Make holidays and even weeknight dinners easy on yourself with these make-ahead mashed potatoes. You can make them up to 2 days in advance.
Potatoes are my favorite vegetable. They are on every holiday table from Easter to Thanksgiving and Christmas plus many meals in between.
If you’ve never made mashed potatoes before they are relatively easy. The difficult part is to not add too much milk or cream.
For as long as I can remember my Mom used a ricer to make mashed potatoes. In fact, it was my grandmother’s ricer and now my brother has it.
A ricer truly makes the fluffiest potatoes. Using a handheld masher or mixer compresses the potatoes. I’ll never forget the day I heard Martha Stewart say the only way to make decent mashed potatoes was by using a ricer.
Something I knew all along. Even my husband, who had never even heard of a ricer before we got married, now believes it’s the best way to mash.
Tips for Making Mashed Potatoes:
- Cut the potatoes into even-sized cubes so they cook evenly.
- For the smoothest mashed potatoes, use a potato ricer. You can achieve this with a traditional masher but it’s more work.
- Always start potatoes in cold water. Put cubed potatoes in a pot and cover with an inch of cold water. Don’t drop them into boiling water because you will cook the outsides of the potatoes faster than the inside, leaving them unevenly cooked.
- Taste for proper seasoning. Don’t be afraid to add salt.
- Do not use your stand mixer. Over whipping the potatoes will develop the gluten and make them gluey. Many people will tell you otherwise but you must babysit them. Can using a mixer make good mashed potatoes? Yes but be very careful. Don’t walk away and watch them like a hawk.
There truly is a potato recipe for everyone and every occasion. If mashed potatoes aren’t your thing try these easy herbed hasselback potatoes or twice-baked potatoes, which, OK are KIND of like mashed. This recipe, along with the twice-baked potatoes have been adapted from The Pioneer Woman.
- 5 pounds russet potatoes
- 1 cup butter, plus more for the top of potatoes
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup to ¾ cups half-and-half
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Peel and cut the potatoes into about 3-inch cubes so they are all about the same size. Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 to 40 minutes until a sharp knife easily glides into the cubes.
- Drain the potatoes in a large colander. Dry the pot before mashing the potatoes. If you use a ricer, rice potatoes into Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape, before adding in all the other ingredients.
- Turn off the stove and add 1 ½ sticks of butter, the cream cheese, and ½ cup of half-and-half. If potatoes are still thick, gradually add more ½ and ½. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir well and place in a medium-sized baking dish. Throw a few pats of butter over the top of the potatoes. Just prior to serving, place them in a 350-degree oven and heat until butter is melted and potatoes are warmed through.
When making this dish a day or two in advance, take it out of the fridge about 2 to 3 hours before serving time. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until warmed through.
Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman
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