Quantcast

Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes

Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes

These crispy, cheesy mashed potato cakes are the best way to give new life to leftover mashed potatoes. Don’t let those spuds go to waste!

These crispy, cheesy mashed potato cakes are the best way to give new life to leftover mashed potatoes. Don't let those spuds go to waste!

For the love of potatoes

Potatoes are probably the most versatile food ever. You can make them into potato starch or potato flour to use in flour blends, make them into pierogi filling, or even cream of potato soup. Of course, there are the usual baked potatoes (my favorite way to make them is in their “jackets” right on the oven rack), French fries, potato chips, you name it.

I may be the only mother on the planet with a child who has never, ever liked French fries (really!), but everyone in my family can get on board with really creamy mashed potatoes. I often struggle with when to make my mashed potatoes, though, when they’re for a holiday and the kitchen is super busy.

I’m thrilled to report that, on a whim, I tried the frozen mashed potatoes from Trader Joe’s, and they happen to be amazing! You can defrost them at room temperature, in the microwave or on the stovetop, and they’re perfect no matter the method.

These crispy, cheesy mashed potato cakes are the best way to give new life to leftover mashed potatoes. Don't let those spuds go to waste!

Of course, this recipe works amazingly well with homemade leftover mashed potatoes. But I felt like I had to tell you about the frozen ones. They’re such a find!

These crispy, cheesy mashed potato cakes are the best way to give new life to leftover mashed potatoes. Don't let those spuds go to waste!

Can you fry mashed potatoes?

You actually can fry mashed potatoes without all of the added flavors and ingredients that we’ve used here. But they’ll fall apart as they fry unless they have at least an egg and some cheese to bind them.

Everything else that we add here, including the herbs and spices, bacon and onions, is for added flavor. Fresh, warm mashed potatoes have all the flavor they seem to need, but when they’re leftover for a day or so, they do tend to lose their flavor.

These crispy, cheesy mashed potato cakes are the best way to give new life to leftover mashed potatoes. Don't let those spuds go to waste!

Are these potato pancakes?

These are not potato pancakes (latkes). Classic potato pancakes are made by shredding potatoes and onions, squeezing out as much moisture from them as possible, adding some eggs and flour, and frying patties of the resulting mixture.

They’re similar since we are making these mashed potato cakes with aromatics, eggs, flour, and potatoes, but latkes are way, way more work. Since you’re working with raw potatoes, they have tons of moisture that must be eliminated before frying.

If you don’t remove the moisture from shredded potatoes and onions before frying them, you will be covered in splattered oil. Plus, your latkes will be soggy and not at all crisp.

These crispy, cheesy mashed potato cakes are the best way to give new life to leftover mashed potatoes. Don't let those spuds go to waste!

These mashed potato cakes have deliciously crispy edges and soft middles. And you do indeed have to shallow fry them to get those crisp edges.

But they really don’t splatter. And you can even make the raw mixture a couple days ahead of time and then shape and fry them as the craving hits.

These crispy, cheesy mashed potato cakes are the best way to give new life to leftover mashed potatoes. Don't let those spuds go to waste!

A note about leftovers

Whenever I cook for the fall/winter holidays, I don’t just *oops* have leftovers. I plan for them. If there’s a guest who normally expects to leave with a care package of leftovers, plan for that, too.

You don’t want to be caught cooking the Friday after Thanksgiving. That is literally the only day of the year that I refuse to lift a finger in the kitchen. I’m not even making a bowl of cereal.

The day after that, when I’m already sick of the planned leftovers, I’ll be making these mashed potato cakes. And that leftover lasagna that has been making the cyber rounds lately. Except I’m the only one in my family who thinks it looks amazingly delicious…

These crispy, cheesy mashed potato cakes are the best way to give new life to leftover mashed potatoes. Don't let those spuds go to waste!

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy-free: If you’d like to make these mashed potato cakes without dairy, first you’ll need to replace any dairy you might have in your mashed potatoes (the Trader Joe’s frozen mashed potatoes have dairy in them, so don’t use those if you’re dairy-free!).

The shredded cheese can likely be replaced with dairy-free shredded cheese like Daiya or Violife brands (my favorite dairy-free cheeses). Use dairy-free sour cream for serving, or skip that topping altogether.

Egg-free: There is only one egg in this recipe, but it is a workhorse of an egg! You can see by watching the how-to video that the only real binder is that one egg (in addition to the shredded cheese as it melts). I still think you could replace the egg with a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel).

Bacon: To make these pancakes vegetarian, you’ll need to 86 the bacon. It does add a tremendous amount of flavor, plus some fat. The flavor can probably be replaced with some cooked chopped mushrooms.

Sauté the mushrooms long enough that much of their liquid evaporates. You may still need to add some extra flour, though, to absorb their extra moisture. The bacon fat that is used to sauté the minced onions can be replaced with unsalted butter, or even just some olive oil.

