Potatoes are a staple in countless cuisines. Whether you prefer them as a hearty side dish with meat, mixed with a cream for mash, cubed for soup, or sliced for fries, potatoes are held in high esteem all around the world.
Being a cheap and delicious option, you really can’t go wrong with having potatoes on hand at all times. That being said, there is a proper way to freeze potatoes so their important qualities aren't lost.
Here's our comprehensive guide to freezing potatoes to ensure optimal preservation.
Related Article: Can You Freeze Mashed Potatoes?
Should You Freeze Potatoes?
Is It Worth It?
Yes, potatoes in all their different forms can be frozen effectively with little consequence. We actually encourage it because it can help you minimize waste and save you money in the long run.
Potatoes can also be pre-shredded, cubed or sliced before freezing to make hash browns, scalloped potatoes, mashed potatoes and an endless array of unique recipes.
Although potatoes can last for weeks if stored in a cool, dry place, freezing potatoes at their peak freshness is the best way to preserve them for months to come. You never know when you’ll need a quick side-dish at the last minute.
It depends on the potato dish you will be making in the end, but if you follow our instructions for freezing properly, your potatoes shouldn't lose any flavor.
Texture will always be somewhat compromised after freezing, but the consequences for potatoes are usually unnoticed. Just make sure the potatoes you are freezing are at peak freshness, and never skip the blanching process.
How To Freeze Potatoes
First, wash your potatoes well in cold water, dry, and then slice, cube or grate into desired pieces. The potatoes can also be left whole.
The skins can be removed or left on, depending on your preference. Toss potatoes into a large pot of boiling water, and cook (blanch) them for 5-15 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces. You want to cook potatoes to the point when they are between raw and cooked-through.
Drain potatoes in a strainer, flushing in cold (or ice) water to stop further cooking. Drain completely, and pat potatoes dry with a paper towel. The pieces should then be spread out on a baking sheet, and put in the freezer for 6-12 hours, or until frozen through (this prevents your potato pieces from freezing together into a big chunk).
They can then be transferred to your freezer safe bags. The potatoes can be frozen for up to 6 months for ultimate freshness.
**Blanching potatoes before freezing helps kill the enzyme that results in browning.
How To Thaw Potatoes
If you want to use your frozen sliced or cubed potatoes for soups, stews, casseroles, mash, or fries, they can be taken directly from the freezer and placed in a pot of boiling water for 10-15 minutes, until tender, or thrown right onto the pan for frying. They do not need to be thawed first, which is a huge time-saver!
If you want to slowly thaw your potatoes, remove your freezer bag or container, and place it in the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing. Then potatoes can be used as needed.
If you are in a rush and need your potatoes thawed pronto, they can be placed in a microwave safe bowl and heated on the "defrost" microwave setting until soft. Keep in mind, microwaving can cause uneven cooking and may ultimately change the texture of your potatoes.
Uses For Frozen Potatoes
Frozen potatoes can be used for so many different things.
If you have whole frozen potatoes, they can be put in the oven for a baked potato, or thawed and then cut into desired pieces.
If you cut your potatoes into chunks before freezing, they can then be boiled for making mash or a delicious potato salad, added to a soup, roasted for breakfast, or to be used as a simple side dish.
If you cut your potatoes into stripes before freezing, they can be tossed in olive oil and baked, or fried...who doesn't love some homemade fries or wedges?
If you have frozen grated potatoes, they can be fried from frozen to make hash browns or potato patties, which can then be eaten as-is, or added to a casserole.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Freeze Different Forms of Potatoes?
Fries are typically browned in butter or oil beforehand, and tend to freeze and thaw quite well. Pre-cooked french fries can be frozen in a freezer bag for up to 6 months. When reheating, fries will taste best if fried (again) in a bit of oil on the stovetop at a high temperature. Alternately, the oven can be used. Bake at 425° for up to 10 minutes, checking along the way.
If you want to prepare potato strips for making fries in the future, blanch, toss your potatoes strips in a little vegetable oil, and lay them out evenly on a flat baking sheet. Place the tray in the freezer for 12 hours, and then transfer strips to a freezer-safe bag. Label and use within 6 months.
When making mashed potatoes, some type of cream or butter is usually added, which can actually help further preserve their texture when frozen and thawed. If you have leftover mashed potatoes, they can be put into a freezer-bag, labeled with the date, and frozen for up to 6 months.
You can also divide into smaller portion bags for quick and easy individual meals. When thawing your mashed potatoes, place the bag in the refrigerator until soft, then add to a pot and warm on the stove, or in the oven at a low temperature, stirring halfway through for even heating. Mashed potatoes may need a dash of added cream or milk if texture has become too thick.
If you have any type of soup containing potato chunks that you want to freeze, it is likely when thawed your potatoes will become mushy within the soup. If you have blended, creamy potato soup, freezing and thawing will have a better result. Soups with potato chunks can be frozen, but should be used within a few weeks.
If you end up with a ton of already-cooked leftover hash browns during that family brunch, you can let these cool completely, and place the patties in a freezer bag for up to three months.
Yes, sweet potatoes can be cleaned, chopped and frozen just like white potatoes. Keep in mind, when boiling before freezing, sweet potatoes will have a slightly longer blanching time.
Baked potatoes can be placed in a freezer bag or container and frozen for up to 1 month. Before freezing, scoop the innards of the potato out of the skin, mash them up, and put them back in the skins. Baked potatoes can be reheated (from frozen) in the oven or microwave.
An already-baked potato dish can be placed in an airtight container and frozen for up to 1 month. Depending on what other ingredients are in the dish, when reheated, there may be some texture changes. Reheat the dish from frozen at 400°F for 30 minutes.
Freezing potatoes is a great way to plan ahead for any busy holidays you might have coming up, or simply as a way to reduce waste and make that huge bag of potatoes into lots of different recipes. You'll be so glad when you need that last-minute side dish, and you remember the frozen cubed potatoes you can toss right in the oven or boil for instant mash.
We hope you found this guide helpful, and that from now on, none of your potatoes will go to waste!