Transform Your Meals with Leftover Mashed Potatoes

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Do you always cook too many potatoes? I do. Leftover mashed potatoes can be a versatile and delicious ingredient for creating new dishes while reducing waste and saving money.

Classic mashed potatoes on table with spoon
Classic mashed potatoes on the table with a spoon. Photo credit: Canva Pro

Learn how to extend their shelf life with the proper storage techniques, reheat your mashed potatoes, and discover some creative dishes for breakfasts, brunches, snacks, starters and dinners.

Discover how to transform your leftover mashed potatoes into mouthwatering meals such as one-pan breakfast potato soup with sautéed vegetables or Valerie Bertinelli’s creamy mashed potato soup recipe.

For quick bites or appetizers using leftovers from previous dinners like Thanksgiving turkey feasts or Sunday roasts, look no further than our fried mashed potato balls/cakes/patties/fries variations section.

You’ll also find dinner ideas with classic shepherd’s pie recipes to satisfy even the most discerning palate. So read on to unlock the full potential of your leftover mashed potatoes!

Storing and Reheating Leftover Mashed Potatoes

Maintain the quality of leftover mashed potatoes with proper storage. They can last up to four days in the refrigerator or two months when stored correctly in an airtight container in the freezer.

Reheat mashed potatoes by baking them in the oven, microwaving on medium power, or slowly heating them in a non-stick skillet over low-medium heat.

Refrigerator Storage Tips for Keeping Leftover Mashed Potatoes Fresh

Washing potatoes.
Washing potatoes before mashing. Photo credit: Recipes from Leftovers.

Freezing Mashed Potatoes for Extended Shelf Life

To freeze leftover mash, follow these steps:

  1. Let the mashed potatoes cool down: Make sure the mashed potatoes are not hot anymore. They can get frostbite or change texture in the freezer if they’re still warm.
  2. Divide the mashed potatoes: Separate the mashed potatoes into small or big portions, depending on how much you want to save for later. This way, you can take out only what you need when you’re ready to eat them. You can use containers or resealable plastic bags.
  3. Get freezer-safe containers or bags: If you use containers, make sure they can close tightly in the freezer. This keeps the mashed potatoes fresh and prevents frostbite. If you use bags, ensure they’re made for the freezer and can be sealed.
  4. Fill the containers or bags: Scoop the mashed potatoes into the containers or bags, leaving some space at the top for when they expand during freezing. If you use bags, press out any extra air before sealing them.
  5. Label the containers or bags: Use a waterproof marker or labels to write what’s inside and the date you froze the mashed potatoes. This helps you remember and use them before they get too old.
  6. Put them in the freezer: Place the containers or bags in a single layer on a flat surface in the freezer. Make sure they don’t touch each other. Once they’re frozen, you can stack them to save space.
  7. Freeze for up to three months: The mashed potatoes taste best if you eat them within three months. After that, they might not be as good, but they’re still safe to eat if you want to.
  8. Thaw and heat them: When you want to eat the frozen mashed potatoes, you can let them thaw in the fridge overnight or use the defrost setting on the microwave. If you heat them, put the thawed mashed potatoes in a microwave-safe dish or warm them up in a pot on the stove. Stir them occasionally until they’re heated all the way through.

Freezing mashed potatoes is a smart way to save food and have a tasty side dish ready for later. Following these steps, you can safely freeze your leftover mashed potatoes and enjoy them whenever you want.

Using Frozen Mashed Potatoes

Leftover potatoes can be transformed into delicious dishes such as mashed potato pancakes, cakes, or even shepherd’s pie.

Add some leftover turkey and top with sour cream and cranberry sauce for a festive twist. Try food styling with a sprinkle of green onions for a beautiful presentation.

Add enough salted water to the pot and mash potatoes while they’re still hot. Serve hot, and enjoy.

Breakfast and Brunch Ideas with Leftover Mashed

Chopped potatoes to boil for mashing.
Chopped potatoes to boil. Photo credit: Recipes from Leftovers.

