How to freeze and reheat mashed potatoes
Potatoes have always been a staple in my home. I believe they are a staple in many other homes as well. They are affordable delicious and quite versatile. I always say that potatoes never get the credit they really deserve, they should get more credit. They make every meal better.
I am a great potato lover. I love potatoes in literally any form, considering how versatile they are. For some reason, potato recipes are simple and easy to follow. You don’t have to be an experienced chef to make a great meal out of potatoes.
Potatoes also blend pretty well with a wide range of ingredients and as a result, you do not have to put in so much effort for them to taste super amazing.
Potatoes make a great dinner option as they are quite filling. So what happens when you have potatoes left over? Do you throw them out? Definitely not.
I see a lot of people asking ‘can you freeze and reheat mashed potatoes?’ You will be glad to know that you actually can. It is absolutely okay, safe and healthy to freeze and reheat potatoes. Potatoes are not on the list of foods you should not freeze or reheat.
Freezing mashed potatoes is a great make-ahead strategy to save time in the kitchen especially during the holiday season. Frozen mashed potatoes also come in very handy when you have to make a quick dinner.
The trick is in learning how to freeze them properly so that they stay creamy and flavorful. I always freeze my mashed potatoes so that I do not have to spend too much time in the kitchen preparing it when my family wants to have mashed potatoes.
It saves me a lot of time and effort as well. The best part is that they always taste amazing, so far I have not received any complaints whatsoever.
We all love hot, fluffy and creamy mashed potatoes. No one wants to eat mashed potatoes that are lumpy and partly cold. Knowing how to reheat mashed potatoes is a skill everyone ought to learn.
If your family is like mine, then you have no option but to know how to properly reheat mashed potatoes. Making leftover mashed potatoes taste like they were just whipped up takes practice, patience and probably a hack or two. Don’t get discouraged when they don’t turn out just right the first time. Try the process over and over until you perfect the art.
Reheated mashed potatoes are absolutely safe to consume. All you have to do is make sure the potatoes are reheated thoroughly so that all bacteria are eliminated. You would not want to end up with a stomach ache or even worse, food poisoning.
The good news is that when it comes to reheating mashed potatoes, you have various options. The choice of how to do it is entirely up to you. You can try the different methods of reheating mashed potatoes until you find one that works best for you and your family.
Personally, the stovetop method and the slow cooker have never let me down, especially when reheating mashed potatoes. The microwave is great for when I need to have food on the table in just a few minutes but I always try to avoid using it too much. The oven works perfectly when you have a lot of time to spare (which I don’t most of the time).
My family absolutely loves potatoes so I tend to make a lot of mashed potatoes during various occasions like thanksgiving. I always wondered whether I can make mashed potatoes ahead of time and reheat. You know how crazy thanksgiving can get. There is so much to do and a lot of food to be cooked.
Sometimes you can even run out of time. Before I figured it out, I had no idea on how to reheat mashed potatoes for thanksgiving. I did not even know how to properly freeze mashed potatoes. Well, thank God for the internet!
I did my research thoroughly and ended up learning way more than I thought I would. I believe it is safe to say I am pretty good at freezing and reheating mashed potatoes and I am more than willing to share the little knowledge I have with you.
I hope this article helps you solve some of the problems that come with freezing and reheating mashed potatoes.
Why do reheated potatoes taste bad?
Potatoes taste amazing when they have just been freshly cooked. The great aroma makes them irresistible. Whether roasted, fried or mashed, the great taste of freshly cooked potatoes is undeniable.
Unfortunately, cooked potatoes tend to have an off-flavor when reheated or eaten cold. It is immaterial whether you fry, roast, boil or mash them. They tend to have that distinctive taste. Simply put, they do not taste as good as they did when fresh.
This can be quite frustrating, especially if you are a great potato lover like me and have some potatoes leftover from lunch or dinner. I always want them to taste a certain way, the same way they tasted while fresh.
The reason why potatoes lose their appeal once they go cold is due to the fact that their texture changes. Potatoes are filled with starch. Scientifically, starches always test better when they are hydrated. When you cook potatoes, the starch in them gets hydrated.
For instance, when French fries are made in a fryer, water goes into the tiny crystal spheres of the potatoes and fills them up like balloons giving them the poofy texture that you like. However, when the fries cool down, water moves out of the spheres making them crystalline and gritty.
These make the French fries soggy and as a result, the taste becomes less appealing even after you reheat them. Additionally, the aroma is not the same as it was when freshly cooked. Scientists believe that food aroma plays a great role in making one enjoy the food he is eating.
