Mashed Potato Cakes

When I was a kid, my mom devised this way of using leftover mashed potatoes the next day. I actually prefer these to plain old mashed potatoes[. She coats them in seasoned flour, then cooks them very slowly in lots of butter. You have to be patient with this recipe because if you try to turn the cakes too soon, you won't get the delicious buttery crust. Also, if you know you are going to recycle the leftovers into cakes, don't add any additional milk or butter to the mashed potatoes or your cakes will be too loose to form.]

Total Time:
25 min
5 min
20 min

4 servings

  • 2 cups chilled mashed potatoes (see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Divide the mashed potatoes into 8 equal portions. Use your hands to form 1/2-inch thick patties.

Heat the oil with the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Mix the flour with the salt and pepper in a pie plate. Coat the potato patties in the flour mixture. Add the potato cakes to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until they have formed a golden crust, 15 to 20 minutes. (Peek underneath using a spatula before turning.) Turn and cook the other side until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper and serve hot.

Note: Make mashed potatoes from the "innards" of the Garlic Roasted Potato Skins by mashing them with 1/2 cup hot milk and 4 tablespoons of softened, unsalted butter. Don't forget to season them with salt and pepper! Chill the mashed potatoes overnight for the best results.

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    48 Reviews
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    My kids loved these! Quick and simple. They didn't take 15 min a side to brown...maybe more like 5 min each side in my preheated cast iron skillet. Med-high heat
    This recipe has to be missing an ingredient or two. The mashed potatoes do not hold together well at all when put into a skillet. The patties can't be packed tightly enough to hold shape and they just melt all over the place, making the task of flipping them after fifteen minutes a very frustrating experience. The oil and melted butter just get soaked straight into the patties while cooking and will leave you with a dry pan to fry in after you get them flipped. The time investment of this dish is not worth the result you get.
    an absolute sloppy mess! got this recipe from my mom in law and it didnt even make it out of the skillet as it turned to a sloppy wet runny pile. had to throw it away, so angry to have wasted good food with this recipe. NEVER. AGAIN. As others said, look for this recipe elsewhere with the right ingredients added.
    This is a terribly written recipe. The idea itself is great, but cook times are vastly incorrect, and don't even read correctly. Prep time says 25 minutes, yet the recipe seems to indicate 15 to 20 PER SIDE. First off, no. Second off, it is much easier to make this by instinct, than to follow this poorly written recipe. Love this idea, but please, look elsewhere for this recipe if you want these to turn out correctly- this recipe will not get you good results.
    As another reviewer said, these were a sloppy mess. Medium Low on a gas burner wasn't hot enough, so our patience did not pay off. I had a lot of leftover mashed potatoes so with the rest of what I had, I added an egg for every 2 cups of mashed potatoes and about 1/4 to 1/3 c. diced red onion - mixed that thoroughly - fried potato cakes on med high - took about 5 minutes. Delicious. Easy.
    My grandmother taught me to make these. My favorite left over recipe. Best to put "pattie cakes" as we used to call them, on white bread.
    Wonderful! I think the key here is coating them with flour before placing in frying pan. Saw this done by Gordon Ramsay, and his turned out beautifully, too.
    Good flavor. Maybe add some green onions for a little zip. Didn't use eggs, but will next time as they were fairly sloppy. Also, gotta make sure the skillet is H O T to get them to crisp up.
    This is the first recipe I've used for potato pancakes that actually came out good. Follow the directions and they are really simple to make. Definitely a keeper.
    I do this with leftovers too. Add an egg or two to the taters and then you won't have a gooey mess. We love these leftover "latkes" . Onion is the key...lot's of onion finely chopped and you will love these too.
    I made this for my bf who cant eat certain things and he loved it its simple and dnt have alot of ingredients to it
    Just a basic, excellent recipe that makes use of leftover mashed potatoes and leads to a great breakfast with some fried eggs.
    Thought it sounded great, but turned into a gooey, nasty mess!
    Very good! easy way to use up leftover mash potatoes!
