Why Adding Extra Cream Pays Off When Storing Mashed Potatoes

If you have perfected the exact amount of mashed potatoes to make for dinner, you are in a rare group. A cup is a typical serving size of mashed potatoes, which comes out to about a half pound of potatoes per person, per Greatist. One cup is great unless you're a huge fan of mashed potatoes and gravy. In that case, additional cups per person are necessary. Either way, most of us stare at the bag of potatoes, wondering how many we should peel and chop, and then usually end up adding just one more for good measure.

No matter how you measure them, potatoes are an excellent food. According to UC Davis Health, potatoes contain vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant, and they also contain potassium, which you need for your heart, muscles, and nervous system, so feel free to keep mashing them. 

There are many ways to make mashed potatoes, but whatever method you choose, you've got to add one ingredient to make sure the leftovers store well. Opening a container of watery or dried-out mashed potatoes is quite disappointing.

Grab some heavy cream

The key ingredient for creamy leftover mashed potatoes is extra fat — particularly, heavy cream. Butter or milk are helpful; however, nothing beats the creamy goodness of heavy cream. "Top Chef" winner Kelsey Barnard Clark told HuffPost that she uses heavy cream exclusively, and if it's good enough for a Top Chef, it's good enough for us. This doesn't mean you should forego the butter. Butter and potatoes make the perfect marriage. Still, for a liquid choice, skip the water or milk when mashing and grab the cream.

The reason heavy cream makes heavenly leftover mashed potatoes is that the fat in the cream adds a bit of an extra coating to the potatoes when storing them as leftovers, especially when freezing, per Insider. If you didn't add enough fat during the cooking process, no worries. Simply stir in some heavy cream before storing your potatoes in an airtight container before heading to the freezer. If you're storing them in the fridge, Kitchn recommends adding a bit of cream to the top of the potatoes to keep them moist. 

Keep in mind that leftover potatoes are only good for so long. Healthline explains that cooked, mashed potatoes are safe in the refrigerator for three to four days and up to one year when frozen.