How To Freeze Mashed Potatoes Now For Thanksgiving

Recipe to make Thanksgiving mashed potatoes weeks ahead and store in freezerI’ve been busy making our Thanksgiving meal.

Yes, two weeks in advance.

For the last four or five years I’ve cooked almost everything (except the turkey) in advance and stored it in the freezer.

It makes Thanksgiving so much easier for me! I just transfer everything to the fridge the day before and reheat in the oven Thanksgiving afternoon.

The only things I prepare Thanksgiving day are the turkey and the deviled eggs.

Usually you can’t freeze potatoes. They get grainy and gross. The trick to freezable mashed potatoes is to coat every molecule of potato in luscious, full-fat dairy.

I imagine the dairy blanketing and protecting the fragile starches.

My usual mashed potatoes are made with Yukon Gold. I love the firmer, waxier texture because I like the potatoes a little rustic, and more smashed than whipped.

But for this recipe I used russet potatoes, which have a drier consistency and whip up light and fluffy.

So fluffy!

Since this recipe is for Thanksgiving, forget about the calorie count. Also, if you are going to freeze this, ALL DAIRY MUST BE FULL FAT.

I said full fat. Think of it as insulation.

For the potatoes, not you.



serves 12

5 pounds russet potatoes

8 ounces cream cheese

8 ounces sour cream

8 ounces butter, unsalted

1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Bring cream cheese, sour cream, and butter to room temperature (very important!)

Peel and cube potatoes and cook until tender in large pot of salted water. I put in a tablespoon or two of salt before I add the potatoes.

Use a little bit of the soft butter to grease a casserole dish. This dish should be able to go in the freezer and in the oven.

Once the dish is buttered, us a tablespoon or so of the grated Parm to dust the inside of the dish. Set aside.


When potatoes fall apart when you press on them, drain and return to pan on stove. Make sure stove is off now.

Add the cream cheese, sour cream, and all but one tablespoon of the butter.

Using a hand mixer, whip until smooth.


Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Put potatoes into casserole dish, sprinkle with the grated Parmesan and dot with the reserved tablespoon of butter.


Cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze.

(If you don’t want to freeze this, you can make it a day in advance and store it in the fridge.)

The day before Thanksgiving, transfer to refrigerator to thaw.

About an hour before dinner, set dish out to come to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove plastic wrap and bake for 30 minutes. Make sure the center is fully heated.

I turn the broiler on for five more minutes if it’s not browned enough.

I think this recipe is smooth and rich and perfect for the Thanksgiving table. I’ve made it for years and it is a much-anticipated part of our annual dinner.


You can’t have Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes!

If there are leftovers, I mix with a little cheese and egg and fry up potato pancakes on Friday or Saturday.

This recipe is from an old favorite cookbook, “Happy Holidays from the Diva of Do-Ahead” by Diane Phillips.

It’s a wonderful books for entire make-ahead meals for every holiday throughout the year, and I highly recommend it. It’s on Amazon for about ten dollars.

Next, make-ahead gravy! Get it done in advance almost completely so you don’t have to sweat it Turkey Day.

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  1. Drippings from a smoked turkey make awesome gravy. 😆

    Doing stuff like this ahead of time makes the day so much more enjoyable.

    Careful! You’re going to make me look bad!

  2. Fern says:

    We make the same…almost…we put 2 eggs in instead of sour cream. My family loves these…so do all our Mexican friends!

  3. Robin says:

    Here’s another endorsement for how well these potatoes turn out. Nobody can tell they were frozen. They’re perfect.

    One thing: That recipe makes 4 servings in my house – not 12. :mrgreen:

    • That’s more than a pound of potatoes each. Y’all are my kind of people!

  4. Oh, can’t wait to learn how to make gravy in advance! That’s the part I hate since everyone’s ready to eat and I’m making gravy and it takes forever!

    I will definitely be making these potatoes this year! Thanks!!

    • Gravy is like a magic trick when you do it right. Really, it’s more of a science experiment, but that’s like magic, right? 😉

  5. Margaret Hollingsworth says:

    I make a similar recipe. I’ve never done the parmesan part – that looks yummy! I add chopped chives (or green onions), garlic powder and sprinkle with paprika. So pretty and yummy.

