There’s no denying that mashed potatoes are better served freshly prepared. Just think of the rich, creamy texture and the glorious freshly melted butter. It’s truly a carb-o-holic’s dream dish, and you’re probably drooling right now.
The deliciousness doesn’t even end there, because, unlike other styles of potatoes, mashed potatoes actually reheat super well. The trick is to find a cooking method that works best. Here’s the lowdown on each of these methods, as well as important information on how to properly store your leftovers.
The Shelf Life of Mashed Potatoes
When you’re considering the shelf life of mashed potatoes, remember that potatoes are just potatoes. They can be mashed, roasted, fried, baked or scalloped, but either way, their shelf life will be the same: three to five days.
This guideline, however, is only guaranteed if you store your mashed potatoes properly, which includes keeping them in the fridge within one to two hours of preparing the dish. Leave your potatoes out any longer than that, and you’ll need to throw them out since bacteria will grow (the dairy in mashed potatoes doesn’t do them any favors). You can tell if your mashed potatoes have gone bad if they have an off-smell or appearance.
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Use an Airtight Container or Resealable Plastic Bag
If you’re wondering if you can store mashed potatoes in the freezer, they actually freeze super well. Freeze them in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. By following a proper storage method, your mashed potatoes will last in the freezer for 10 to 12 months.
Ways to Reheat Mashed Potatoes
In the oven
If you have guests coming over and you want to entertain them while dinner cooks, use the oven to reheat your mashed potatoes.
Simply put them in an oven-safe casserole dish and cover it with either aluminum foil or a lid. Place them in an oven that’s heated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30‒40 minutes.
In the crockpot
If you have a crockpot, turn the heat on the crockpot to low and add cream and butter to your mashed potatoes to help them stay moist. Stir the mashed potatoes while they reheat to ensure they come out smooth. Serve when they’re hot enough and you're happy with the consistency.
In the microwave
If you’ve ever tried to reheat leftover fries in the microwave, then you’ve experienced how disappointing it can be. What were once nice, crispy fries have turned limp and mushy. Luckily, the same can’t be said for mashed potatoes; their different texture consistency makes them withstand the heat of a microwave. That means that the microwave oven is the best method to reheat mashed potatoes. It’s simple and extremely fast.
Simply add the mashed potatoes to a microwave-safe dish and cook them at half-power for about 5 minutes, making sure to stir them occasionally. Once they’re hot, stir them thoroughly again and add in milk and butter if necessary.
Whichever way you slice them, potatoes are delicious both at the moment and, when prepared mashed, the next day as leftovers.
Sarah is a multi-platform writer and editor. Her work has appeared in USA Today, Vital Proteins, Healthline, Diply, and more. When she's not writing, she's trying to keep up with her border collie, Emmy.