How Long Do Mashed Potatoes Last in The Refrigerator?

By - Ron Singh

Updated -

Mashed potatoes are versatile; you can make them quickly and serve any meal you want.

The deliciousness and versatility of mashed potatoes make them a favorite of many, but one issue is that leftovers don’t last very long.

If you store leftover mashed potatoes in the refrigerator, they will last 3-5 days. However, most people prefer only to refrigerate mashed potatoes for four days. The potatoes may not retain their original taste by the fifth day.

How Long Do Mashed Potatoes Stay Okay In The Fridge?

How Long Do Mashed Potatoes Last In The Refrigerator

If you store your mashed potatoes in the refrigerator, they will remain fresh for five days.

After five days, you will have to throw them out because they would have become infested with bacteria and can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Making mashed potatoes isn’t a complicated task, but it’s often easy to make too much of it and end up with many leftovers.

The most efficient way to preserve the leftovers is to put them in the refrigerator. However, you cannot keep mashed potatoes refrigerated indefinitely.

Even refrigerated, the mashed potatoes will go bad at some point. Ideally, you should only keep them refrigerated for five days.

If you keep your mashed potatoes in the fridge for longer, they will be spoiled, and you’ll have no option but to discard them. 

On the other hand, if you have a large portion and want to keep it healthy for much longer, you can put it in the freezer instead of the refrigerator.

If you freeze mashed potatoes, they will stay good for about 10-12 months. Unrefrigerated potatoes, on the other hand, spoil in about 2 hours. 

So, when you make mashed potatoes, please put them in the refrigerator as soon as they cool.

You can decide to freeze them if there’s a lot left over, as that will preserve them for much longer. However, refrigerate if you want to keep them fresh for only a few days.

Refrigeration is the easiest way to preserve mashed potatoes, but it will only keep them fresh for a few days. And even if you refrigerate for more than five days, the potatoes will be ruined. 

How Do You Know If Mashed Potatoes Are Bad?

Rotten Mashed potatoes usually have a sour odor, with a definite change in color and texture.

Once the potatoes are no longer safe for consumption, you’ll also notice that the fat separates from the liquid. At first, the liquid is clear, and you can mix everything back and eat it.

But soon after, you’ll notice that the liquid is hazy and coated over the rest of the mashed potatoes. At that point, you’ll have to throw it out.

Also, if you notice that the mashed potatoes look moldy in some places and have a glossy appearance in others, that could mean that the mashed potatoes aren’t good anymore.

If you notice any of these signs, don’t taste the potatoes to see if they’ve gone bad. Just throw them out to be on the safe side.

Mashed potatoes contain several other ingredients, such as milk, butter, and other dairy products.

These combinations can also make mashed potatoes spoil faster and harm your health. But other than the ingredients, potatoes have been known to cause health challenges.

So, if you consume old potatoes, the harmful bacteria can cause serious stomach problems.

Do Mashed Potatoes Go Bad If Left Out?

If you leave mashed potatoes at room temperature, they will go bad. The longest you can leave any quantity of mashed potatoes out is 2 hours.

Once it’s been out for 2 hours, it spoils, and no amount of refrigeration can make it suitable for consumption.

So, if you have leftover mashed potatoes, you must put them in the refrigerator as soon as they cool.

Once you’re done cooking and serving the quantity you need, put the rest in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Don’t leave any mashed potatoes out for longer than two hours. That is the longest that the potatoes can go without being refrigerated.

And in some temperatures, the two hours can become an hour or even less. According to the USDA, you should never leave cooked foods out for more than two hours.

The USDA refers to this period as the danger zone. Usually, if you leave cooked food out at 40°-140°F, the food will become a haven for bacteria.

That is especially true of foods that contain a lot of starch, like potatoes. The food will grow microbes that create bacteria, and the bacteria cause bad reactions like diarrhea and vomiting.

The surest way to avoid that is to refrigerate your potatoes as soon as you finish.

