Mashed potatoes may never be the main course meal, but they are a delicious side option.
While most of the time, mashed potatoes are readily eaten up at dinner, there may be occasions when some of it is left unfinished.
If you are thinking about keeping some leftover mashed potatoes for later, you may ask how long they last in the fridge.
The FDA recommends storing mashed potatoes in the fridge for no more than four days.
Moreover, mashed potatoes should always be kept in airtight containers to maintain their freshness for as long as possible.
Let us look at how to properly store them in the fridge, reuse them, and tell if they are gone off.
How to store and reuse leftover mashed potatoes?
Firstly, you must store them within 2 hours after cooking.
Delay it longer; you will be hosting a whole load of bacteria.
The most hygienic way to store mashed potatoes is to keep them in airtight containers before refrigerating them.
Since these containers shut the air out, the decay process in your fridge gets slower.
Ideally, the container should be wide and shallow so the food cools consistently.
When you take the mashed potatoes out of the fridge for reusing.
Please put them in a microwave-safe bowl and provide high heat in 30-second intervals till they become warm.
If you don’t prefer using the microwave, you could heat your mashed potatoes in the oven or stovetop.
According to FDA, leftovers should be heated to 165°F no matter which method you use.
Related Reading: The Coldest Part Of A Refrigerator – Find More.
3 signs your mashed potatoes have gone bad
There are three ways to determine if your mashed potatoes have expired, and here they are.
- Spoiled mashed potatoes develop moldy patches, looking white in some areas or completely dry.
- They give off a bad smell. If you pick any rotting or rancid odors, your taters may be past their prime.
- After testing the potatoes for look and smell, you can try tasting them if unsure. Only get a very tiny amount on the tip of a teaspoon. If it has an extremely sour taste, that should be enough reason to discard them.
What might happen if you eat stale mashed potatoes?
You will probably spit out rotting mashed potatoes the second they hit your tongue.
However, you may get seriously ill if you accidentally eat expired mashed potatoes.
If left for longer than two hours, pathogenic bacteria start growing.
Which can cause food poisoning symptoms, such as nausea, diarrhea, or fever, when ingested.
Should you freeze mashed potatoes?
If you are planning to store your leftover mashed potatoes for more than four days.
Then there is the good news: you can put them in the freezer! Mashed potatoes can stay good in the freezer for about a year.
Before freezing them, use the sink cooling technique to release heat faster from the freshly made mashed potatoes within the two hours limit.
Fill iced water in the sink up to a quarter, and put the shallow vessel containing mashed potatoes into it, taking care not to submerge the container.
Now, constantly stir the mashed potatoes using a spoon until the potatoes’ temperature is below 70°F.
If you are storing the mashed potatoes in Ziploc bags, dip them in iced water except for the seal area.
Transfer the shallow containers without their lids into the fridge until their internal temperature reaches 40°F.
Then cover the lid tightly and let it continue freezing.
For mashed potatoes in Ziploc bags, store them as it is.
How long can mashed potatoes last if left on the counter?
As per most authorities, mashed potatoes should never be left on the counter longer than 2 hours at room temperature.
Indeed, according to USDA research, any food that is kept in the open at a temperature between 40 °F and 140 °F is at risk of contamination.
So if you are not heating your mashed potatoes at over 140° F in the oven, it is best to refrigerate them.
Related Reading: The Best Refrigerator Thermometre – Find More.
How long do mashed potatoes last in the refrigerator – FAQs
1. Is it safe to eat mashed potatoes left out overnight?
Mashed potatoes are safe to eat within two hours if left outside the fridge.
After two hours without refrigeration, eating the mashed potatoes seriously risks your health because bacteria thrive very quickly at room temperature.
2. How long do KFC mashed potatoes last in the fridge?
It would help if you only stored KFC mashed potatoes in the fridge for 3 to 4 days after purchase.
Later, KFC starts moisturizing and releasing water, grease, and oil.
If you want to save it for longer, place it in an airtight box and freeze it.
3. Should you refrigerate potatoes after boiling them?
Boiled potatoes can last between 3 and 5 days if stored properly in your fridge.
For best results, refrigerate all cooked potatoes, including baked, roasted, and mashed potatoes, within 2 hours of cooking.
4. How do you store peeled boiled potatoes overnight?
You must take a few extra steps to ensure your peeled potatoes are not discolored.
As soon as you peel the potatoes, put them into a bowl of water.
So they get fully submerged and then place the bowl of potatoes and water in the refrigerator.
The water will prevent the air from reaching potatoes, so a color-changing chemical reaction cannot occur.
5. Should you store raw potatoes in the fridge?
Do not store raw potatoes in the fridge as they have lots of starch, and the cold temperatures will turn the starch into sugar.
This gives potatoes a sweeter taste and darker color during cooking.
Related Reading: How long does it take a refrigerator to get cold – Learn More.
The Bottom Line
Leftover mashed potatoes remain good for about two hours on the counter and no longer than four days in the refrigerator.
In the freezer, however, mashed potatoes could last for a year when properly preserved.
It is better to enjoy them within a month for peak flavor!