Potatoes are somewhat notorious for not reheating well. Baked potatoes, french fries, and hash browns are their best selves straight out of the oven, fryer or pan. It’s quite tricky — some would say “impossible” — to return them to their former glory.
Mashed potatoes, however, are an exception, which is extremely lucky, as that means you make, freeze, and reheat them for any day of the week.
This article has been updated since its original publication.
Why do mashers excel where other taters fail? Their secret is the same as mine: they’re full of butter and cream. This dairy pair protects the potatoes from getting effed up in the freezer.
Simply cook your potatoes as you usually would, using a lot of butter and cream — you can use my recipe if you like — let them cool, then get them into a freezer bag, smooshing them down so the bag can lay flat. Store them in the freezer until you are ready to consume them.
The night before you plan to serve them, take them out of the freezer and let them thaw in the refrigerator. You then have two reheating options:
In the oven: Spread the potatoes out in a casserole or other oven-safe dish, scatter dots of butter over the top, and splash in a little bit of cream. (For four pounds of potatoes, I use two tablespoons of butter and a quarter cup of cream.) Cover, and let them heat in a 180-degree oven for half an hour, giving them a stir halfway through. The slow cooking keeps them from getting scorched or glommy, and the added butter and cream keeps them form drying out.
In the slow cooker: Pour the potatoes in your slow cooker and heat on low for two hours. Peek in on them after an hour, and add a splash of cream if they seem a little dry.
Serve the potatoes alongside copious amounts of gravy, or simply eat them out of a bowl with no accompaniments, as is your right.