oriented in all things and need to know what total weight of potatoes is this recipe (milk and butter quantities) designed for. There is a huge variance in the weight and size of individual potatoes so are the milk and butter quantities stated for 8 to 10 potatoes actually 4 lbs., 5 lbs., or what?

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