Besides turkey, Thanksgiving is all about carbs, and mashed potatoes are a requirement here. I know, I know, so is stuffing, but like I said: carbs. But mashed potatoes can be a significant part of Thanksgiving Day prep, and I’m always looking for ways to make that easier. This year I found these Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes, and I’m thrilled with the discovery. Anything I can do before the big day is always a help. These promise I’ll be able to pop them into the microwave to reheat with minimal fuss while I’m working on everything else this Thanksgiving. I like the sound of that!
By the way, these mashed potatoes are part of a Thanksgiving menu I have put together, complete with a schedule, grocery list, and equipment list. Read more about it starting with my turkey post where you can also download the menu with schedule and lists.
These creamy, buttery mashed potatoes with sour cream can be made up to 2 days in advance then reheated when you are ready to eat. The sour cream and butter give the mashed potatoes a rich flavor that goes with anything you serve.
I’m no potato expert, but I know some are better than others for mashing. This recipe gave me the choice between russet or Yukon Gold, and I chose the latter after reading the recipe notes.
The Yukon gold potatoes sounded most likely for success since russets can overcook easily, and they have thinner skins. I hate peeling potatoes, so I’m only going to peel some of them. The plan is to peel a few of the larger potatoes and not fuss with the smaller, more difficult to peel sizes.
I made the mashed potatoes two days ahead, so there was no rush or pressure. I have to say that everything went exactly according to plan and even took less time than I planned.
First up was a quick wash for the potatoes along with peeling the largest ones (about four of them). I really didn’t worry too much about completely removing the peel, either, since I was okay with a rustic look for the potatoes. Thanksgiving isn’t that formal around here.
After that, I cut them into large chunks then placed them into a large pot and onto the stove to boil. I used a 5-quart Dutch oven, and it just barely allowed me to cover the potatoes with water. A 6-quart pot would have been a more comfortable fit.
I had perfectly tender potatoes 20 minutes later, then I drained them and returned them to the pot for a minute to cook off any excess water. Then I was just a matter of some mashing and stirring since I had warmed the milk, melted the butter, and measured the sour cream while the potatoes were boiling.
One thing to note: I had warmed two cups of milk but only used a 1/2 cup. That and the sour cream and butter made very creamy mashed potatoes!
That phase took me 42 minutes. Then I transferred the mashed potatoes into a ceramic serving bowl and allowed them to cool while I cleaned up. I covered the bowl tightly with plastic wrap before refrigerating and crossed another item off my pre-Thanksgiving to-do list. ?
Reheating the Potatoes
The day-of, reheating my Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes went exactly as planned. I melted half a stick of butter, poured it over the potatoes, and popped them into my microwave.
I could have put the timer on for 15 minutes, but I was way too distracted to remember to stop it every 5 minutes. Instead, set the timer for 5 minutes, stirred, and repeated for a total of 15 minutes. This kept me on track, and I was able to work on other things without ruining the potatoes.