HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Can you freeze mashed potatoes?

I have lots of leftover mashed potatoes--half idaho, half yam, mashed together with butter and cream. Can I freeze them? If not, what can I do with them??

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Freeze them. No problem. I just froze mine. I freeze in single serving sizes.

    1. oooh, i do not agree with freezing these (and I am into freezing just about everything.) very unfortunately, frozen mashed potatoes taste unappealing after being frozen. you might consider making a pureed potato and leek soup, or just tossing them(they're cheap, after all). of course, you MIGHT like them after freezing; so you lose nothing by trying except taking up precious freezer space. suggestion: freeze 1/2 cup of them today; defrost and reheat tomorrow, and then you'll know what to do with the rest of them!

      1 Reply
      1. re: opinionatedchef

        That's a good idea to to a test run. I have frozen mashed potatoes a long time and don't seem to have that problem. But then again, I like Swanson's mashed potatoes in the tv dinners too. Do you microwave them? How are you re-heating after freezing? If you microwave until warm, stir and microwave another minute, all is well.

        Here's one of the many sites that discusses freezing mashed potatoes. They recommend re-heating in an oven, but I've never tried that.

      2. And, what would I freeze them in? Can I use ziplock baggies or tupperware containers? (Yes, I am new to freezing.)

        5 Replies
        1. re: ejpnyc

          I freeze large hotel-sized pans of mashed potatoes for thanksgiving each year (we don't have a lot of refridgerator space) and found that if you mix in an egg, you get great results...usually I do 4 eggs for 20 pounds, so you get the picture..i reheat the potatoes in the tin pan i put it in and have had excellent results. I'm sure you could do the same with single servings, though i'd rethink the ziplock bag, as I've tried that before and they landed up watery...you might want to try putting them into muffin tins as single servings, freezing them individually, then bagging them in a large zip lock.

          1. re: sixelagogo

            sixe, how did you come up with this egg thing? and what does it DO exactly? it would be so helpful in my business to be able to reuse the 'julia's garlic mashed pota.' that we serve so often; but we just toss them because we've hated the defrosted/reheated results in the past.

            1. re: opinionatedchef

              One of my thoughts was that the egg sort of emulsifies the potato, fat, and latent water content in such a way that when re-heated, there's not excessive seeping of water from the potatoes (what i'm assuming happens when you re-heat mashed potatoes)..
              I'm a highschool cooking teacher and host a GIANT (not to mention stressful) thanksgiving dinner for about 100 each year. For the dinner, I do about 60 pounds of mashers though have NO refridgerator space after i get my 5 birds in there. So I came up with this out of necessity. I used to put it in ziplock bags and microwave them, but the taste was off. Now I stick them into 6 inch hotel pans, cover with foil and throw it in the oven while frozen. Takes a while but they work.

            2. re: sixelagogo

              This is interesting. I have a lot of mashed potatoes left and just asked my mother how she makes her potato pancakes. She told me to add an egg to hold together of course, but I thought that seemed unusual. This is how I ended up on this thread to see if they freeze well. Thanks for all the advice.

            3. re: ejpnyc

              I use Rubbermaid containers or whatever plastic storage container is on sale. I wouldn't put them in bags.

            4. I would think mashed potatoes would freeze just OK, but not great, and probably would not last too long in there.

              Considering the cost of making them...
              Might be better to make something out of them over the next 4-5 days, then just make fresh ones anytime you want them.

              A trial run isn't a bad idea though.

              1. I freeze my herb mashed potatoes all the time. They will be watery when defrosted, so bake them in a shallow pan until the top is golden (water will have evaporated). They are delicious.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Funwithfood

                  Heating the frozen potatoes in a double boiler works well too - no lid over the potatoes so the steam evaporates.

                  Blending in a little sour cream/yogurt/buttermilk/add'l herbs also rejuvenates the flavor.

                  Wow, I wish I had more leftover mashed to freeze! My family ate nearly ten pounds this Thanksgiving. Yikes.

