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Easy Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes recipe

What do you do with leftover mashed potatoes? Fry them up into delicious and easy Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes!

leftover mashed potatoes cakes in pan

I adore mashed potatoes, so when I make them I always make a ton extra. These days I usually make them in my Instant Pot, but today as I was looking for lunch, I remembered that my husband had brought some mashed potatoes home last night from his favorite chicken place. With very little prep I had a delicious lunch of Mashed Potato Cakes and leftover Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Shallots!

leftover mashed potato cakes with sour cream on pretty plate with blue flowers

Now, to understand what these are, first you have to understand what they aren’t. They’re not potato pancakes, which are absolutely delicious, but are usually made with shredded potatoes and a pourable batter. And they’re not even a little bit like hash browns or latkes. They don’t get solid inside, either. The goal is to have delicious crispy outsides, and soft, hot, mashed-potato-y insides. 

Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes tips

Temperature

The key to this recipe is to make sure that the mashed potatoes are room temperature. We won’t be cooking them for very long, so if the mashed potatoes start out too cold, the middle of the cakes might be cold.

My potatoes came right from the fridge, so I put them in the microwave for a minute on the lowest setting—just long enough to get the chill off, but not make them too warm (you don’t want to cook the egg when you mix the ingredients together).

Or, just take the amount you need out of the fridge an hour or so before you’re going to start cooking!

Shallots

diced shallots on a cutting board with a knife

The recipe calls for a small shallot, diced. If you don’t have a shallot you can substitute 1 1/2 tablespoons of yellow onion diced very small and 1/8 teaspoon minced garlic. But shallots are something that you should try to keep stocked. Trust me, you’ll start using them on everything. I don’t think I’d even heard of them until I read about them in Kitchen Confidential when I was about thirty. Anthony Bourdain said that they were one of the keys to making home-cooked food taste more like restaurant food, and he was absolutely right!

Nonstick Pan

leftover mashed potato cakes in frying pan

The pan in the pictures is the larger one from this set, and I love it! It has a really heavy, thick bottom, and heats very evenly. The set is not very expensive, which fits my kitchen style—if I bought super-expensive non-stick pans I’d be afraid to use and abuse them like I do! [I don’t have that pan anymore, and it’s no longer available on Amazon! Now I have this one, and love it just as much.]

Yield: 6 patties

Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes

Ever wonder what to make with leftover mashed potatoes? Fry them up into delicious and easy Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes! This quick and easy recipe involves almost no prep, and you get little potato cakes that are fried and crispy on the outside and deliciously soft on the inside. #leftovers #recipe

What to do with leftover mashed potatoes? These patties are crispy on the top and bottom, but filled with delicious, soft mashed potato!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup leftover mashed potatoes, room temperature
  • 1 small shallot, diced very small
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt (optional--see note)
  • large pinch pepper
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • sour cream, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl stir together potatoes, shallot, flour, egg, salt, and pepper, until completely mixed with no trace of egg or flour; the mixture will be sticky
  2. Heat a medium non-stick pan on medium heat
  3. Add just enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pan, probably about a tablespoon depending on the size of your pan
  4. While the oil is heating, line a plate with a paper towel or two
  5. When the oil is hot, using two spoons, spoon golf ball-sized mounds of the potato mixture into the pan, and flatten each one a bit with the back of your spoon (you're going to flatten them even more later, so don't crowd them)
  6. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the bottom is a deep golden brown
  7. Turn the patties over and then flatten them more, to about 3/8 of an inch
  8. Cook the second side for about 3-4 minutes, until deep golden brown
  9. Remove the patties to the prepared plate
  10. Repeat with the rest of the potato mixture
  11. Serve immediately, with a dollop of sour cream

Notes

A reader pointed out that since her leftover mashed potatoes started out pretty salty, the added kosher salt in the recipe made the finished product way too salty, so use your judgment: if your potatoes are already salty, you may want to reduce or omit the additional 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt; you can always sprinkle more on after cooking. Or, fry up one, taste it, and add salt to the remaining dough if needed.

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Ever wonder what to make with leftover mashed potatoes? Fry them up into delicious and easy Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes! This quick and easy recipe involves almost no prep, and you get little potato cakes that are fried and crispy on the outside and deliciously soft on the inside. #leftovers #recipe

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Laura

Wednesday 4th of August 2021

What flour do you use

Amy Oztan

Thursday 5th of August 2021

All-purpose flour (and I just noted that in the recipe, sorry it wasn't there before!).

Cindy Haynie

Monday 26th of April 2021

I made these for lunch today. I don't use shallots. They turned out so good.

Amy Oztan

Tuesday 27th of April 2021

I'm so glad you liked them!!

Pauline Dwyer

Sunday 29th of November 2020

just made theses tonight and left off salt and had onion not shallot but they were fabulous

Amy Oztan

Monday 30th of November 2020

That makes me so happy!

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