Freezing potatoes is a useful and practical way to keep them fresh and tasty over an extended period of time. Learn how to preserve potatoes in your freezer with these tips.
Potatoes have been relied on for centuries as a great crop for winter food storage. However, there may be times when storage conditions are not ideal. Maybe you don’t have a cold area in your home for storing crops, or perhaps your winter ends up warmer than expected and your potatoes are beginning to soften and sprout prematurely while in storage.
Don’t let your potatoes go to waste. Another great way to preserve potatoes and sweet potatoes is to freeze them.
Tips for Freezing Potatoes
Frozen potatoes are useful to have on hand when you need to get dinner on the table quickly. The prep work of peeling and cutting has already been done. Since the potatoes are partially cooked, it will also cut down the cooking time.
Delicious frozen potatoes are a wonderful addition to soups, stews, casseroles, or as a side dish to meals. Learn how to freeze potatoes so that they have a longer shelf life, and good flavor with these tips:
Commonly Asked Questions
If you have never thought of freezing potatoes before, you may have questions. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about freezing potatoes:
- Can you freeze potatoes? Yes, with a little prep, and precooking, potatoes can be preserved in the freezer. Frozen cooked potatoes can be used in a variety of dishes.
- Can you freeze raw potatoes? No, uncooked potatoes do not freeze well. Potatoes need to be pre-cooked before freezing or the texture and flavor will degrade, and the cold temperature will turn the potato black when thawed. Blanching potatoes stops enzyme actions, which can cause loss of flavor, color and texture.
- Can you freeze mashed potatoes? Yes, mashed potatoes can be stashed in the freezer for a future meal. You can freeze leftover potatoes, or cook up a batch of mashed potatoes to preserve in the freezer for a later meal.
Types of Potatoes for Freezing
Any type of potato can be frozen. The quality of the frozen potatoes will differ depending on the variety, how fresh the tubers are, and how well the flavor and texture holds up in the freezer. I suggest freezing a small batch to test the results before committing to freezing a large quantity.
With that being said, if I have potatoes in storage that are showing signs of going bad, I will freeze these instead of losing them. Even if they turn out mushy when cooked, these can still be used in pureed soups.
The types of potatoes that freeze best include baking potatoes, waxy boiling potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
- Baking potatoes contain less moisture and enough starch to hold up well when blanched and frozen without turning mushy. Types of high-starch baking potatoes include Green Mountain, Katahdin, and Kennebec, Russet, Snowden, and Yukon Gold.
- Waxy potatoes can also freeze well. Waxy or boiling types of potatoes are low in starch and high in moisture and sugar. These include thin skinned, freshly harvested new potatoes, round gold, white, and red potatoes.
- Sweet potatoes also freeze well as cubed, grated, or mashed.
What is the Best Way to Freeze Potatoes?
When it comes to freezing potatoes, there are a few different ways to go about it and the way you choose depends on how you plan to use them.
To help you decide which way to freeze potatoes, think about how you use potatoes in your meals.
- Does your family love roasted potatoes? Then freezing chunks or cubed potatoes will be a smart way to go for easy meal prep.
- Enjoy air-fryer fries? Then cutting and preparing freezer fries will help you air fry up a batch quickly for snacks or a side dish.
- Do you have leftover mashed potatoes? Go ahead and pop it into the freezer and save it for another meal.
- Do you eat hash browns often? Then freezing partially cooked shredded potatoes will help you prepare breakfast quicker.
How to Freeze Potatoes
Once you have decided how to freeze your potatoes, you will need just the basic kitchen equipment, including a large pot, two large bowls, knife, cutting board, vegetable peeler, slotted spoon, box grater, sheet trays, parchment paper, kitchen towels, and quart sized freezer zipper bags.
Here are the steps to freezing potatoes and sweet potatoes several different ways, including diced, fries, mashed potatoes, and shredded. You can find a printable recipe at the bottom of this article.
How to Make Frozen Diced Potatoes
Chunks, cubed, or diced potatoes can be used in so many ways, including adding to soups and stews, fried for breakfast potatoes, roasted as a side dish, and even boiled and turned into mashed potatoes.
