Freezer Mashed Potatoes

Freezer Mashed Potatoes  
Nice russet potatoes were on sale last week for 88¢ for 5 pounds, and store brand cream cheese was on sale for 88¢ a package,  eggs were 99¢ a dozen.  I was down to my last package of mashed potatoes in the freezer...perfect!
My favorite freezer recipe is this one; and not just for entertaining.  I make this up and freeze 2 portions that I can microwave in minutes for a meal anytime.  That way I'm sure that bargain bag of potatoes doesn’t rot before I can use it up.  The cream cheese is necessary to keep a nice mashed potato texture for frozen potatoes.  If you look at this recipe before it is fully reheated; it will look too runny to possibly work; but it sets up when it's hot enough!
My husband loves them because they taste like real mashed potatoes...not dehydrated ones; and I love them for the convenience.
Salbree instant pot basket 6 qt.

Since I first started making this recipe I have purchased a 6 quart instant pot, so I'm giving this method here.  It doesn't necessarily save time, but it uses much less water and doesn't need a lot of attention.
I purchased a Salbree 6 qt. instant pot basket; which I use for steaming potatoes and making stock.  So far, it works very well, although it's not heavy duty.  The handle has a silicone cover for easier handling.  It holds all 5# of cut-up potatoes.
If you don't have an instant pot, steam the potatoes in a large steamer or cook them in a stock pot in boiling water for 18-20 minutes.   I use my 6 quart Kitchenaid mixer to mash the potatoes.             
       Freezer Make-ahead Mashed Potatoes
  5        pounds  russet potatoes
  1        large  egg
     1/2 teaspoon  garlic powder
  3        tablespoons  butter
  1        teaspoon  salt
  8        ounces  cream cheese
  1. Add 1 1/2 cups water to bottom of instant pot.  Insert steamer basket.  
  2. Put cream cheese and butter in stand mixer bowl to come to room temperature.
  3. Peel and quarter and chop potatoes about 1 1/2" pieces, place in instant pot steamer basket.
  4. Cover instant pot.  Set instant pot to pressure cook, high pressure and 12 minutes.   Turn petcock to seal.  Let process; when timer goes off, let it set for 10 minutes, then use a heavy pot holder or cloth to turn open the petcock to instantly remove pressure. 
  5. (If not done enough, replace cover and simply let stand 5 minutes more.)
  6. If you don't have an instant pot, steam the potatoes in a large steamer or cook them in a stock pot in boiling water for 18-20 minutes until tender.  Drain well.
  7.  In large mixer bowl, combine cream cheese, egg, garlic powder and salt and stir in drained potatoes.  Mash well.  Spoon into quart freezer bags (9 1/2 oz. for 2 servings).  Makes 8 meals for 2 people.   Freeze flat. 
  8. For 2 servings, let thaw overnight or several hours.  To cook, place in a 2 cup measure or bowl with a vented lid or cover with plastic wrap with vent holes.  When ready, cook for 3-5 minutes in the microwave, stir once or twice, until set up and hot.
The recipe gives two other ways to serve all the potatoes at once...I haven't tried either method, as I usually cook just 2 servings.
For full amount:  Empty into cooking dish and thaw completely in refrigerator.  Sprinkle with paprika or shredded cheese and bake at 375 degrees 30 minutes until top is golden and potatoes are set up.   Entire 5# potato recipe amount (16 servings) can be baked in a 9x13 pan.
You can also thaw them overnight, and then bring them to room temperature Transfer to a greased 3- or 4-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 3 to 3-1/2 hours for company meals.
September 2019 cost:  $2.15 or 14¢ per serving when potatoes were on sale at 88¢ per 5#, eggs on sale at 99¢ and cream cheese on sale for 88¢ for 8 ounces
Yield:  "1 3/4 quarts"  Makes 8 meals for 2 or 16 side dish servings.

6 comments:

  1. I'm glad you mentioned the steamer basket. I've been looking at those for my Instant Pot and wondered how the silicone holds up after repeated use. Or do you take the handle off the basket?

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    1. No, I still have the handle on the basket...got to get it out of the pot! I don't use my instant pot even every week, however...but so far I'm satisfied with the basket. I'd probably buy another if it wears out before the instant pot.

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    2. Thanks, Sue! I read on Amazon where some took the handle off, but didn't think about having to get it out of the pot. :)

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  2. What a great idea on freezing mashed potatoes. Never even crossed my mind that a person could.
    I don't own an Instant Pot but my #1 daughter does so sent the link / recipe to her.

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    1. Colleen, you sure don't have to have an instant pot for these. Any large pot (stock pot?) on the stove top will work. Just keep an eye on them so they don't become mushy. Drain well.

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