How long are mashed potatoes good for? The ultimate guide

Are you one of those people who loves to make a delicious batch of mashed potatoes but not sure when it’s time to ditch them? Mashed potatoes are one of the most versatile side dishes that many of us rely on for our family dinners and holiday spreads, so knowing how long they can last is important. Whether your preference is creamy, lumpy, or somewhere in between, this article will help you identify when it might be time to toss out any leftovers – read on as we discuss how long are mashed potatoes good for and offer up some ways to prevent spoiling in the first place.

How Long Are Mashed Potatoes Good For?

The shelf life of mashed potatoes varies depending on their storage conditions. According to Healthline, mashed potatoes can typically last for three to four days in the refrigerator and up to a year when stored in the freezer. However, it’s worth noting that the quality of mashed potatoes may deteriorate after freezing. This time frame applies to the most common types of potatoes typically found in grocery stores, such as Yukon gold, russet, and sweet potatoes.

How Long Are Mashed Potatoes Good For?

How To Tell If Mashed Potatoes Are Bad?

There are several telltale signs to determine whether mashed potatoes have gone bad. The first and most obvious indicator is the presence of moldy patches. Any form of discoloration is also a clear indication that the entire container should be discarded. Furthermore, glossy patches or dry spots are additional signs that your mashed potato leftovers should be avoided. Lastly, if the mashed potatoes have a sour or rancid smell, it’s best to err on the side of caution and dispose of them immediately.

How To Store Mashed Potatoes Properly?

To ensure that your mashed potatoes stay fresh for as long as possible, proper storage is crucial. If you plan to consume them within a few days, it’s best to store them in an airtight container and place them in the refrigerator. Make sure to cover the container with plastic wrap or aluminum foil before sealing it with the lid.

If you have leftover mashed potatoes that you want to keep for a longer period, then freezing is the way to go. First, make sure to cool the mashed potatoes completely before transferring them into a freezer-safe container. For optimal results, divide the mashed potatoes into smaller portions and freeze them separately. This method will allow you to thaw only the amount of mashed potatoes that you need.

Can I Store Mashed Potatoes At Room Temperature?

It is not recommended to store mashed potatoes at room temperature for longer than two hours. It is advisable to discard them if they have been left out for an extended period of time.

How Do I Defrost And Reheat Mashed Potatoes?

To properly defrost and reheat mashed potatoes, follow these steps:

  1. If time permits, allow the frozen mashed potatoes to thaw in the fridge for 1 to 2 days.
  2. Once thawed, you can use one of the following methods to reheat them:
  • Stove top: In a saucepan over medium heat, stir the mashed potatoes occasionally until heated through.
  • Microwave: In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the mashed potatoes covered for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally until heated through. Depending on the power of your microwave, you might need to adjust the heating time.
  • Slow cooker: Heat the mashed potatoes in a slow cooker on low for 2 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Oven: In a casserole dish, place the mashed potatoes in the oven at 350ºF for approximately 30 minutes or until heated through.
How Do I Defrost And Reheat Mashed Potatoes?

How Can I Use Leftover Mashed Potatoes?

Don’t let your leftover mashed potatoes go to waste. Here are some creative ways to repurpose them:

  • Make mashed potato pancakes by adding flour, eggs, and your choice of herbs and spices. Serve with sour cream or applesauce.
  • Use them as a topping for shepherd’s pie or chicken pot pie.
  • Substitute them for regular potatoes in gnocchi or pierogies.
  • Add them to soups or stews for added thickness and flavor.
  • Mix them into bread or pizza dough for extra moisture and flavor.
  • Use them as a filling for savory hand pies.
  • Make loaded mashed potato balls by mixing in cheese, bacon, and chives, then rolling them in breadcrumbs and baking until crispy.

Mashed potatoes are not only a delicious side dish but also a versatile ingredient that can be transformed into many different meals.

How Can I Use Leftover Mashed Potatoes?

Easy Recipes To Serve With Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a versatile dish that pairs well with many different recipes. Here are some easy and delicious meal ideas to serve with mashed potatoes:

  • Roasted chicken or turkey with gravy
  • Beef stew or pot roast
  • Shepherd’s pie
  • Meatloaf with mushroom gravy
  • Creamy garlic shrimp
  • Vegetable stir fry with tofu

FAQ: Mashed Potatoes

Are mashed potatoes good 7 days?

Mashed potatoes are safe to consume for up to 5 days when stored correctly in the refrigerator. However, after 7 days, even if there are no visible signs of spoilage, they are no longer recommended for consumption. If you need to store mashed potatoes for longer than 5 days, the best option is to freeze them.

Are mashed potatoes good after 5 days?

Mashed potatoes are typically safe to consume within three to five days when stored properly and refrigerated promptly after cooking. However, it is important to note that excessive moisture buildup under the lid may promote bacterial growth, so it is recommended to check for any signs of spoilage before consuming.

Can you eat 3 day old mashed potatoes?

Cooked mashed potatoes can safely be consumed up to 3 days after being stored in the fridge, provided they have been stored properly. However, it is important to acknowledge that as the duration of storage increases, there is a greater likelihood of off flavors and changes in texture.

10 thoughts on “How long are mashed potatoes good for? The ultimate guide”

    • I will throw away any food that has been at room temperature for anywhere near four hours. Four hours is the point when any bacteria in the food will have multiplied to an unhealthy level. After that point their numbers usually decline because they begin to die from swimming in their own excrement. Now the excrement, not the bacteria, is the hazard.

      So your mashed potatoes, which are moist, at room temperature, contain protein, and are low in acid, have been sitting out for 8 hours. If there were any bacteria present when their temperature fell below 140 degrees, they could be a health hazard. Honestly, there may be no bacteria present but we have no way of knowing. I’d just throw them away. No one wants to endure a day of gut wrenching pain for some left over mash.

  1. Last night I ate some mashed potatoes, and only ate half. If I put them in the fridge between 1-2 hours after and reheat them, are they safe?

  2. Can you keep leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge for a few days and then reheat them, or should they be eaten straight away? If not, why is that so?

    • Yes, certainly you can. I do it all the time. Obviously, you can’t keep them forever. I would eat them within a few day’s time. Heat them up thoroughly; if you use the microwave, stir them after the first heating, and then heat them some more so that there are no pockets of cold potatoes, just in case.

    • Not a good idea, unless you have a cold porch or room in the cold car and that is just a cheat on refrigeration.

      Starches do not do well without being in the cold. They tend to be the first food item to go off and grow green and black fuzzies in the fridge under the best of circumstances. I might be ok with leaving them out over night, covered, and then using them to make breakfast potatoes the next day, but the food science types would rightly say that that is also not a great idea.

    • Put mashed potatoes in a deep casserole or soufflé dish and store in the fridge overnight. Warm them up in the oven the next day, uncovered, with a little butter on top. The extra moisture will evaporate and you’ll have creamy potatoes.


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