The Best Way to Freeze Potatoes So They Last for Months

published Sep 15, 2022
Ingredient Intelligence
How to Freeze Potatoes

Do your future self a favor and cut and freeze potatoes ahead so they're ready to go whenever you want them.

Makes1 lb frozen potatoes

Prep15 minutes

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whole potatoes on cutting board in bowl
Credit: Photo: Dane Tashima; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

Maybe you were overzealous on your last supermarket or farm-stand run. Or perhaps you’re doing your best to avoid food waste, or are eager to stretch your grocery dollar. No matter the reason, learning how to freeze potatoes and other produce is a great way to stock your larder for months of meals.

The best way to freeze potatoes is to cut and cook them first. Because potatoes are up to 80% water, parboiling helps them maintain their flavor and texture once frozen. Follow this step-by-step guide on how to freeze potatoes perfectly, whether you plan to serve them mashed, fried, roasted, or some other way you haven’t yet decided.  

Tips on How to Freeze Potatoes

  1. Start with fresh potatoes. While potatoes come in many different forms, there are some important signs to take note of when shopping for them. Good potatoes are firm and free of small, soft spots on the surface. Additionally, if they’ve started to wrinkle or smell moldy, the potatoes may be past their prime. Read this guide on how to buy and store potatoes for more helpful tips.
  2. Cut the potatoes. If you know how you’ll probably serve the frozen potatoes later, peel and cut them into whatever shape you’ll need for that dish. For instance, if you plan to make air fryer french fries with your frozen potatoes, peel them (if desired), and cut them lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide planks. If you plan on using the potatoes for mashed potatoes or a shepherd’s pie, you can simply peel and cut them into 1-inch chunks, just how you would before boiling them. If you’re unsure how you’ll use your frozen potatoes, cut them into large-enough planks or cubes that you can reshape them down the road as needed, and leave on the skins unless you know you generally prefer your potatoes without.
  3. Parboil the potatoes. Bring a large pot of unsalted water to a boil. Add the prepared potatoes and cook until they’re starting to get tender but not yet falling apart, approximately 3 to 5 minutes for smaller cuts, and 4 to 7 minutes for larger pieces. The exact timing will depend on the size of your potato pieces. 
  4. Cool and dry the potatoes. Remove the potatoes from the boiling water and drop into an ice bath to immediately stop the cooking. Drain the potatoes in a colander, shaking to remove excess water.
  5. Freeze the potatoes on a sheet pan. Place the potatoes on a large baking sheet, spreading them so none touch, and slide into your freezer for 6 to 12 hours, or until each piece is frozen solid. 
  6. Store the potatoes. Pull the potato pieces off the sheet and pack into an airtight plastic bag or other airtight container. Your frozen potato pieces will last up to three months.
Credit: Photo: Dane Tashima; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

How to Use Frozen Potatoes

You can use your frozen potatoes in all sorts of ways, from hearty roasted dishes to crisp fries. The best way to cook or reheat them will depend on your recipe.

Roast potatoes straight from the freezer (although you might want to add a few extra minutes of cooking time) to make melting potatoes or Parmesan potatoes.

There’s no need to thaw if you’re frying. Put frozen potatoes right to work in patatas bravas, classic poutine or pommes frites

Additionally, it’s easy to freeze and reheat mashed potatoes. To reheat frozen mashed potatoes, you can either thaw them for two days in the refrigerator before reheating, or cook them straight from frozen on the stovetop or in a covered dish in the oven or microwave. Frozen mashed potatoes can be used to make leftover mashed potato pancakes, bubble and squeak, or croquettes.

How to Freeze Potatoes

Do your future self a favor and cut and freeze potatoes ahead so they're ready to go whenever you want them.

Prep time 15 minutes

Makes 1 lb frozen potatoes

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 lb

    fresh potatoes

Equipment

  • Chef’s knife

  • Peeler (optional)

  • Cutting board

  • 4-quart pot

  • Large bowl

  • Colander

  • Large baking sheet

  • Parchment paper

  • Large zip-top plastic bag

Instructions

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  1. Prepare the potatoes. Cut the potatoes into whatever shape you plan to use them down the road, and peel if desired.

  2. Parboil. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until they’re just fork-tender, approximately 3-5 minutes, depending on the size of your cuts.

  3. Cool in an ice bath. Remove the potatoes from heat and put them into an ice bath to stop the cooking.

  4. Drain. Drain the potatoes well in a colander or sieve, shaking it a few times to remove as much water as possible.

  5. Freeze. On a baking sheet, place the potatoes in one layer without touching. Slide the baking sheet into the freezer and freeze for 6-12 hours, or until the potato pieces are frozen hard.

  6. Seal and freeze. Remove the frozen pieces and place in a Ziploc bag, squeezing to remove as much excess air as possible. Return to the freezer.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The potatoes will keep for 3 months in the freezer.