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Cooking Tips

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.

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.

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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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