Most people support the idea that potatoes should be eaten when they are still fresh and hot. Ideally, they should not be reheated. However, you can’t just throw food out because it would not taste the same if reheated. Instead, you look for ways that you can reheat and still maintain the great taste and flavor.
Additionally, it would not make sense to throw out leftovers after occasions like family get-togethers when you could eat them for lunch or dinner some other time. I am a great believer in not wasting food by throwing it out. I would rather find a creative way of making it edible again.
The good news is that there is an exception when it comes to mashed potatoes. For some reason, mashed potatoes can taste just as good, if not better when reheated. The trick is in choosing the right potatoes to mash, mashing the potatoes the right way and reheating using the right recipe.
You can freeze mashed potatoes for a long time and reheat them yet they will still be fluffy, creamy and full of flavor as long as you freeze and reheat them in the right way. No one will be able to tell that the mashed potatoes were made beforehand, frozen and then reheated. Everyone always gets shocked at family gatherings when I tell them the mashed potatoes I served were in fact frozen before so all I had to do was reheat.
How long can you freeze mashed potatoes?
Unlike other types of potatoes, mashed potatoes freeze pretty well. As long as your mashed potatoes are well coated with butter and cream, they are very freezer friendly.
Butter and cream make sure the potatoes freeze well and most importantly stay creamy and flavorful when reheated. Failing to properly coat your potatoes with cream and butter results in your potatoes not holding up well. That way when you reheat the mashed potatoes they become lumpy.
In order to properly freeze your mashed, first cook the potatoes the way you normally do. Add plenty of cream and butter because they will make the mashed potatoes freeze better. Let the potatoes cool down completely.
Always choose potatoes that are low in starch like red potatoes and Yuken gold. Potatoes that are high in starch become grainy when you thaw and reheat them thus they are not a great option when you are planning to freeze the mashed potatoes.
Choosing the right recipe for freezing also comes in handy when it comes to making mashed potatoes freeze easily. I figured that cream and butter are key if you want your potatoes to freeze properly. Recipes that rely on broth and oil tend to lose texture when you freeze them. Eventually, the texture will not be right when you reheat the mashed potatoes.
Once the mashed potatoes have cooled down after you mash them, you can freeze them using one of these two simple methods. For the first method, simply scoop one-cup portions of the mashed potatoes and place them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the sheet in the freezer until the potatoes are completely frozen. Once frozen, transfer the servings into a large freezer bag and store it in the freezer.
Alternatively, just transfer the whole of the cooled mashed potatoes into a freezer bag and store it in the freezer. The potatoes will still freeze properly even if you don’t divide them into portions.
Always freeze your mashed potatoes in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. This will ensure they stay fresh and last longer. Proper storage is the key to longer shelf life.
You can freeze your mashed potatoes for up to 6 months. I assure you they won’t get spoilt or taste weird, they will still taste amazing as long as you freeze them properly. Frozen mashed potatoes make for a healthy dish and they taste just as good as long as you reheat properly.
I make my mashed potatoes for occasions like thanksgiving a month or two in advance and freeze them. I still get very many compliments on how good it tastes.
Can you put mashed potatoes in the oven?
Yes, you can!
If you have about an hour till dinner, you can warm your mashed potatoes in the oven. Warming mashed potatoes in the oven will take much longer compared to any other method of reheating. However, it is quite simple and takes very little effort.
Mashed potatoes are a personal favorite. I always make more than enough so that I have some leftovers to reheat when the cravings kick in. Reheating mashed potatoes in the oven is pretty easy. The secret is adding two ingredients that will make them fluffy and most importantly taste as they have just been freshly made.
There is a theory that leftovers should be reheated the same way they were cooked. However, this is not the case when it comes to mashed potatoes. If you reheat them the same way you cooked them you are likely to end up with scorched gluey potatoes that don’t taste as yummy as they should.
Here is how you can reheat mashed potatoes in the oven.
- Mashed potatoes
- ½ cup of cream
- 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
- 8 by 8-inch baking dish
- Put your mashed potatoes in a baking dish. The baking dish will allow the mashed potatoes to heat in an even layer thus warming up faster and not drying out.
- Add cream and butter to your potatoes. This will help them stay creamy and fluffy.
- Cover the dish with a foil.
- Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and then preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your mashed potatoes in the oven.
- Let the mashed potatoes heat for 30-40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let it rest for about two minutes.
- Serve it hot and enjoy the mashed potatoes.
How to reheat mashed potatoes in the microwave.
