Mashed potatoes are one of those side dishes that can be used for various different meals, and they are very versatile. Mashed potatoes can be served with almost anything, and most people love them.
However, one of the most annoying things about making mashed potatoes is that there always seems to be too much. This usually means that there is a good amount of mashed potato left at the end of your meal, and you might be left wondering what you are supposed to do with it.
Thankfully, your mashed potato does not have to go to waste, and there are some ways that you will be able to keep it fresh for longer, so you can go ahead and enjoy it at a later date.
We are going to tell you everything that you need to know about storing leftover mashed potatoes in this article, so you can save your leftovers for another day.
How Long Can I Keep Mashed Potatoes In The Fridge?
If you are storing your mashed potatoes under the correct conditions, then you can keep them in the refrigerator for between 3 and 5 days. You will need to store your leftover mashed potatoes in an airtight container.
You should keep in mind that while mashed potatoes can go bad, they can be kept for quite a long amount of time as long as they have been stored correctly in the refrigerator.
This means that your leftovers do not have to go to waste, as you can keep them refrigerated until you want to use them up with another meal.
How To Store Mashed Potatoes In The Fridge
When you are storing leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge, you will need to ensure that you are storing them in an airtight container.
This will ensure that the potatoes do not absorb other smells from within the refrigerator, and that they won’t dry out. Instead, the moisture will be kept inside the container.
Using an airtight container also ensures that if your potatoes do become contaminated, it will not spread to other foods in the fridge. No matter what airtight container you decide to use to store your mashed potatoes in, you should ensure that it is both wide and shallow.
This is because this type of container will allow your food to cool evenly in the refrigerator, and there will not be any warm spots present that will make your food go off quicker.
Can I Freeze Mashed Potatoes?
Yes, you can also choose to freeze your mashed potatoes if you are not planning on eating them up soon. This is another great storage option, and it is unlikely that the texture of the potatoes will change because they are already quite mushy to start with.
As long as you have cleared enough space in your freezer, and you have some freezer bags or containers readily available, you can go ahead and store your leftover mashed potatoes in the freezer.
However, before you do so, you should make sure that the potatoes have cooled down to room temperature or lower before you put them in the freezer.
If you were to put your leftovers in the freezer while they are still hot or warm, it could lead other foods in the freezer to defrost, and it will work to raise the overall temperature inside of the freezer. This is the last thing that you want to happen, as it is important to freeze the food as quickly as you can.
When you are storing your leftover mashed potatoes in the freezer, you should first separate them into separate portions. This means that you can simply take out as many portions you need when it comes time to use up the potatoes, rather than having to defrost the entire amount.
When you have finished portioning up the food into your freezer bags or freezer-safe containers, you can go ahead and seal them up and place them in the freezer. You will have up to 12 months to defrost and eat your potatoes after this point in time.
How To Tell If Your Mashed Potatoes Have Gone Bad
Unfortunately, even if you have kept your leftover mashed potatoes in the best storage conditions, they can still go bad, especially if they have been kept for too long. We are going to tell you how you can find out if your mashed potatoes have gone bad below.
They have a strange appearance – If your mashed potatoes have any moldy patches, or they look glossy in areas, or have patches of dry bits, then they have gone bad.
Mashed potatoes are supposed to look completely normal when they are fresh, and they may have a slightly golden appearance if you have added dairy products. But when they start to look strange, then it is time to throw them away.
They smell off – Usually, if your mashed potatoes have a bad smell, they will also look off, but this isn’t always the case. Your mashed potatoes can look okay to eat to the eye, but if they have a bad smell, then you should throw them away.
If you have added any dairy products to your mashed potatoes, this smell can appear much quicker. They taste funny – If you notice that your mashed potatoes taste a bit off when you are eating them, then it is best to stop eating them.
If you are unsure about the appearance and smell of your potatoes, then you can give them a taste to see if they taste alright, but this is not really recommended. If you notice any type of sour taste, then you should throw them away immediately.
How Can I Use Leftover Mashed Potatoes?
If you have any leftover mashed potatoes, it is always better to store them in the refrigerator or freezer, so you can use them at a later date, rather than waste them.
One of the first things to keep in mind is that once you have reheated your mashed potatoes, you cannot store them again, so be sure to only heat up the amount that you think you will need.
There are lots of things that you can make by using leftover mashed potatoes, and if you don’t want to simply use it as a side on its own, you can check out some of our leftover mashed potato dishes here.
If you had plain and simple mashed potatoes with no added extras, then you could spice things up a bit by adding some cheese or different seasonings. This could help to make your plain old mashed potato a bit more exciting.
You could also choose to make some potato patties. All you need to do is add something to thicken them up a bit. Alternatively, you could make baked mashed potato fingers, which are another delicious treat.
Another thing that you could do is to stir some mashed potato into a cream-based soup to thicken it up a bit. Some great soup options are potato and bacon, potato and vegetable, or even a more classic leak and potato soup.
Although, if your mashed potatoes do have any cheese in them, then don’t boil the potato in with the soup, simply add it in at the end instead. Otherwise, the cheese will provide a weird texture.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you know pretty much everything that there is to know about keeping your mashed potato leftovers in the refrigerator, we are going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions on this subject below.
Can I Store My Mashed Potatoes At Room Temperature?
No, you should never leave your mashed potatoes out at room temperature, and they will always need to be stored in the refrigerator. This is especially important if you have added any extra dairy, like milk or butter, to your potato.
This is due to the fact that both bacteria and mold can develop quite quickly, which will only make your mashed potatoes go bad, especially in a warm environment. You can leave your mashed potatoes to cool down at room temperature, but they should not be left out for more than 2 hours.
If you have left your mashed potatoes out at room temperature overnight, then you should throw them away as they might not be safe to eat.
Why Does Adding Milk And Butter Make My Potatoes Go Off Quicker?
Although adding dairy products like milk or butter can make your mashed potatoes taste even better, it will make them go off quicker than they would otherwise. This is because you are adding additional proteins and fats to your mashed potatoes, and these ingredients are not stable at room temperature or at a high heat.
This is why your mashed potatoes are more likely to keep for longer if you have not added any dairy products to them. If they do contain any form of dairy, like milk, butter, or cheese, then you will need to store your leftovers in the refrigerator as soon as possible.
What If I Can’t Remember When I Stored My Mashed Potatoes?
If you can’t remember when you put your mashed potatoes in the refrigerator, then it is usually best to check all of the above before you serve them. Make sure to check for any strange appearance or bad smell before you even think about having them for dinner.
If they look, smell, and taste fine, then they probably are. Although, if you find that there is anything wrong with them, you should throw them away.
One of the best ways to combat this is to write a label with the date on it, and stick it to the container when you are storing your leftovers. This makes it much easier to keep track of everything that is being stored in your fridge. This is especially useful if you typically store leftovers.
It is really easy to make too much mashed potatoes as it is hard to gauge the perfect amount to use. Thankfully, you can store your mashed potato leftovers in the refrigerator for between 3 and 5 days, to make them last even longer. Alternatively, you can store them in the freezer for up to 12 months.
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