Mashed potatoes are often leftover at the end of a meal but is it OK to keep those mashed potatoes for future meals and if so, how long can they last before you need to throw them out?
We asked some expert chefs about this and this is what they told us.
How Long Do Leftover Mashed Potatoes Last In The Fridge?
Most chefs recommend storing mashed potatoes in the refrigerator as they say this gives you the best flavor from cooked mashed potatoes.
It’s important to store leftover mashed potatoes in a cool place because otherwise bacterial growth can overtake your leftover mashed potato and turn it into a health hazard.
You need to take into how you cook mashed potatoes when you store mashed potatoes.
If you used dairy products in your cooked potatoes, then they won’t last as long as plain boiled potatoes will.
However, as a rule of thumb, your mashed potatoes last no more than 4 days in the fridge.
How To Store Mashed Potatoes In the Fridge
Get your potatoes in the fridge within 2 hours of finishing cooking them. Cooked food will end up as bacterial heaven after that point.
Then, you want to ensure that your fridge is as cold as possible. Then fill either Ziploc bags or shallow containers (no deeper than 3 inches) to allow them to cool evenly.
If your containers aren’t cool enough after 2 hours, then just pop them in cold water for a minute or two and then wipe dry before you put them in the fridge.
How To Store Mashed Potatoes In the Freezer
Frozen mashed potatoes are an example of how long mashed potatoes can last when you really bring the temperature down.
You can make your mash last pretty much forever in a freezer. Though freezer burn should be avoided. And while you can eat mashed potatoes from the freezer at pretty much any time, be aware that their quality drops over time.
How To Reheat Mashed Potatoes
Reheating mashed potatoes is something of an art form and you want to put them on the stove top and heat them through fully.
If you’ve been freeze mashed potatoes then they should be given around 6 hours to defrost in the fridge prior to heating them.
Use milk, butter, cream, stock, etc. to prevent your potatoes from drying out on the stove but don’t make potato soup unless that’s what you really want.
How Can You Tell If Mashed Potatoes Are Bad?
There are three ways to tell when you leave mashed potatoes so long that they become bad mashed potatoes.
- They smell wrong – the sniff test is easy to apply and if it fails, throw out the potatoes
- They look wrong – if the potato is covered in mold or looks terrible, don’t risk it, throw it out
- They taste wrong – mainly they will taste sour and “off”. If that’s the case, say goodbye to them.
How Long Can Mashed Potatoes Stay Out Of The Fridge?
2 hours. That’s it. Once they come off the heat, they start to become breeding grounds for bacteria.
Can You Get Food Poisoning From Mashed Potatoes?
Yes. This is true of all potatoes too, like baked potatoes and roast potatoes. If you let bacteria breed on your food, it can give you food poisoning.
Final Thoughts On Mashed Potatoes
We loved mashed potatoes and it’s fine to reuse them at another meal, just don’t let mashed potatoes sit around outside of the fridge for too long, and don’t eat bad mashed potatoes and you’ll be fine.
If you want some ideas of what to eat with your mash or don’t know how to make mashed potato then you should check out the best how to cookbooks, the best vegetarian cookbooks, and the best Japanese cookbooks.