Today in weird facts about me that you probably didn’t need to know: I almost always have leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge. Whether in sweet or regular potato* form, they are a go-to side for me, and I am a terrible judge of how many potatoes equals how many servings.
The problem is, reheated mashed potatoes are at best “meh.” Most of time, they’re just flat-out not good, at least to my pain-in-the-butt palate, as the texture gets gummy and weird. Faced with a bowl full of leftover spuds a few months ago, I was browsing the Internet for what to do with them, and happened upon a recipe for mashed potato cakes. That recipe led to another, which led to another, and then 20 minutes later, I pulled myself out of my rabbit hole and immediately knew what I needed to do.
Turns out, the simple act of dredging the mashed potatoes in a bit of seasoned flour and pan-frying them turns them into crisp-edged fritter-like cakes with creamy melt-in-your-mouth interiors. Seriously, the mashed potatoes get so soft on the inside they’re like little clouds. And because I couldn’t resist the chance to gild the lily and added Parmesan to the flour mix, you get a little frico action going. (Frico is basically crispy cheese heaven.) In short, blah leftover mashed potatoes transform into the perfect appetizer, especially if you whip up a quick dipping sauce on the side. (I recommend this chipotle aioli.)
But where these mashed potato cakes really shine: with an egg on top. All that gorgeous drippy yolk on the creamy mashed potatoes … I won’t get obscene, but take my word for it — they’re delicious. So delicious that it’s worth cooking up a pot of mashed potatoes just for the leftovers, not that I’d ever do that …
*I always go back and forth on sharing a mashed potatoes recipe on this site. Everyone loves theirs a specific way, and does the world really need another recipe? Do you have a go-to?
Note: After making this, I realized it’s really similar to a very common Indian snack: aloo chop (or aloo tikki). Mashed potatoes are mixed with spices and then formed into patties and fried, the only difference being that they’re dredged in an egg-breadcrumb mixture instead of flour. I shared my recipe a long time ago, and they’re BOMB, in case you want a slightly spicier version of your mashed potato cakes.
- 2 cups chilled mashed potatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Divide the mashed potatoes into 8 half-inch thick patties (they will be roughly 3-4 inches in diameter). In a pie plate or shallow bowl, mix the flour, Parmesan, salt, pepper and paprika. Coat the potato cakes in the flour mixture, then place them on a plate.
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add the potato cakes to the skillet in batches, cooking until they have formed a crust (7-8 minutes). Then, carefully flip and cook until they have browned on the other side (an additional 5-6 minutes). Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and fry the rest of the mashed potato cakes. Serve warm, either with a dipping sauce or with a fried egg on top.
- You could easily make this gluten-free by using gluten-free flour instead of regular all-purpose.