They are creamy, cheesy, and oh so rich. That's why everybody loves au gratin potatoes. They are the perfect match for your steaks, pork chops, and roast beef. You might be tempted to prepare a big batch, but can you freeze it so that you'll always have this delicious side dish on hand and ready to serve? We've done the research for you and here's what experts say.
You can freeze au gratin potatoes and they would be good to serve up to 2 weeks. Just make sure you wrap your casserole properly or store it in an airtight container to preserve its flavor and texture well.
Hang on because we're going to tell you more about how to freeze, thaw, and reheat your potato au gratin for you to enjoy this dish days after preparing it. Just keep reading!
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How to freeze Au Gratin Potatoes
Everyone loves au gratin potatoes. Made with thinly sliced potatoes, butter and cheese sauce, and more cheese on top, it is easy to prepare but very appetizing indeed. It is the perfect side dish for almost anything on the menu from soups to salads, meats, and vegetables. Served while still warm, it simply makes meals heartier and more special, making it the ultimate comfort food.
Given that au gratin potatoes are so yummy, it's such a shame to let them go to waste. Good thing you can always freeze your leftover potato dish so you can enjoy them again later. Here's how:
1. Let your potato dish cool down completely. This step is important so that you don't raise the temperature inside the freezer and cause some of the foods stored there to thaw which could affect their texture and taste.
2. You can use the same baking dish if you plan on serving the whole tray or transfer your cooked cheesy potatoes into airtight and freezer-safe containers. Here's a tip: Freeze them in small batches so you can easily reheat them and avoid wasting food. Remember, it is unsafe to refreeze your reheated potato dish.
3. If you're using your baking dish, cover it tightly with multiple layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil to seal in its freshness.
4. Label and consume within 2 weeks. Beyond this period, the quality of your potato dish might deteriorate.
Can you freeze cooked potato dishes?
Cooked potato dishes, especially those which are covered in butter and cream, are actually freezer-friendly. Some say that they can even last in the cold for 3 months but most cooks recommend that you consume your creamy potatoes in 2 weeks for best results. After all, why would you prolong serving this hearty dish when it goes well with just about anything you cook?
Can you freeze uncooked au gratin potatoes?
Raw potatoes contain so much water so that when you put uncooked potatoes in the freezer, they can turn mushy and grainy once thawed. To solve this dilemma, you can partially cook your au gratin potatoes; about halfway through, before storing them in the cold.
When you're ready to serve them, just defrost and finish cooking until it's completely warm and tender. Partner with roasted chicken or spicy sausage for a satisfying meal.
How long do potatoes au gratin last in the freezer?
Potatoes au gratin will last for 2 weeks in the freezer. Some say that they can stay there for 3 months but food experts say that they're best consumed within 14 days to ensure their best quality. Once frozen, there may be changes in the texture and flavor of your potatoes. You might not enjoy this cheesy and tasty treat as you used to if you keep it frozen for months. Besides, why will you let this delectable dish stay in the freezer for so long?
How to thaw your frozen potato gratin
There are 2 ways to defrost your potato au gratin. You can transfer it to the fridge or put it in the microwave for faster thawing.
Using the fridge
Just transfer your frozen potato gratin to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw there. However, it may take 1 to 4 days before it's defrosted thoroughly depending on its size and how frozen it is.
Using the microwave
There's always the microwave to help you thaw your au gratin potatoes in no time. Transfer your dish to a microwave-safe container and cover it with a lid. Just set the microwave to defrost mode. Then reheat as you normally would so that you can serve this savory dish right away. Take note that when you use your microwave for thawing, you have to consume your potato dish immediately to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
Can you cook potato gratin from frozen?
It is recommended that you defrost your potato gratin after it has been frozen. But it may take days to have it completely thawed. If you don't have the luxury of time, you can cook this potato dish straight from the freezer using your oven. Monitor carefully so that it's completely warm all throughout. It might take longer to bake but at least you won't have to wait for days until you savor its creamy goodness.
How do you reheat frozen au gratin potatoes?
Before you reheat your frozen au gratin potatoes, you have to thaw it thoroughly. Once defrosted, here are 3 ways you can reheat this dish:
Using the oven
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put your defrosted au gratin potatoes in an oven-safe dish with a lid.
- Place it at the center of the oven.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until its internal temperature reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Take off the lid or foil then bake for another 5 minutes to make the top brown and crisp.
- Remove from the oven and allow the remaining heat to help you achieve the golden-brown crust that everybody loves.
Using the stove
1. Transfer your thawed au gratin potatoes to a cooking pot with a lid.
2. Cook over low to medium heat with the lid on.
3. If your au gratin potatoes have been browned before you stored them in the freezer, there's no need to stir the dish. But if the dish wasn't browned prior to reheating, you have to stir it gently to prevent it from sticking to the pan.
4. After 20 minutes, check if the food is completely warm. You can use your food thermometer to be certain that it has an internal temp of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the recommended temperature to make sure that your food is safe to eat.
Check out this ThermoPro Digital Food Thermometer on Amazon.
Using the microwave
1. Put your defrosted au gratin potatoes in a microwave-safe container.
2. Cover with plastic wrap that's microwave-proof but leave a small portion open so that air can pass through.
3. Set the microwave on high for 3 minutes and heat your potato dish.
4. Let it rest for 30 seconds then heat for another 3 minutes.
5. Repeat until the food's internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Serve warm.
Freeze your au gratin potatoes so that you can savor its rich and creamy goodness again later on. It's best to store them in smaller batches so that they are easier to thaw and reheat come serving time. Make sure to store them properly so that you'll have the best quality casserole to go with your favorite dishes.