Mashed potatoes may never be a "center stage" meal, but they sure are a reliable "sidekick." While most families have no issues clearing their mashed potatoes at dinner, there may be occasions where you have extra taters on your hands.
If you're planning to keep some mashed potatoes for leftovers, you may be wondering how long they last in the fridge. If so, you've got to check out the research we've done on this tasty topic.
Mashed potatoes usually last four days in the fridge. Please always store your mashed potatoes in airtight containers to keep them fresh for as long as possible. Also, inspect your mashed potatoes for rancid odors and mold before reheating them.
While mashed potatoes don't last super long in the fridge, they should stay fresh for an upcoming meal. Plus, there are a few nifty ways you could preserve your mashed potatoes even longer.
For more tips on how to safely store your leftover mashed potatoes, please keep reading.
How Long Do Mashed Potatoes Last In The Fridge?
If you seal your mashed potatoes in a food-safe, airtight container, they should last a few days in the fridge.
To be more specific, the FDA recommends keeping mashed potatoes in the refrigerator for no longer than four days.
Please remember to inspect your leftover mashed potatoes before reheating them. Even if your mashed potatoes were in the fridge for less than four days, they could go bad sooner.
Your storage container and ingredients may influence how long mashed potatoes last in the fridge. Also, if you leave your mashed potatoes on the counter too long, they may turn rancid before you pop them in the refrigerator.
How Can You Tell If Mashed Potatoes Have Gone Bad?
As mashed potatoes sit in the fridge, the liquids will separate from the solids. Usually, this isn't a big deal early on, but you have to be on the lookout for a few warning signs.
First off, inspect your mashed potatoes for a white, fuzzy film of mildew or dark mold spots. These are clear signs your mashed potatoes have spoiled.
You should also smell your mashed potatoes. If you pick up any funky or rancid odors, it's likely your potatoes are past their prime.
Many people who taste spoiled potatoes claim they have an incredibly sour taste.
What Happens If You Eat Old Mashed Potatoes?
Unless you enjoy sour & rancid flavors, you'll probably spit out rotten mashed potatoes the minute after they hit your tongue. However, if you eat old mashed potatoes, you may suffer food poisoning.
According to the CDC, food poisoning could include any of the following symptoms:
- Frequent vomiting
- Digestive upset
If you think you're experiencing symptoms of food poisoning, you must seek medical attention ASAP. Patients must also remain hydrated with purified water or an electrolyte powder mix.
To learn more about food poisoning, please watch this YouTube clip:
How Long Could Mashed Potatoes Stay On The Counter?
There's no set time you could leave recently cooked mashed potatoes on the counter. However, most authorities say you should never let them linger longer than two hours at room temperature.
Indeed, according to the USDA, any food that's between 40° F - 140° F is in danger of contamination. If you're not keeping your mashed potatoes above 140° F in the oven, it's best to store them in the fridge.
By the way, you could learn how to keep your mashed potatoes warm for a big celebration on this video:
How Do You Store Leftover Mashed Potatoes?
The best way to store leftover mashed potatoes is to put them in an airtight container. Since these containers keep air out, they will delay the rate of decay in your fridge.
If you're struggling to pick the perfect food container for your mashed potatoes, be sure to review our post on the "13 Essential Types Of Food Containers."
How Do You Reheat Mashed Potatoes?
There are a few ways you could reheat your mashed potatoes, but most people enjoy zapping them in the microwave. Put your mashed taters in a microwave-safe bowl and nuke them in 30-second intervals till they're warm.
To learn more about reheating mashed potatoes in the microwave, check out this video:
If you don't like using the microwave, you could also put your mashed potatoes in the oven, slow cooker, or stovetop. Watch this video for info on using a "bain-marie" method for reheating mashed potatoes.
The FDA recommends heating leftovers to 165° F for optimal safety no matter which method you use. Please use a food thermometer to check your potatoes' internal temp before serving.
If you'd like to learn more specifics about reheating mashed potatoes, be sure to read our previous post, "How To Heat Up Mashed Potatoes."
Can You Freeze Mashed Potatoes?
If you want to store your leftovers for more than a few days, then here's good news: You can freeze your mashed potatoes!
Many pro chefs make mashed potatoes ahead of time and freeze them for future occasions.
After your mashed potatoes have cooled, you could safely place them in the freezer in airtight containers or freezer-safe Ziploc bags.
For more details on freezing leftover mashed potatoes, check out the neat hack in this video:
How Long Can Mashed Potatoes Last In The Freezer?
If you store your mashed potatoes properly in airtight containers or Ziploc bags, they could last for months in the freezer. Indeed, your frozen mashed potatoes should be edible for up to one year.
However, the longer you leave your mashed potatoes in the freezer, the less tasty they will become. It's best to eat your frozen mashed potatoes within one month for peak flavors.
If you're interested, you could learn more about freezing mashed potatoes in our post, "How Far In Advance Can I Make Mashed Potatoes?"
Do Mashed Sweet Potatoes Last Longer In The Fridge?
Sweet potatoes have gotten a lot of press lately for their health benefits. Since these bright tubers have so many antioxidants, some people assume they may last longer in the fridge.
In reality, mashed sweet potatoes last just as long as regular mashed potatoes. When stored properly, sweet potatoes will keep fresh in the fridge for roughly four days.
Please always remember to inspect your leftover sweet potatoes for signs of mold or funky odors before reheating them.
How Long Does Mashed Cauliflower Last?
As no-carb diets like keto pick up steam, many people want less-starchy renditions of mashed potatoes—hence the rise of mashed cauliflower.
If you're storing mashed cauliflower in the fridge, it should last about three to four days. Please remember to keep your mashed cauliflower in an airtight container for optimal preservation.
By the way, you could learn how to make mashed cauliflower at home in this quick YouTube tutorial:
How Long Do Vegan Mashed Potatoes Last In The Fridge?
Since dairy is responsible for the relatively fast spoilage rate of mashed potatoes, some people assume vegan mashed potatoes should last longer in the fridge. However, there's no evidence "vegan mashed" has an advantage in this regard.
Most foodies claim these dairy-free mashed potatoes keep fresh for roughly four or five days.
As with regular mashed potatoes, you need to keep your vegan mashed potatoes sealed in an airtight container for max longevity.
FYI: If you're curious how vegans make their mashed potatoes taste like the real deal, watch these tips:
Should You Store Potatoes In The Fridge?
Health authorities don't recommend storing raw potatoes in the fridge. According to scientists, potatoes form an acrylamide compound in cool fridge conditions. A few animal trials suggest acrylamide has cancer-causing properties.
It's safest to store your raw potatoes in a cool, dry place like your kitchen cabinet. Generally, potatoes last about one month when stored properly.
If you'd like to learn more about potato storage, please read our blog, "How Long Do Sweet Potatoes Last?"
Make Your Mashed Potatoes Last Longer With Good Food Storage
Usually, leftover mashed potatoes last for three or four days in the fridge. However, this time could fluctuate depending on your storage container and the ingredients in your mashed potatoes.
To ensure your mashed potatoes last for the longest possible time, please store them in airtight containers. Also, always analyze your mashed potatoes for mold or icky odors before reheating them.
If you don't think you'll eat leftover mashed potatoes within four days, it's a good idea to put them in the freezer. Frozen mashed potatoes could last about a year when properly stored, but it's best to enjoy them within one month for peak deliciousness!