Italian Mashed Potatoes: Light and creamy mashed potatoes with pancetta, roasted red peppers, Romano cheese, basil and garlic. Not a fan of gravy? Add something new to your holiday table—skip the gravy and serve mashed potatoes packed with delicious flavor! Get a jump on your Thanksgiving prep by making your mashed potatoes now, freezing them and then reheating on the big day. Scroll down to see how!
Why I love these Italian Mashed Potatoes
- FLAVOR! So much great flavor
- Easy ingredients
- The perfect every time base recipe for mashed potatoes
- Can be made ahead of time and frozen (more on that below)
- No gravy needed
Tips for making the perfect bowl of mashed potatoes
- Choose the right potato for the job.
- Salt the water. As the potatoes cook they will absorb the salt. If you salt at the beginning you won’t have to add as much salt at the end.
- Starting with cold water. If you start with hot water the potatoes will cook unevenly.
- Drain the potatoes well. Not draining your potatoes could result in mushy, watery potatoes.
- Pour potatoes back into the hot pot, add butter, place lid on the pot, wait 5 minutes and beat until creamy.
- Keep potatoes in the original (hot) pot until ready to serve and then transfer potatoes to your serving bowl.
Mixer vs. Masher vs. Ricer
WHAT TOOL DO I USE THE MOST? I use the masher more then I use a mixer. I’ve never used a ricer. There are two reasons for me grabbing my masher. One: Convenience, I don’t have to get my mixer out. Two (and the most important reason): My husband prefers chunky mashed potatoes. For this—The Best Holiday Mashed Potatoes recipe—I used a mixer and I really liked the texture. For this recipe I used my hand mixer, if you like creamy mashed potatoes then I would recommend using your hand mixer for this recipe.
How to Freeze and Reheat Mashed Potatoes
- Make the mashed potatoes as instructed (JUST PLAIN NO MIX INS).
- Cool completely
- Scoop into a large container with a tight fitting lid
- Freeze until Thanksgiving (well….a few days before to allow for defrosting)
- Take the potatoes out of the freezer at least two days before your dinner and place in the refrigerator to thaw
- Stovetop: Spoon thawed mashed potatoes in a large pot on low to medium low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Oven: Spoon mashed potatoes into a heat proof dish that has a lid. Place in a cold oven. Heat oven to 350°. Depending on the amount of potatoes and the shape of the dish (shallow or deep). The reheating time will vary. Allow 30 minutes to 1 hour. TIP: Stir after 30 minutes.
- Slow Cooker: Spoon thawed mashed potatoes into a slow cooker. Heat on low 2 to 4 hours. BEST METHOD..IT FREES UP THE STOVE AND OVEN!
- Microwave: Spoon mashed potatoes into a microwave safe container. Heat a total of 6 minutes at regular powder. Heat in increments of 2 minutes, stirring between each time.
- FINAL THOUGHTS: Once reheated, if the potatoes seem to be on the watery side, stir in some sour cream or cream cheese to give them a thicker creamier texture. If the potatoes are thick and chunky, add a couple of splashes of milk. Taste the potatoes and add more butter, salt and pepper is necessary.