    Very good. Be patient tho! I wasn't and I think they got a little darker than they should. But still the best way to use left over mashed potatoes!
    Nice and crispy on the outside. Perfect.
    Loved it! I put cheese in the middle before frying and they came out delicious. My son wants me to do them often now.
    Love it you go to try it
    I added 2 minced green onions to the potato mixture reserving some thinly sliced green part for garnish and WOW that made this recipe incredible. I was skeptical of the long cooking time but it really takes that long once you lower the heat. All of the oil and butter got absorbed into the cakes so I appreciated the recommendation to drain them on paper towels where magically about half of it oozed back out. These flatten out substantially after being flipped so start with a big skillet. This is a huge indulgence but worth it with the addition of the green onions. I stumbled across this recipe while figuring out what to do with the potato innards left from making Garlic Roasted Potato Skins and was making the recipe when I realized Hello this is Sara's solution for that very recipe - weird!
    This was a perfect recipe for leftover Mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving this year. I used all purpose gluten-free flour to dredge. Patience is key as mentioned. They were wonderfully golden brown and crisp. I will absolutely make again! Simple & delicious.
    I have made these before but with a different recipe , however this time I got a little creative and added some sauteed onions and bacon and fresh dill. It was a home run at my house I will be making them again.
    I substituted Panko breadcrumbs for the flour and they had a wonderful crust. Used leftovers from a dinner party (Claire Robinson's Mashed Potatoes with Crispy Fried Shallots) and stirred in a little shredded colby jack cheese and a few bacon bits. The key is giving them plenty of time to crisp up on low heat. Top with a dollop of fat free sour cream. Yum!!!!
    Overall very good. My family really liked it and I would defintely make it again. I added an egg to help hold the patties together, but that didn't work too well. I also added some fontina and parmesan cheeses, as well as sliced green onionis.
    Just made these with some leftovers of the Giada De Laurentiis mashed potatoes that had the mozzarella and parmesan mixed in with the potatoes... I have to say, her recipe was really good... but taking the leftovers and turning them into potato pancakes was simply amazing!!! Golden crust on the outside, creamy mashed potato goodness on the inside...
    This recipe is almost like the one my grandmother used to make during passover when we couldn't eat meat. The only difference is that she added "queso fresco" to the mix. These were always what I looked forward to during that time of year. These even heat well in the microwave the next day - do not try to "re-fry" them. Yummy !!! 5 STARS
    My husband loves all things potato and loved these. One time I even used leftover shrimp twice stuffed potato filling (from another recipe on FN) for the cakes and took one other reviewers suggestion here and added flour into the mix. They were great. Esp. with some smoked paprika. YUMM. I just couldn't get used to the idea that I was eating raw flour. blech. So don't add too much liquid or they don't hold their shape, otherwise these are easy and delicious way to make something interesting with those leftovers.
     Something is wrong with the Food Network recipe. She doesn't add milk to the mashed potatoes before she refrigerates them. Just salt, pepper and butter. Not sure why the recipe lists it here. I've seen this recipe several times and just noticed it. One star off for that.
    These are really good, but who makes mashed potatoes without butter and milk?
     I used leftover mashed potatoes but Sara said they would not form well.
     She was correct. Next time I will make an extra amount of potatoes and remove some to season and chill the rest for these cakes. P.S. You will want to double this recipe!!
    This reciipe is average for any one that grew up with potato cakes. Number one the cook time is way to long.
     Number 2 my potatoes were cold and were thick in consistency until cooked when they became to thin and almost runny. Should have listened to the reviewer that suggested adding the flour to the potoato mixture.
     Used conola oil along with the butter as I did not have vegetable oil. I agree with the other reviewer that said they were greasy and needed to be placed in paper towels to soak up some of the oil.
    So easy and great! I skipped most of the meat we had for dinner and ate 4 potato cakes! I'll never throw away mashed potatoes again so I can have these the next night. Anybody tried to freeze this recipe at any point?
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