Step 1: Prepare the Potatoes
Scrub the potatoes well under clean running water, and then air dry on a kitchen towel. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Peel the potatoes and trim off any blemishes, eyes, and green areas.
Cut the potatoes 1-inch sized cubes, and place the potatoes into the bowl of water as you work. After potatoes are cut, contact with oxygen can turn them brown or gray. Dropping the cut potatoes in water preserves the color by limiting the exposure to air.
Step 2: Blanch the Potatoes
Bring a large pot to a boil over high heat. While the pot is heating, fill a bowl with ice water.
Working in small batches, drop the cubed potatoes into the boiling water. Blanch until the potatoes are crisp-tender, but not fully cooked, between 2 to 5 minutes depending on the type of potato and size of your pieces.
The potato must be heated through to prevent enzymatic reactions, which can cause the centers to become discolored when frozen. Test for doneness by spearing a piece with the sharp tip of a knife. The knife should slip through to the center easily with very little resistance. Cook one minute more if the center is still hard, and test again.
Scoop out the blanched potatoes with a slotted spoon or strainer and drop into the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Once the potatoes have cooled, drain, and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.
Step 3: Freeze the Potatoes
First, flash freeze the potatoes, so they won’t stick together. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Spread the potatoes out in a single layer, and place the baking sheet in the freezer for about an hour until frozen, and then package the pieces up into freezer bags. Remove air from the bag, seal, label, date, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Ways to Use Frozen Potatoes
Keep the potatoes frozen until you are ready to cook them. To use frozen diced potatoes, just reach into the bag and grab what you need.
- Oven Roasted Potatoes: Frozen diced potatoes are a great shortcut for making oven-roasted potatoes. To roast the potatoes, preheat your oven to 425˚F, toss the frozen spuds with a little oil and seasoning, spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet, and roast until the potatoes are cooked through and the outside is crispy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Toss halfway through so the potatoes cook evenly.
- Pan Fried Potatoes: Frozen potatoes are also a great shortcut to making crispy fried potatoes to serve with breakfast or as a side dish. Simply heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of butter, once the butter is melted, add your potatoes, season, and fry until cooked through and the edges are crisp.
- Stews and Soups: Frozen potatoes can also be used for making beef stew, chowder, and soups. Add at the end of the cooking time, so they don’t overcook, and heat until cooked through.
- Mashed Potatoes: Mashed potatoes can be made from frozen potatoes the same way as regular potatoes. Just add the frozen potatoes to a pot of water. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender. Drain, season, add butter, milk or cream, and mash.
How to Make Frozen French Fries
We eat oven air-fryer or oven baked fries at least once a week and having pre-cooked frozen fries ready to go is a great time saver. Blanching and freezing French fries lets you to bake or air fry fries in half the time as making from scratch.
The process of preparing fries for the freezer is similar to diced potatoes. This article takes you though the steps to prepare freezer fries, plus ways to cook them:
Freezing Mashed Potatoes
There are no special techniques needed to freeze mashed potatoes. Just make your mashed potatoes like normal, be sure to add plenty of butter and milk because this helps the preserve the texture of the potatoes when frozen.
Let the potatoes cool completely, and then package serving sized portions in freezer bags or containers. Leave about 1-inch headspace to allow for expansion, and store in the freezer for up to 4 weeks.
Frozen mashed potatoes can be reheated by cooking them on the stove, microwave or in an oven. If you want to speed up the process, thaw potatoes in refrigerator overnight before heating. After warming, freshen up the flavor by adding extra butter, milk, and extra seasoning if needed.
- Reheating on the Stovetop: Add the potatoes to a pot, and heat over low heat until the potatoes are hot Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and to help the potatoes heat evenly.
- Reheat in the Microwave: Place the potatoes into a microwave safe dish, and microwave on high until heated through, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir partway through to heat evenly.
- Reheat in the Oven: Preheat the oven to 350˚F, and place the potatoes into a covered casserole dish or a baking pan covered with foil. Bake in a preheated oven until the potatoes are hot, about 30 minutes. Stir half way through to cook evenly.
