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How Long do Mashed Potatoes Last? All Your Questions Answered

Mashed potatoes are a savory side dish used to complement a wide range of meals. While most often thought of as smothered in gravy next to your turkey dinner, they can also be used as an ingredient in several dishes such as shepherd’s pie. My favorite way to enjoy them is mixed with butter and roasted garlic next to a piece of fish or steak.

As a father of three, I like to make food in bulk that lasts for several meals. This makes me very practiced at storing food for multiple days, sometimes multiple months. Luckily, mashed potatoes keep well and can be just as good when reheated as they are freshly cooked.

Close up shot of mashed potatoes in a bowl topped with a rosemary sprig.
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How Long do Mashed Potatoes Last on the Counter?

Mashed potatoes out of the oven.  Mashed potatoes should not be left out at room temperature longer than two hours.
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While potatoes by themselves are less susceptible to bacteria than a lot of other foods, mashed potatoes contain butter and milk, which are more likely to grow bacteria. As such, it is recommended that mashed potatoes not be left out at room temperature more than two hours.

How Long do Mashed Potatoes Last in the Fridge?

Close up of mashed potatoes and gravy.  Mashed potatoes are good in the fridge for 3-4 days.
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If stored in an air-tight container, you can expect your mashed potatoes to last 3-4 days in the fridge. I would freeze any mashed potatoes that you don’t anticipate using in that time frame.

Can You Freeze Mashed Potatoes?

Mashed potatoes in a bowl garnished with parsley and with whole potatoes in the background.  Freezing mashed potatoes is a great way to preserve them.
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Mashed potatoes freeze very well. I fact, every time I make mashed potatoes I make sure to make enough so that we will have leftovers to reheat and enjoy for multiple meals. However, if you are making mashed potatoes with the intent of having leftovers to freeze, be generous with the butter and milk when cooking to assure they will be creamy when reheated.

How do you Freeze Mashed Potatoes?

Mashed potatotes in a bowl with butter and topped with bacon bits and parsley.  It is easy to freeze mashed potatoes if you have the proper containers.
Elena Veselova / Shutterstock

To freeze mashed potatoes you first need to let them cool completely (but not longer than 2 hours at room temperature). Once cooled, divide them into the proper portions you think you will need, place them in freezer bags or freezer-safe containers that can be sealed, and pop them in the freezer. I prefer to use a deep freeze where the door is not opened and closed too often.

How Long do Mashed Potatoes Last in the Freezer?

Mashed potatoes in the freezer.  If properly stored, you can expect mashed potatoes to last up to one year in the freezer.
Ahanov Michael / Shutterstock

If properly stored, you can expect your mashed potatoes to last up to one year in the freezer. However, the earlier you are able to eat, the better chance will have at avoiding freezer burn. As a general rule, I personally try to plan my meals so I finish my frozen leftovers no later than 6 months after freezing to assure the food doesn’t lose any taste or texture.

What is the Best Way to Reheat Mashed Potatoes?

Mashed potatoes in a sauce pan on the stove.
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I like to reheat my mashed potatoes in a saucepan on the stove. If you go this route you need to make sure you stir it frequently to avoid burning.

You can also heat them in the oven in a covered pan. How long will depend on how much you are heating but as a general rule, I would check after 20 minutes at 350 degrees. The potatoes should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees if you have a cooking thermometer handy.

If you are in a hurry or reheating a small amount, the microwave will work as well. However, when microwaving leftovers make sure you stop and stir every 15 to 30 seconds.

How to Tell if Mashed Potatoes Have Gone Bad?

Close up of butter mashed potatoes with herbs in a bowl.
Wiktory / Shutterstock

Like most foods, it is usually pretty easy to tell when mashed potatoes are bad or heading in that direction. The three things to look at in determining whether your mashed potatoes are still good is their appearance, smell, and taste.

If mashed potatoes don’t look right or have any signs of mold, throw them out.

The same goes for smell; if your mashed potatoes have any sort of unusual oder, it’s time to get rid of them.

Finally, if they look and smell normal but don’t taste right, throw them out. It’s always best to error on the safe side when determining if something has gone bad. As I always say, when in doubt, throw it out.

Are mashed potatoes healthy for you?

This depends on how they are prepared. Potatoes in and of themselves are a good source of fiber and contain antioxidants and vitamins. If you add heavy cream and a lot of butter, it can be fairly caloric. However, if you watch the dairy that you add to your mashed potatoes they can be healthy.

Are boxed mashed potatoes healthy?

Surprisingly, boxed mashed potatoes are pretty good for you. Though they do contain more preservatives to extend the shelf life, they contain many of the same health benefits as fresh mashed potatoes.

Do boxed mashed potatoes taste good?

While I definitely the taste of mashed potatoes made from scratch, boxed mashed potatoes are not bad. They can be a good option if you are pressed for time.

Final Thoughts on How Long Mashed Potatoes Last

Mashed potatoes are a savory component to several meals that keep well as leftovers. I hope you have found this article helpful in answering your questions on how long mashed potatoes last and how to best store your leftovers so you can enjoy them for multiple meals. Happy cooking!

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