Transform your leftover potatoes into delicious breakfast and brunch dishes that are both filling and comforting. Try recipes like one-pan breakfasts featuring sauteed leeks, chives, or green onions added to potato-based soups.

One-Pan Breakfast Potato Soup with Sauteed Vegetables

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook diced vegetables (leeks, chives, or green onions) in butter until softened.
  • Add leftover potatoes to the skillet and chicken or vegetable broth.
  • Cook until heated through. Serve hot topped with sour cream and fresh herbs for extra flavor.

Valerie Bertinelli’s Creamy Mashed Potato Soup Recipe

  1. Saute the onion in melted butter over medium heat until softened, then add garlic.
  2. Add garlic followed by flour; whisk constantly for about two minutes before adding milk gradually while stirring continuously to avoid lumps forming in the mixture.

Leftover mashed potatoes can also be used to make mashed potato pancakes or potato cakes. Simply mix in some flour, an egg, and any other seasonings you like, then form into patties and fry until golden brown. Serve with leftover turkey and cranberry sauce for a delicious post-Thanksgiving meal.

Try making shepherd’s pie with leftover mashed potatoes for a heartier meal. Layer the mashed potatoes on top of a mixture of leftover meat and vegetables, then bake until heated through and the top is golden brown.

Don’t forget about food styling. Leftover mashed potatoes can be an excellent base for creating pretty dishes. Use a piping bag to create decorative swirls or shapes or a cookie cutter to create fun shapes for the kids.

Remember to always start with well-seasoned mashed potatoes. If your leftovers are bland, try adding some salted water or chicken broth to the mixture before using it in your recipes.

From creamy soups to fried potato patties, there are many ways to turn leftover mashed potatoes into a delicious breakfast or brunch meal. Next, look at how you can use your extra mashed potatoes to make tasty treats and starters.

Snacks & Appetizers Using Leftover Mashed Potatoes

Why not turn your cold leftover mashed potatoes into mouthwatering snacks and appetizers? With some imagination, you can craft delicious snacks and appetizers that are great for entertaining.

Fried Mashed Potato Balls/Cakes/Patties/Fries Variations

One popular way to repurpose your leftover mash is by frying them. Shape the cold mashed potatoes into balls, cakes, patties, or even fries before coating them in breadcrumbs.

Fry until golden brown and serve hot with sour cream or cranberry sauce for dipping. You can also stuff these fried delights with spinach for extra flavor.

Colcannon Pastries – Traditional Irish Snack

If you’re looking for something different, try making Irish colcannon pastries. Combine your leftover mashed potatoes with cooked cabbage or kale to create a creamy filling. Encase this mixture in puff pastry before baking until crisp and golden. Serve warm alongside green onions as a delicious snack or appetizer.

Making pancakes or cakes is another great way to use leftover mashed potatoes. Simply mix the mashed potatoes with an egg, flour, and salted water to form a batter. Fry the batter in a pan until golden brown on both sides. Serve hot with sour cream or cranberry sauce.

You can also make a classic shepherd’s pie with leftover turkey. Layer the mashed potatoes on top of the turkey and vegetable filling before baking until golden brown. This hearty dish is perfect for a cozy night in.

Don’t forget about food styling when serving your leftover potato creations. A sprinkle of green onions or a dollop of sour cream can make all the difference in presentation.

With creativity, leftover mashed potatoes can be transformed into delicious snacks and appetizers. Next up are some dinner ideas that you won’t want to miss.

Dinner Ideas with Leftover Mashed Potatoes

Utilize your leftover mashed potatoes in dinner dishes like Shepherd’s Pie, Potato Soup with sharp white cheddar cheese and sweet caramelized onions, or a Mashed Potato Bake featuring green chile peppers. These comforting meals taste best when eaten fresh from the oven and can be paired with rich red wine for an enjoyable dining experience.

Classic Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

A classic Shepherd’s Pie recipe is perfect for using leftover mashed potatoes. Simply layer cooked ground beef mixed with vegetables, mix it with creamy mash, and bake until golden brown.

