How to Reheat Mashed Potatoes

Follow this advice for tasty leftover spuds.

Rustic Mashed Red Potatoes with Parmesan
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Extra mashed potatoes? Lucky you. Cold leftover mashed potatoes can be reheated right back to their former hot, creamy, and smooth state. But you can't just stick them in the microwave and hope for the best. Mashed potatoes, like other starchy dishes that are made with dairy (think: creamy casseroles, macaroni and cheese, scalloped potatoes), can develop a dry, gluey texture when reheated for too long, or at a temperature that's too high.

For best results, skip the microwave—the high heat tends to suck the moisture out of mashed potatoes—and reheat them on the stovetop or in the oven. But we do have tips for reheating in the microwave if you must. Whichever method you choose, you'll also want to add a little more liquid to the potatoes to keep them from drying out.

What to Add to Reheated Mashed Potatoes

You can use milk, cream, half-and-half, tangy buttermilk, or chicken or vegetable stock to rehydrate your mashed potatoes. Start with a ½ cup of liquid for 4 cups of mashed potatoes, and add it gradually so you don't end up with potato soup.

Adding extra butter is a good idea, too. One to two tablespoons should be enough; cut the butter into small pieces so that it melts quickly and can distribute throughout the potatoes.

Another nice thing about leftover mashed potatoes is that you can use them as a blank canvas and add in other ingredients. Stir in some sour cream, grated garlic, and chives, or add a generous amount of grated parmesan and cracked black pepper. With so many different ways to flavor them, you'll never be bored.

Reheating on the Stove

If you're reheating mashed potatoes on the stovetop, set the temperature to low and add a splash of liquid. Stir the potatoes occasionally to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan, gradually adding more liquid if they seem dried out. Be careful not to stir too vigorously, which can turn your potatoes into glue. Continue this process until the potatoes are warm, smooth, and creamy.

Reheating in the Oven

If you are reheating them in the oven, stir in the liquid and butter pieces, then spread the potatoes out in a baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil to keep the potatoes from drying out. Reheat at 350˚F for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes reach 165˚F.

Reheating in the Microwave

If you need to reheat mashed potatoes quickly, nothing beats the microwave. Put the potatoes in a microwave-safe dish, add a splash of liquid, and gently stir. Cover the potatoes with a lid to help preserve moisture, then heat at half power for 1 minute. Remove the potatoes and stir again, checking the temperature. Add more moisture if needed and repeat these steps until the potatoes are heated to 165˚F.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles