How to Reheat Mashed Potatoes in the Microwave


  • Times and temperatures for reheating will vary depending on your equipment and the amount of potatoes that you’re reheating. Check and sample your potatoes frequently as you reheat them the first time to gain a better idea of how long they need to cook and at what temperature.

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  • Slow cookers are not recommended for reheating potatoes that have been frozen or refrigerated.[23]

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Dont Overheat

And it turns out, the best way to do that is by managing the temperature. In other words, don't let your mashed potatoes get too hot when you're reheating them. And how hot is too hot? The answer is, the gelatinization starts to occur at 131 F and up to around 185 F, depending on the type of starch. Which is not to say that you need to use a thermometer to measure the temperature, but simply that your goal when reheating mashed potatoes is to try to keep them from getting too hot. 

Note that different potatoes contain different starches. Starchy or mealy potatoes like russet potatoes have more amylose than amylopectin, so they are more prone to gelatinization. Waxy potatoes like Yukon golds contain more amylopectin. They can get stiff, but it takes more heat. Obviously if you’re reheating leftovers, you can’t go back and change what kind of potatoes you use, but it’s still good to know for next time. 

How to make mashed potatoes creamy and fluffy?

The best way to avoid lumps is to choose starchy potatoes and cook them thoroughly. If you still encounter lumps, then simply put the potatoes through a ricer (this is how restaurants mash potatoes). If you don’t have one, then microwave the mashed potatoes several more minutes to soften the lumps.

The mashing or ricing action, along with added liquid and butter, will make your mashed potatoes fluffy and creamy.

How to Store Leftover Mashed Potatoes

The best way to store leftover mashed potatoes is in an oven-safe dish with a tight-fitting lid placed in the fridge. This way, when you are ready to reheat your potatoes, you only have to stir in your extra oil and liquid and pop them in the oven.

If you plan to reheat a small amount at a time, portion the mashed potatoes out into individual servings and store them in airtight containers in the fridge. 

Tips to reheat mashed potatoes in the microwave

When mashed potatoes are reheated on the stove, there is high chance of sticking to the bottom of the pan making it hard to scrape off afterward. When heating up in the microwave, you can prevent this from happening.

But with microwave, there is high risk of drying up or cooking unevenly. 

In order to reheat mashed potatoes in the microwave properly, use these helpful tips to achieve success quickly: Avoid making them crispy in the microwave. Mashed potatoes are supposed to be soft and tender, so add milk, butter or cream to prevent from being dry or overcooked.Leftover mashed potatoes should be eaten within 3 days of being cooked, any longer and they may be spoiledTake them out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before heating so they have a chance to gradually warm up to room temperature.2-3 minutes should be enough for reheating one or two servings of mashed potatoes in a microwave. Let the heated mashed potato sit in the microwave for a minute to allow the heat to evenly distribute throughout the dish.For extra creamy texture, consider adding extra butter, milk or cream before microwaving. Adding more liquid will help with reheating mashed potatoes if they’re dried out a bit from moisture evaporation during the cooking, cooling or storing process.Cover the mashed potato tightly with microwave safe plastic wrap to keep the steam inside and prevent from drying up. A damp paper towel or microwave cover also work well.

How to Reheat Mashed Potatoes on the Stove

Most households have a stovetop, which is good news if you want to know how to reheat mashed potatoes on the stove. This method is simple and straightforward. Plus, it only requires a few pots and a burner. Here, Sidoti reveals the six steps to reheating mashed potatoes on the stove. 

  1. Grab a large, deep pot and place on the stove, filling about 1/3 up with water.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. 
  3. Submerge a smaller pot of the cold mashed potatoes into the larger pot so the hot water mostly covers the sides. 
  4. Keep the water on a low simmer and stir the mashed potatoes frequently until warmed through. 
  5. Add a splash of milk.
  6. Serve immediately. 

The stovetop method is also one option to consider if you want to know how to reheat frozen mashed potatoes. You can let the frozen potatoes thaw in the fridge overnight and then heat on the stove, or simply place the frozen mashed potatoes in the pot and warm them on the stove. 

What’s the best way to reheat mashed potatoes?

