Potato Pancakes with Leftover Mashed Potatoes

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Potato Pancakes with Leftover Mashed Potatoes is the perfect dish to make when your fridge is full of leftover mashed potatoes. A quick and easy way to put a fun twist on standard mashed potatoes.

Suitable for gluten free and vegetarian diets. Post includes Weight Watchers points.

6 Potato Pancakes with Leftover Mashed Potatoes in a stack

Raise your hand if you simultaneously love and loathe leftovers. Luckily, this recipe for potato pancakes is the perfect way to give leftover mashed potatoes new life!

Leftovers are sometimes the last thing you want to think about after eating a big meal. Loathe.

Leftovers have to be eaten or stored quickly. Loathe.

Leftovers can take up valuable space in the fridge. Loathe.

But… leftovers are extra food that you don’t have to prepare again. Love.

Leftovers sometimes taste even better the next day. Love.

Leftovers allow you to transform an old dish into something new. Love.

8 Potato Pancakes with Leftover Mashed Potatoes on a white paper with spring onions, cress and a dip with a hand holding them

Why Make This Recipe

This recipe is one that will move you into the ‘love leftovers’ camp. Potato Pancakes which is the perfect way to use leftover mashed potatoes that are staring you in the face every time you open up the fridge. It’s not just a recipe – it’s a problem solver.

And really, this potato pancake recipe is so good you don’t have to use leftover mashed potatoes. It doesn’t have to just be a ‘leftovers recipe’ – it can stand on its own as a side dish (especially for the holidays like Easter and Christmas) that you planned to make ahead of time, not just in an ‘oh no what do I do with all of these mashed potatoes’ moment of panic in the kitchen.

7 Potato Pancakes with Leftover Mashed Potatoes on a grey background, spring onions, cress and a dip and a hand taking one

In fact, I plan to make them for a side dish this Christmas. If you’re reading this with time to spare before Christmas this year, I suggest you do the same – you won’t regret it. Potatoes don’t have to be the same ol’ thing every year, and this potato pancake dish makes them fun and exciting for Christmas. I’d like to think that these potato pancakes are an upgrade to traditional mashed potatoes… mashed potatoes 2.0, perhaps.

These potato pancakes really do taste best with mashed potatoes that have aged two or three days, so all you have to do is make the mashed potatoes ahead of time and let them sit in the fridge. Easy peasy.

Ingredient Notes

  • mashed potatoes – use cold leftover mashed potatoes for the best result
  • green onions (scallions) – use finely diced green onions for this,
  • cornstarch – helps thicken the potatoes for easier shaping. If not gluten free, you can use plain all purpose flour.
  • Italian seasoning – This gives added flavor.
  • egg – as the binder.
  • salt – add salt to taste.
  • olive oil – for frying or spraying.

How To Make Potato Pancakes From Mashed Potatoes

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

Whether you’re using actual leftovers or ‘faux leftovers,’ here’s how to make crispy Potato Pancakes with leftovers. They are sooo easy (especially after all of that hard holiday cooking) you may just cry tears of joy.

  1. Start with the star of the Potato Pancakes with Leftover Mashed Potatoes show: mashed potatoes. (For easy mashed potatoes, use my Instant Pot Mashed Potato recipe.)  Add them to a large bowl.
  2. Add all other ingredients, and mix until combined. If your mixture is a little loose, then you can add a tbsp. of flour at a time till it can hold its shape when formed into a patty.
  3. Split the mixture into 12 equal portions and form the mixture into patties.
  4. Over medium heat, heat olive oil in a pan. Place patties in a single layer with space in between them for turning. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown.
  5. Remove cooked potato pancakes and keep them in a warm place until you finish frying the remaining pancakes.
  6. Serve your potato pancakes with things like chutney, sour cream, or scrambled eggs.
image collage showing the steps for making potato pancakes with leftover mashed potatoes

Air Fryer Potato Pancakes

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

Prefer to make Air Fryer Potato Pancakes instead? Follow these easy steps;

  1. Add leftover potatoes into a large bowl.
  2. Add all other ingredients to the mashed potatoes and mix until combined. If your mixture is a little loose, then you can add a tbsp of flour at a time till it can hold its shape when formed into a patty.
  3. Split the potato mixture into 12 equal portions and shape them into potato patties.
  4. Preheat Air Fryer and place the potato patties into the Air Fryer Basket.
  5. Air fry for about 10 minutes until golden brown and crispy, flipping halfway through.
8 Potato Pancakes with Leftover Mashed Potatoes in a frying pan

Recipe Tips

  • Don’t crowd the pan or the basket of the air fryer. You need to leave plenty of space between each patty for the hot air to circulate for maximum crispiness and even cooking.
  • Thinner patties make crispier cakes.
  • Spritz some oil on these if you want them to be golden crispy.
  • If you are interested, you can learn how to Preheat Your Air Fryer. or when Do You Oil an AirFryer.
  • Air fryer temperatures can vary depending on the make and model. I recommend starting with less cook time, checking for doneness, then adding more time as needed.

