If you have leftover spuds, look no further than these mashed potato cakes. With just a few simple ingredients, you can make crispy, creamy potato cakes from leftover mashed potatoes that are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
You will love these Potato Cakes from Mashed Potatoes
The thing about three person families is that we ALWAYS have leftovers. Having grown up in a three person family, and now having a three person family of my own, I know this to be a fact. And it’s a fact I kind of love, to be honest.
We are not a family who hates leftovers. We love having leftovers, because it means that lunch for the next day is already taken care of!
But let’s be honest, some leftovers aren’t so great simply reheated as is (looking at you, sadly, salmon pasta). That’s why I have a breakfast casserole that serves as a leftover cornbread recipe, and I have a leftover turkey chili in my back pocket, too.
Mashed potatoes are another thing that I don’t love simply reheated on their own. Unlike mini Hasselback potatoes, which you can make in advance and then reheat, mashed potatoes are really best when they’re fresh.
After that, I think they’re a little better repurposed into something else, like the tops of mini shepherd’s pies, or my original leftover mashed potatoes recipe that is a casserole with lots of cheese and bacon.
Today, I’m sharing another idea for repurposing leftover mashed potatoes. This mashed potato cake recipe is similar to a dish my mom used to make for the three of us, and now I make these leftover mashed potato cakes for my family, too!
Potato Cakes ingredients
- chilled leftover mashed potatoes – we’ll be using them straight from the fridge, no need to reheat them first.
- egg – you’ll need one egg, which will act as a binder and help the potato cakes from mashed potatoes stay together.
- garlic – I love this for added flavor, unless of course your leftover mashed potatoes already contain garlic!
- flour – I like a thin dusting of flour on the outside of the mashed potato cakes to help them brown, and you may or may not need some flour in the potato cake mixture itself, depending on the consistency of your mashed potatoes. More on that later!
- Parmesan cheese – I like the salty, earthy flavor that Parmesan adds to this recipe (and to savory steel cut oats and Greek yogurt alfredo), but any type of shredded cheese is fine.
- chives – or green onions work, too. Any extra chives can be used to make smoked salmon pizza or pimento mac and cheese.
- vegetable oil – you’ll need this for pan frying the potato pancakes with mashed potatoes. Olive oil also works to fry potato cakes with leftover mashed potatoes, or you could use nonstick spray if you wanted to use a little less oil.
- sour cream – I like to serve these with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, but you could also make my simple gravy from scratch. Or, take the sour cream to the next level by making roasted garlic dip.
How to Make a Potato Cake
This potato cake recipe is so simple to make. Grab a large bowl and whisk the egg. Then, add the garlic, mashed potatoes, some flour, the cheese and chives.
Stir everything together with a fork and then pop it into the fridge for 20 minutes. This will help the mixture firm up and make it easier to shape into patties.
Shape the mixture into 12 pancakes and lightly dredge each one in a bit more flour. Then, working in batches, fry them up in a skillet with a touch of oil until they are golden brown and delicious!
Potato Cake Recipe with leftover mashed potatoes!
You certainly don’t have to start with just plain homemade mashed potatoes with heavy cream to make these leftover mashed potato cakes. If you have fancy flavored mashed potatoes left over from dinner last night, those will work too!
You can start with a cheesy variety, like my blue cheese mashed potatoes, to make potato cakes with leftover mashed potatoes. In that case, I would omit the Parmesan cheese in the potato cake recipe below.
You can also start with garlic mashed potatoes, in which case I would omit the garlic from the recipe below.
Mashed Potato Cakes tips
- The potato cake recipe below calls for adding 1/4 cup of flour to the mashed potato mixture (plus another 1/4 cup for dredging the cakes before griddling them). This helps bind the mixture together and form the mixture into patties. However, depending on the consistency of the leftover mashed potatoes you are starting with, you may need a little more or less flour!
- If your leftover mashed potatoes are already very thick, try omitting the flour and seeing if you can form the mixture into patties without it. You may not need flour at all for this mashed potato cake recipe.
- If your leftover mashed potatoes are on the thinner side (maybe you made them with lots of cream and butter, yum!), you may need a bit more flour. Start with 1/4 cup, and if the mixture is still too thin to form into pancakes (you’re looking for a shaggy consistency sort of like cookie dough), try adding additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time until you achieve the right consistency for these leftover mashed potato cakes.
- You may or may not need to add salt and pepper to taste, depending on how well-seasoned your original mashed potatoes were. If they turned out a bit bland, season them a little more while you’re making the cakes, and be sure to sprinkle them with salt after they are griddled!
How to store a Potato Cake
These potato cakes from mashed potatoes freeze well after they are prepared. Allow them to cool to room temperature, then freeze on a parchment-lined baking pan until frozen. Then transfer to a zip-top freezer bag for storage!
Reheat the leftover mashed potato cakes from frozen in a 350 degree oven until warm.
How to serve Mashed Potato Cakes
Potato Cakes Recipe FAQs
Most importantly, start with mashed potatoes made with Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, which have a higher starch content, so they hold together better.
When cooking your potato cakes, avoid flipping them too soon. Allowing them to brown long enough to create a crust on one side helps them hold together when you flip them.
Soggy potato cakes are usually due to not cooking the cakes long enough, crowding the pan, or not having the pan hot enough. Be sure to cook the potato cakes over medium heat, in batches to give them enough space for proper browning. Cook them 2 to 3 minutes per side or until they have a nice golden brown crust.
The most common culprit of gummy potato cakes is overworking the potato mixture. In Step 1, make sure all of the ingredients are well combined, but be sure not to excessively stir them beyond that. The more you stir them, the more starch will be released from the potatoes, which can result in a gummy texture.
- 1 large egg
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups chilled leftover mashed potatoes
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided, plus additional if needed (see Home Chef Notes)
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives or green onions, plus additional for serving
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 cup sour cream, for serving
- In large bowl, whisk egg until smooth. Add garlic, potatoes, 1/4 cup flour, cheese and chives. Stir with fork until well combined. Transfer to refrigerator and chill 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Place remaining 1/4 cup flour on small plate. Divide potato mixture into 8 portions. Using lightly floured hands, shape each portion into a cake about 3 inches across and 1/2-inch thick (it's easiest to form mixture into a ball first and then flatten into a cake). Lightly dredge both sides of each cake in flour on small plate, shaking off excess flour.
- Heat 1-1/2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Transfer 4 cakes to skillet and cook 6 minutes or until golden brown and warmed through, flipping once halfway through cooking. Transfer cakes to rimmed baking pan and keep warm in oven, while repeating process with remaining oil and cakes, wiping out pan in between batches.
- Serve cakes warm, garnished with sour cream and additional chives.
Home Chef Notes:
- The potato cake recipe above calls for adding 1/4 cup of flour to the mashed potato mixture. This helps bind the mixture together and form the mixture into patties. However, depending on the consistency of the leftover mashed potatoes you are starting with, you may need a little more or less flour!
- If your leftover mashed potatoes are already VERY thick, try omitting the flour altogether or reducing it to 2 tablespoons and seeing if you can form the mixture into patties that way. You’re looking for a shaggy consistency sort of like cookie dough.
- If your leftover mashed potatoes are on the thinner side (maybe you made them with lots of cream and butter, yum!), you may need a bit more flour. Start with 1/4 cup, and if the mixture is still too thin to form into pancakes (you’re looking for a shaggy consistency sort of like cookie dough), try adding additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time until you achieve the right consistency to form the mixture into patties that will hold together.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2 potato cakes and 1/4 cup sour cream
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 443Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 556mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 11g
This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.