How to Reheat Mashed Potatoes in a Microwave (6 Steps)

Mashed potatoes are one of the easiest meals to prepare and are healthy sources of carbohydrates and fibers. You can easily make a large batch of mashed potatoes and store them for eating at another time. After storing, you would probably need to know the most convenient way of reheating them while preserving the consistency and flavor.

I have personally tried many ways of reheating mashed potatoes, and using a microwave is by far the most convenient method. Though some people prefer other methods and encounter problems using a microwave, this is no doubt because of user error. 

Luckily for you dear reader, in this article, I will provide you with top-tier information about getting the best results from using a microwave to reheat your mashed potatoes. 

Can you reheat mashed potatoes in a microwave? 

Yes, mashed potatoes can definitely be reheated using a microwave. As I mentioned earlier, using a microwave is the most convenient option to reheat mashed potatoes. If done properly, your microwaved mashed potato may preserve its moist and creamy consistency. 

how to reheat mashed potatoes

Many people make the mistake of simply sticking their mashed potatoes into the microwave without properly preparing it. This causes it to become gummy, and lose the creaminess it may have had before.

In order to ensure that your mashed potatoes are properly reheated in the microwave, you must consider the container used, the heating time, and the prep methods. For the best result, heat a portion or two at a time in a microwave-safe container.

This brings us to my next tip

What is the safest way to reheat mashed potatoes in a microwave? 

When microwaving anything, the safest way is to always use microwave-safe containers. Manufacturers make these containers with materials that can withstand the heat from microwaves, while securing the food inside. While other types of containers may be used, I strongly advise that you stick with containers that were made with the features of a microwave in mind.

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The safest heat setting to use is the “reheat” setting on your microwave. Alternatively, you may microwave for 1 ½ to 3 minutes, depending on your portions. Also, you should ensure that the microwave’s internal temperature reaches up to 74 degrees celsius (or 165 degrees Fahrenheit).  

Experts also suggest that the container should NOT be covered with a lid. Instead, use a wet paper towel or a plastic wrap to avoid any explosions or warping of the container.

The fastest way to reheat mashed potatoes in a microwave 

As mentioned before, you want to use a microwave-safe container covered with a wet paper towel or plastic wrap. In order to get the right temperature, microwave the mashed potatoes on 50 percent power for 30-60 seconds. 

The quickest way to reheat mashed potatoes while ensuring that the consistency remains is for it to be done in small portions. Each portion should be microwaved for approximately 60 seconds and stirred after each run. 

If after 60 seconds the portion of mashed potatoes is not hot enough, repeat the process of heating and stirring for another 60 seconds. The mashed potatoes should be properly heated after about two minutes. 

How to reheat mashed potatoes in a microwave without drying them out

Speaking from experience, it can be difficult trying to reheat mashed potatoes in a microwave without having them dry out. Even though it can be a bit tricky, it is not impossible to do so. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you want to keep your mashed potatoes moist:

  1. Use a microwavable container
  2. Add melted butter according to your portion size. If you don’t have any butter, you may use oil.
  3. Add some milk cream (again according to your portion size)
  4. You may add a small amount of broth as well, but this is optional.
  5. Stir everything together and place it into the microwave for 30-60 minutes.
  6. Stir once again after the microwave stops. 

If you notice where the moisture is getting less, reduce the power and lessen the stirring. For more moisture, add additional milk or broth according to your preference. 

Tips on reheating mashed potatoes in a microwave 

best way to reheat mashed potatoes

Temperature control: Gelatinization of potatoes begins at around 131 degrees Fahrenheit (or 55 degrees Celsius) and up to around 185 F (85 degrees Celsius) , depending on the type of starch present in the potatoes. It is best to keep the power at 50 percent and microwave for a maximum of 60 seconds per run. 

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You can store mashed potatoes in an airtight container for up to 5 days. After heating them up in the microwave, seal them in a container and keep them refrigerated. 

Leftovers should be stored within 2 hours of reheating.

Heat in small portions for the best results. 

Other ways of reheating mashed potatoes

reheat mashed potatoes microwave
Even though using a microwave is the quickest and most convenient method of reheating mashed potatoes, there are other tried-and-true ways of getting significant results from reheating. Mashed potatoes may be reheated using an oven, a stovetop, a slow cooker, or even by the double boiler method. 

Using an Oven

An oven is one of the best options to go for when reheating mashed potatoes because you can easily control the temperature and check for moisture retention during reheating. Similar to the steps to be taken for reheating using a microwave, the same goes for using an oven. Ensure that oil or butter, and milk or broth are used to add moisture.

