I’m hosting a big party this coming weekend and as much as I love cooking, I think I might not be able to finish all of it in one day. I don’t want to order out so I’m planning on cooking some of the dishes in advance and freezing them. I’ll be making a big batch of mashed potatoes for the sides. Can you freeze them and what is the best way to go about it?
Cooking in big batches can truly be a challenge but it is possible. Doing it in advance is a smart move as it saves you time, and when done right, saves you money as well. Making mashed potatoes ahead of time and freezing them is no exception.
Even if raw potatoes do not have a reputation for freezing nicely, mashed potatoes do. In fact, freezing them can make it last for 10 to 12 months. This is of course highly dependent on several factors such as how it is prepared, the ingredients you cook it with, how you store it in the freezer, and a whole lot more.
CAN YOU FREEZE MASHED POTATOES?
It starts with choosing the perfect potatoes to use for mashing. The starchy kind of potatoes like Russets is perfect for mashing because its texture is light and fluffy.
The kind of ingredients you mix it with will also affect its freezing success rate. A generous portion of butter and full fat milk will make it perfect for freezing.
Without the dairy, mashed potatoes won’t freeze as nicely as say – cooking them with broth. Besides, butter and milk will make it taste extra creamy and flavorful after you thaw and heat it up.
The longer you freeze mashed potatoes, the more likely that you will lose its flavor. However, this can be remedied once you thaw and reheat it.
Thawing frozen mashed potatoes may take a while, so it is best to transfer it to the refrigerator a day before using it. You can also just put it in a pot over low to medium heat and stir until you reach your desired texture. Season as you go to make it taste as good as new. You may also use a microwave or a slow cooker. Just make sure you monitor its progress.
You will know if the mashed potatoes are no longer good once they start to smell bad. To be safe, throw out any leftover mashed potatoes if it has been in room temperature for more than two hours.
HOW TO FREEZE MASHED POTATOES
So yes, freezing mashed potatoes can be done. Here are a few easy steps and tips to follow and remember.
- Cook your mashed potatoes and remember to add butter and milk or cream. These are the secret ingredients to making sure it freezes and reheats properly.
- After making your mashed potatoes, let it rest and wait for it to be completely cooled.
- If you want to serve them individually later on, scoop up 1 cup portions of the mashed potatoes and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Put it in the freezer until frozen. After that, place individual portions in a big freezer bag and place them back in the freezer.
- You may also opt to directly put the mashed potatoes in a Ziploc. Flatten them for easy storage and thaw. Then, get as much air out before sealing.
- Remember to label them with the portions and the date of freezing for easy monitoring.
MASHED POTATO RECIPES
Now you’re ready to make your mashed potatoes. For starters, go with the classic creamy mashed potatoes, you can never go wrong with it.
Go fancy and pair your creamy mashed potatoes with pan seared steak. Impress your other half or your guests with this delicious classic pair. Have a glass of red wine while you’re at it.
If you want to skip the meat, you can also try salmon over cream cheese mashed potatoes. Just the perfect blend of light flavors!