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Exactly How To Reheat Mashed Potato – I Test 6 Methods [Pics]

Piping hot, creamy mashed potato is the perfect classic side dish for a whole variety of meals. But what do you do if you’ve made too much and ended up with leftovers?

If you’re wondering how to restore your spuds’ signature texture and flavor, you’re in luck. I’ve experimented with six different ways to save your leftover mashed potato and discovered some helpful tips along the way.

The best way to reheat mashed potato is in a double boiler. Bring some water to a boil. Place your leftover mash in a heatproof bowl and stir in some additional milk. Place the bowl over the water, making sure the bowl and the water don’t touch. Reheat for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

How I tested reheating mashed potato

I tested 6 (yes 6!) different ways to reheat mash, including:

  • In the oven: Good for large portions.
  • In the microwave: Perfect in a rush.
  • In a double boiler: Creamiest results.
  • On the stove: Not my favorite method.
  • In a water bath: Complicated, but perfect mash.
  • By making patties: An ideal midweek treat.

Tips for reheating mashed potato

Try not to stir the mash too much because you’ll turn it gummy. As you mash potatoes, they release starch. Overworking the potatoes leads to too much starch being released and a gluey texture. 

The potatoes will dry out overnight, so you’ll need to add some extra moisture when you’re reheating them. I like to use milk, but cream, stock, broth, sour cream, cream cheese, butter, or water will work too.

If you’re bored of plain mash, you can add in some new flavors while reheating it, such as roasted garlic or mustard.

Reheating mashed potato in the oven

Time: 10-20 minutes

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Stir some cream, stock, milk, or melted butter into your mashed potato.
  3. Spread your mash out evenly in a baking dish.
  4. Cover the dish with foil.
  5. Heat for 10-20 minutes, depending on portion size.
  6. Serve immediately.

If you like, you can lightly grease your baking dish with butter or cooking spray to prevent it from sticking.

Choose a baking tray where you can spread the mash quite thinly. This will help it heat up faster. If you’re reheating a large portion, check it every ten minutes and give it a quick stir to ensure even heating.

For an indulgent treat, uncover your mash and add some grated cheese to the top for the last five minutes of heating. You can also make the cheese extra crispy by switching on your broiler for a minute or two.

Results: This method was relatively slow, but the result was evenly warmed mashed potato that tasted pretty much as good as new.

It’s best for large portions because of the time investment needed. And the oven has the added benefit of being able to accommodate more than one thing, so you can heat your meat and potatoes at the same time.

Reheating mashed potato in the microwave

Time: 2 minutes

  1. Place one or two portions of mashed potato in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Stir in a tablespoon or two of cream/milk/stock and cover the bowl with a piece of damp paper towel.
  3. Heat in 30-second intervals, stirring at each stop until piping hot.

Covering the bowl with a damp paper towel locks in moisture and steam to prevent the mash from drying out. You can also use plastic wrap or a lid. 

Microwaves don’t heat evenly, so stirring the mash (gently!) during each break gives the heat a chance to equalize.

Results: This method worked great for small portions of mashed potato, and it’s perfect if you’re in a rush for a quick accompaniment to lunch or dinner.

But it won’t be the best mash you’ve ever tasted. And the microwave won’t work well for large portions.

Reheating mashed potato in a double boiler

Time: 5-10 minutes

  1. Place a few inches of water in a pot and bring it to a boil.
  2. Place your leftover mash potato in a heatproof bowl and add some milk/cream/stock/butter.
  3. Rest the bowl over the water, leaving a 1-2-inch gap between the bottom of the bowl and the top of the water.
  4. Stir your mash occasionally as it warms (gently).
  5. Serve once warm to your satisfaction.

A double boiler warms using indirect heat, which means there’s less risk of drying out your potatoes. Instead, the steam heats it gently and evenly, providing you stir it every few minutes.

Don’t be too vigorous, or the consistency will turn gummy.

Results: Like the oven, this isn’t the fastest method. However, it warms evenly and retains the mashed potato’s texture. I ended up with lovely, warm creamy potatoes that I could serve straight out of the bowl I heated them in.

Reheating mashed potato on the stove

Time: 3-4 minutes

  1. Warm 2-3 tablespoons of milk/stock per portion of mash in a pan on the stove until just bubbling.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir your leftover mashed potato into the hot liquid.
  3. If not warm enough, set your potatoes on the lowest heat setting on your stove.
  4. Cover with a lid, checking and gently stirring for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Once warm, serve up immediately.

Warming your liquid first and then adding it to your potatoes means they won’t be exposed to direct heat for too long and overcook.

There’s also less chance of them sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Results: This method is faster than the oven or double boiler but not as gentle. You need to be quite generous with adding liquid to ensure the mash doesn’t dry out. I’d probably opt for a double boiler over this method because it’s less risky.

