Roasted root vegetables of any kind are a nice addition to dinner during the fall and winter months.
Roast potatoes are no exception.
I expect many of us will be including many variations of roast potatoes on our Thanksgiving tables this November.
But what do you do with leftovers?
Leftover potatoes can, in general, be tricky to store and reheat properly.
But with the right tools (*cough cough* this article) and the right method, you can reheat them so they’re as good as when you first made them.
A note on my experiment
I made a big batch of roast potatoes as a side dish with dinner over the weekend and set aside several servings to test out some reheating methods.
I tested four ways to reheat the potatoes:
- In the oven
- In a skillet
- In an air fryer (the best method in my opinion)
- In the microwave (not recommended)
I looked for both ease and the quality of the potatoes after reheating.
Did the skin turn out as crispy as when they were fresh?
What was the texture, and how warm were the insides of the potatoes?
I found the air fryer did the best job at reheating the roast potatoes. The oven and skillet produced good but not great results for various reasons.
And I definitely recommend staying away from the microwave.
Reheating roast potatoes in the oven
Lightly grease a baking sheet and preheat your oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Place the greased baking sheet inside. Once the oil is hot, arrange the leftover potatoes on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, flipping the potatoes every few minutes so all the sides crisp up.
How to reheat roast potatoes in the oven:
- Grease a baking sheet with a fat of your choice* and place in the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC) with the greased baking tray inside.
- Carefully arrange potatoes in a single layer on the preheated baking sheet. Don’t overcrowd because this will lead to uneven heating.
- Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, flipping potatoes periodically.
Oil or butter are easy, but if you can use the fat you used in the initial cooking, that’s your best option to ensure a consistent flavor.
Preheating the oil before adding the potatoes to the baking sheet prevents it from being soaked into the potatoes and results in crispier skin.
Just be careful when handling the tray, as being splashed by hot oil is not a fun experience.
Top tip: use tongs to flip the potatoes if you have them.
I also tested what would happen if I covered the baking sheet with foil, thinking it might result in moister potatoes.
In reality, the moistness wasn’t much different from when I baked them uncovered (and the skins turned out soggy).
Using the oven to reheat roast potatoes turned out okay, but it wasn’t my favorite method.
The potatoes weren’t soggy, but they didn’t have the super crispy skin I wanted either.
This method also took the longest, and it was annoying to have to flip the pieces over.
If you have a lot of potatoes to reheat, the oven would be the most efficient. But if you’re just reheating a few for yourself, go with a different method for better results in less time.
Reheating roast potatoes in a skillet
Add some oil or butter to a nonstick skillet and heat over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the potatoes and cover the skillet with a lid. Heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Then, remove the lid, turn the heat up slightly and fry the potatoes, turning frequently until they are crispy on all sides.
How to reheat roast potatoes in a skillet:
- Add oil or butter to a nonstick skillet.
- Heat over medium heat until the oil is shimmering (this indicates it’s hot enough).
- Add potatoes and cover with a well-fitting lid.
- Heat for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove the lid and turn the heat up to medium-high.
- Fry the potatoes for several more minutes.
- Turn the potatoes frequently, so all sides crisp evenly.
Covering the skillet with the lid for the first couple of minutes of cooking helps retain moisture in the potatoes and heat the inside.
I thought the lid might result in soggy skins, but this happily turned out not to be the case (I guess because I didn’t add any additional water).
It’s important to heat the oil (or whatever fat you’re using) before adding the potatoes to the skillet.
Otherwise, the potatoes will soak up the oil as they heat, resulting in greasy potatoes.
To test your oil, drop a breadcrumb into the pan.
If it sizzles, the oil is hot enough. If nothing happens, the oil is too cold.
The skillet was my second favorite way to reheat roast potatoes.
The insides stayed moist while the outsides crisped nicely.
It was also super easy to flip the potatoes using tongs, and the overall time involved was pretty short, especially compared to the oven.
Reheating roast potatoes in an air fryer
Preheat your air fryer to 350ºF (180ºC). Spray the roasted potatoes with a light coating of cooking oil (if desired), then place them in the fryer basket. Reheat for five minutes, shaking the basket halfway through to promote even crisping.
How to reheat roast potatoes in an air fryer:
- Preheat your air fryer to 350ºF (180ºC).
- If using cooking oil, spray a light coating on the potatoes.
- Place the potatoes in the fryer basket.
- Heat for five minutes, shaking halfway through.
A light coating of cooking oil does two things.
First, it adds a bit of flavor.
Second, it will help keep your potatoes from sticking to the fryer basket. Be sure to read the instructions for your air fryer for other tips to prevent sticking.
If your potatoes already seem quite greasy, you can skip the oil.
The residual oil in the potato’s skin will do the job fine.
Pay close attention to the potatoes as they reheat. It’s easy to overcook and even burn the potatoes if you aren’t watching.
