Can You Freeze Mashed Potatoes When You Make (Way) Too Much?

Use these Test Kitchen tips to store and reheat mashed potatoes when you make too much or want to prep for holiday cooking.

When it comes to side dishes (especially around the holidays), you can't go wrong with a giant bowl of classic mashed potatoes to pass around the dinner table. But when you make too much or want to get a head start on the Thanksgiving menu, you might wonder: Do mashed potatoes freeze well? They absolutely do. Freezing mashed potatoes is a great way to plan for the holidays or avoid wasting any leftovers. Read on to learn how to freeze mashed potatoes for later. You'll also find the best way to reheat frozen mashed potatoes so they are still amazingly fluffy and creamy.

Garlic & Herb Mashed Potatoes
Marty Baldwin

How to Freeze Mashed Potatoes

When it comes to freezing mashed potatoes, any recipe will do the trick—as long as there's cream/milk and butter involved. The fat content in those creamy stir-ins is key to helping maintain the mashed potato flavor and texture you love. To freeze your favorite holiday side, place cooled mashed potatoes in a freezer-safe container ($8, Target), label it with the date, and pop it in the freezer. This method will also work perfectly to freeze mashed sweet potatoes.

How Long Do Frozen Mashed Potatoes Last?

According to the USDA, leftover frozen mashed potatoes will be good for up to two months in the freezer.

How to Reheat Frozen Mashed Potatoes

If time permits, our Test Kitchen recommends allowing frozen mashed potatoes to thaw in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. Once thawed, you can reheat them using one of the following methods:

  • Stove top: In a saucepan ($20, Target) over medium heat, stir mashed potatoes occasionally until heated through.
  • Microwave: In the microwave-safe bowl, covered, for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally until heated through. Depending on the power of your microwave, you might need to reduce or add time.
  • Slow cooker: Heat in slow cooker ($33, Walmart) on low for 2 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Oven: In a casserole dish at 350ºF for approximately 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Once reheated, your frozen mashed potatoes should be just like they were freshly made. If the mashed potatoes seem a bit dry or need more flavor, add a splash of cream and a couple of tablespoons of butter to taste. You can season with extra salt and pepper or give your frozen mashed potatoes a creamy upgrade with sour cream and bacon, roasted garlic, or lemon and herbs. Get in front of the holiday rush by making some of our other delicious make-ahead recipes.

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