Is it true? Are these really the best leftover mashed potatoes? Tasha says so, and after reading this, I agree!
Best Leftover Mashed Potatoes You’ve Ever Had In Your Life
By Tasha Hackett
The best leftover mashed potatoes. Okay! Sure. But the best? Lofty claims. I stand by my statement though. If you make the best mashed potatoes to begin with, which I do, reheating them is a breeze. Let me share my secrets with you. And yes. I know. Laura already told you six years ago. But dude, I’ve birthed three kids since then, it’s likely you could use a refresher as well.
Make leftovers on purpose.
Yep! That’s my not so secret master plan to feed the people. I shared some stories on my Instagram about how food was really hard that day. I was sitting in the kitchen at 12:04 eating a homemade chocolate bar and the kids were running amok. There was no food. My kitchen was full of ingredients, but where was lunch?! This only happened because I lost my meal plan. True story. I wrote it all down on a scrap of paper. I went shopping for the ingredients. And then I lost the paper that was supposed to tell me what to do with those ingredients. (If only Laura had provided us really cute printout meal planning guides. Oh wait. She did!)
What’s the point? Yeah. The point is I had a pan of mashed potatoes in the fridge. I reheated it with a handful of cheese tossed on top. Opened a can of green beans and stirred in some bacon grease. Of course I gave them a handful of nuts for a smidge of protein and then I told them to eat and be thankful because Mom didn’t know what else to feed them.
You’re welcome, kids. Eat your leftover mashed potatoes.
Meh. It happens. Ain’t nobody going to starve today. Honestly, I shared because I felt the need to confess my homemaking woes. Like… Laura seriously makes food simple for us: Make a simple meal plan. Feed the people. I’m still the silly one who’s standing in the kitchen at 12:04 wondering what in the blazes I’m supposed to feed the people. Good, now that we have that confession out of the way. I will share with you the wisdom of leftover mashed potatoes.
First, make mashed potatoes. A lot of them. So many that your family can’t eat them all in one, two, three, four, or even five meals. Please tell me you’re following this train of thought, right? Make all the mashed potatoes. Do this when you have some spare time. On purpose. Your future self thanks you. Laura makes mashed potatoes like this. Easy peasy. If you want to do them the old fashioned way, peeling and chopping and boiling, just do yourself a favor and remember that you don’t need to chop them small! Big ol’ chunks of potatoes cook just as well when you are doing this well in advance of when you want to eat these.
You’ve a mountain of mashed potatoes. Now what?
Store them in baking pans. 9X13, 8X8, pie pans… anything that you can put in the oven for later. Sorry, back up–When you make your mashed potatoes, please, please, please add in all the butter, salt, and pepper. A touch of garlic is my standard and if you’re not on a dairy-free diet, be sure to add in cream cheese, and/or parmesan. Season them well, butter them well. Okay. Moving on. Your potatoes are cooked, seasoned, buttered, cheesed, and mashed. NOW separate them into meal sized portions in your extra baking dishes. You do have a plethora of extra dishes you’ve picked up at yard sales, right?
Cover and freeze these leftover potatoes.
When you pull out the chicken to thaw for dinner, set out the pan of mashed potatoes. When you put the chicken in the oven, slide the potatoes in next to it. Boom. Done. Don’t ever serve cold mashed potatoes to your family again because you failed at getting everything on the table at the same time. Some people claim reheating these from the freezer makes them watery. I’ve never had this problem—perhaps because of the extra butter, cream cheese, and garlic powder… Either way. My preseasoned, prebuttered mashed potatoes from the freezer are a crowd favorite.
Is this clear to everyone? Yea? If you like to live on the edge like me, you will add more butter to the top of your pan of leftover mashed potatoes before you reheat it.
Please don’t ask me complicated questions like, “What temperature do you set the oven?” or “How long do they need to bake?” Girl… I put it in the oven and I cook it until it’s hot. (Sometimes I even put it in the microwave, don’t tell Laura, when it’s 12:04 and the people are hungry yesterday.) Count on at least half an hour if the pan is from the fridge, at least 45 min to an hour or more if it’s from the freezer. The size of your pan will make a difference. Stir it every 15 minutes if you want it to heat faster.
This works well if you’re serving it with something else that needs to go into the oven, like simple broccoli and bacon chicken. I would be sure to put it in the oven right away, don’t bother waiting for the preheat.
It’s not a 7 or 10 minute meal (unless you use the microwave) but it IS simple and doesn’t leave a mess and it’s GREAT for holidays or events and for Laura’s put-it-in-the-oven-leave-the-house-come-back-later trick.
Tell me. What’s in your potatoes?
What do we want? Mashed Potatoes!!! When do we want it? Yesterday!!! Good job. Now you have a freezer well-stocked with yummy leftovers and you can have comfort food from scratch without the mess in your kitchen.
Tasha Hackett, friend of Laura and author of Bluebird on the Prairie, spends most of her time with four chatty children that she homeschools and her incredibly supportive husband. They give her the kind of love people write books about. Connect with her on Instagram @hackettacademy and learn more about her historical romance novel at www.TashaHackett.com. Sometimes, Tasha and Laura even catch a glimpse of each other across the soccer fields while they try to keep their toddlers from blowing away in the Nebraska wind.