Freeze Drying Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes.  We've got them.  Lots of them.  After all, we do live in Idaho.  But what can we do with them?

One of our family favorites is to eat mashed potatoes.  Of course, sometimes we make way too many.  Yes, we can freeze them to eat later.  But we've found we can also freeze dry our leftover mashed potatoes!

These delicious freeze dried mashed potatoes are a great staple to add to your pantry for busy weeknight meals or summer camping trips.
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    WHAT?!  You can freeze dry mashed potatoes?  Yep.  Once they are freeze dried, we powder them in a blender and pop them into Mylar bags.  Now we can have mashed potatoes anytime we want without having to peel, cook, mash and serve.

    freeze dried mashed potatoes

    What is Freeze-Drying?

    Freeze drying is the process of freezing an item almost completely solid and then removing all moisture content through a vacuum process.  This allows for foods to become shelf-stable when they might otherwise not be able to be preserved.

    If you are new to freeze drying, check out our post All About Freeze Drying and its benefits.

    Supplies Needed to Freeze Dry Potatoes

    Freeze Dryer Machine:  We use the large Harvest Right Freeze Dryer.  We decided to go with the large because it can hold more, which means filling less often versus running the machine more often.  But they come in small, medium and large.  And they released an Ex-Large version in 2023.

    Vacuum Sealer: A vacuum sealer is a good investment if you plan to store your freeze dried goods in jars.  This eliminates the cost and need for oxygen absorbers.

    Mylar Bags:  A Mylar bag is a great choice for storing freeze dried foods.  They come in many sizes and keep light from getting to foods.  They can be stored in tubs or 5 gallon buckets for easy access.  Make sure to purchase thick bags to avoid foods puncturing through and ruining your food supply.

    Impulse Sealer: An Impulse Sealer is used to seal Mylar bags.  Heat is applied to the bag layers to seal them together and avoid moisture, air and light from penetrating the bags.

    Oxygen Absorbers: Whether you plan to use Mylar bags or canning jars, you'll want to invest in oxygen absorbers.  These will be added to each Mylar bag and short term shortage jars.  This ensures that any oxygen in the packaging is absorbed and keeps the food from spoiling.  

    You can purchase these in many places including from Harvest Right and even on Amazon.  We've had success with both, but you may need to try a few brands until you find one that works best for you.

    Why Freeze Dry Roasted Potatoes?

    Freeze drying is a great method of preserving food for long term storage, but it is also a great way to have "instant meals" on hand for busy weeknight meals.  Since our family enjoys mashed potatoes, we can simply open a bag, add hot water and mix and wait for dinner to be ready within 5 minutes.

    Freeze dried foods can become "convenience" foods. But instead of having loads of processed foods on the shelf, you have shelf stable, homemade and healthy foods at your disposal.

    Plus, these mashed potatoes are in a powdered form.  That makes them easy to take on camp trips or vacations.  You can pack food that only needs some water to eat.


    How to Freeze Dry Mashed Potatoes

    Wash and peel potatoes. Cut into 1/2" to 1" pieces. Fill a stock pot with water. Place potatoes into water. Boil potatoes for 10-12 minutes until potatoes are soft.

    Remove potatoes from stovetop and drain the water. Add potatoes to a large bowl. Begin mashing potatoes with a stand mixer, hand mixer or by hand. Add butter and milk slowly until they get to the consistency you want. Potatoes should be smooth but not runny.

    freeze dried mashed potatoes

    Place mashed potatoes onto freeze drying trays. Flash freeze them in your freezer for several hours if you have time. Move potatoes to freeze dryer trays. Place in freeze dryer. Press start. Allow potatoes to freeze and go through the freeze dry process. This can take anywhere from 24-48 hours. Potatoes have a lot of liquid to remove.

    freeze drying potatoes

    When prompted, turn release valve and remove from freeze dryer. Place sections of the potatoes into a blender and blend into a fine powder. Place into Mylar bags with an oxygen absorber and seal with heat. OR store in an air tight jar or container for immediate use.

    freeze dried mashed potatoes

    That's it!  How much easier can it get?  Just make mashed potatoes and add them to the freeze dryer.  In a couple days, you'll have freeze dried mashed potatoes to add to your pantry for later use.

    Imagine how much easier the holidays can be with pre-made potatoes.  And the money you can save by getting potatoes for cheap anytime of year and using them when they are scarce.  Make sure to check out our other freeze dried potato recipes as well.

    freeze dried mashed potatoes

    If you are looking for more freeze drying ideas, check out our What is Freeze Drying post for more ideas and links to other freeze drying recipes.

    These delicious freeze dried mashed potatoes are a great staple to add to your pantry for busy weeknight meals or summer camping trips.

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