Saving Time Making Mashed Potatoes

make ahead mashed potato tip

Today’s kitchen tip is such an easy tip, but it will save you so much time in the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day. This is a tip I learned from a friend at church quite a few years ago.

This friend makes that best mashed potatoes. She brings a large bowl of them to almost every church dinner and they are always a hit. One Sunday I asked her how she managed to make up such a large pot of mashed potatoes all the time to bring to potluck dinners.  She answered by saying that she did most of the work ahead of time.

She told me that she did all the peeling and cutting ahead. She then put them in a pot and covered them in water and left them to sit in the fridge until she was ready to use them. Then when she was ready to cook them, she set them on the stove, heated them up, and cooked and mashed them.


By doing the time consuming part of peeling and cutting the potatoes ahead of time, she saves a lot of time the day she needs them. And by covering them completely in water, she keeps them from turning brown. I loved this idea, because peeling potatoes is not my favorite job to do, especially in the middle of trying to prepare a meal like Thanksgiving dinner.

I also love this because it is an easy job to give the kids ahead of time. They can easily peel and even help cut the potatoes the day before or the morning of the day you need them. You can cover them in water and cook and mash when needed.

I have used this tip many times now and it saves me so much time during the holidays, and during those times where I need a large batch of mashed potatoes.

It is simple tips like this that make holiday dinners so much easier.


Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. I wonder if the water bath also changes and improves the texture?

  2. Sandra C in Moulton, AL says:

    I do this alot since I can’t hold out to do very much at a time. I do them the day before and put them in an airtight bowl with water. I haven’t noticed any change in the taste. I use mine in chicken stew also.

  3. We do this every year! And best of all, if the fridge is overcrowded, you can typically sit the pot in the garage or under a covered porch (if it’s not TOO cold). Works great!

  4. My mom does this, but I had forgotten. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. Hi!
    Thanks for the tip! I heard of covering them with milk and now water. I would prefer the water.
    Do you think 2 days in the fridge(in water) is too long?

  6. I’ve been doing this for years. My mom taught me this trick, well I watched her do it for years, so it’s always been a nice helpful tool. I’ll be having my kids do it in the morning since I don’t have much room in the fridge sadly, otherwise it’d be done tonight! Happy Thanksgiving.

  7. I always make my mashed potatoes the night before. Mash with cream cheese & sour cream and then cook for a few hours on low in the crockpot (lined), so that they are no fuss the day of Thanksgiving.

    • Cindy Auler says:

      Me too! I store them in the crock from the crockpot overnight in the fridge, then I start them warming when I put the turkey in the oven. No mashing on Turkey Day!

  8. I’ve always covered mine in ice water, good to know I don’t need to waste the ice.

  9. thanks for that time saving tip! Why didn’t I think of that?
    I was thinking to save energy, I’d pour out the cold water, and then pour room temp water in so it doesn’t take as long to heat up.

  10. Sherry Cull says:

    That sounds like a great idea to save time at the busy holiday event!
    My dad use to do that same thing with turnips and they turned out great!
    Thanks for sharing!

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