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I recently asked myself, “Can you freeze mashed potatoes?” Because we found ourselves with an almost overwhelming amount of potatoes.
Can You Freeze Mashed Potatoes?
Yes, you absolutely can freeze mashed potatoes. They can be frozen and stored in the freezer for around a year without losing any quality. Freezing mashed potatoes is very easy. It it also a great way to save time (all you have to do is quickly reheat them) and also money (since you can stock up when they are on sale).
Recently, we were walking through the grocery store and we see they are having a HUUUUUGE sale on potatoes. Like a ridiculously good deal.
So what do you do when you see a ridiculously good looking deal?
You buy a ridiculous amount of potatoes, that’s what you do. Like, to the tune of fifty pounds.
So, why do we buy so many potatoes at one time?
Buying in bulk is one of the easiest ways to keep a frugal lifestyle without making it feel like you are going without. If you catch a great sale, you can stock up on something you like and not pay more than you have to.
Another reason we buy and cook in bulk is because it will save a ton of time in the future. Sure, you have to put in some work up front, but it will save so much more time in the long run.
How to Cook & Freeze Mashed Potatoes
The first thing you want to do is make sure you have everything you are going to need gathered together. There aren’t too many supplies you will need.
What You Need:
– potatoes (we used a bag at a time)
– butter (we used about 2 TBS per Instant Pot batch)
– Milk (we used between 1/2 – 1 cup per Instant Pot batch)
– Instant Pot (or oven or microwave)
– Freezer Bags (we like these – cheaper bags and non-freezer ones tend to let your food get freezer burn – yuck!)
How to Cook & Mash Potatoes:
1. Clean your Potatoes.
Make sure to do this before you do anything else. It’s super easy. Stick them under the faucet in your sink and scrub all the dirt off of them.
2. Cut them into pieces.
Once your potatoes are good and clean, it’s time to start cutting them. Depending on the amount of potatoes you are cooking, you may need a lot of counter space for this.
We cut each potato into four pieces. If you want to try and fit more into your Instant Pot, you can cut them smaller, but quarters worked well enough for us.
Note: You can certainly cook them for mashed potatoes in a method other than the Instant Pot. You can boil your potatoes then mash. You can bake them in the oven then mash or cook them in the microwave then mash.
3. Prep the Instant Pot.
After you have your Potatoes cut, put them to the side for a moment. It’s time to get your Instant Pot ready.
Just add 1 cup of water and then set the metal stand that comes with the Instant Pot in the bottom. This will keep the potatoes out of the water. You can also use a small vegetable steamer basket.
4. Add Potatoes to Instant Pot.
With your Instant Pot ready, you can now start adding your potatoes. I don’t know if there is a recommended capacity limit, but we basically packed it as full as we could. One round could fit around 10 cut medium sized potatoes.
5. Set Cook Time.
Once you are able to (just barely) get the Instant Pot lid closed, set it to ‘Manual’, and set the timer for 20 minutes.
It generally takes about 10 minutes, give or take, for the Instant Pot to pressurize and then the 20 minute timer starts. Once the timer beeps do a quick release to depressurize.
6. Remove Cooked Potatoes.
After the steam has cleared you can safely remove the lid. Using a large spoon (or a pair of tongs or anything that’s convenient) start to remove the cooked potatoes and put them in a large bowl.
7. Mash Potatoes.
Using a masher, start to mash the potatoes, adding in butter and milk as you go. We used 2 TBS of butter and 1/2 to 1 cup of milk depending on the amount of potatoes we had in each batch.
This is really just a preference thing. Add as much or as little butter and milk as you like until it is at the taste and creaminess that you desire. If you like, you can start the next batch while this batch cools.
How to Freeze Mashed Potatoes:
1. Get freezer bags ready.
Using a permanent marker write the date and food type on the ziplock bags.
2. Fill Freezer Bags.
Fill bags with 1 cup scoops of mashed potatoes. You can certainly use bigger than quart bags and add more potatoes if you want. We did 1 cup bags because we use 1 cup as a serving size which makes it really easy to just pull a bag out for each serving that we want to reheat to eat later.
3. Flatten Bags.
You’ll want to make the bags easy to store. So, once you have added your potatoes, you can flatten then out in the bag (this also helps to push any air out of the bags. Once you have flattened them and gotten all the air out, you can seal the zipper on the bag.
4. Stick them in the Freezer.
Next step is to simply put them in the freezer! Easy as that.
How to Reheat Frozen Mashed Potatoes:
Reheating them is just as easy as cooking or freezing them.
It is easiest to pull them out the night before you want to use them and let them defrost in the refrigerator over night. Then when you’re ready to eat them, you can pop them in a pot on the stove or into the microwave for just a few minutes until they have heated all the way through.
But, if you forget to defrost, or don’t have time, you can also reheat them straight out of the freezer. You will just have to warm them longer. You can still warm them in the oven at 350 degrees, in a pot on the stovetop at medium heat or in the microwave.
Timing will depend on how much you are reheating. With the 1 cup scoops, it takes about 5 minutes in the microwave and 10-20 on the stove and in the oven.
How long do mashed potatoes last in the freezer?
12 months or one year is best for optimal quality. However, as long as they are kept properly frozen, they should stay safe to eat indefinitely.