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How To Keep Mashed Potatoes Warm

There’s nothing quite as comforting as a plate of creamy, delicious mashed potatoes, but keeping them at the perfect temperature can be a challenge.

In this ultimate guide, we’ll show you how to keep mashed potatoes warm, ensuring they remain as delectable as the moment they were cooked.

Say goodbye to lukewarm, dried-out mashed potatoes and discover our tried-and-tested tips that will make your next meal a guaranteed success.

bowl of warm mashed potatoes

You can keep your mashed potatoes warm by placing them in the oven or a crockpot, covering them with aluminum foil, or even serving them on a warmed plate.

Mashed potatoes cool off so quickly and these easy ways will help you to keep mashed potatoes warm for your next dinner.

How to keep your mashed potatoes warm and reheat

It can be annoying when you cook up a nice hot meal only for it to be cold by the time the plate hits the table. Or worse, your side gets cold before the main course is finished. Mashed potatoes are big offenders when it comes to cooling off fast.

You want to avoid having to reheat your mashed potatoes as they will dry out. It is important to keep them warm rather than reheating them. I am going to give you a few of my tricks to save you from serving cold food again.

In a crockpot

Using a crockpot to keep your mashed potatoes warm is a great way method to use if you are not ready to serve them. Simply prepare your mashed potatoes as you wish and then place them in your crockpot in a warm or low setting.

Keeping the setting warm, your mashed potatoes will not get cold. This way you can prepare them ahead of time and keep them from getting cold or you use this as a way to keep them warm while you’re finishing up the rest of your dish.

If you are having a dinner party, hosting a buffet, or maybe you were asked to make the mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner at your In-laws, placing your mashed potatoes in a crockpot is a great way to keep them warm.

There are also some ways to add flavor to mashed potatoes.

In the oven

Much like keeping mashed potatoes warm in a crockpot, you can also use your oven. Using an oven-safe dish with a cover or tin foil over the top, place your mashed potatoes in the oven set at 300°F.

It is important to have a cover on them to keep as much moisture in as possible and prevent them from drying out.

This will keep them warm until you are ready to serve them. The low temperature will keep the mashed potatoes warm without continuing to cook them or dry them out. Note that the longer you leave them in the oven the more they dry out though.

I recommend this method to keep mashed potatoes warm for no more than 45 minutes. If you are going to need them kept warm longer then I recommend using a crockpot.

Either way, you may need to add a little milk or cream and stir them up to bring back some of the moisture.

Cover with aluminum foil

If you are getting really close to serving or maybe you are leaving your mashed potatoes out for anyone that might want seconds, simply cover the dish with aluminum foil to help retain the heat while you are eating.

This method is best if you plan on serving mashed potatoes within 10-15 minutes otherwise the heat will eventually seep out of the foil and start to cool off.

Serve on a warmed plate

Serving food on a cold plate will suck the heat right out of your food the second that it hits the plate. If you warm the plates that you are going to serve the food on it will help keep the food warm.

Look at the bottom of your dishes and make sure that they are oven or microwave-safe before you use this method. If your dishes aren’t marked then I do not recommend doing this.

Place the plates in a warming drawer or if you aren’t fancy like me, then you can place them into a warm oven or microwave for a few minutes. This way when you place hot food onto the plate it is already warm which will keep your food warm also.

When warming plates in the oven you want to heat the oven to 140°F-175°F and leave them in for about 15 minutes. Use oven mitts to remove them from the oven.

You can also use the microwave to heat your plates by stacking them in the microwave on high for 2 minutes with a glass of water with a cup or so of water on top.

I recommend using oven mitts when removing them from the microwave or oven as you could get burned. Also, placemats aren’t a bad idea to protect your table if they are still hot.

If you have them called out of the fridge then I have an entirely different process with reheating mashed potatoes.

Water Bath

Place the mashed potatoes in a heat-resistant or shatterproof container, and set it in a larger, fairly shallow pan of hot, simmering water.

Gently cover the container with plastic wrap and stir the potatoes occasionally. The potatoes should stay warm for an hour or more.

Rachael Ray recommends this method for keeping mashed potatoes warm all Thanksgiving long, so you can be sure you and your guests will enjoy them.

Method Advantages Drawbacks
Crockpot Keeps mashed potatoes warm for a longer time without drying them out Takes up space on the counter or table
Oven Easy method for short-term warming Can dry out mashed potatoes if left too long
Hot Water Bath Gentle method that retains moisture Requires constant monitoring to maintain water temperature
Thermal Container Ideal for transporting or outdoor events May not keep mashed potatoes warm as long as other methods

Frequently Asked Questions for Keeping Mashed Potatoes Warm

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To avoid gluey mashed potatoes, use starchy potatoes like Russets, and don’t over-mix them. Also, gently heat the milk or cream before adding it to the potatoes to prevent starch activation.

Yes, you can reheat mashed potatoes in a microwave. Heat them in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until they reach the desired temperature. Add a little milk or cream if needed to restore creaminess.

Depending on the method, you can keep mashed potatoes warm for up to 2 hours without drying them out. Crockpots and hot water baths are the best options for longer warming times.

Yes, for dairy-free alternatives, you can use almond milk, coconut milk, or cashew cream. Additionally, you can use olive oil, vegan butter, or even chicken or vegetable broth for added creaminess.

To add more flavor to mashed potatoes, try incorporating ingredients like roasted garlic, caramelized onions, herbs, cheese, or even bacon bits. Be creative and experiment with different flavor combinations!

Yes, you can make mashed potatoes ahead of time. Prepare them as usual, then keep them warm using one of the methods discussed, like a crockpot or oven, until you’re ready to serve.


Now that you’ve learned the various methods on how to keep mashed potatoes warm, you can confidently serve this beloved side dish at its best, whether it’s for a family dinner or a large gathering.

With these practical tips and tricks, your mashed potatoes will stay warm, moist, and flavorful, leaving your guests impressed and asking for seconds.

So go ahead and elevate your culinary game by keeping those mashed potatoes perfectly warm every single time.

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