Have you ever tossed out a half-eaten pan of potatoes because they’re going bad, and you just don’t know how to use them up? Well, allow us to change your life with these hacks for frozen potatoes, so you never have to say sayonara to those spuds again!
Seriously, is there another grocery staple more versatile and inexpensive than a huge bag of raw potatoes? Very few. Grab a bag on your next trip and then use our tips to prep for your family’s favorite version. As an added bonus, you will save major bucks on those processed frozen versions lurking in every grocery store freezer aisle.
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Shelf cooking is a total game-changer and budget saver. More than that, we’re continually finding new ways to repurpose common dinner dishes so they never go to waste. A new favorite hack we’ve discovered is how to freeze potatoes to use later. It will save your sanity when you are prepping for those big family holiday meals. You’re welcome — in advance. 😉
HOW TO PREP POTATOES FOR FREEZING SUCCESS
If your goal is to prep a large batch of potatoes for the freezer, then there are a few things you can do to make sure your spuds turn out super yummy.
Step 1: Pick your taters. We’ve found that Russets and Yukon Golds work best for mashed or fried potatoes. If you are roasting, go for a red potato, and you can’t go wrong! And yes, you CAN freeze sweet potatoes as long as you increase your cooking time by a few minutes! Mmmmmm.
Step 2: Wash and prep your potatoes into the form that they will eventually be served. Pick whatever your family loves and will eat! You can shred them into hash browns, cut them into potato wedges or fries, or dice them for oven-roasted potatoes.
Step 3: Steam your potatoes in salted water on the stovetop until they are slightly under-cooked or al dente. They should be tender but with a bit of bite left to them so they aren’t soft enough to eat. This allows you to cook them for the few, final minutes at mealtime so the texture is just right.
Step 4: Drain the cooking liquid and then transfer the potatoes immediately into an ice bath or large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Let them sit in the ice water for about 5 minutes.
This simple process, along with some handy kitchen tools, will set you up for freezing success with your potatoes whether you’re making fries, wedges, or hash browns.
FLASH FREEZING YOUR POTATOES
What the heck is flash freezing? Is it like a flash mob? Regardless, we’re HERE for it. This fancy term actually refers to a super handy freezing method that lets you freeze items individually, and then you can use them in small portions instead of all at once. It’s super helpful so that everything doesn’t freeze together into one big blob.
In order to do this with your potatoes, put your partially cooked spuds on a baking sheet that’s small enough to fit flat on a shelf in your freezer with space between each potato. If the potatoes touch during the freezing process, they’ll stick together and won’t cook as well. It’s kind of like your potatoes are playing “freeze tag”, no? Ha ha ha.
Keep the sheet pan flat in the freezer until your potatoes are solid (about 6-12 hours). Once they are frozen through, you can remove them from the freezer and put your potatoes into a freezer-safe bag or container.
Then, throw that baby back in the freezer and they are good for up to three months!
HOW TO PREP FROZEN POTATOES BY TYPE
The MOST IMPORTANT part of the process of freezing potatoes — seriously, it will make or break this whole thing for you — is to partially cook the potatoes before you freeze. Once you’ve mastered the overall process, you can move onto level two by trying out different types of potato cuts. When you’re ready to dive in, here’s a handy guide to help you along the way!
- Steak Fries – Cut your potatoes into strips with the skin on before cooking to al dente and then flash freezing. To reheat, place your frozen fries on a baking sheet, and bake at 400°F for 10-12 minutes. You could REALLY go for it by frying them in olive oil for about 3-4 minutes per side until lightly golden brown. YUMMY!!
- Roasted Potatoes – Cut your potatoes into whatever size your family likes. You can dice it, you can slice it, you can wedge it, or you can chunk it! You can choose whether to peel the potatoes first as well. It’s up to you! Then, cook to al dente and flash freeze. When you are ready to cook and eat your roasted potatoes, toss your frozen potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then roast them until golden and delicious! So good……
- Hash Browns – Shred your potatoes over a bowl of ice water. When you’re done shredding, drain the bowl and cook the potatoes for about 3 minutes in boiling water. Immediately dump them back into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Then, let them cool on a kitchen towel before spreading evenly on a baking sheet to flash freeze.
- Mashed Potatoes – Yup. You can freeze those mashed taters — as long as they were cooked using butter and/or cream. The higher the fat content, the better they will freeze! You can flash freeze single-serve portions on a baking sheet and then transfer to a Ziploc bag. You can also just dump the whole mass of mashed potatoes into a freezer bag if you plan to reheat it all at once. Life-changing.
Remember to partially cook your potatoes (or fully cook for leftover mashed potatoes) before freezing! Raw potatoes are so full of water that they will just turn into a mushy, grainy mess in the freezer. No one wants a mushy tater!
CAN YOU FREEZE A WHOLE BAKED POTATO?
We’re sure that this whole article has begged the question — can you freeze a whole baked potato? Yes… and no. If you just cooked up a crockpot full of baked potatoes and have leftovers, we welcome you to try it! Shelf cooking is all about avoiding food waste, right?! However, just be aware that baked potatoes do contain water which causes them to take on a grainy, watery consistency unless they are frozen perfectly. So, they are definitely a little iffy. For more help with this, check out our post about how to prevent freezer burn.
If you want to try it out, then take a plain whole baked potato and let it cool completely. Once cooled, wrap it tightly in aluminum foil, and be careful not to leave any open cracks in the foil. Toss it in the freezer inside a freezer bag, say a little prayer, and hope for the best!
When you are ready to reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and heat in the microwave or oven.
If you’re looking for another amazing way to repurpose leftover baked potatoes, check out our Loaded Baked Potato Soup recipe which freezes like a dream.
GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR FROZEN POTATOES!
With these tips loaded into your kitchen arsenal, you can be sure that you will use every last spud in that giant 10-pound bag of potatoes you bought.
We can’t wait to have you try them out. Tell us which type of potatoes you freeze and how it turns out!
For more great cooking hacks, check out these posts.
- Find a genius way to repurpose those leftovers.
- Learn how to freeze another popular food —avocado!
- Discover a new cooking hack from this huge list.
Have a spud-tacular day!