Thanksgiving Mashed Potato Casserole
The holiday season has one very special gift, can you guess what it is? Oh darn, we can’t keep a secret inside for too long, we’ll tell you! It’s the gift of sharing great food with great people! There are endless possibilities when it comes to whipping up the be best homemade meal, but this Thanksgiving Mashed Potato Casserole is a definite must-have!
Outside of the undeniably jaw-dropping meals is the fact that it has the ability to bring all of the family together, regardless of how far apart you are! Whether it be the one uncle that’s forgotten that you age at the same rate as everyone else and thinks you’ve been somewhere between the ages of 8 – 10 years old for the past 20+ years, the grandpa that’s swiftly removed himself from all conversation to take a long nap on the couch, both before & after dinner, or the young members of the family who were too young to remember that you’ve spent countless hours pinching their cheeks, telling them how tall they’ve gotten, which could be met with either eye rolling or a profound sense of pride. Whoever it may be, you can always be certain that in the end, it’s time well-spent – and with any luck, this Thanksgiving mashed potato casserole won’t have eyes rolling, only have mouths watering!
What you’ll need:
1 c. whole milk
6 sprigs thyme
2 dried bay leaves
6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, divided, plus more for pan
Freshly ground black pepper
4 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 c. finely grated Parmesan (about 2 oz.), divided
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
1 c. panko bread crumbs
Sliced chives, for serving
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What you’ll need to do:
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring milk, thyme, bay leaves, 4 tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish with butter.
In a large pot, combine potatoes and garlic. Cover with at least 2″ water; season with 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil and cook until fork-tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Reserve 3/4 cup cooking liquid, then drain. Return potatoes and garlic to pot and mash with a potato masher until smooth.
Meanwhile, return infused milk to a bare simmer over medium heat; discard thyme and bay leaves. Add cream cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan and stir until smooth and melted. Add mashed potatoes along with eggs. If needed, gradually add reserved cooking liquid until consistency is thick but spreadable; season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to prepared dish.
In a small skillet over medium heat, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Cook, swirling pan, until butter begins to brown and smell nutty, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in panko and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over mashed potato mixture. Cover the pan with foil.
Bake the casserole for 10 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until hot and topping is golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Top with chives.