Delicious Variations

  • Make cheesy – add in some shredded cheese.
  • Add heat – with some cayenne, red pepper flakes, or chipotle.
  • Add color – with some finely grated veggies, that have been squeezed dry of any excess liquid.

Storage

  • Store – leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze – once cooled completely, freeze patties in a single layer on a baking sheet till frozen. Then transfer into a labeled ziplock bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Reheat – in the air fryer for a couple of minutes.

FAQs

What else to do with Leftover Mashed Potatoes

If you’ve made potato cakes and are still up to your ears in leftover mashed potatoes, here are a few more ideas for you.

Use leftover mashed potatoes…
As the top layer of a shepherd’s pie
In quiche
In muffins
As a meatloaf topping
In soup
In desserts – yeap, mashed potatoes can be used in foods like cakes and doughnuts.

In short, potatoes don’t have to be boring. Potatoes can be pretty exciting, really, as long as you think outside the (potato) box!

the finished recipe on a white paper with spring onions, cress and a dip

More Recipes You Might Like

More Air Fryer Recipes

I have got a lot more delicious Air Fryer Recipes that you’ll like. Like these Air Fryer Tater Tots, and delicious Air Fryer Frozen Hash Browns. Other veggies you’ll also like include Air Fryer Cauliflower, these great as a snack or side Air Fry Zucchini Fries, and lovely Air Fryer Beets.

Serving Suggestions

Weight Watchers Points

There is 1 Blue Plan SmartPoint in one serving of this.

Thank you for reading my potato pancake post. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Southern Recipes and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog.

Don’t forget to tag #recipesfromapantry on Instagram or Twitter if you try Potato Pancakes with Leftover Mashed Potatoes! It is really, really awesome for me when you make one of my recipes and I’d love to see it. You can also share it on my Facebook page. Please pin this recipe to Pinterest too! Thank you for reading Recipes from a Pantry.

6 Potato Pancakes with Leftover Mashed Potatoes in a stack
Print Recipe
4.84 from 12 votes

Potato Pancakes with Leftover Mashed Potatoes

A tasty use for leftover mashed potatoes or a fun side dish for your Christmas meal.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Western
Diet: Gluten Free
Servings: 12
Calories: 48kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

  • 18 ½ ounces (525g) leftover mashed potatoes
  • 2 green onions (scallions) minced
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 large egg
  • salt to taste
  • olive oil for frying

Instructions

  • Mix together mashed potatoes, green onions, cornstarch, Italian seasoning, egg, and salt in a large bowl until combined. If the mixture is a little loose, add an additional tablespoon of cornstarch at a time until it can hold its shape when formed into a patty.
  • Split mixture into 12 equal portions and shape into patties.
  • Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat, add the potato pancakes in a single layer with space between them for turning, and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side until golden.
  • Remove patties and keep in a warm place and fry the remaining pancakes till done.
  • Serve warm with chutney, sour cream, scrambled eggs, etc.

To Make in Air Fryer

  • Add leftover potatoes into a large bowl. Add all other ingredients to the mashed potatoes and mix until combined. If mixture is a little loose, add a tablespoon of cornstarch at a time until it can hold its shape when formed into a patty.
  • Split into 12 equal portions and shape into potato patties.
  • Preheat Air Fryer and place the potato patties into the Air Fryer Basket.
  • Air fry for about 10 minutes until golden brown and crispy, flipping over halfway through cooking time.
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Notes

  • Don’t crowd the basket of the air fryer. You need to leave plenty of space between each patty for the hot air to circulate for maximum crispiness and even cooking.
  • Thinner patties make crispier cakes.
  • Spritz some oil on these if you want them to be golden crispy.
  • If you are interested, you can learn how to Preheat Your Air Fryer. or when Do You Oil an AirFryer.
  • Air fryer temperatures can vary depending on the make and model. I recommend starting with less cook time, checking for doneness, then adding more time as needed.
  • Storage – keep leftover potato pancakes in an airtight container inside the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • There is 1 WW Blue Plan SmartPoint in one serving of this.

Nutrition

Calories: 48kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 197mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 43IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

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  1. 5 stars
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