How to Freeze Shredded Potatoes
Frozen shredded potatoes will come in handy for quickly frying up hash browns for breakfast, adding to soups, and topping casseroles.
Step 1: Prepare the Potatoes
Wash the potatoes well under clean running water. Peel the potatoes and trim off any bad areas. Fill a large bowl with cold water.
Grate the potatoes using the large holes of a box grater. If you are freezing a large batch, a food processor with shredding attachment will help you quickly prepare shredded potatoes. Cut the potatoes into pieces that will fit the chute, turn on the machine, and push the potatoes through the shredding disc to shred. Place the shredded potatoes into the bowl of cold water as you work.
Step 2: Blanch the Shredded Potatoes
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, and fill a bowl with cold ice water.
Working in batches, remove the shredded potatoes from the bowl with a slotted spoon, and plunge into the boiling water for about 3 minutes. Scoop out and plunge into the ice bath to stop the cooking process.
Once the potatoes have cooled, drain and spread them out evenly on a clean kitchen towel. Roll up the towel and squeeze to remove as much moisture as you can.
Step 3: Freeze the Shredded Potatoes
Spread the potatoes out on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and flash freeze until frozen, about one hour. Pack the frozen potatoes into freezer bags, squeeze out all the air, seal, label, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To fry up hash browns, heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add butter to the pan, and then your frozen shredded potatoes. Season
How to Freeze Potatoes
- 2 pounds potatoes
- cold water
- several trays of ice cubes
Prepare the Potatoes
- Scrub the potatoes well under clean running water, and then air dry on a clean kitchen towel.
- Fill a large bowl with cold water.
- Peel the potatoes and trim off any blemishes, eyes, and green areas.
To Freeze Diced Potatoes
- Cut the potatoes 1-inch sized pieces, and place them into the bowl of water as you work.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. While the pot is heating up, fill a large bowl with cold water and ice.
- Working in batches, blanch the potatoes by dropping them into the boiling water. Boil each batch for 2 to 5 minutes, or until the interiors are crisp-tender and can be speared with a knife.
- Scoop out the blanched potatoes with a slotted spoon or strainer and drop into the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
- Once the potatoes have cooled, drain, and dry well with a clean kitchen towel.
- Lay the potatoes out on a parchment lined sheet pan and freeze for about an hour until frozen, and then package the pieces up into freezer bags. Remove air from the bag, seal, label, date, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To Freeze Shredded Potatoes
- Shred the potatoes using the large holes of a box grater or food processor. Place the shredded potatoes into the bowl of cold water as you work.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, and fill a bowl with cold ice water.
- Working in batches, add the shredded potatoes to the pot and blanch for about 3 minutes. Scoop out and plunge into the ice water bowl to stop the cooking process.
- Once the potatoes have cooled, drain and spread them out evenly on a kitchen towel. Roll up the towel and squeeze to remove as much moisture as you can.
- Spread the shredded potatoes out on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and flash freeze until frozen, about one hour. Pack the frozen potatoes into freezer bags, squeeze out all the air, seal, label, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
I hope this article gives you some ideas for preserving potatoes in the freezer. The easiest way to freeze potatoes is to cook until tender, pat dry, cool completely, and store in freezer bags in freezer.
Other Ways to Preserve Potatoes:
You May Also Like:
- Harvest Hearty Beef Stew
- Roasted Root Vegetables
- New England Fish Chowder
- French Canadian Salmon Pie
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Sharon Schieferstein says
I appreciate the tip! It works!!
Is it necessary to peel the potatoes before blanching and freezing? My potatoes would be going into soups.
©Rachel Arsenault says
Beth, You can leave the peelings on when freezing potatoes.
Thanks so much for teaching me how to preserve potatoes. Can you freeze mashed potatoes if they contain mayonnaise?
©Rachel Arsenault says
Donna, No, I don’t recommend freezing mayo. It changes the texture and flavor.
Confused about freezing mashed potatoes because I just read another article that said adding butter or milk prior to freezing is not good!
©Rachel Arsenault says
Lynne, I guess you’ll have to try it out to decide. The fat in the butter and milk helps preserve the texture and helps keep the potatoes fluffy.