Can you cook potatoes ahead of time for mashed potatoes?

In this brief article we are going to answer the question “can you cook potatoes ahead of time for mashed potatoes?”.

Yes, you can cook potatoes ahead of time for mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes can indeed be prepared almost entirely ahead of time. Prepare well almost everything – boil, peel, and mash the potatoes; whisk in the salt and milk – up to 2 days in advance. Reheat just before serving. By adding butter at the very end, they will taste freshly mashed.

When planning a large delicious meal, you want to prepare as much as possible in advance. No one enjoys rushing around fifteen minutes prior to dinner guests’ arrival, attempting to coordinate oven temperatures, final touches, and serving dishes.

Making preparations for the potatoes in advance

To save time when making mashed potatoes, place the peeled potatoes in a bowl of cold water in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight before boiling.

To make storage even easier, peeled potatoes can be kept refrigerated for several days in water-filled zip bags.

Rather than leaving peeled potatoes exposed to the air, submerging them in water prevents them from reacting with oxygen (the reason for browning). You don’t have to brown potatoes unless you want your side dishes to look like sepia photographs; it does not affect their quality or nutritional value.

Another strategy that avoids the entire issue is as follows: Using a potato ricer, mash the boiled potatoes with the skins still attached. Peels will remain in the hopper as if by magic. Additionally, you’ll retain less humidity, which results in superior mashed potatoes.

Potatoes to be mashed in advance

A few cooks go one step even further and mash potatoes beforehand up to a day in advance, and heat again in the microwave or oven.

Indeed, heated up in the oven with a little additional butter, your fav carbohydrate side dish may taste so much more delicious the next day. Alternatively, you can add a generous dollop of half-and-half, butter, and ricotta to prevent the pre-mashed potatoes from becoming dry. Cream cheese is another delectable addition for fans of ultra-rich flavor.

Is it possible for the potatoes to be peeled in advance?

Potatoes can be peeled ahead of time. However, you’ll like to take a few additional precautions to avoid discoloration of your potatoes.

It’s time for a small dose of science. An enzyme in potato flesh reacts with the atmosphere, and as soon as the skin is peeled, it begins to turn pinkish-black like a bruise. While eating discolored potatoes is not harmful, they are not the most appealing. 

So if you’ve just peeled potatoes and then get busy with some other work in the kitchen, they won’t immediately turn an unappetizing shade of brown. It will require almost an hour to get noticeable discoloration  However, let us return to the issue of peeling them a day in advance. 

After the potatoes are peeled, place them in a bowl of water until completely submerged, and then refrigerate the bowl of water and potatoes.  Water will isolate the potatoes from the atmosphere, preventing the chemical reaction from occurring. Pretty astute.

Make sure you don’t keep the potato in water for more than a day, or they’ll soak up the water and get soft. In keeping with the mushiness theme, you’ll want to keep them as a whole. Avoid chopping or shredding them and depositing potatoes in water for a whole day. As they are cut up, the surface area available to absorb water increases, and they become soggy with water more quickly.

How should peeled potatoes be stored properly?

Peeled potatoes can be stored in water in the fridge for approximately 24 hours. Soak and refrigerate peeled potatoes instead of leaving them out in the open at room temperature, even if they’re covered in plastic wrap or foil or placed on a fridge shelf. 

Potatoes, cubed, and peeled, can be left in water overnight but must be kept in the fridge. To ensure that the potatoes cook around the same rate during boiling, cut them into 1 and a half-inch chunks.


In this brief article, we have answered the question “can you cook potatoes ahead of time for mashed potatoes?”.


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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.