“The easiest way to reheat mashed potatoes well is to cover and bake at 350 degrees [Fahrenheit] for about a half-hour,” says Aubin.

If you’re feeling a little more ambitious, she also shared a completely different—but equally delicious—method. Slice the cold mashers into one-inch slabs and fry them in a little butter. “It creates a little brown crust as the inside gets warm and melty,” she says.

Parker’s method of choice, meanwhile, is different from Aubin’s, so we’ve got plenty of options. “The best way to properly reheat mashed potatoes is by warming them in a pan over low heat and adding cream and a knob of butter while stirring it with a spoon to ensure that the potatoes are creamy and smooth,” he says.

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

Reheating Mashed Potatoes In A Microwave

If you are in a hurry, of course, you can also use the microwave. Just be sure to use a couple of tricks to get a better result. A microwave oven is never the number 1 recommendation for reheating any food, but the result doesn’t have to be tragic.

Step 1: Add Liquid to the Mashed Potatoes

The first step is the same as with the previous methods. It is necessary and inevitable to add liquid to mashed potatoes. Otherwise, you will have rubber lumps instead of a delicious meal. So, don’t skimp on the creaminess. Add sauce, butter, milk, broth, whatever you want.

Step 2: Put in a Microwave Bowl and Cover

For microwave heating, the pan must be covered to retain moisture and create steam that will heat the potatoes. 

Just keep in mind that all utensils you place must be safe to use in the microwave. You don’t want an accident to happen in the form of an explosion while heating a meal. 

Step 3: Use Multiple Short Warm-up Intervals

For quality heating of mashed potatoes in the microwave, it is vital to use short intervals of 1 minute. After each one-minute cycle, take out the yams and stir. Then turn on for an extra minute of heating.

Do this until you get well-heated potatoes. If you’d immediately turn on the microwave for 5 minutes, you would get unevenly heated and not so tasty potatoes. It might even turn out to be very tough. Rather, therefore, invest a little effort and use shorter cycles.

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Do you need to peel potatoes before microwaving?

You don’t need to peel potatoes when making microwave mashed potatoes. It’s a matter of personal preference for the final texture, and they’ll cook just as well with the peels on or off.

Tips for Success

  • It is essential that you reintroduce at least some moisture to reheated mashed potatoes. Therefore, do not skimp on the additional butter or milk in these methods!
  • Feel free to doctor up your mashed potatoes with extra herbs if you’d like! While reheating, you can stir in additional flavorings to switch your potatoes up however you choose.
  • You can easily double up on the amounts for each method, or cut them in half based on how much leftover mashed potatoes you have. If I’m reheating a bowl for just myself, I’ll sometimes cut these methods down by a quarter of their listed amounts!

Best Way to Reheat Mashed Potatoes

Crockpot fans, it’s time to rejoice. Sidoti says using your beloved slow cooker is the best way to reheat mashed potatoes — so if you have yours tucked away in a spare room, you better dig it out. Why is the crockpot on the top of the list? Well, the main reason a crockpot seems to take the prize when it comes to reheating perfection has to do with the how slowly it heats up mashed potatoes. This thoroughly heats the potatoes, and it also prevents them from becoming lumpy.

Somewhere between learning the steps to using the crockpot and mastering the microwave method is knowing how to reheat mashed potatoes in the oven. While using the oven takes more time than nuking your spuds in the microwave, it takes a lot less time than warming them in a crockpot. So, if you just got home from work and have about an hour until dinner, consider reheating your potatoes in the oven. 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Put the mashed potatoes in an oven-safe dish.
  3. Place foil over the dish.
  4. Heat for 30-40 minutes. 

With the colder fall and winter days — and lots of comfort food meals — just ahead of us, why not try out all five of these methods to see which one works the best for you? Once you settle on your favorite technique, try experimenting with a few extras such as bacon, cheese, broccoli, or chili. The additional ingredients will turn this popular side dish into a hearty meal that is sure to please. 

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Welcome! Hi, I’m Cheryl! I’ve been developing healthy, family-friendly recipes at 40 Aprons for over 10 years. I believe food should be delicious and healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated! Read More…

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