The Store-Bought Mashed Potatoes That Will Carry You Through The Holidays

Your guests will never know the difference from homemade. 

Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes Recipe
Photo: Southern Living

When it comes to the staple dishes of Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are those that don't allow for shortcuts. Turkeys must be brined and browned properly lest they taste like cardboard. Cornbread dressing really should start from scratch. And cranberry sauce worth its real estate on the table starts with fresh ingredients instead of a can.

But then there are mashed potatoes. While in the past we may have thought the best bowls of them first began by peeling a metric ton of spuds over a kitchen sink until one resembled the exhausted, unenthused figures of Vincent Van Gogh's "The Potato Eaters," we now know better.

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Today, by the grace of food science and American ingenuity, we have Ore-Ida developed their Steam n' Mash frozen potatoes. Around the holidays you will see us pillaging the local Publix and Piggly Wiggly stores for them in the frozen aisle. Why? Because all it takes to have an enticing bowl of mashed taters on the table supersized for a crowd is 10 minutes, ⅔ cup of milk, a few tablespoons of butter, and a dream of a stress-free supper.

Because the potatoes inside are already peeled and par-boiled, using the Steam n' Mash product eliminates the most time-consuming steps. Just pop one of the bags in the microwave for 10 minutes, let it sit (because the bag will be full of piping hot steam), mash in a serving bowl with whole milk (the best quality you can find since you aren't cooking or baking it), 2 or 3 tablespoons of butter (a salted one from pasture-raised cows is best), and boom. If you want to get creative and add a compound garlic butter or stir in minced chives, the ways you can personalize your potatoes are endless.

The best part? You can take the hours of your life you would otherwise spend peeling and prepping back. But the real question is, what will you do with them? If it's eating a few extra holiday cookies in a stairwell in sweet solitude, we won't tell.

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