Cheesy Dill Leek Potato Soup

Incorporate your leftover mash into a delicious Cheesy Dill Leek Potato Soup recipe. The combination of dill, leeks, and sharp white cheddar creates a flavorful soup that will warm you up on chilly evenings.

Green Chile Mashed Potato Bake

Add some spice to your meal by trying this scrumptious Green Chile Mashed Potato Bake recipe. Blend green chiles, sour cream, and Monterey Jack cheese before folding them into your leftover mashed potatoes for a delightful twist on traditional potato bakes.

FAQs for Leftover Mashed Potatoes

Are Mashed Potatoes Good Leftovers?

Yes, mashed potatoes can be delicious when used as leftovers.

You can maintain their flavor and texture by storing and reheating them properly. Incorporating leftover mashed potatoes into creative breakfast, lunch, or dinner recipes helps reduce waste and save money.

How Long Are Leftover Mashed Potatoes Good For?

Leftover mashed potatoes can last up to four days in the refrigerator if stored in an airtight container. If you want to store them longer-term, freezing is an option; they can last up to 2 months in the freezer. To ensure food safety and quality taste, always reheat before consuming.

Why Can’t You Reheat Mashed Potatoes?

You absolutely can reheat mashed potatoes.

The key is using proper methods such as oven baking at 350°F (175°C), microwaving on a medium power setting with added moisture like milk or butter or warming on the stovetop over low heat while stirring occasionally until heated.

What Pathogen Is Associated With Leftover Mashed Potatoes and Gravy?

Bacillus cereus is a pathogen that may be found in improperly stored cooked rice dishes but also has been linked to other starchy foods like pasta salads and potato dishes, including mashed potato-based products.

Proper storage techniques help prevent bacterial growth.

What Can I Do With Old Mash?

  • Create one-pan breakfasts featuring sauteed vegetables
  • Cook creamy potato soup with caramelized onions
  • Bake traditional Irish colcannon pastries
  • Prepare shepherd’s pie or mashed potato bakes
  • Fry up crispy mashed potato cakes, balls, or fries

Leftover mashed potatoes can be used to make a variety of dishes.

For example, you can make mashed potato pancakes or cakes by mixing flour and eggs and frying them up. You can also use leftover mashed potatoes to make shepherd’s pie by layering them with leftover turkey, gravy, and vegetables.

Another option is to mix in some sour cream and green onions to make a tasty side dish. Whatever you choose with your leftover mashed potatoes, season them with salt and serve hot for the best taste.

When it comes to food styling, mashed potatoes can be a bit tricky. To make them look more appetizing, try adding some cranberry sauce or gravy on top.

You can also use a piping bag to create fun shapes or swirls. You can turn your leftover mashed potatoes into a delicious and visually appealing dish with a little creativity.

Mashed Potatoes Make Great Leftovers

Whether you choose to freeze them for later use or warm them up in the oven, microwave, or frying pan with milk or butter, your leftover mash will never go to waste.

In addition to reducing food waste and saving money by utilizing ingredients already available, repurposing leftover mashed potatoes can also result in delicious breakfasts like One-Pan Breakfast. This hearty dish features sauteed leeks or chives, and creamy potato soup with caramelized onions and dill.

Dinner recipes using leftover mashed potatoes include Shepherd’s Pie topped with creamy caramelized mash and Mashed Potato Bake infused with green chile peppers. Snack ideas to try include Fried Mashed Potato Balls, Tuna Cakes, Salmon Cakes, Crispy Mashed Potato Cakes, Spinach-Stuffed Patties, and Baked Mashed Potato Fries.

One of the most popular ways to use leftover mashed potatoes is to make Mashed Potato Pancakes. These pancakes are easy to make and can be served with sour cream and cranberry sauce for a delicious breakfast or brunch. Mix the leftover mash with flour, eggs, and green onions, and fry them in a pan until golden brown.

If you have leftover turkey from Thanksgiving or Christmas, you can use it to make a delicious Turkey Shepherd’s Pie. Simply layer the leftover turkey with vegetables and mashed potatoes in a baking dish, and bake until golden brown. This dish is perfect for a cozy family dinner and can be served hot with cranberry sauce.


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