    * I noted the Penzey’s black pepper in your photo. Best black pepper EVER!

    • It was hard for me to keep the garlic powder out of these, or some roasted, pureed garlic. Garlic makes everything good.

      Yes, Penzey’s pepper is the best and usually cheaper than what you can buy in the grocery store.

  6. Do you freeze it in the corning dish also? I am definitely doing this for Thanksgiving! I love the idea of make ahead sides!!!

    Any make ahead glazed carrot recipes? lol

    • Yes, right in the dish I’ll serve them in, although I have transferred them to another container.

      No glazed carrot recipes, though you can roast any root veg and store in the fridge a day or two.

  7. Sounds deadly and delicious 😀

  8. Just finished mine! I used one of those “use and throw away” casserole dishes that are made out of this weird paper (I got it at Costco in a six pack). Since it took 1/2 hour to prepare, over an hour to boil, then 1/2 hour to assemble, MAN am I glad I did it today and not next week when I’m trying to do so many other things! Looking forward to eating it.

  9. Gloria Patxot says:

    Ok I love this idea but have a couple of questions:
    1) my hubby (my biggest critic and one who needs to be happy most in my book – lol) hates parmesan cheese. Can I delete this?
    2) Can I substitute butter cooking spray in a my casserole dish instead of the butter and parm on the sides?
    3) you said this dish could be stored in fridge a day ahead – how about a couple of days ahead?

    Sorry to nit-pick but just want to make sure some minor detail doesn’t ruin this yummy sounding dish.


    • No trouble, Gloria! Yes, the Parm is totally optional.
      I don’t know about the butter cooking spray. I think it would work to reduce sticking, but the butter in the recipe itself helps preserve the texture of the potatoes if you freeze.
      With any food stored in the fridge, I would only consider it really safe for three days, so you’d want to consider that in the timing of serving for T-day and the leftover potential.
      Good luck! I’ve made these potatoes for years now and they are a real crowd-pleaser!

      • Gloria says:

        Sounds good Anne – thanks so much for your quick reply. I’ll probaby just go ahead and make this weekend and freeze them. Thanks again and have a happy T-day!

  10. Amy says:

    Totally making these — but WHY no garlic? I *want* to add some — I always do. Is there a reason? I have a make-ahead potatoes recipe that allows for a 3-day refrigeration, but I have time NOW. We LOVE garlic…whaddya think?

  11. Gloria Patxot says:

    Hey Anne – I made this today and it was so creamy almost like pudding!! I let my hubby like the pot clean – haha! Hey do I need to let it cool completely before freezing? So good to have one less thing to cook on T-day.

    Thanks again for an amazing recipe!

  12. Gloria says:

    I meant lick the pot clean – lol!

  13. Dawn says:

    You said you used to make this with Yukon Golds. Did you make it fresh or make-ahead like the recipe? I wasn’t clear on that and was hoping to do this with Yukon Golds. Thanks!

  14. I’m going to “test” this, this Thanksgiving. If I’m sitting on my porch the day after, then you konw why.

  15. I don’t even know the way I ended up right here, however I thought this post used to be good.
    I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a well-known blogger when you
    are not already. Cheers!

  16. Chris says:

    I have this book and have not been able to find it….Thanks so much. I have done this for a few years and I add garlic with no problem. I also use Yukon gold since I love them with garlic. Thanks for posting. Happy Cooking Everyone!

    • imnotasupermom says:

      Enjoy, Chris! This is one of my favorite recipes!


  1. […] This recipe is from Diane Philips’s cookbook, Happy Holidays from the Diva of Do-Ahead. It’s a great book, and the same place I got my make-ahead mashed potatoes recipe. […]

  2. […] friend, Anne, has a terrific make-ahead recipe for mashed potatoes that I used last year and plan to do the same this year. My only changes are to skip the parmesan […]

  3. […] I love several years ago. It has menus for make-ahead meals for every holiday. It taught me how to make ahead my mashed potatoes and my gravy, among other […]

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