Although, of course, you need to let them cool before you refrigerate them, don’t move the mashed potatoes from the pot straight into the fridge.

How To Tell If Mashed Potatoes Are Bad?

Eating mashed potatoes that have gone bad is very unhealthy. When you consume rotten mashed potatoes, you expose yourself to health issues such as food poisoning. 

Food poisoning can then cause some other issues. For example, when mashed potatoes spoil, they contain a lot of toxic bacteria.

Your body’s reaction to the mashed potatoes depends on the kind of bacteria that has grown on them.

Some bacteria aren’t very harmful and will only cause vomiting or mild diarrhea. Others, on the other hand, like pathogenic bacteria, will cause more severe food poisoning.

Spoiled mashed potatoes can cause food poisoning. When the mashed potatoes become bad, they have some bacteria, and sometimes, the bacteria cause the reactions you may have to the spoiled mashed potatoes.

That means terrible mashed potatoes should not even be in your kitchen. And since mashed potatoes are pretty easy to make, once you know that the old batch is spoiled, it’s safer to make a fresh batch.

But how do you know that mashed potatoes have gone bad? Mashed potatoes don’t sit out for a long time.

The maximum time is two hours. Once you’ve kept the potatoes at room temperature for over two hours, they’re bad. Throw them away.

If you’ve used dairy products in the mashed potatoes, two hours reduces to half an hour. That is because dairy products make mashed potatoes spoil much faster. 

So, if there’s any milk in the mashed potatoes, you should put them in a fridge at most 30 minutes after cooking them. If you don’t, don’t bother refrigerating. They’re most likely spoiled.

Spoiled mashed potatoes have a sour smell and taste. You’re not encouraged to taste them.

The smell is usually sour and unlike regular mashed potatoes. Once your potatoes have that sour smell, don’t taste them, they’re no longer healthy.

When mashed potatoes have gone bad, you can see the liquid separating from the solid part of the mashed potatoes.

First, the liquid forms a clear haze over the solid, but soon the liquid turns white and hazy. It is at that point that the potatoes will also smell foul.

There will be spots and noticeable patches of mold on the mashed potatoes. Usually, this can fly by you if you don’t pay attention, but you’ll be able to smell the spoilage.

How To Store Mashed Potatoes In Fridge?

Refrigerating is the best way to store mashed potatoes; however, if you want to keep them fresh for a longer time, you should consider freezing them. 

First, put the potatoes in an airtight container. It’s essential to put the mashed potatoes in an airtight container so they won’t dry out.

Also, they don’t absorb smells from the other items in the fridge. Make sure you seal the container tightly.

Also, since potatoes may spoil faster than other foods, an airtight container is necessary. With it, the contamination will not spread to other foods.

Always use a wide bowl to store your mashed potatoes. You need a wide bowl that can quickly spread the potatoes evenly.

You don’t want any spots to be higher than others. You can use plastic wrap if you don’t get a bowl with a cover.

Just ensure it is tight and secure. Put the mashed potatoes in the refrigerator as soon as they’re cool. 

Don’t put steaming hot potatoes into the fridge, but don’t wait for longer than 2 hours before you refrigerate.

Mashed potatoes can only stay at room temperature for a little while before they spoil. Please ensure the mashed potatoes have cooled to at least 140° before putting them in the fridge.

If you store mashed potatoes correctly, you can reheat and enjoy them whenever possible. Also, you can freeze mashed potatoes and enjoy them for a long time afterward. 

Below is the chart for the shelf life of mashed potatoes depending on how they’re stored.

Storage LocationShelf Life
Room temperatureMaximum of 2 hours
Freezer11-12 months
Refrigerator3-5 days


Mashed potatoes last in the fridge for about 3-5 days before they begin to spoil.

At room temperature, mashed potatoes stay good for about 2 hours. When you freeze mashed potatoes, they can last for several months.

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