A lot of people ask ‘can you reheat mashed potatoes in the microwave?’ You actually can! The good thing about mashed potatoes is that they reheat pretty well. The trick is finding a method that works best for you.
Warming food in the microwave is a great way to get food on the table in the shortest time possible. Reheating mashed potatoes in the microwave takes very little time. However, you have to make sure that your potatoes are heated all the way through before you serve it. You can ensure the potatoes are warmed all the way through by stirring it after every minute or so.
This method of reheating mashed potatoes only works well if you stored your mashed potatoes well to begin with. Not storing your leftover mashed potatoes well means that even when you reheat the results will not be good and they will not taste as good as they are supposed to.
Keep your mashed potatoes in the fridge or freezer within two hours of preparing them. If you leave them out for more than two hours, bacteria will grow on them and the mashed potatoes will most likely go bad. They will have an off appearance or taste. If consumed, the potatoes might even give you a stomach ache.
Reheating mashed potatoes in the microwave is a fast and convenient way to reheat your potatoes. I try not to use my microwave too much, but when I can’t avoid it or simply feel lazy, I still know the best way to reheat my mashed potatoes in the microwave so that they do not dry out. The trick is adding some cream to the milk and stirring constantly.
Here is how to reheat mashed potatoes in the microwave so that they turn out perfectly.
- Mashed potatoes
- ½ cup of cream
- 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter (optional)
- A microwave-safe dish dish
- Place your cold mashed potatoes in any microwave-safe dish.
- Stir in some cream into the mashed potatoes so that they stay moist as you reheat them and cover them.
- Place the mashed potatoes in the microwave and cook at half power for two to three minutes.
- Uncover the potatoes, stir and taste to see whether it has heated all the way through. If not, repeat the process until the potatoes reach your desired temperature.
- Remove the mashed potatoes from the microwave, serve and enjoy.
Best way to reheat mashed potatoes on the stove.
Reheating mashed potatoes on the stove is pretty simple and straightforward. You will only need pots and a burner.
You can use the stovetop method to also reheat frozen mashed potatoes. Simply let the potatoes thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat them using the method below.
If you are not sure of how to reheat mashed potatoes on a stovetop, this is the best way to do it.
Reheat your mashed potatoes on the stove by following these simple steps.
- Place a large deep pot on the stove and fill it approximately 1/3 way with water
- Bring the water to boil then reduce the heat and let it simmer.
- Put your cold mashed potatoes in a smaller pot.
- Submerge the smaller pot in the larger pot so that the hot water covers the sides of the smaller pot.
- Let the water simmer on low for a few minutes and stir your mashed potatoes until it is warmed all through.
- Add a splash of milk to your potatoes and stir.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Alternatively, you can use this method.
- Pour some cream in a pan on your stove and bring it to simmer. Start off with a little cream that is just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Once the cream simmers, pour in your mashed potatoes evenly onto the cream.
- Stir the potatoes until they reach your desired temperature. You can use a food thermometer to check the temperature of the potatoes. The temperature should at least be 165 degrees for it to be safe to eat.
- Remove your mashed potatoes from heat and serve it hot.
You can also reheat your mashed potatoes in a skillet. Just set your burner to medium heat and then grease your skillet with cooking oil. Once the oil is heated, scoop your mashed potatoes and place them on the skillet.
The oil will add some moisture to your potatoes. You can also add some cream so that they do not dry out. Flatten the potatoes on the pan so that they heat up faster. Stir and flatten them again frequently until they are heated all the way through.
Reheat mashed potatoes in slow cooker.
Reheating mashed potatoes is arguably the best way to reheat mashed potatoes. The reheating perfection of a slow cooker has something to do with how slowly it heats up the mashed potatoes.
It warms the mashed potatoes thoroughly and at the same time prevents it from becoming lumpy. Your mashed potatoes will look and taste as if they have just been freshly made.
Slow cookers are a real lifesaver when you want a meal you can fix and forget. They also come in handy when you need to reheat leftovers. There is no rush so it is obvious that your leftovers will be reheated exactly the way they should be.
Most people describe the slow cooker as the tried and true method of reheating mashed potatoes. The results are always close to perfection.
Here is how you can reheat mashed potatoes in a slow cooker. Just follow these simple steps.
- Add some cream and butter to your potatoes to keep them moist.
- Spread some butter in your slow cooker’s insert.
- Drizzle a small amount of cream in the insert.
- Transfer your mashed potatoes to the slow cooker and set it to low.
- Let it heat for four hours but make sure you stir the potatoes after every hour.
- Remove from the slow cooker and stir the potatoes.
- Serve hot and enjoy.