Uncle Scott's Overnight Mashed Potato Casserole

Uncle Scott’s Overnight Mashed Potato Casserole

     It just doesn’t taste like Thanksgiving without this dish! Flavorful, creamy mashed potatoes with a tasty bread crumb topping are an indulgence I look forward to in the Fall. Since I live in a household of two, I don’t make big side dishes or casseroles unless I’m feeding a crowd. This year, we hosted our first “Friendsgiving” the weekend before Thanksgiving and had so much fun cooking for friends and enjoying the delicious dishes they shared with us! Dale brined and smoked a turkey breast and the rest of us filled in the meal with appetizers, side dishes, desserts and drinks. I made special place cards that prompted each of us to share what we were thankful for. It caused a lot of deep conversations, a few tears, lots of nodding in agreement and several “cheers!” with our glasses. Sharing a potluck meal with foodie friends who own restaurants or love to cook is the perfect recipe for a fun, delicious evening.
     
     Today’s recipe is inspired by my Uncle Scott’s dish. When I was growing up and we attended Thanksgiving meals at my Aunt Pamela’s home, I remember Uncle Scott always brought this dish and we all loved it. I always waited in anticipation to eat this casserole because it’s so delicious! He would shrug it off and tell me it was really a simple recipe. Still, he crushed it every single time and Mom and I had to have the recipe so we could enjoy it more than once per year. This overnight mashed potato casserole has become a symbol of Thanksgiving to me, second to family, gratitude and turkey, and it doesn’t taste like the holidays without it!
     
     Next time I’ll try and get some better pictures of this dish and I’ll update this post. It didn’t feel right to shoot photos for the blog during Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving, so instead I’ll share a couple of pictures from Friendsgiving.
Chumbley Friendsgiving 2016

Thankful for Chris - simple Friendsgiving place setting

Uncle Scott’s Overnight Mashed-Potato Casserole

Yields: 10-12 servings

Special note: For years I’ve boiled the potatoes in unsalted water, but the last few times I’ve made this, I boiled them in chicken broth to make the casserole feel a little more special. Another optional ingredient is cream cheese. For Friendsgiving, I had 4 oz of Philadelphia cream cheese so I added that to this, too. It was delicious, but not necessary in this simple dish. 

Ingredients:
        3 lb. peeled Russet potatoes
   1 ½ c. sour cream (full fat, not light or low fat)
        5 T. softened butter, divided
   1 ½ t. salt
      ¼ t. black pepper
      ¼ c. dry bread crumbs (I used gluten-free Panko style)

Directions:
  • Chop peeled potatoes into large cubes so they will mash better. Boil until tender in boiling salted water or chicken broth. Drain and place the cooked potatoes in a large bowl.
  • Add sour cream, 4 T. butter, salt & pepper. Beat the potato mixture with an electric mixer on a low setting until light and fluffy.
  • Pile lightly into a buttered 2-quart casserole dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
THE NEXT DAY:
  • Bake the potatoes (covered in foil) in a preheated 325° oven for 1 hour or until heated through.
  • Toss the breadcrumbs with the remaining 1 T. of melted butter.  Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the potatoes.  Continue baking, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Broil the top for a moment if the breadcrumbs don’t turn dark golden brown.
  • Serve and enjoy!
Tips from my Mom:
To make dried breadcrumbs you can whirl a slice of bread in the blender or food processor to make crumbs. Then dump onto a plate or pan  (spread out) and allow to air dry out for a few hours. Or you can microwave them to dry them out.  You can also take a piece of bread and leave it out on a cooling rack in the air overnight or so and it will get stiff and dry. Then you can toss it in the blender or food processor to grind into crumbs.
 
Margarine in a tub is usually soft enough to be “softened butter”.  Or you can slightly microwave it, but don’t melt it. If using real cube butter, you can leave it at room temperature for awhile to soften it up, or gently microwave it a bit on low heat.
Uncle Scott's Overnight Mashed Potato Casserole for Thanksgiving

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