                2. I freeze mashed potatoes (both sweet and white/Irish) ALL the time. SWEET: We use a lot of sweet potatoes so when they are cheap during the holidays I boil them in their skins, cool them, slip off the skins, and mash a panful with a can of crushed pineapple. Freeze in sizes right for one meal. This is very quick and easy to do and if you have a sweet potato eater in your household you will bless the day you filled your freezer with them. WHITE/IRISH: Make mashed potatoes, freeze in dinner-size portions. WHAT IN: I save microwave-safe dishes from commercial foods, also I once bought a quantity of microwave dishes from a restaurant supply place. Cover with Saran, label, and put each unit in a plastic bag. I have also frozen mashed sweet potato in plastic freezer containers with a lid and just in plastic sandwich bags, double, taped shut. CONSISTENCY: Normal for the sweet potatoes. The mashed white potato is not quite as good as fresh but is extremely convenient and sometimes that's what counts; just bury it under a jar of gravy.

                  1. I freeze them, but then always just use them for shepherd's pie. I find the texture is off too but when I use them this way it doesn't really matter so much.

                    1. Mashed white potatoes taste ok if they're wrapped well. I have a small household, so I've frozen them in portions, using a portion control (ice cream) scoop, flat on a tray, then bagged as IQF portions. Don't keep them too long. Best defrost method for me is baked in a toaster oven on pan or foil with butter under the potato ball. The toaster browns them a little. Microwaving makes them watery and nasty; might be ok for bigger quantities you can stir, though. The egg mentioned before is a thickener and makes a stiffer product.

                      1. I tried using eggs in my mashed potatoes and it worked great. Thanks so much for the tip.

                        1. So this thread was originally started in 2006 - I'm wondering what folks thoughts are now. I recently tried the Alexia brand yukon gold with sea salt and loved it. They are frozen, in a bag. The ingredient list is all natural so I'm wondering what the secret is???

                          Here is the link for the ingredient list

                          Any suggestions - greatly appreciated. I loved mashed potatoes and the convenience of the frozen type but not the expense....


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: schoenick

                            I just tried freezing YUKON GOLD Mashed Potatoes. I made some to go with pot pies (great-ish highly rated recipe I found on another site via email). I made enough of both (pot pies and potatoes) for three meals for all plus leftovers for lunch for us (me and hubbie and of course a little for my spoiled yet healthy dog).

                            Anyway, IF The Problem Is Liquid aka milk Take Out the Milk before freezing as mentioned previously? Yes, no, maybe. I will find out. But frozen (no preservative potatoes) such as trader joes variety always say add milk and butter (or whatever you wish) and then Mash. SO I mostly mashed mine with some variety of healthy "butter". Set aside enough for two meals. Then continued making dinner and finishing up the remaining potatoes with milk and a little more mashing. :) Yummy.

                            Yukon gold Potatoes are the best potato for mashing by far. I know, I've checked. Organic sweet potatoes are a close second but not quite the same in the comfort food department (though healthier in the health department).

                            After s Late Dinner, the cooled reserved potatoes were perfect temp and consistency for freezing in plastic baggies (filled labeled with a sharpie and smoothed flat for ease to defrost and of course eye appeal and stack-ability in the freezer).

                            I am excited I found this thread because I love to buy organic potatoes at trader joes but they go green way too quickly. SO if this freezing potatoes experiment works out well enough I can just use the whole bag (or Two) of Organic potatoes immediately and then not have to buy even more expensive smaller portion ready made potatoes for the nights when I need a starchy side dish fast and making the Real Deal Fresh is not possible.

                            We all know it is best to eat the potato skins too, but even when we do make smashed-instead-of-mashed potatoes we still don't really want all the skins, so half will do. For tonight's meal I half peeled the potatoes with a wide veggie peeler I picked up at IKEA on clearance for 99 cents awhile back and magically found crammed in the back of the kitchen prep-work drawer in my kitchen (while I was searching for the dollar store pastry brush to brush my pot pie crust with butter).

                            Yukon Gold Potatoes have thin skin and not only make the best mashed potatoes but the best smashed potatoes as well. So AnyWay I will have to see how my batch of potatoes turns out from the freezer to the table with a little milk a touch more whipping in between, but in case I never think to visit this thread again, I wanted to take a moment to share some of My food for thought on one of my favorite childhood foods, second only to ice cream. Thanks for all the great posts on Here. Happy Mashing! :) ♥

                          2. I have never had any luck freezing anything with potatoes in it. The potatoes turn grainy and mushy. Which is a shame because I make a killer potato soup (someone else's recipe, I don't need to claim it to enjoy it!) which I would love to be able to freeze so I can have it any time I want, but everytime I do, it just ruins it.

