Make Ahead

Silver Palate's Thanksgiving Potatoes

September 29, 2021
14 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso's mashed potatoes have a cult following, though it's unclear whether this is due to their ease, their make-ahead friendliness, or the three kinds of dairy (butter, sour cream, and cream cheese). Adapted slightly from Silver Palate Cookbook (Workman Publishing Company, 2007) —Food52

Test Kitchen Notes

There's nothing like a tried-and-true mashed potatoes recipe, especially when the holidays roll around and you find yourself hosting or having to bring over a dish. Yet another star on the Thanksgiving table, you better be sure that this classic yet comforting side dish is a guest-favorite. No better vessel to soak up all of that gravy, after all! This recipe, which features not only butter, but cream cheese and sour cream, will result in the creamiest, most luxuriously textured potatoes you'll ever make and taste. You and your guests won't be able to get enough. And you don't need any fancy equipment either, plus you can make them ahead of time. They just need to be reheated for 20 minutes before serving, but you can do all of the hard work well before dinnertime.

Probably the most time-consuming thing you'll have to do is finely chop the potatoes, but chopping them significantly decreases the cook time and will result that they all cook evenly. You can mix the potatoes with the butter, cream cheese, and sour cream by hand, but we found that using an electric mixer gives you the smoothest results. You can also use a ricer if you have one handy. And if you find that the potatoes are a little too thick for your liking, you can drizzle in some cream, milk, or more melted butter. You can also adjust the seasonings, but we find that this simple preparation with minimal ingredients is the way to go when it comes to go-to mashed potatoes. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Silver Palate's Thanksgiving Potatoes
  • 9 large baking potatoes (about 5 pounds), peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes, until fork-tender. Drain.
  2. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl. Cut the butter and cream cheese into small pieces and add to the potatoes. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the potatoes until light and fluffy. Beat in the sour cream and nutmeg; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Serve immediately or reheat in a buttered casserole dish at 300°F for 20 minutes, until heated through, if you want to prepare in advance.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • DelicateFlowah
  • Sue Inger Bakalor
    Sue Inger Bakalor
  • Claire S
    Claire S
  • Taylor Stanton
    Taylor Stanton
  • jennawilk

11 Reviews

DelicateFlowah November 24, 2022
I’ve been making these for quite a few years. I’ll use crème fraîche if I’m feeling extra fancy. I also make these in the morning and put them in my slow cooker, which I’ve pre-heated on high, then turn it to low or warm, stirring occasionally. About an hour before serving, I’ll dollop with salted butter so those pools are evident.
This method transports well. I’ll wrap the whole unit in an old towel and put in a box. They stay hot and I don’t need to take up oven space in the host’s kitchen. There are never leftovers.
rob November 6, 2021
Been makin' these for many years. I make them the day before. Reheat, covered, in a water bath, similar to baking a cheesecake, at 325°F for 50 minutes. I melt 3 to 4 Tbsp of salted butter, and pour that on, return to the oven for 10 more minutes, uncovered, top them with parsley as they come out, and straight to the table.

Talk about delicious, and way too easy. All the mess, fuss and clean up is done the day before.
NWLA December 15, 2019
We have been following this recipe for many years - every single guest has loved it. And being able to make the potatoes ahead of time is fantastic. We've had success in heating these up in our slow cooker. Highly recommended.
Sue I. November 14, 2017
I found this exact recipe in a magazine more than thirty years ago. It was called ThanksgivingPotatoes. It is the only mashed potatoes my family makes!!! We do not use a mixer!! We rice the potatoes.. avoids the gummy consistency!
Claire S. December 24, 2016
These are fantastic, although the consistency is a little like a thick glue. Thinning it out with heavy cream & butter worked wonders, although I'm going to ignore the calorie count for the day!
Taylor S. November 27, 2015
First off, I have no clue how many pounds of potatoes I used since I don't have a scale (bad, I know). So I used just a few tbsp. of butter, 8 oz. cream cheese, and about 3/4 c. sour cream. They had a really nice flavor although I think the texture was too stiff and dense for me. I would make these again but add milk next time alongside less cream cheese and sour cream.
Lynn November 24, 2015
How are these with turkey gravy Vs. traditional mashed potatoes?
sheila November 23, 2015
Oh yum! This looks perfect. Thanks for the timing tip!
jennawilk November 19, 2015
How far in advance can these be made?
Pam N. November 22, 2015
I've been making these for over 30 years and always make them a couple days ahead. Then the morning of, I dot the top with butter and put in the oven. they do take about an hour and a half at 375,m if all in one casserole as they are dense. Have tried freezing them and they don't freeze well.
Josee F. November 5, 2015
A friend gave me this cookbook 30 years ago and the one recipe I've made every year since then is this one. It is the best! Ever!