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Mashed Potato Cakes

Mashed potato cakes are a delicious, mouthwatering side dish that is easy to make and packed full of flavor.

The best way to use up leftover mashed potatoes is to transform them into golden brown mashed potato cakes, a simple and delicious recipe with only a handful of pantry staples!

Easy Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes

Mashed potato cakes on a plate with sour cream.

If you have leftover mashed potatoes from the holidays or a meal, they are perfect for these flavorful fried potato cakes.

We always make a lot of mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and we usually have some leftovers.

So, if you’re burnt out on mashed potatoes, this is a great way to change things up a bit and create a different dish.

Mixing them with some ingredients, coating them with a breadcrumb mixture, and frying them is a wonderful way to create a new dish out of leftovers.

Fried mashed potato cakes on a plate.

What Ingredients Do I Need To Make Mashed Potato Cakes?

One of the great things about this easy side dish recipe is that it uses simple ingredients, and you can change them out for other ingredients to add some variety.

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Sour cream
  • Minced garlic
  • Flour
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Full printable recipe with measurements and instructions listed in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

How Do I Make Potato Cakes?

  1. Pour some vegetable oil into a frying pan and heat it to medium.
  2. Add the mashed potatoes and 1/2 cup of flour to a bowl and mix well.
  3. Next, add the shredded cheese, crumbled bacon, minced garlic, and sour cream to the bowl with the potatoes. Mix the ingredients.
  4. In another bowl, add the remainder of the flour, panko breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese and mix well.
  5. Patty the mashed potato ingredients and cover with the crumb mixture.
  6. Place the potato cakes in the pan with the vegetable oil and fry on both sides for about five minutes or until the crumbs are brown.

Step-By-Step Instructions for Easy Mashed Potato Cakes

Grab a skillet and pour in some vegetable oil–enough so the oil is about 1/2 inch deep. This will be a shallow fry recipe. Turn the burner on medium heat.

Mashed potatoes in a glass bowl.

Start by adding the mashed potatoes to the bowl.

Add 1/2 cup of flour to the mashed potatoes and mix well.

If you don’t have a lot of mashed potatoes left over, you will want to add less of the other ingredients. And, if you have quite a bit of mashed potatoes left over, you can add more. You want to get the potato cakes to the right consistency so they will not fall apart.

The nice thing about this recipe is that you can add extra cheese if you love it or anything you like.

Here Are a Few Ingredient Suggestions

  • Green onions
  • Chopped broccoli
  • Diced onions
  • Fresh parsley
  • Corn
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh chives
  • Chopped cauliflower
  • Fresh herbs
  • Garlic powder
  • Cream cheese
  • You can also make these with sweet potatoes.
Cheese, bacon, and mashed potatoes in a glass bowl.

Next, add the shredded cheddar cheese and the cooked and crumbled bacon.

You have a few bacon options. You can either cook some bacon in a frying pan ahead of time, buy the bacon that you microwave in a pack, or purchase pre-cooked and crumbled bacon.

Either way, bacon will help make the potato cakes taste amazing. Let’s just be honest: bacon will make anything taste amazing.

Sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and mashed potatoes in a glass bowl.

Add the minced garlic and sour cream and mix well.

Flour abd panko breadcrumbs in a glass bowl.

In another bowl, add the flour and Panko breadcrumbs for the breading.

If you don’t have Panko breadcrumbs, you can use regular breadcrumbs. I personally think Panko adds a little bit more of a crunch, so I like them.

But regular or flavored breadcrumbs will work just as well.

Parmesan, flour, and panko in a glass bowl.

Next, add the grated parmesan cheese and mix well.

Leftover mashed potato cakes for frying.

Patty the mashed potatoes and coat them in the breadcrumb mixture.

This is a messy recipe, so be prepared for that. I just got my hands in there, pattied them up, and placed them into the breading mixture.

Make sure they are coated with the breading mixture.

Frying potato cakes in a skillet.

Place the potato cakes into the heated vegetable oil in your large skillet and cook on each side for about five minutes or until each side is brown. Be sure to place the potato cakes in a single layer in the pan.

Avoid turning the potato cakes over before they are cooked on the first side; otherwise, they will fall apart easily.

Fried potato cakes on a white plate with sour cream.

Once cooked, place the fried potato cakes on a couple of paper towels to soak up some grease, then add them to a plate to eat.

You can dip the mashed potato cakes into sour cream, ranch dressing, ketchup, or anything you love.

Ideas for More Variety

  • Add protein: Stir in chopped leftover turkey, sausage, or chicken to the mashed potato mixture before frying.
  • Get cheesy: Add shredded cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, or your favorite cheese blend to the mixture.
  • Get spicy: Add diced jalapenos, red pepper flakes, or some cayenne pepper to the mixture for a kick of flavor.
  • Go veggie: Add grated carrots, onions, or other vegetables to the mixture.
  • Try a different cooking method: Bake the mashed potato cakes in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes, flipping them halfway through, for a healthier option. Use some parchment paper on your baking sheet for easy cleanup.
  • Air fryer fan? Preheat your air fryer to 375 degrees and cook the mashed potato cakes for 8-10 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
  • Get fancy: Add a dollop of sour cream, chives, or a sprinkle of smoked paprika before serving.

Tips for Potato Cakes

  • Use room-temperature mashed potatoes for the best results.
  • Don’t overwork the mashed potato mixture, or the cakes will be tough.
  • Don’t add too much flour, or the cakes will be dry.
  • Add a splash of milk if the mixture seems too thick.
  • Get creative! The possibilities are endless.
  • Top your mashed potato cakes with a fried egg and a drizzle of cranberry sauce for a truly decadent treat.
  • Leftover mashed potato cakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  • This recipe makes the perfect side dish for any meal, and it’s kid-approved!

Mashed Potato Cakes

If you’ve got a surplus of spuds from your Thanksgiving dinner, turn them into fried potatoes. The great flavor possibilities are endless with the delicious mashed potato patties.

I promise this will become one of your favorite recipes. Get the recipe today and print it out so you’ll have it each time you’ve got Thanksgiving leftovers.

Mashed potato cakes on a plate with sour cream.

Mashed Potato Cakes

Yield: 10 cakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Mashed potato cakes are a delicious, mouthwatering side dish that is easy to make and packed full of flavor.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (or 3 Tbsp. if you're using store-bought bacon bits)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup flour (for the breadcrumb mixture)
  • 1/2 cup flour (for the potatoes)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Grab a frying pan and add some vegetable oil--enough to create about 1/2-inch of oil in the pan. Turn the heat on medium.
  2. Add the mashed potatoes and 1/2 cup of flour to a large bowl and mix well.
  3. Next, add the shredded cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and sour cream to the bowl and mix well.
  4. In another bowl, add 1/2 cup of flour, breadcrumbs, and grated parmesan to a bowl, and mix well.
  5. Patty the mashed potatoes and dip into the breadcrumbs until covered.
  6. Fry for five minutes on each side or until brown.
  7. Place on a paper towel to soak up some of the grease and serve.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 249Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 532mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 9g

Nutrition is approximate.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Find more delicious recipes at Julia’s Simply Southern, and South Your Mouth.

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Donna A Pollock

Friday 8th of January 2021

I loved this recipe. I have been making these for years now. My Father is from the South and we had the a lot when I was young and i just continued making them. We love them, but I really love your recipe. Thanks again.

Julie Pollitt

Friday 8th of January 2021

Hi Donna,

Thanks for sharing that! I love to hear that!

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