Mashed potatoes are a popular side dish for good reason. They pair well with steak or ham and always find their way to Thanksgiving tables. Their creamy texture and warm buttery flavor work well with a host of seasonings. The silky texture can easily become pasty when reheated improperly; however, with careful cooking, you can ensure your potatoes stay fluffy and satisfying.
A simple way to reheat mashed potatoes is in a saucepan. A nonstick pan is the best to use, as the starchiness of the potatoes may cling to another type of pan. Spoon your leftover mashed potatoes into the nonstick pan. Place it on the stove and turn the stove to medium. Cook 8 to 10 minutes. Stir the potatoes every two minutes, to ensure even cooking. Stirring too often or too vigorously can cause the starch to break down into a sticky blob. Add heated milk or cream to the potatoes if they start getting thick.
Use a double broiler to prevent one section of the potatoes from overheating before another. Fill a pot with a cup or two of water. Place on the stove and turn the stove on medium until the water starts to boil. Turn the stove to medium low. Meanwhile, place your potatoes in a large glass bowl. The bottom of the bowl should be larger than the rim of the pot. Place the bowl onto the top of the pot. Stir the potatoes every few minutes as they heat. Remove the bowl once the potatoes have reached your desired temperature.
The quickest way to reheat is in the microwave, although it is the least thorough. Stir the potatoes, without beating them, to ensure even cooking. Place your potatoes in a microwavable bowl. Cook them on high for one minute. Stir the potatoes gently. Return to the microwave to cook for another minute on high. Stir again. Return to the microwave for a final time on high.
To create a crunchy topping on your potatoes, use the oven to reheat them. Spoon your potatoes into individual glass serving dishes, or spread them across a casserole dish. If you wish, you can make a shepherd’s pie of leftover meat or vegetables and spoon the potatoes over it. Sprinkle the potatoes with grated cheese, if desired. Turn on the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the dishes in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.