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These scrumptious Make-Ahead Garlic Mashed Potatoes Casserole is easy to make for a crowd or just for those busy weeknights when you want something special. They reheat wonderfully and are freezer friendly too! (yes!)
This garlic mashed potatoes recipe is easily one of the best out there! I first made it about a decade ago and it truly remains one of our family’s favorites. I’ve also been known to eat it by the spoonful just on it’s own (shhh! Don’t tell!)
It’s also great for when I need mashed potatoes for a crowd too because it makes a lot.
I originally found the recipe in a forum for the Cooking Among Friends forum, a companion to the book by the same name. That book inspired me to start my freezer meal exchange group!
You can check out my review of that book and some of my other favorite freezer cooking cookbooks here.
Why Does This Recipe Work So Well?
My family loves mashed potatoes and we love garlic mashed potatoes even more!
Who would have thought that you could not only make mashed potatoes ahead of time but that you could freeze and reheat them for later? Yes indeed you can!
I have made this recipe more times than I can count and every time I serve it, including for company, it is a huge hit!
What Ingredients are in Make-Ahead Garlic Mashed Potatoes?
For Garlic Herb Cheese Spread
Cream Cheese – I like to use store brand to save some money and I also choose the Neufchatel, or lower fat, version
Sour Cream – Again, I’ll use store brand here and I usually choose the light (not fat free) variety to cut back on some of the calories
Grated Parmesan Cheese – I like to buy our parmesan cheese in big blocks from the wholesale club and grate myself in my food processor then store in a labeled bag in the freezer so I always have some handy.
Garlic – you can use fresh or the jarred variety. I used to be only about using the fresh and use my favorite, easy to use garlic press. But more recently I’ve been using the jarred variety because it’s just so much easier!
Dried Parsley – Find this along with the chives, dill, thyme and ground black pepper in the herbs and spices aisle of the grocery store
Ground Black Pepper
Yukon Gold potatoes – Yukon Gold is a name brand but any golden potato will do. They’re creamy when mashed but like a mix between a russet and red potato as far as texture.
I also like that the skin is thin, so often I will not even peel the potatoes as they mostly blend right in.
Low Fat Milk – If you want a creamier casserole, use whatever type you like.
Here’s How You Make Garlic Mashed Potatoes Casserole
This casserole starts by making a garlic herb cheese spread which can actually be made up and frozen separately to use in all sorts of other ways if you like. We sometimes like to use it as a spread on sandwiches or even as a dip for vegetables.
Again, yes! You can freeze the spread AND it has cream cheese. Indeed, some will say you can’t freeze cream cheese but somehow this works. Really, all that needs to be done once it has thawed is to stir it so that any moisture that has separated is reincorporated.
What’s great about this easy garlic mashed potatoes casserole recipe is that it makes enough that you can serve one right away and freeze another to have on hand. I usually make it in a small casserole sized dish so that each will serve eight.
But it’s easy to divide up even further and freeze in smaller portions. I will sometimes use the small foil containers that have lids to make casserole to serve four which works great for our family.
If you’d like divide it up even more into individual servings, they would be great to portion out and freeze in Souper Cubes in one or two cup portions.
How to Make Ahead Garlic Mashed Potatoes
As I’ve mentioned already, this casserole
CAN be frozen!
There are a few extra things you can prep ahead of time as well. I like to cook the mashed potatoes in my pressure cooker. They are SO easy and it’s a lot quicker. You can also boil them in a large pot.
Once the potatoes are cooked, go ahead and mash them then store in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the casserole. You can do this up to three days in advance.
Additionally, the cream cheese mixture can also be made up to three days in advance and stored in the refrigerator also until ready to assemble.
Once you’ve assembled the casserole mixture (use a big bowl!) divide it up into the serving size that makes sense for you. As mentioned, the original recipe will make two 8-serving casseroles. If you will be baking right away, follow the instructions on the recipe card.
If you will be freezing one (or more) for later, keep reading.
How To Freeze Garlic Mashed Potatoes Casserole
Choose freezer safe containers. I will sometimes purchase disposable foil containers with lids at the dollar store. They also have them at the grocery store or online.
Other times I will line an 8x8 casserole dish of mine with foil then put my casserole mixture in. I cover it with more foil then label with name and date then put in the freezer until it’s solid. This will take about 24 hours.
After that, I will pop it out of the dish, flip it over and wrap the top layer of foil around the edges. It’s kind of like a giant popsicle of mashed potatoes! Since it was labeled before putting it in the freezer, it is good to go back in the freezer.
When I’m ready to make it, I simply place it back into the baking dish and let it thaw in the refrigerator until ready to bake. You can also cook it from frozen (see recipe card for instructions).
I’ve also frozen the casserole in a zip top bag—disposable or reusable like these. This is a bit trickier because sometimes it’s hard to get all of it out of the bag, but it works well enough that it’s a fine option.
You’ll just let it thaw in the refrigerator then empty the contents into a baking dish and bake according to the recipe instructions.
What To Serve With Garlic Mashed Potatoes Casserole
It makes a great side for just about any occasion and is definitely something I serve when company comes over. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
This recipe was originally published in December 2012 and updated in December 2016 with new photos. It was updated again in December 2019 with additional new photos, clarifications on the recipe card and more preparation tips.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes Casserole
Garlic & Herb Cheese Spread
- 16 ounces light cream cheese softened
- ½ cup light sour cream
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried chives
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
For Garlic Mashed Potatoes Casserole:
- 5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
- 2 cups garlic herb cheese spread recipe above
- 1¼ cup low-fat milk
For Cream Cheese Mixture
- In large bowl, use a mixer to combine all ingredients until smooth.
- Portion and freeze or follow assembly instructions below for casserole.
- Peel potatoes and cut into 2-inch chunks.
Potatoes: Stove-top Method
- Place cut potatoes in a 5 to 6 quart pan.
- Add water to cover, bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to low.
- Simmer until the potatoes are very tender about 20-25 minutes.
Potatoes: Pressure Cooker Method
- In a 6-quart pressure cooker, place trivet in bottom.
- Add one cup of water and then add cut potatoes.
- Set time to 5 minutes.
- Once potatoes are done, use quick release method to release steam.
With Cooked Potatoes, follow from here
- Drain and return potatoes to the pan.
- Mash potatoes with a potato masher until light and dry and smooth.
- Stir in herb cheese mixture and milk until smooth.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cool potatoes casserole to room temperature.
- Divide potatoes into tins and cover with foil. Or follow one of the methods described in the blog post.
- Label with recipe name and date. Freeze.
To Prepare Potatoes Casserole
- Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Or these may be baked from frozen.
- Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
- Bake thawed potatoes casserole for 40 minutes or 90 minutes if frozen.
- Remove foil from casserole dish then bake and additional 5-10 minutes until golden on top.
How to Make Ahead Garlic Mashed PotatoesAs I’ve mentioned in the blog post, this casserole CAN be frozen! There are a few extra things you can prep ahead of time as well. I like to cook the mashed potatoes in my pressure cooker. They are SO easy and it’s a lot quicker. You can also boil them in a large pot. Once the potatoes are cooked, go ahead and mash them then store in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the casserole. You can do this up to three days in advance. Additionally, the cream cheese mixture can also be made up to three days in advance and stored in the refrigerator also until ready to assemble. Once you’ve assembled the casserole mixture (use a big bowl!) divide it up into the serving size that makes sense for you. As mentioned, the original recipe will make two 8-serving casseroles. If you will be baking right away, follow the instructions on the recipe card. If you will be freezing one (or more) for later, keep reading.
How To Freeze Garlic Mashed Potatoes Casserole
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