Joanne Fluke’s Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Every time I serve Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes at a holiday dinner, I get requests for the recipe. It’s really easy, especially if you use the frozen chunks of potatoes that you can cook in the microwave. That eliminates the step that is the most time-consuming in the recipe, peeling, cutting up, and boiling the raw potatoes.

Here’s the recipe:


Edna Ferguson contributed this recipe. She says every new bride should be presented with it, right along with her wedding ring.

Approximately 8 pounds potatoes, peeled
3 packages (8-ounces each) cream cheese
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup dried, chopped onions
1 stick cold butter
parsley and/or paprika to garnish
A packet of dry instant mashed potatoes (just in case you need them)
more cream or milk (just in case you need it)

Boil the potatoes in salted water until they’re tender enough to mash. Drain them. Soften the cream cheese in a bowl in the microwave. Then mash the potatoes with the cream cheese and the cream. (A hand masher works just fine – Edna says you want a few small chunks so people can tell they’re homemade.)

Mix in salt and pepper to taste. Mix in any other seasonings you’d like (garlic powder, onion powder, etc.) Add a cup of dried onions and mix them in.

Spray the inside of a 5-quart slow cooker with Pam or other non-stick cooking spray. Spoon in the potatoes. Garnish with parsley or paprika. Cut the stick of butter into eight pieces and press the pieces down a little on top of the potatoes. Put the cover on the crock-pot. You’re all done.
Plug in the slow cooker and set it on LOW. Cook for a minimum of 4 hours, but as long as 5 or 6 hours. Check a half hour before serving to see if they’re the right consistency. If there’s too much liquid, sprinkle in some instant mashed potatoes and stir them in. If there isn’t enough liquid, add more cream and stir it in. When the potatoes are perfect, you can add a little cholesterol by cutting another stick of butter into chucks and putting them on top, if you wish. Even if you don’t, the potatoes will be delicious when you serve them. (I put mine up around noon for an evening dinner.)

Edna says that if you don’t have a slow cooker and you’re too cheap to buy one to make your life easier, you can put these in a pan, cover them tightly with two layers of foil, and heat them in a 300 degree F. oven for 3 hours. She also says to tell you that they’ll hold in the oven for another hour if your guests are late.

Joanne Flukes Lake Eden Cookbook MM mech.indd