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
Prep:
5 min
Cook:
20 min

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 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
Directions

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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4.2 53
I love the Foods you talk about i try them and Me and my kids like them item not reviewed by moderator and published
From the photo, I thought these were going to be real potato pancakes, or patties as we usually call them. But no, no, no, this is definitely not the way to make them. My leftover mashed potatoes have a little butter and some half and half in them and the potatoes were cooked in a salt bath, so they are seasoned. Here is the real recipe for potato patties and I have been making them for at least fifty years: 2 cups chilled mashed potatoes, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, maybe some onion or garlic powder if you like it. Form into three inch by half an inch thick patties. A little more salt and pepper on top. Fry the cold patties in skillet with hot oil at medium high. If oil is not hot enough, potatoes will soak it up and be inedible. Brown one side about three to five minutes, turn with spatula (and fork, if necessary) and brown other side. Drain patties on paper towels and serve hot. You won't be sorry. item not reviewed by moderator and published
If you want to add some "zing" to your cakes, add some crumbled bacon and shredded cheddar to the mix ad serve with a spoonful of sour cream. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The key, as Sara states in her introduction to this recipe, is that your mashed potatoes can't have extra butter or milk in them. They need to be a drier consistency. This recipe will not turn out as written if you are trying to make it with whipped potatoes, instant mashed potatoes, or extra creamy, buttery mashed potatoes. But if you start with the right ingredients as indicated, and follow the directions as written (i.e. Get the oil and butter very hot, almost to smoking, so a crust will form, and then reduce the heat and leave the pancakes alone for at least 15 minutes before trying to turn them), this recipe works very well, producing soft, delicate, golden brown potato pancakes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
As so many reviewers have stated, nasty mess. No doubt need eggs and possibly some breadcrumbs. Do not use this recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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 item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
<3 item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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 item not reviewed by moderator and published
Just a basic, excellent recipe that makes use of leftover mashed potatoes and leads to a great breakfast with some fried eggs. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Thought it sounded great, but turned into a gooey, nasty mess! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very good! easy way to use up leftover mash potatoes! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Nice and crispy on the outside. Perfect. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Loved it! I put cheese in the middle before frying and they came out delicious. My son wants me to do them often now. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Love it you go to try it item not reviewed by moderator and published
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! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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... item not reviewed by moderator and published
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 item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Loved it, quick and easy way to use left over mashed potatoes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Tonight I had left over mashed potatoes and I fried them up.OW MY GOD SO GOOD!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
These are delicious. They remind me of the ones my mother used to make. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was a great change to a regular recipe. Served with a side of sour cream pepped up with a few dashes of Red Hot sauce. WOW!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried to make these and they did not turn out well at all. I have never thrown away an entire receipe until now. I think I will try and make them again b/c the receipe sounds great... hopefully I just did something wrong. item not reviewed by moderator and published
MY HUSBAND HATES MASHED POTATOES BUT WHEN I MADE THIS HE RAVED AT HOW GOOD THEY WERE. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I served these at a Sunday brunch and everybody wanted the recipe. Crunchy, buttery crust on the outside, warm mashed potatoes on the inside. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I added shredded cheddar cheese and diced green chili to the basic recipe, and these were delicious! We'll definitely make them again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
these potato cakes are so good, words cannot describe......sure they can...but these potatoes are really terrific and easy. you will love them!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
What a yummy way to serve sunday-dinner leftovers. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Since it is now the day after Thanksgiving, I tried this with both mashed sweet potatoes and regular white mashed potatoes. Both were wonderful. Thanks for such a simple recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I must confess however, to only cooking 1\2 the recipe and making mashed with the rest, because of the time. The batch we did make....EXCELLENT. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I finally found the right way to cook potato cakes! I know it sounds easy, but I use to add too much butter and the cakes use to turn into a fried omelet! I noticed with this recipe you use just enough butter/oil to keep the cakes from sticking and it really works! Even an old dog can be taught new tricks! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love to make these with leftover colcannon. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It's such an easy recipe,..I don't have time to cook, so when I can do something as easy as this,..I love it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
These were delicious. I did not think that they would be good at all. Everyone enjoyed them. I added green onion to mine, and that put them over the top. item not reviewed by moderator and published
We used to do our leftovers this way, until we tried using a deep fat fryer and made potato balls instead of cakes, same recipe, just dunk in fryer until golden brown, it's quicker and they come out far less greasy. You can add shredded cheese to the potatoes prior to making the balls. We've even tried a small cube of cheese in the center of the ball. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very good recipe. I was surprised at how much I liked the corn meal in the recipe. You may have to use a bit more oil like I did than the recipe calls for, but my family LOVED them!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Thank you for the real recipe the way I remember them.  I made yours and was happy I read the reviews first.  I don't know why any one would fry a potato pancake for over 30 minutes in smoking hot oil.  Wouldn't it be a hockey puck?  They need to revise their cook time (says 20 min up top but instructions say 15-20 on one side and 15 min on the other.  Thank you again 4Graces!  item not reviewed by moderator and published
For those who insist on using creamy mashed potatoes, you *might* have some success if you mix dried potato flakes or potato starch into your potatoes to stiffen them up, and then freeze them for 15-20 minutes after flouring the patties. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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Top Thanksgiving Leftovers