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Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

This easy recipe for make-ahead mashed potatoes will save your sanity when you're hosting a holiday meal, or if you just want to prep ahead of time for your weeknight dinner.


When I think about holidays of years' past, I always remember the last-minute mashed potato scramble. Nobody likes cold mashed potatoes, so they were usually the last thing my mom prepared before the meal was served... and it was stressful.

Thankfully, due to the lovely invention called the slow cooker, that scenario doesn't need to happen anymore.

A few years ago, I realized that you could make mashed potatoes hours ahead of when you planned to eat them, and they'd taste every bit as delicious when dinner was served. No last-minute chaos. Just pure, hot, fluffy, mashed potato heaven.

Serve these mashed potatoes with some turkey meatloaf or baked pork chops, or with dry-brined roast chicken and garlic roasted broccoli.

Make ahead mashed potatoes

Related recipe: Rosemary Ciabatta Stuffing

What kind of potatoes to use for mashed potatoes

One thing that's very important is using the right potatoes. I typically look for Yukon gold potatoes, but I've also had tremendous results from Baby Bella potatoes (which I found at Sam's club), which are super creamy.

Another thing that's important is making sure you've cooked the potatoes long enough. If they're even a tiny bit undercooked, you'll get lumps. Some people don't mind lumps (I'm one of them), but if you're aiming for super smooth and creamy mashed potatoes, don't undercook!

Make Ahead Mashed Potato Tips:

  1. You don't want to make the potatoes TOO far ahead or they will start to lose some of their fluffiness in the slow cooker. I'd say about 2-4 hours is ideal.
  2. Don't forget to add butter. Just spread a thin layer of butter around the bottom and sides of the slow cooker, and include a pat on the top before you put on the lid. This will prevent the potatoes from drying out.
  3. Serve the potatoes right in the slow cooker. Since everybody has seconds of mashed potatoes (right?) it makes sense to still keep them warm while you're eating dinner.
  4. If you have a slow cooker like mine, where the ceramic portion lifts out of the heating unit, you can place it directly on the table. Otherwise, place some of the mashed potatoes in a serving dish and leave the remaining potatoes inside the slow cooker so that everyone can have piping hot seconds that taste as good as the firsts.

Of course, mashed potatoes are not all created equal, so in addition to giving you my make ahead tips, I want to share my recipe for getting the fluffiest, yummiest mashed potatoes possible. Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Make ahead mashed potatoes stay warm in the slow cooker until you're ready to eat. They will be hot, fluffy, and delicious!
4.80 from 24 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 188kcal
Author: Kate


  • 10 medium potatoes yukon gold or similar creamy variety
  • 1 c half and half
  • 4 tablespoon butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • pepper


  • Peel potatoes and cut into similar sized pieces.
  • Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil on the stovetop and boil for approximately 40 minutes, or until potatoes are very soft when pierced with a fork.
  • Drain potatoes and place into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add half and half, butter, and salt, and blend with a hand mixer until creamy. (Since the starchiness of the potatoes may vary, you can continue adding half and half and butter in small amounts until the desired creaminess is reached.)
  • Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  • Transfer potatoes to a lightly buttered crockpot, top with a dollop of butter, and set to low. Stir occasionally until ready to serve.


Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 495mg | Potassium: 916mg | Fiber: 5g | Vitamin A: 195IU | Vitamin C: 24.5mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 6.9mg
4.80 from 24 votes (24 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating

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Tuesday 22nd of November 2022

Can you make these the day before and put in crock pot to warm up the next day


Monday 19th of December 2022

I haven't tried that, but that should work! You might maybe need to stir in a little bit more milk/water if they dry out a bit. Let me know how it works out!

Linda Thone

Thursday 3rd of December 2020

These were really nummy! This will be the way I make my mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving forever!! Thank you ?

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