This was my favorite way to reheat roast potatoes.
The cook time was fast, and this method resulted in potatoes that were crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.
The best part, especially if you’re trying to be healthy, is that it doesn’t take much cooking oil to add extra crispiness to the skins.
Reheating roast potatoes in the microwave
To reheat roast potatoes in the microwave, place them on a microwave-safe plate that you have lined with a paper towel. Try to avoid the potatoes touching. Microwave on HIGH in 30-second intervals until heated through. 30 seconds should be enough for one portion.
How to reheat roast potatoes in the microwave:
- Line a microwave-safe plate with a paper towel.
- Arrange potatoes on the plate in a single layer, making sure to keep some space between each potato.
- Microwave on HIGH power in 30-second intervals until heated through.
The paper towel on the plate will help absorb any excess grease that may remain on the potatoes from the initial cooking.
Microwave ovens vary in power, so overall cook times will be different depending on your appliance.
Be sure to check your potatoes after each 30-second interval to make sure you do not overcook your potatoes.
This method was fast, but did not result in pleasant reheated roast potatoes at all.
The insides were moist, but the outsides were soggy and kind of gross.
I definitely do not recommend using a microwave.
How to store roast potatoes
It’s very easy to store roast potatoes, but you have to take a couple of steps to make sure you don’t end up with super soggy potatoes when you go to reheat them.
Store leftover roast potato in an airtight container lined with a paper towel. The paper towel will absorb any extra moisture that may seep out of the potatoes (even if they’re completely cool, this can’t be completely avoided). Leftover roast potatoes will last in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
Before storing, make sure your leftovers are room temperature.
Otherwise, condensation will build up inside whatever container you use and result in excess moisture.
Also, avoid the potatoes touching too much.
Points where the skins touch will become soggy much quicker than potatoes that have space.
Can you freeze roast potatoes?
Roast potatoes freeze well, provided you ensure they’re prepared correctly. The main thing is to package the potatoes so no air can get to them. If there’s too much air, you leave the potatoes vulnerable to freezer burn. Roast potatoes will keep for 6-12 months in the freezer.
How to freeze roast potatoes:
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (to prevent sticking).
- Lay potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer for one to two hours.
- After 2 hours, the potatoes should be frozen solid. Transfer them to a zipper-top bag.
- Remove all air, or as much as possible, from the bag before sealing.
- Place in the freezer for up to 6-12 months.
Getting rid of the air in the bag is a crucial step for preventing freezer burn.
Squeezing the air out works okay, but a cool trick a friend taught me is to fill a bowl with cool water and slowly submerge the bag until the potatoes are underwater.
This essentially vacuum seals the potatoes, as the water forces all the air out.
Seal the bag before taking it out of the water, and you’re ready to pop it in the freezer.
If you happen to have a FoodSaver or similar vacuum sealer, this is another great option for longer storage of your leftover roast potatoes in the freezer.
The first few steps are you ‘flash freezing’ the potatoes.
This prevents them from sticking together in the freezer, so you don’t have to thaw a huge batch only to use a few potatoes.
If you continually freeze and refreeze roast potatoes, they will become soggy and flavorless over time.
Additionally, this promotes the growth of dangerous bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
How to reheat frozen roast potatoes
There’s no need to thaw your roast potatoes before cooking them. I recommend using the oven to reheat frozen roast potatoes. Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC) with a greased baking tray inside. Then arrange the potatoes on the baking sheet and heat them for 20-23 minutes, flipping periodically.
(for more detailed instructions, scroll up to the ‘reheating roast potatoes in the oven’ section and just adjust the timings.)
I don’t advise thawing the roast potatoes before you reheat them because this can leave you with mushy skins.
But, if you do decide to thaw your potatoes before reheating them, make sure you put them in the fridge to thaw and do not thaw at room temperature.
How long do roast potatoes last?
As with any leftovers, proper food storage ensures that you will not risk the growth of harmful bacteria that can make you sick. Store your leftover roast potatoes in the fridge or freezer as soon as possible.
In general, you can follow these guidelines for proper food storage times:
- Room Temperature: Roast potatoes at room temperature will keep for about two hours. Any longer than this and you risk the growth of bacteria. The FDA recommends that you should discard any food that’s been left out for longer than two hours at room temperature.
- Refrigerated: Roast potatoes will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
- Frozen: Roast potatoes that have been frozen are good for up to 6 months for best quality. But if properly sealed, especially vacuum-sealed, they can keep up to an entire year (or even longer!).
The BEST Way To Reheat Roast Potatoes
- 1 portion roast potato
- 3 tbsp oil/butter/fat
Grease a baking sheet with a fat of your choice* and place in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC) with the greased baking tray inside.
Carefully arrange potatoes in a single layer on the preheated baking sheet. Don’t overcrowd because this will lead to uneven heating.
Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, flipping potatoes periodically.
Serving: 100gCalories: 142kcal