The Best Way to Freeze and Reheat Mashed Potatoes

updated Oct 18, 2023
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When it comes to crowd-pleasing comfort food, especially amongst Thanksgiving sides, there’s no question that mashed potatoes are an absolute must. Another thing to love about this dish? It’s easier to make ahead than you might think. But — you may be thinking — can you freeze mashed potatoes? Why yes. Yes you can.

You can freeze mashed potatoes made with plenty of butter and cream, and then reheat them on the big day using one of four methods. Here’s how to ace the time management portion of prepping your thanksgiving dinner.

Quick Overview

Can You Freeze Mashed Potatoes? Yes!

In fact, mashed potatoes are of the most freezer-friendly potato preparations out there. The key is to coat your potatoes with plenty of butter and cream. The fat from the dairy will protect the potatoes in the freezer and help them retain their flavor. This dairy duo ensures that your potatoes not only freeze well, but also reheat creamy and flavorful. 

Unfortunately, if you make mashed potatoes with only broth, they likely won’t hold up very well. So, we recommend using butter and cream if you plan to freeze.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

The Best Way to Freeze Mashed Potatoes

Cook your mashed potatoes as you normally would, making sure to include plenty of cream and butter. Once the potatoes are completely cooled, use one of two easy methods to freeze them:

How to Freeze Mashed Potatoes: Portioning Them

  • Scoop one-cup mounds of the mashed potatoes onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Then, transfer to the freezer for at least a few hours up to overnight, until the mashed potatoes are completely frozen.
  • Transfer the individual servings to a large freezer bag or container, and store in the freezer until Thanksgiving.

How to Freeze Mashed Potatoes: Freezing Them All Together

If you prefer not to portion the potatoes, here’s what to do:

  • Transfer all of the cooled mash to a large freezer bag or food container.
  • Either let it thaw in the refrigerator ahead of time or store it in a way that’ll make it easy to reheat them from frozen.
  • To reheat, the reserved mashed potatoes will need to fit in a large pot, baking dish, slow cooker, or microwave-safe dish.
Credit: Joe Lingeman

How Long Do Mashed Potatoes Last in the Freezer?

Mashed potatoes last up to one month in the freezer. After that, their liquid and solid components separate, and they unfortunately won’t regain their creamy, pillowy consistency when reheated.

How Long Do Mashed Potatoes Last in the Fridge?

According to the USDA, cooked potatoes can last 3-4 days in the fridge. This is important to note if you plan on de-thawing the mashed potatoes before you reheat.

How Do You Reheat Frozen Mashed Potatoes?

You can reheat mashed potatoes on the stovetop, in the oven, in a slow cooker, or even in the microwave. The best method is whichever works best with your schedule.

The mashed potatoes may be a bit watery when you reheat them, so it’s a good idea to add in some sour cream or cheese to thicken it up right before serving.

Stovetop Method

  • Reheat the potatoes, thawed or straight from the freezer, in a large pot, over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally. (Alternatively, to avoid over-stirring and a gluey texture, you can put the potatoes in a bowl above a pot of simmering water for a gentler heat.)
  • Once heated through, add additional seasoning and butter, as needed.

Oven Method

  • Put the potatoes in a covered oven-safe dish.
  • Reheat the potatoes, thawed or straight from the freezer, in the oven at 350°F for about 30 minutes (or until the potatoes are completely heated through).

Slow Cooker Method

  • Thaw the mashed potatoes in the refrigerator.
  • Add the potatoes to the slow cooker and heat on low for 2 to 4 hours.

Microwave Method

  • Add the potatoes to a covered microwave-safe dish (it’s best to thaw them in the fridge before heating).
  • Heat them in the microwave at half-power for five minutes, stirring halfway through. Note: This time may vary based on the amount of potatoes to be cooked, and microwaves can also vary.
  • Once cooked through, stir well, and add additional seasoning and butter, as needed.

Final Fixes

Once reheated, if the potatoes seem to be on the watery side, stir in some sour cream or cream cheese to give them a thicker, creamier consistency. Taste the potatoes, and add more butter, cream, and seasoning as necessary.

The Best Mashed Potato Recipes

Because mashed potatoes are so popular, there are countless ways to prepare them. Here are some of our favorite mashed potato recipes: