Mashed potatoes are a versatile and favorite dish for many people.
They can be paired with a wide range of meals or served independently.
They are also inexpensive and easy to prepare, making them a great option for large gatherings and dinner parties.
However, mashed potatoes can go bad if not stored correctly.
In this article, we will answer the question, “How long does cooked mashed potatoes last? Does it go bad?” and provide practical storage tips to make the most out of your leftovers.
Cooked mashed potatoes can last up to five days when stored correctly in the refrigerator. Always keep your mashed potatoes at a safe temperature of below 40°F to prevent bacterial growth and food poisoning. Do not leave cooked mashed potatoes at room temperature for more than two hours.
How to Store Cooked Mashed Potatoes
Cooked mashed potatoes can last for several days if stored correctly. However, it’s crucial to store them correctly to prevent bacterial growth, spoilage, and food poisoning. Here is how to store cooked mashed potatoes correctly:
After you’ve mashed your potatoes, store them right away in the refrigerator. Leaving mashed potatoes at room temperature for extended periods can encourage the growth of harmful bacteria. Store cooked mashed potatoes in a well-sealed container to prevent any gases and moisture from getting in, which can cause the potatoes to spoil.
Keep them Below 40°F
Cooked mashed potatoes should always be kept below 40°F, which is the temperature range for the danger zone, where bacteria multiply best. At this temperature, bacteria will reproduce and multiply, causing the food to spoil within a few hours. To keep cooked mashed potatoes safe, store them in the fridge or freezer, making sure the temperature is below 40°F.
Keep Them in the Fridge
Cooked mashed potatoes should be stored in the refrigerator’s main compartment and not in the fridge door. This is because the temperature in the fridge door fluctuates, making it difficult to maintain the ideal temperature for storing mashed potatoes. Store mashed potatoes in an airtight container to keep them fresh for longer. If you have a bigger amount of mashed potatoes, split them into multiple containers to make sure they cool down faster.
How Long Do Cooked Mashed Potatoes Last?
Cooked mashed potatoes can last for three to five days in the fridge when kept at a safe temperature. Frozen cooked mashed potatoes can last for two to six months.
Refrigerated Mashed Potatoes
When stored in the refrigerator, cooked mashed potatoes can last for up to five days. However, they must be stored below 40°F to slow bacterial growth and prevent spoilage. Mashed potatoes kept in the fridge can dry out over time, so add a small amount of butter, milk, or cream to keep the consistency.
Frozen Mashed Potatoes
Cooked mashed potatoes can be frozen for future use. When freezing mashed potatoes, make sure you store them in an airtight container that prevents freezer burn. Freezer burn occurs when food is exposed to the air, causing it to dry out. It’s not harmful but will affect the texture and quality of the mashed potatoes. Frozen mashed potatoes last for two to six months and should be thawed before reheating.
Signs Your Cooked Mashed Potatoes Have Gone Bad
If you notice any changes in your cooked mashed potatoes’ appearance, texture, or smell, it may be a sign that they have passed their prime and should be discarded. Here are some signs that your cooked mashed potatoes are no longer safe to eat:
If you notice any mold or discoloration in your mashed potatoes, discard them immediately. Mold indicates that your mashed potatoes have gone bad and are no longer safe to eat.
Cooked mashed potatoes that have a slimy texture are a sign that they have been contaminated by bacteria. This can happen when they are left at room temperature for prolonged periods or stored in unsafe conditions.
If your mashed potatoes have an unpleasant or sour smell, this could be an indication of bacterial growth. It’s best to discard them rather than risk food poisoning.
How to Reheat Cooked Mashed Potatoes
Reheating mashed potatoes is simple and can be done in the microwave, stovetop, or oven. However, to prevent foodborne illnesses, it’s important to heat your mashed potatoes correctly to a safe temperature of 165°F. Here’s how you can reheat mashed potatoes:
To reheat mashed potatoes on the stovetop, add a small amount of milk or cream and stir thoroughly. Place the mashed potatoes in a saucepan over medium heat and stir occasionally until they are heated through. Be careful not to scorch them, as this can affect their flavor and texture.
To reheat mashed potatoes in the microwave, place them in a microwave-safe dish and add a small amount of milk or water. Cover the dish and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are heated through.
To reheat mashed potatoes in the oven, preheat your oven to 350°F. Place the mashed potatoes in an oven-safe dish, cover with aluminum foil, and heat for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. Stir occasionally to prevent the potatoes from sticking to the bottom of the dish.
Cooked mashed potatoes can last up to five days when stored correctly in the refrigerator. To prevent bacterial growth and food poisoning, always store mashed potatoes at a safe temperature of below 40°F and never leave them at room temperature for more than two hours. Always reheat your mashed potatoes to a safe temperature of 165°F. Be sure to check for any signs of spoilage, such as mold growth, slimy texture, or foul odor, and discard them immediately if there are any indications. By following these storage and reheating tips, you can enjoy safe and delicious mashed potatoes for days to come.
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.