Constantly check on your mashed potatoes throughout the reheating process to prevent any drying out. This method takes longer than using a microwave. 

Using a Stovetop 

For this method, you will need a small to medium-sized saucepan to get the job done. Add your mashed potatoes to the saucepan along with some milk and/or butter. Cover and stir occasionally until heated. Make sure that this is done on low heat to prevent them from sticking to the pan. This method also takes longer than using a microwave 

Using a Slow Cooker

This is another brilliant method of reheating mashed potatoes however, this may take a long time.

First, preheat for 5 minutes, then use oil or butter to coat the insides of the slow cooker before adding your mashed potatoes. Add the mashed potatoes to the slow cooker along with milk or broth of choice for moisture. Allow to heat for 4 hours. 

Using the Double Boiler method

Add your mixture of mashed potatoes, milk, broth, and butter to the top of the boiler. Remember that the amount of milk and/or broth to be used depends on the portions of mashed potatoes. Next, place a lid onto the container of potatoes and add water to the bottom section of the boiler. Allow the water to boil until it is properly reheated. 

This is one of the quickest ways of reheating mashed potatoes while ensuring that consistency and moisture are retained. If you don’t have a double boiler at home, you can simply make one with what you have at home.

For this, you will need a glass bowl for adding the mashed potatoes, a wide saucepan for boiling the water, and a stovetop. 

Conclusion

It is possible for anyone to get significant results from reheating mashed potatoes using a microwave oven. I have done it and so can you. It is by far the most convenient method and, if done correctly, will leave your leftover mashed potatoes tasting like a freshly cooked batch of starchy goodness. Just remember that for safety, ensure that you keep the microwave’s power at 50 percent and use a microwave-safe container. It generally takes about 2 minutes to properly reheat your mashed potatoes in a microwave but for the best results, be sure to do them in small portions for 60 seconds at a time. 

FAQ

microwave mashed potatoes reheat

How can I reheat leftover mashed potatoes?

To reheat leftover mashed potatoes, you can either use a microwave safe bowl or a baking dish. Place the reheated mashed potatoes in the container and heat them up in the microwave for 2-3 minutes or bake them in an oven at 350°F for about 20-25 minutes until they are heated through.

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What is the best way to reheat mashed potato?

The best way to reheat mashed potato is by using a microwave safe bowl. Simply place your desired amount of reheating mashed potato into the bowl and heat it up on high for about 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally until it’s hot all over.

Can I use a baking dish to reheat my leftover mashed potatoes?

Yes, you can definitely use a baking dish to reheat your leftover mashed potatoes. Preheat your oven to 350°F and place your leftovers into an oven-safe baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for around 20-25 minutes until they’re heated through.

Is it possible to cook potatoes in the microwave?

Yes, cooking potatoes in the microwave is possible! You just need to pierce each potato several times with a fork before placing them onto a microwavable plate. Microwave on high power for around five minutes per potato (depending on size), flipping halfway through cooking time.

How much leftover mashed potatoes should I plan per person when serving dinner?

When planning how much leftover mashed potatoes you’ll need per person when serving dinner, aim for approximately half cup of cooked mash per person as this will be enough without being too wasteful.

How can I make my reheated mashed potatoes taste better with extra butter?

To enhance the flavor of your leftover potatoes, add some extra butter while reheating them. The additional fat will help to moisten and soften the gluey texture that often develops when starches absorb water during storage. Stirring occasionally while heating will ensure even distribution of the added fat.

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What is the best way to reheat leftover mashed potatoes without getting a gluey texture?

When reheating leftovers, it’s essential to use moist heat instead of dry heat. Adding a little bit of extra milk or sour cream before microwaving or baking can also help prevent starches from turning brown and developing an unappetizing texture. Be sure to stir frequently while heating for even distribution.

Can I still eat mashed potatoes that have turned brown after being stored in the fridge?

Starches in cooked potatoes tend to turn brown over time due to oxidation, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they are unsafe to eat. However, if you notice any signs of spoilage such as mold growth or foul odor, it’s best not to consume them.

Why do my leftover mashed potatoes have a gluey texture when I reheat them?

The gluey texture in reheated mashed potatoes is caused by excess moisture absorption by starch molecules during storage. To avoid this problem, store your leftovers in an airtight container and use moist heat when reheating instead of dry heat.

Is it okay to add sour cream into my leftover mashed potato before storing them in the fridge?

Yes! Adding sour cream into your leftover mash potato before storing helps keep its creamy consistency longer than just plain old mash potato alone would last for days on end without going bad quickly like other foods might do so quickly once refrigerated overnight!

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