These crispy, cheesy mashed potato cakes are the best way to give new life to leftover mashed potatoes. Don't let those spuds go to waste! #glutenfree #gf #leftovers #Thanksgiving

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 8 to 9 cakes

Ingredients

3/4 cup chopped bacon (from about 3 slices)

1 small yellow onion, peeled and minced

1 1/4 cups (250 g) leftover mashed potatoes

1 cup (4 oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

3/4 cup (105 g) gum-free gluten free flour blend

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 tablespoon chopped scallions

1 teaspoon garlic salt (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt)

1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

4 tablespoons (56 g) vegetable oil, for frying

Sour cream, for serving

Hot sauce, for serving

Fresh chopped herbs (parsley, chives, cilantro), for serving

Directions

  • In a large, heavy-bottom skillet over medium-high heat, place the bacon and brown, stirring occasionally, until browned and crispy (about 10 minutes). Remove the bacon from the skillet, draining as much of the fat drippings as possible, and place on a paper towel-lined plate to finish draining. Remove all but about 1 tablespoon of the reserved bacon drippings and set aside to cool (use for another purpose or discard). Turn down the heat to medium, add the minced onion and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent and soft (about 10 minutes more). Remove the cooked onions and set them aside to cool.

  • In a large bowl, place the leftover mashed potatoes and break them up so they cover the bottom of the bowl evenly. Add the shredded cheese and flour blend, and mix to combine. Add the cooked onions and bacon, then the mustard powder, scallions, and garlic salt, and mix to combine. Add the egg and mix until moistened and fairly uniform in texture. Using a medium ice cream scoop or two large spoons, divide the mixture into 8 or 9 portions, about 3 tablespoons each. Roll each portion into a ball between your palms, and then pat back and forth until you’ve created a patty shape.

  • Line a baking sheet with paper towels, place a wire rack on top, and set the baking sheet aside. Returning to the original skillet, add about 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil and place over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Place as many of the shaped patties as will fit without any crowding in the hot oil and fry for about 2 minutes or until golden brown on the underside. Flip the patties gently, and let finish frying until golden brown all over. Transfer the cooked patties from the pan to the prepared wire rack and baking sheet combo. Allow the cakes to drain briefly. Repeat with the remaining patties, adding the rest of the vegetable oil as necessary.

  • Dollop each cake with a bit of sour cream, some hot sauce, and chopped herbs, and serve immediately.

  • Adapted from AllRecipes Magazine.

Love,
Nicole

Comments are closed.

  • Brigitte
    November 24, 2018 at 9:41 AM

    Had them this morning – they were delicious. They reminded me of an old time favorite – Nova Scotia fish cakes. We basically used a very similar recipe but added whatever fish we had (usually a mild white fish like haddock, and on rare occasions, bits of smoked salmon) to the leftover mashed potatoes. For a vegetarian version, use up that leftover broccoli from the veggie platter – just chop it up fine and throw it in. Leftover cheese? Throw it in! If the cakes aren’t holding together, add some egg. Or a titch of Dijon mustard. Or a bit of cream. Use whatever herbs you like. It’s a very forgiving recipe! Loved it!

  • Faith
    November 20, 2018 at 11:07 AM

    Oh yum! Mom made these when I was a kid but I’ve never seen a recipe. I think she’d just throw in an egg and grated onion, but your version sounds even better. I’ll be making extra mashed potatoes next time just to try this out. Thanks for the recipe and trip down food-memory lane!

  • Meghan
    November 17, 2018 at 8:54 PM

    I love potatoes and will be using your recipe on Friday morning! Oh, btw your crispy gingerbread dough is the best thing on the planet (right after potatoes).

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 18, 2018 at 8:06 AM

      Haha that’s great, Meghan! So glad you love the crispy gingerbread men. Here’s a link to the crispy men for anyone interested.

  • Barri Ellis
    November 17, 2018 at 12:02 PM

    I’ve been using left over mashed potatoes for years to make potato pancakes. It is not at all necessary to add anything. I fry them in butter and they get a nice crust. They can be turned over carefully and browned on the other side. Ready to go, nothing else needed.

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 18, 2018 at 8:00 AM

      I’m glad you found something that works for you, Barri. I find that they fall apart when you don’t add any sort of binder, and lack flavor when you don’t add anything to deepen them. This is how we like them!

  • Lynn
    November 17, 2018 at 7:33 AM

    Nicole, can you freeze these after you fry them? If so, for how long?

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 18, 2018 at 8:02 AM

      Hi, Lynn, I have wrapped them tight and refrigerated them after frying and they do hold up. I just reheated them in a 300°F oven (the toaster oven would even work) and they were good as new. Freezing would work even better, and last longer. I’d say you could freeze them for at least a month!

Back to Top

Where should I send your free guide?

By entering your email, you're agreeing to our Privacy Policy. We respect your email privacy, and will never share your information.