If you’ve ever been tasked with making the mashed potatoes for a big Thanksgiving dinner or any big dinner, the best frozen mashed potatoes are a revelation. Frozen mashed potatoes—which typically come in little medallions in a bag—are way more like homemade mashed potatoes than dehydrated instant mashed potatoes (although, I’ll always have a soft spot for those) and you don’t have to peel potatoes until you develop carpal tunnel syndrome. I was introduced to frozen mashed potatoes when I first tried Trader Joe’s frozen mashed potatoes, but after a taste test, those didn’t even make the cut! I firmly believe that all mashed potatoes are good mashed potatoes—instant, frozen, from a little styrofoam cup at KFC—but these frozen mashed potatoes in a bag are about to blow your starch-loving mind.
- Homestyle Ore-Ida Steam ‘N’ Mash
Ore-Ida frozen mashed potatoes in a bag are not like the other frozen mashed potatoes on this list. Most of the frozen mashed potatoes we tried are seasoned and pretty much ready to serve after they’ve been heated up in a pot on the stove. Ore-Ida frozen mashed potatoes are like raw materials—you have to add milk and butter and mash the potato cubes after they’ve been heated in the microwave for ten minutes. But they’re very good raw materials. These are the best frozen mashed potatoes if, a.) you do not own a stove or, b.) you’re really married to the idea of seasoning your own potatoes exactly the way you’d like them. They’re literally just frozen potatoes you can microwave in a bag rather than boiling and peeling a bushel of potatoes. So, yes, you still need a masher to enjoy these frozen mashed potatoes, but they’re a really good shortcut. Once you add milk and butter, they have a great, creamy texture. I don’t think anyone would be able to tell you didn’t labor over a piping hot pot of freshly peeled potatoes.
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- Lamb Weston Homestyle Mashed Potatoes
If you prefer mashed russet potatoes to a creamier variety of potato, these are the best frozen mashed potatoes for you. These aren’t as creamy as the top frozen mashed potatoes on this list, but they’re just as flavorful. I love that these are so well seasoned. They’re so buttery and perfectly salted. You truly don’t have to add anything and I really don’t think you’d want to. They have a nice consistency, too—not too firm, not too loose. These remind me of mashed potatoes at a really nice wedding venue. I mean that as a compliment! We love Lamb Weston potato products (they make some of the best frozen french fries) and these frozen mashed potatoes in a bag are no exception.
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- Lamb Weston Golden Supreme Mashed Potatoes
These Lamb Weston frozen mashed potatoes have such a unique, creamy texture. They’re so smooth, they seem kind of like a half cauliflower half potato mash. They’re a golden color, which is nice, and they taste excellent, too. The flavor is very buttery and deeply creamy. They contain butter, skim milk, and whole milk, so they have a very dairy-rich flavor. I truly thought that Trader Joe’s frozen mashed potatoes would make the list, but Lamb Weston blew them out of the water. If you don’t want anyone to know or care that you opted for a frozen side, these are the best frozen mashed potatoes.
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Other frozen mashed potatoes we tried: Trader Joe’s Frozen Mashed Potatoes