                            /me sad

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: ZenSojourner

                              I love my garlic mashed potatoes, so i was actually planning to make spicey garlic mashed potatoes and baked chicken for my fiancee, so, since i wanted to take it on the plain (5 hout flight), i figured i would freeze it. I normally cook my mashed potatoes with milk and butter in it, so the consistancy seems pretty good. I will test freeze a batch of mashed potatoes, defrost it tyen cook it on the stove to see the results. I may simply just cook for him when i get there

                            2. I have never frozen mashed potatoes. I usually run em down the drain or put them in the fridge.

                              However, I can't see why they couldn't be frozen. If I were going to, I think I would suck the air out with a foodsaver and store in a bag. I would reheat by using the boiling bag technique. You might have to whip them with a whisk to put some air back in.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Hank Hanover

                                what do folks think about freezing potato pancakes, and/or turning previously frozen mashed potatoes into potato pancakes (the fluffy kind, not the grated kind)? i have the added challenge of working with blue potatoes...

                                1. re: fasanerie

                                  If im thinking logically, i eould place them in a flat container where they lay flat with a sheet of plastis or something to seperate them...that way they wont stick together while defrosting. Potatoe pancakes sounds delicious. Ill try it.

                              2. I freeze mashed potatoes often. I've found they reheat best on top of the stove, in the microwave they seem to come out watery.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Rick

                                  Thanks for the great ideas! I usually use frozen mashed potatoes to make dumplings. An egg, and flour added to the potatoes makes a great dough. Rolled into logs, and put in boiling water until it floats. It is quite the process, but my kids really like them. I look forward to trying the potato pancakes! Thanks!

                                2. Dont freeze them, they will be watery & cr@p when defrosted. How hard is it to cook some more?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: psycho_fluff

                                    It's a pain...and they come out fabulous afterwards, so why not freeze them?

                                  2. in the "for what it's worth" column --

                                    In France, one can buy frozen mashed potatoes - extruded into weird little tubes -- you put them in a saucepan with a few tablespoons of milk and heat slowly -- they come out just fine. I've read the ingredients, and there's nothing unexpected there -- so I don't see what they might be doing that would make them turn out any differently than doing so at home.

                                    They're much fresher-tasting and less artificial-tasting than the instant mashed potatoes on the market here. (I know, I know...but when it's late and we're hungry, you gotta do what you gotta do)

                                    1. I freeze mine all the time. It doesn't work to add the butter and milk before you freeze. I also take advantage of sales. Buy extra, then I boil a large kettle full. I take out a meals worth and finish them off. Then, just mash up the remaining potatoes, but don't put anything on them. Store in freezer bags. Quart size works good for my family of 3. They lay flat well. ---When you want to use them, thaw in frig the day before. Then reheat in a pan on top of the stove. Stir often over med low heat so they don't burn. This will take out all of the extra moisture. Add the butter and milk when they are hot. Awesome mashed in about 20 min!

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: bjbrown

                                        This sounds like a great tip. I can't tell you how often I wish I had a quick batch of mashed potatoes. Instant mashed potatoes are disgusting and storebought (e.g. Simply Potatoes or Country Crock) aren't nearly as good as homemade. I haven't tried the storebought frozen kind, but I'm sure my homemade made with butter and cream is better.

                                        1. re: gmm

                                          try Idahoan Homestyle -- it MUST be Homestyle, in the red package...They're actually delicious -- and good enough to pass for homemade.

                                          The other varieties that Idahoan makes taste like instant mashed potatoes -- but the Homestyle ones are great to keep on hand for a quick side.

                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                            Oh dear..... A lot of the frozen mashed potatoes are good but really it does depend on the brand. Some store brands are okay if you are buying things like tater tots or French fries {actually the Walmart brand are essentially the same as Heinz, just might have a few more defects in them}. I have to recommend that NO ONE eat instant mashed potatoes. Granular or flakes are composed mostly of the unsalable parts of a potato and if they are not white parts of the potato.... they get bleached, yes with chlorine bleach.

                                      2. Wow, thank you all. Because of a recent medical event in my life, a friend came over with heartfelt bunches (more like tons) of all kinds of produce for me. There are potatoes I need to cook up now, and all these ideas give me ways to figure out and test how to freeze them appropriately if need be. Since I'm always reading this site's info, thought it was about time I replied with a thanks!

                                        1. I need to know if you can freeze leftover instant mash potatoes ? has any 1 ever done w/success

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: mossyo66

                                            Prepare a small amount of your chosen brand with your chosen dairy, freeze, thaw, reheat, judge. Your definition of success may not be some other person's.