Mashed Potato Cakes are oh so soft on the inside and deliciously crunchy on the outside. They’re by far the most fun way to use up leftover mashed potatoes! This easy recipe features three simple base ingredients that you can dress up with any additional flavors you’d like.
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Need to get rid of those leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge? I’ve got just the recipe for you! These potato cakes are so incredibly easy to make and you can customize them any way you’d like.
The prep time for this leftover recipe is about 5 minutes… Yes, you read that right. After a crazy day of cooking for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, you’ll want a quick and easy recipe that’s stress-free like this one. Plus, it helps you clear up some room in your fridge!
These Mashed Potato Cakes are simply the best. On the inside, you get the creamy, soft consistency of mashed potatoes we all know and love. The mashed potatoes are mixed with a handful of other ingredients and pan fried on both sides to create the best crispy consistency!
Also, I’ve kept this recipe intentionally simple so you can decide to add any other flavorful additions you’d like. Cheese, meats, and veggies are all great add-ins.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
Mashed Potatoes – Mashed potatoes may vary in density. If your potatoes happen to be soft and thin, you may need to add an extra tablespoon or two of flour to the mixture to thicken them up.
Eggs – two large eggs will work well.
Flour – all purpose flour will work well but if you need to, use gluten free all purpose flour.
Seasonings – I use a simple mix of garlic powder, a sprinkle of kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.
See recipe card for complete information on ingredients and quantities.
How To Make Mashed Potato Cakes
Mashed Potato Cakes are probably even easier to make than the actual mashed potatoes they’re made with.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the measured ingredients until it’s all evenly incorporated (1).
Scoop the mixture.
Use an ice cream scoop to make sure all of your scoops are the exact same size (2).
Grease your hands with a little bit of olive oil so you can easily shape the potato cakes. After scooping the mixture, use your hands to shape the potato cakes.
Pan fry the potato cakes.
Prepare a wire rack lined with a clean paper towel for the cooked potato cakes. In a pan over medium heat (or just below depending on the stove), let a few tablespoons of olive oil heat up.
Cook the Mashed Potato Cakes for about 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown (3 and 4). Once cooked, take the potato cakes out of the pan and place them on the prepared wire rack to soak up excess oil (5).
Additional Flavors to Try
- Herbs and Chives – Fresh herbs like parsley, dill weed, and chives would taste great when mixed into this mixture.
- Cheese – Think of any cheeses you like like sharp cheddar, asiago, gruyere, and many more. You can toss the cheese in by itself or in a combination with herbs and chives. As always, I recommend shredding the cheese right off the block for the best results.
- Meats – This recipe is a great way to use up your leftover ham, chicken, and turkey. Just dice it up and mix it into the mashed potato mixture.
- Bacon – Crunchy bacon bits make everything better, right?! Toss a handful or two of store-bought or freshly fried bacon bits into your mixture to add a tasty, salty kick.
- Onions – Sauté them or, if you have a little extra time on your hands, make some Caramelized Onions.
- Seasonings – You can sprinkle in any seasoning you’d like! Think of these Mashed Potato Cakes as little blank canvases, all ready for you to dress up. I like to play around with different seasoning mixes, like ranch seasoning or Cajun seasoning.
- Toppings to Try – Now that you’ve customized your potato cakes to your liking, make sure you top them off just how you want them! Sour cream, ranch dressing, or plain yogurt all work very well.
All you need to do in order to make Mashed Potato Cakes gluten free is to swap the all purpose flour with a gluten free all purpose flour. The remaining ingredients should already be naturally gluten free, but make sure to always double check your packaging just in case!
If you originally had thin mashed potatoes, your potato cakes mixture might be too runny to shape the cakes. If it looks like you can’t shape the cakes that will stay together, you can add a little more flour. Make sure to add the flour slowly, just a tablespoon or two at a time and mixing in between.
But beware, you don’t want to make the potato mixture too thick or the potato cakes will be dry!
My go-to topping is sour cream and chives. You can also use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. If you want to try a bolder flavor, go with ranch or another favorite sauce. You can add some cheese, diced vegies, herbs, and more. Potato are so versatile, they go with so many different flavors, you can get pretty adventurous.
Storing and Freezing Instructions
Storing: Make sure to store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Leftover potato cakes will last for about 2-3 days.
Freezing: In order to freeze these mashed potato cakes, make sure that they’re first completely cooled to room temperature. Place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and freeze for 2 hours. (Set a timer so your don’t forget.)
Once they’re frozen solid, transfer the cakes to a freezer safe zip-top bag. Date and label. Properly stored, they’ll stay fresh for up to 3 months in the freezer.
You can always store them portioned into several smaller freezer bags instead of one large one if you’d prefer. Portioning them this way will make it easier to pull and defrost one serving at a time.
Thawing: Thaw the potato cakes slowly prior to reheating them by pulling the bag out of the freezer and placing it into the refrigerator. Make sure to allow the cakes to slowly thaw overnight.
When it’s time to reheat them, you can simply place each potato cake on a plate and reheat in the microwave, covered with a plate cover or paper towel until warmed through.
For even better reheated results, reheat them in a pan over medium-low heat. Use non-stick pan, that way no additional oil will be needed. This will help the Mashed Potato Cakes retain their original crisp.
More Recipes To Try
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Mashed Potato Cakes
- 3 cups Mashed potatoes
- 2 eggs
- 1/2-3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
Optional Mix Ins (one or combination of any):
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese*
- 2-3 tbsp diced chives* or scallions
- 2-3 tbsp herbs like parsley or dill weed*
- 1 cup diced leftover ham* or
- 1 cup diced leftover turkey* or
- 1 cup diced leftover chicken* or
- 3/4 cup cooked bacon* diced
- Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix everything together very well, until evenly incorporated.
- Prepare a wire rack lined with a clean paper towel for the cooked potato cakes.
- Preheat a large, non-stick pan over medium heat and add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out the exact amount of mashed potato mixture so the potato cakes will all be the same size.
- Grease your hands with a little oil so you can easily shape the potato cakes.
- Scoop out some mashed potato mixture and form mashed potato patties with your hands.
- Add mashed potato patties to the pan and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Once cooked, take the potato cakes out of the pan and place them on the prepared wire rack to soak up excess oil.
- *Nutrition Note: that the recipe’s nutritional information is calculated just for the base mashed potato cakes recipe, not for the optional additions.
- Gluten free notes: swap the all purpose flour with a gluten free all purpose flour. The remaining ingredients should already be naturally gluten free, but make sure to always double check your packaging just in case!
- Toppings: My go-to topping is sour cream and chives. You can also use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. If you want to try a bolder flavor, go with ranch or another favorite sauce. You can add some cheese, diced vegies, herbs, and more. Potato are so versatile, they go with so many different flavors, you can get pretty adventurous.