Wherever you stand on the smooth versus lumpy debate, one thing we can all agree on is that mashed potatoes are a delicious addition to any meal. Good news, folks: If you need creamy potatoes for a potluck—or if you just want to be able to dig into that buttery goodness all week long—you can puree an entire 10-pound bag of taters ahead of time and warm ’em up when you’re ready. The job can be botched, though, giving you day-old mashed potatoes that have the mouthfeel of Elmer’s glue. Consult our guide on how to reheat mashed potatoes the right way and you can be sure your dish will keep its luxurious, silky texture down the road.
How to Reheat Mashed Potatoes in the Oven
The oven is the way to go when reheating a large batch of mashed potatoes and the process is easy as long as you steer clear of high heat and follow these simple steps.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and don’t go any higher—not even if you’re hungry, in a hurry or both. A more aggressive approach to warming will result in sticky and unappetizing starch, so slow and low is the name of the game when it comes to reheating those taters.
2. Pull the mashed potatoes from the fridge and let them rest at room temperature while you wait for the oven to warm up. Room temperature food heats more evenly, so this step ensures that your creamy spuds won’t come out of the oven steaming hot on the sides and cold in the center.
3. Once the oven has preheated and the potatoes have acclimated, add a splash of heavy cream or milk and a pad of butter to the baking dish. Note: The amount of cream you add will depend on how much mashed potato you’re reheating, but it’s OK to be generous. If you overdo it you can always reduce the liquid on the stove—but if you skimp, your side dish will dry out and that’s a harder problem to solve.
4. Cover the oven-safe dish with a double layer of aluminum foil to lock in all that delicious moisture and send the potatoes into the preheated oven for roughly 30 minutes, or until your dish is piping hot and ready to be devoured.
How to Reheat Mashed Potatoes on the Stove
The oven method allows you to set it and forget it (for 30 minutes at least) but the stove works just as well when it comes to reheating mashed potatoes, as long as you don’t mind a little more active time at the range.
1. Place the mashed potatoes in a large mixing bowl, add a generous splash of cream and gently stir to combine.
2. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Melt two tablespoons of butter (or more, because why not?) in the hot pan and add the mashed potatoes. Be sure your potatoes hit the pan before the butter starts to brown unless you’re aiming for a rich, nutty flavor.
3. To avoid sticking and burning, stir the mashed potatoes frequently and add more cream as needed. The reheating time will vary depending on how much mashed potato you heaped in the pan, but the uncovered cooking process makes it easy to test the temperature: Simply sneak a taste of those creamy taters from time to time and enjoy a full serving as soon as they’re heated to your liking. Easy, creamy and oh-so dreamy.