Can You Make Mashed Potatoes Ahead of Time?

Can You Make Mashed Potatoes Ahead of Time?

If you have a big event coming up, you might be wondering whether you can make the mashed potatoes in advance and just heat them up when you are ready to serve them. This can make life significantly easier for you if you’ve got a lot of other food to prepare.

Can you make mashed potatoes ahead of time? You can certainly make mashed potatoes 2-3 days ahead of time, although you may want to add the butter at the last minute, as this improves the freshness of the potatoes and makes them taste like they have just been cooked.

Make sure they are stored in the fridge in between cooking and serving.

Can You Make Mashed Potatoes in Advance?

You can make mashed potatoes up to 3 days ahead of the meal, although you shouldn’t make them any further in advance than that. Adding the butter just before you serve them stops it from turning thick while it’s in the fridge and can make the potatoes taste better.

There are many recipes for making mashed potatoes in advance, and there are quite a few tricks to ensure that your potatoes taste great when you do this.

One of the best tips involves making sure that you cook the potatoes until they are very soft. It’s better to have them slightly over-done, rather than slightly under-done. This will ensure that they stay soft and fluffy in the fridge.

How Much of the Mashing Should You Do in Advance?

You should complete every step of mashed potatoes in advance, except for adding butter. Essentially, make the potatoes as you would if you were getting ready to put them on the table, but stop just before adding the butter, and then cool the potatoes and put them in the fridge instead.

Don’t boil the potatoes and then put them in the fridge without mashing them. They will not mash well once they have cooled down, and you’ll get lumpy, unpleasant potatoes as a result.

You can follow your normal mashed potato recipe if you choose to, but make sure you complete every step, and don’t stop partway. Taste the mashed potatoes to check you are happy with the flavor and the consistency, and then put them in the fridge.

How Should You Store Mashed Potatoes in the Fridge?

It’s important to let the potatoes fully cool before you put them in the fridge, as warm foods will raise the fridge’s temperature. This could make other foods in the fridge unsafe to eat and may result in spoilage. To help them cool, spread the mashed potatoes out on a plate or in a shallow dish so that the heat can dissipate.

When the potatoes are completely cool, you should transfer them to an airtight container and put the lid on. This will stop the mash from drying out in the fridge, and make sure it doesn’t absorb any smells from the rest of the food in the fridge. Mash that is left exposed will often take on other flavors and become unpleasant.

Some people prefer to cover the mashed potato with plastic wrap and press the plastic down so that it touches the surface of the potato. The advantage of this is that it removes all of the air, ensuring that the potato cannot dry out or absorb other flavors. However, an airtight tub will usually work perfectly well too.

Place the container near the back of the fridge to ensure that it is kept consistently cold, and then leave it until you are ready to reheat the potatoes.

How Do You Reheat Mashed Potatoes in the Microwave?

To reheat the mashed potatoes, transfer them to a microwave-safe container and then cover them with some plastic wrap. Poke a few holes in the wrap to let the steam vent, or use a loose-fitting lid instead. Turn your microwave to medium-high and microwave the mash until it is hot through.

The amount of time will vary depending on how much mashed potato you have made, but you should pause every few minutes to check on the potatoes and stir them. This will help to distribute the heat and make sure they don’t get too hot.

When you think the potatoes are hot, taste them to check the temperature and the flavor, and then transfer them into the container that you are going to serve them from, and add some butter. They are then ready to serve.

How Do You Reheat Mashed Potatoes on the Stove?

To reheat mashed potatoes on the stove, add some cream and butter to a pan, and tip the mashed potatoes in as well. Turn on the heat and stir gently, bringing the mixture to a low simmer. Be careful not to burn the potatoes.

Season if necessary, and then serve hot. There is no need to add more butter at this point.

Can You Freeze Mashed Potatoes?

If you want to make the potatoes even further in advance, you might be looking at freezing them. You can freeze mashed potatoes but be aware that this may have a little bit of a negative effect on the texture of them.

Overall, freezing mashed potatoes isn’t a problem because they are already soft and squashy, so it doesn’t matter if the freezer affects the texture. However, if you have a mashed potato recipe that you are particularly proud of and you don’t want to risk the potatoes getting ruined, it’s better not to freeze them.

Alternatively, test a small batch in your freezer to see if it works well. To do this, you should follow your normal recipe and cool it as described above before freezing it in an airtight container.

Get the mashed potatoes out about 24 hours before they are wanted and put them in the fridge to thaw. Once thawed, heat the potatoes up, add the butter, and serve them hot.

Final Thoughts

You can easily make mashed potatoes 2 or 3 days in advance and store them in the fridge in an airtight container. Reheat them in the microwave or on your stove, and dinner will be a breeze.