Mashed potatoes are no joke. Lots of people love them because they’re a comfort food of sorts. Not only are they a staple of the Christmas and Thanksgiving holiday table, but they have a place on many dinner tables throughout the year.
Often when people make mashed potatoes, they end up with a bunch of leftovers because it can be hard to know how many potatoes are needed to make the right amount of mashed potatoes. It is easy to end up with more mashed potatoes than you expected.
The question then is, what should you do if you have a lot of leftover mashed potatoes? Should you turn them into something else or can you simply reheat them and eat them again another day?
Some people are uncertain about reheating mashed potatoes because they take them out of the refrigerator and don’t really like what they see. Since potatoes are starch, they end up developing a sticky, slimy, and dry film all over when left in the refrigerator.
They don’t really look appetizing, and you might not be sure what to do to warm them up again. You might even end up wondering if it’s even possible.
The good news is, if you’re left with a container of mashed potatoes, you can still eat them. While there are other recipes you can make using those potatoes, such as shepherd’s pie, you can also simply eat them again by using one of these common methods for reheating.
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Can You Reheat Mashed Potatoes?
The short answer is yes, you can reheat mashed potatoes. The longer answer is that there are a handful of ways to reheat mashed potatoes, and you’ll want to make sure and do it properly to get rid of the slimy film covering them.
In fact, any mashed potatoes stored in the refrigerator can be restored to their former glory; warm, creamy, and perfect. If you reheat them correctly, you won’t even be able to tell they were leftovers.
The problem with reheating mashed potatoes comes when you don’t know the proper reheating methods. If you stick the mashed potatoes as is into the microwave or on the stovetop and expect that they’re going to come out just right, you’ll be disappointed.
Unfortunately, the starch of the potatoes mixed with the dairy used to make mashed potatoes causes that unseemly texture. By simply microwaving your food as is, you won’t get rid of the texture, and you won’t have a delicious leftover mashed potato snack.
However, if you learn the best ways to reheat mashed potatoes, you can have a “take-two” of delicious potatoes anytime you want.
Should You Reheat Mashed Potatoes?
Reheating mashed potatoes is safe as long as they have been properly stored. Improperly stored mashed potatoes can lead to bacteria growth that can cause foodborne-illness.
After eating your mashed potatoes the first time, be sure to get them in the fridge right away and avoid wrapping them in foil.
As long as you follow the proper storage routine for your mashed potatoes, there’s no reason you can’t reheat them.
Rehydrate Mashed Potatoes
The first thing you need to know before you use any method for reheating mashed potatoes is that they must be rehydrated. Due to the starches in the food, they can dry out and lose their nice, creamy texture when refrigerated.
Some people make the mistake of just reheating potatoes directly out of the refrigerator. They believe that heating them back up will make them just like they were when they were first cooked. Unfortunately, people who do this end up with mashed potatoes that are dry and almost taste a little pasty.
Rehydration is key for eating leftover mashed potatoes. You can use heavy cream, milk, half and half, or buttermilk to do the rehydrating.
You’ll also want to add some more butter to the dish. Add a small amount of cream and butter at first and pay attention as they are heating up.
If you want to change up the flavor of your leftovers, choose some new herbs and spices to add to the mashed potatoes or drop some shredded cheese on top before reheating.
How to Reheat Mashed Potatoes in the Oven
The oven is typically a safe place to reheat mashed potatoes. If you’re going to use this method, it can be a good idea to store them in the oven-safe baking dish that you’re going to reheat them in.
This can help prevent them from drying out and keeps them in an even layer that is perfect for heating consistently throughout. Dried-out potatoes can be challenging to move from one refrigerator container to another for reheating, so properly storing in the dish for the oven is a great move.
Before putting your leftover mashed potatoes in the oven, you’ll want to preheat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cover the dish with foil.
Once the oven is preheated, put the covered potatoes inside and warm them until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. On average, this will take about 15-20 minutes.
Check the potatoes when you remove them from the oven. If they are still looking a bit dry, stir in some more cream and butter.
How to Reheat Mashed Potatoes in the Microwave
You might be wondering if the microwave is a decent place to reheat mashed potatoes because it seems to be the most convenient. The microwave can definitely be used for the task and will produce decent leftovers in a matter of minutes.
However, while you are reheating your mashed potatoes in the microwave, you’ll need to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t dry out.
Put your mashed potatoes in a microwave-safe dish and add your rehydrating liquid then cover them with a wet paper towel. Heat for just two minutes then stir the mashed potatoes.
If they seem to be drying out, add more liquid. Continue this process, two minutes at a time, until the potatoes reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to Reheat Mashed Potatoes in the Air Fryer
The air fryer is another tool you can use to reheat your leftover mashed potatoes. Place mashed potatoes in the tray and add cream and butter. Heat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and insert the mashed potatoes.
It should only take a few minutes to heat these to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Check on your mashed potatoes mid-heat to stir, add more liquid if needed, and ensure your potatoes aren’t drying out.
How to Reheat Mashed Potatoes on the Grill
If you already have your grill warmed up and ready to go, you can use it to reheat your mashed potatoes for convenience. Transfer your leftover mashed potatoes to a dish you can put on your grill, add your rehydrating liquid, and set the pan directly on the grill.
Closely watch your potatoes and your grill temperature to prevent the potatoes from drying out or burning. Regularly stir the potatoes around and add more liquid as needed. Keep monitoring your mashed potatoes until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to Reheat Mashed Potatoes in the Toaster Oven
When it comes to reheating, the toaster oven acts a lot like the air fryer, so you’ll want to follow a similar process for reheating your mashed potatoes.
Preheat the toaster oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare the potatoes by transferring them to the appropriate tray, adding liquid, and covering them.
Heat and check often, stirring and increasing the liquid if necessary. Remove and eat when they reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to Reheat Mashed Potatoes in a Pan on the Stove
The stovetop is another place where you can reheat your mashed potatoes. There are two common ways to use the stove to reheat them.
The first way is to simply transfer the potatoes from the refrigerator to a stovetop pan, add your liquid, and heat on low. You’ll need to stir regularly to prevent sticking, burning, or drying out. Add more liquid as needed.
The second way to use the stovetop to reheat mashed potatoes is to boil a pan of water. Put the mashed potatoes in a heatproof bowl with cream and butter. When the water starts to boil, put the bowl over the top of the pan. Stir while they are warming up and turn off the stove when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
WINNER – The Best Way to Reheat Mashed Potatoes is Using the Oven!
When it comes to the best way to reheat mashed potatoes, the oven wins hands down. Not only is it an easy way to reheat your leftovers, but it also gives you the most control over how they cook so you can ensure they are heating well and not drying out.
While they may take a bit longer than they would when using other methods, oven-reheated mashed potatoes turn into a like-new food that tastes creamy, fresh, and delicious.
If you have a bunch of leftover mashed potatoes, don’t fret. You can easily reheat them to make a great-tasting addition to another meal.
Just make sure you follow the proper methods for reheating to prevent drying out, sticking, and other potential issues that could ruin your leftovers.
No matter what tool you use for reheating, make sure to add cream and butter before you cook. Stir and monitor the internal temperature while you are cooking, adding more liquid as needed.
Do you have a preferred way to reheat mashed potatoes? Let us know your tips and tricks in the comments!