Q. I made a huge batch of mashed potatoes for a special occasion, and now I have a lot leftover. There’s no way I can eat all these mashed potatoes! Can you freeze mashed potatoes?
A. You can freeze mashed potatoes, but depending on how they were made, the results may vary. Potatoes with a higher starch content like russet potatoes are more likely than other varieties to lose their texture and get grainy in the freezer, and will produce the most disappointing results. Less starchy varieties tend to freeze better. Also, the added milk in mashed potatoes can affect the texture when thawed, while those made with sour cream tend to keep more of their original creamy texture.
To freeze mashed potatoes, consider freezing them in smaller batches. Place the mashed potatoes small freezer bags and seal, leaving a small amount of room for any expansion that may occur. Flatten the freezer bags so they can be stacked in the freezer. Label the packages with the contents, amount, and date frozen. Frozen mashed potatoes are best used within three months of freezing.
An alternative method to freezing mashed potatoes is to freeze several individual servings in one large freezer bag. Using a measuring cup, place desired serving sizes in balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place sheet in the freezer until balls are hard. Remove the mashed potato balls and wrap them individually in plastic wrap. Place the balls in a large freezer bag, seal, and label.
To thaw frozen mashed potatoes, remove them from the freezer and place in the refrigerator for several hours until thawed completely. They can also be thawed in a microwave safe container in the microwave, using the defrost setting. Once thawed completely, stir mashed potatoes well to recombine all the ingredients and restore their original texture. If the mashed potatoes are still too watery, adding a few spoons of sour cream or cream cheese will help to thicken them up and make them creamier. It can also help add in some flavor if any is lost during the freezing process.
Thawed mashed potatoes are best used within 2-3 days of thawing, as their consistency will begin to break down the longer they sit in the fridge. Thawed mashed potatoes are excellent for use in recipes such as soups, casseroles, or mashed potatoes. Do not freeze recipes that use previously frozen mashed potatoes as an ingredient.