I always love make-ahead dishes, especially when serving a big group. And especially when it's for something as delicious as mashed potatoes. Making mashed potatoes can be a bit time-consuming, so finding a way to make them ahead of time, and even a way to make ahead and freeze them several weeks ahead of time ... well, that is quite amazing.
For years I've made mashed potatoes ahead of serving day, by using this recipe ... click here. It works great to prepare the mashed potatoes a few days ahead of time and store in the refrigerator before baking, and we love this recipe. But this past month I came across a way to make them even a few weeks ahead of time, freeze, and then thaw and bake on serving day! The idea came from Jen Schmidt (beautyandbedlam.com), and I combined her recipe with a few other recipes I found.
We loved these mashed potatoes, served alongside our main dishes of ham, and creamy meatballs, with multiple sides, for our Family Christmas last month. It's a recipe that I'll use all through this calendar year, as well. Who doesn't love mashed potatoes?
(This original recipe came from Jen Schmidt (beautyandbedlam.com), and I made a few changes and additions, combining several recipes.)
Course: Side Dishes
- 10 pounds russet potatoes
- 2 sticks butter, melted
- 1 pint sour cream
- 2 8-oz pkgs cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup milk, warmed
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 1⁄2 tsp salt
- 1⁄2 tsp pepper
- Peel potatoes, cut into same-size pieces, and then boil the potatoes until a fork spears them easily.
- Mash potatoes with a potato masher.
- Add together in a 2-quart container: melted butter, sour cream, cream cheese, milk, and cheddar cheese.
- Cream together as you warm it all together in the microwave.
- Add the creamy mixture to the mashed potatoes; also adding salt & pepper.
- Mix together with the potato masher, or a spoon.
- Place in a buttered baking dish. (This recipe is enough to fill my large oval white baking dish plus a square baking dish.)
- Bake at 350 degrees, covered, for about half an hour, or more if needed.
To Bake Later
- Prepare and assemble up to two days in advance of serving; refrigerate.
- Let stand at room temperature before baking as directed.
To Freeze and Bake Later:
- Prepare as directed, then place in freezer bags. Freeze for up to six months. Make sure the bag or dish is airtight, to prevent freezer burn.
- (Note: I first put prepared mashed potatoes in the casserole dishes that I will bake them in later, then transfer to freezer bags that will hold the correct amount for the specified dish. This makes it easier on baking/serving day, as I simply empty the bag into the designated casserole dish.)
- Remove from freezer the day or night before, and thaw in refrigerator.
- Place in buttered dish, and bake as directed. (Pour out any water first, if it has collected during freezing. The consistency may appear to be watery, but it will turn to the correct consistency as it is baking.)
Some photos of the various steps of prep ...
Cream together in a microwaveable bowl: melted butter, sour cream, softened cream cheese, milk, and cheddar cheese. I like to heat up slightly in the microwave to cream it together well.
Add the creamed mixture to the mashed potatoes, either with a potato masher, or a spoon, also adding the salt and pepper.
Butter a baking dish, and add mashed potatoes. Either bake right away, or keep in refrigerator for a few days before baking. Or you can choose to freeze the mashed potatoes in bags and bake later (see recipe).
I like to freeze in bags and also mark which baking dishes they will be baked in at a later time.
This recipe is a life-saver for me ... and is so very delicious!