Reheating mashed potato to make patties

Time: 4-6 minutes

  1. Shape cold leftover mash into a patty shape.
  2. Heat a skillet on high heat with some oil.
  3. Fry the patties for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Alternatively, heat them in a 400°F (200°C) toaster oven or air fryer.

Working with mash cold from the fridge will make it easier to form them into patties.

These are the basic steps, but you can be as creative as you want. I like to mix a small bit of egg into my mash to bind it and then dip it in flour (or breadcrumbs) before frying it to give the outside an irresistible crunch.

I also mix some spring onions, bacon, and cheese into the patty… okay this is making me want to make some right now!

Results: I really loved making these mashed potato patties. They were super indulgent and delicious. In fact, next time, I might make extra mash on purpose so I can have these for a snack the next day.

Reheating mash potato in a water bath

Time: 30-40 minutes

  1. Set up your sous vide machine and set the temperature to 155°F (68°C). Or bring a pot of water to a gentle simmer, then take it off the heat.
  2. Place your mashed potato (sealed in a zip-lock bag) in the hot water for 30-40 minutes.
  3. If using a makeshift water bath, monitor the water temperature and top it up with extra hot water if needed.
  4. Your mash will be ready to serve when it reaches 165°F (75°C), which will take around 30 minutes (although this is very dependent on portion size).

It’s best to use a kitchen thermometer to monitor the temperature of the water in a makeshift water bath.

This method is quite time-consuming, so you’ll need to plan ahead.

And if you’re using a zip-lock bag, you need to be careful the water doesn’t exceed 195°F (90°C) because after this, the bag’s structure will be affected.

Results: This is a great way to reheat mashed potato because there is no risk of scorching it or drying it out and my potatoes were delicious.  But (and it’s a big but) this method is a lot more effort than any of the others, especially if you don’t have a sous vide machine.

For me, it’s not really worth it.

Reheating mashed potato in a crockpot

Reheating mashed potato in a crockpot is not advisable. It takes too long, and there’s a chance that the center parts of your mash will remain in the bacteria ‘danger zone’ for too long and become unsafe to eat (this is especially true if your mash contains lots of dairy). 

What you can do, is reheat your mash another way, for example in the oven, and then keep it warm in your crockpot.

How to store mashed potato

Cool your leftover mashed potato to room temperature and transfer it into an airtight container that seals well. Alternatively, transfer it into a zip-lock freezer bag and remove the excess air. You can safely store it in the fridge for 3-4 days.

If you have a large portion of mash in a big pot, spread it out on a baking tray or in a shallow baking dish to help it cool faster.

Avoid storing hot food in the fridge before it has a chance to cool down because otherwise, you’ll get lots of condensation that will turn your mash soggy.

Can you freeze mashed potatoes?

Mashed potato made with cream, milk, or butter freezes really well and will be creamy and fluffy when you reheat it. Mash with no dairy element won’t freeze well, and the mash will be grainy when you thaw it. For best results, use your leftover mash within one month of freezing.

How to freeze mashed potato:

  1. Cool your mashed potato to room temperature.
  2. Mix in some dairy (cream, milk, soft cheese etc) to the mash if you haven’t already.
  3. Portion the mash out and transfer each portion to a freezer bag.
  4. Remove all the air from the freezer bag, label, and date it.
  5. Use within one month.

If you have big freezer bags, you can store several portions in one bag and separate them by drawing a line with your finger in the mash.

Another option is to freeze spoonfuls of mash on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Once the mash is frozen solid, you can transfer the blobs to a freezer bag, remove the air, and put them back in the freezer.

How to reheat frozen mashed potato

Thaw your mashed potato in the fridge overnight, or rest the freezer bag in a bowl of cold water until soft. Once defrosted, you can reheat your mashed potatoes using any of the methods outlined in this article or turn them into crispy, creative potato patties.

I don’t recommend reheating mashed potatoes from frozen, as this will negatively impact their texture and flavor. If you have no choice, then reheat the frozen mash slowly on the stovetop, adding extra liquid as needed.

How To Reheat Mashed Potato

In this short recipe, I show you the best way to revive and reheat your leftover mashed potato.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: mashed potatoes, reheat mashed potato
Prep Time: 0 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 88kcal


  • 1 portion mashed potato
  • 1 portion milk


  • Place a few inches of water in a pot and bring it to a boil.
  • Place your leftover mash potato in a heatproof bowl and add some milk/cream/stock/butter.
  • Rest the bowl over the water, leaving a 1-2-inch gap between the bottom of the bowl and the top of the water.
  • Stir your mash occasionally as it warms (gently).
    Serve once reheated to your satisfaction.


A double boiler warms using indirect heat, which means there’s less risk of drying out your potatoes.
Instead, the steam heats it gently and evenly, providing you stir it every few minutes.
Don’t be too vigorous, or the consistency will turn gummy.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 88kcal

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