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Leftover Mashed Potatoes? Here's How to Freeze and Reheat 'Em

With the right methods, these leftovers can be as lush and creamy as freshly mashed spuds.
By Published Dec. 15, 2021

What’s better than a heap of creamy, buttery mashed potatoes on the holiday table? Leftover creamy, buttery mashed potatoes that can be packed away in the freezer and zapped back to life in 5 minutes.

Thrift and convenience aside, freezing mashed potatoes is practical because the freezer can’t damage the spuds’ more than the mashing process already has. Their cells have been deliberately crushed, so the effects of freezing and thawing the mash (which causes water to expand and rupture cells in more intact vegetables) are moot. Freezing the potato starch, especially if the freezing process is slow, may cause it to retrograde  and turn gritty (which happens above freezing temperatures); but a thorough reheating will reverse retrogradation, and all that butter and dairy lubricates the starch and helps smooth out any residual graininess. And assuming you mashed moderate- to high-starch potatoes like russets or Yukon Golds that do a good job soaking up and retaining water, they won’t weep much once thawed.

To freeze the leftover mash:

1. Using a large ice-cream scoop or a measuring cup, place 1-cup portions of mashed potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then transfer the baking sheet to the freezer.

2. Once the potatoes are frozen, transfer them to a large zipper-lock bag and put them back in the freezer

To reheat the potatoes:

Place a portion in a microwave-safe bowl, cover, and microwave at 50 percent power for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they’re heated through.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.