Learn how to make this fabulous make-ahead mashed potato recipe and take the stress out of holiday meal prep. How many times have you witnessed the potatoes being mashed at the last minute before a holiday meal begins? It’s crazy, hot, sweaty work, and can easily be avoided. Can mashed potatoes be prepared in advance? How do you reheat mashed potatoes and make them creamy? What’s the best way to reheat mashed potatoes? Find out how with this super simple strategy.
Breaking Away from the Last Minute Frenzy
When I married into my husband’s large family, I had no idea they were on the lookout for someone to be the designated mashed-potato maker for their gatherings. When they found out I love to eat mashed potatoes, my fate was sealed. I envisioned a future of sweaty, last-minute potato-mashing sessions in order to keep the side dish hot when the meal was served. I was secretly dismayed, but my dismay turned to joy when I found a recipe for make ahead mashed potatoes in The Oregonian newspaper. Over the years, I’ve tweaked the recipe to suit my needs and made it even more convenient. For those of you who can relate to the last-minute potato-mashing frenzy of holiday meals, help is on the way!
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Ingredients for Crockpot Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
5 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered ( I often use the red potatoes and skip the peeling!)
6 ounces light cream cheese
1 cup light sour cream
2 teaspoons onion powder (I use garlic powder instead.)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 egg whites, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
Directions for Crockpot Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and mash using your favorite added ingredients. Some people add milk, some add chicken stock. I like to reserve the potato water and put in powdered, fat-free milk. When there are no remaining lumps, add cream cheese, sour cream, onion powder or garlic powder, salt, pepper and egg whites. Blend well.
Grease a 6-quart crock pot or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add potato mixture. Dot with butter or margarine. Cool slightly, cover and refrigerate up to 7 days.
Take the potatoes out of the refrigerator about 3 1/2 hours before you plan to serve them. Cook on low heat for 3 hours, stirring once or twice.
Crockpot Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
- 6-quart crock pot
- 5 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 6 ounces light cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder or onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
- Cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling water until tender, about 20 minutes.
- Drain and mash using your favorite added ingredients. Some people add milk, some add chicken stock. I like to reserve the potato water and put in powdered, fat-free milk.
- When there are no remaining lumps, add cream cheese, sour cream, onion powder or garlic powder, salt, pepper and egg whites. Blend well.
- Take the potatoes out of the refrigerator about 3 1/2 hours before you plan to serve them. Cook on low heat for 3 hours, stirring once or twice.
Common Questions About Crockpot Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
How long does it take to reheat mashed potatoes in a slow cooker? It takes about 3 hours on low. Sometimes you have to turn the heat down to warm so the edges don’t get too cooked. Stirring once or twice can help with this. Can you put mashed potatoes in a crockpot to keep them warm? If you try to keep regular mashed potatoes warm in a crockpot, they might not be smooth and creamy. With this easy crockpot mashed potatoes recipe, even after heating for 3 hours, they can be kept warm and held an additional 30 minutes or more.
Additional Tips For Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Alternately, you could put the potatoes in a greased 9-by-13-inch casserole and take out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, covered, 40 minutes or until steaming hot in the center.
I prefer the crock pot method, because when a holiday meal is being prepared, the oven is often already in use. Also, please don’t be put off by the fact that you have to separate eggs for this recipe. I have a handy little egg separator I use for this task, and it works like a charm.
Crockpot Make-Ahead Mashed Potato Variations
Looking for ways to give your crockpot make-ahead mashed potatoes a creative, unique twist? Here are some ideas:
Parmesan crockpot make-ahead mashed potatoes: Simply add a tablespoon or two of grated parmesan cheese and you’re set. Sprinkle in some Italian seasonings to take the flavor up a notch.
Garlic rosemary crockpot make-ahead mashed potatoes: Increase the garlic powder from two teaspoons to three, then add in a teaspoon or two of dried rosemary. Yum!
Cheddar bacon crockpot make-ahead mashed potatoes: Mix in half a cup of bacon pieces along with the cream cheese and sour cream when putting the potatoes together in the crockpot. During the last half hour the potatoes are cooking in the crockpot, sprinkle a half-cup of shredded cheddar cheese on top. Delicious!
If you have success with other variations, it would be fun to know about your experience. Feel free to let me know, and I’ll add the idea with a mention right here. I’m always open to new mashed potato combinations!
How do You Use Leftover Mashed Potatoes?
If you end up with quite a few leftover mashed potatoes from this crockpot mashed potatoes recipe, there are many ways to use them. One of my favorite ways is to use as a topping for shepherd’s pie or Leftover Turkey Pot Pie. Instead of serving Easy Cola Chicken over rice, serve it over mashed potatoes. There are many possibilities!
Other Holiday Recipes You Might Enjoy
If you are a fan of easy recipes, especially special ones for the holidays, here are some other ideas. Any seafood lovers in your crowd? Try serving this special side dish: Crowd-Pleasing Seafood Salad. If you need some ideas for using holiday leftovers, consider making Easy Curried Turkey , which is great for using up leftover turkey. Another terrific option is Leftover Turkey Pot Pie. Not into making a complicated crust for the top? No worries! There are many easy topping variations for this version of turkey pot pie (see previous paragraph). I’m into low-stress, no-fuss recipes, remember?
What’s Your Favorite Holiday Meal Shortcut?
Do you have a favorite holiday meal shortcut you would like to share? I’d be happy to learn about it, because I’m all about simplifying holiday meals so that time can be spent visiting with guests. It’s nice to be able to be a relaxed host.
Are You Now Craving Crockpot Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes?
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