The best way to use up leftover mashed potatoes for breakfast or side dish! Easy, cheesy, fried mashed potato cakes ready in under 30 minutes.
There was a day when we never had leftover mashed potatoes. The kids devoured them all in one sitting. But now that the kids are older and not necessarily around as much, I find myself with leftover mashed potatoes.
This old fashioned mashed potato cakes recipe is our favorite way to use up mashed potatoes!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe:
- Uses leftovers in your fridge.
- Completely customizable.
- Ready in under 30 minutes.
- Family Friendly.
- Great for breakfast, lunch or as a side dish.
What mashed are best for potato cakes?
Not all mashed potatoes are created equal. Some are “runnier” than others. Some have butter, milk and salt added. But the nice thing about our recipe is that it is adaptable to all types of mashed potatoes. Even store bought!
Simply adjust the amount of flour, adding more flour if your mashed potatoes are runnier, and less if the mashed potatoes are thicker.
Tips for Making Potato Cakes
- Work with cold mashed potatoes. They are thicker and easier to handle than warm mashed potatoes.
- Shred your own cheese. When you buy prepackaged cheese, it has a powdery non-caking agent on it. This can sometimes cause foods made with it to be extra greasy. For the creamiest melted cheese, buy a block of cheese and take a minute to shred it yourself.
- Add flour slowly. Start with one cup, then add in flour by the 1/4 cup after that. It’s ok if you can’t form patties with the mixture. Drop the mixture on a hot griddle and spread it with a spoon into a circle shape. That way the flour taste won’t be overpowering.
- Place the fried potato cakes on a wire rack with paper towels or a pan underneath it to catch the grease. This will help keep the cakes crispy until you serve them. We use the same method on our fried chicken!
Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes
This is just a basic recipe for leftover mashed potato cakes. But what are some variations you could make? Here are a few favorites you can mix into our basic potato pancake batter:
- Pizza: Diced pepperoni, minced garlic and mozzarella cheese.
- Ham and cheese: Diced ham, shredded swiss (or cheddar) and diced onion.
- Bacon Ranch: 1/2 packet of ranch seasoning, chopped bacon, cheddar cheese.
- Veggie: Diced veggies of all kinds. Use up those bits of veggies in your fridge!
- Mexican: Leftover taco meat, cheddar cheese, and chopped peppers.
- Greek: Sun Dried tomatoes and feta cheese.
Toppings for Potato Cakes
What if you just want to add toppings? Try sour cream, diced onions, bacon, shredded cheese, queso, salsa and snips of fresh herbs.
Looking for Potato Cakes without Flour?
The flour is an important part of getting nice thick pancakes that stick together. However, if you don’t want to use flour, add a couple tablespoons of cornstarch and try frying them this way. They will definitely be thinner and won’t be as hearty, but they should work.
Easy Mashed Potato Cakes
- 3 cups mashed potatoes
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1-2 cups all purpose flour
- vegetable oil
Optional Add Ins:
- ranch seasoning
- chopped bacon
- diced vegetables
- sour cream
- green onions (chopped)
- Place your mashed potatoes, eggs, cheese, and one cup of flour into a mixing bowl.
- Stir until WELL combined.
- Gradually add up to one more cup of flour until potatoes become thick enough to hold their shape on the griddle.
- Heat a large skillet with about 1/4" oil in the bottom over medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot, drop the batter by 3/4 cup full (or smaller if you'd like) into the oil. Use a spoon to spread slightly into a round "pancake".
- Cook until the pancake is golden brown on one side. Then flip and continue to cook until the patty is golden brown on the second side and cooked through.
- Place a wire rack on a baking sheet. As you remove the potato cakes, place them on the wire rack so any extra oil drips down and they don't get soggy.
- Top with sour cream and green onions.
- Serve immediately.