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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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
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. 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 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. They can be 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.
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.
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