Tired of the leftover mashed potato stare down? Put those spuds in their rightful place, in a dish you won’t be able to take your eyes off of! Fried Potato Patties are gorgeously golden brown on the outside, and fluffy, creamy mashed potato heaven on the inside!
It’s a crispy, flavorful, crowd-pleasing potato recipe that comes together in just 20 minutes, with only 5 ingredients! Serve it alongside a fried egg for a hearty and comforting breakfast idea or as a quick and easy way to up your side dish game.
Love potatoes? Try our Make-Ahead Twice Baked Potatoes!
HOW TO MAKE POTATO CAKES FROM SCRATCH
- Mix – Mix together cold mashed potatoes and an egg. Then add grated onion, flour, salt, and pepper to the bowl and gently stir to combine using a fork. Make sure all of the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the mix!
- Heat – Add enough oil to a large frying pan so that it is about half an inch deep. Bring to temperature over medium heat. 350°F is ideal!
- Form – Add a scoop of the potato mixture to the pan, taking care not to overcrowd it! Gently flatten each mound of potatoes into a patty shape using the bottom side of a spatula.
- Fry – Fry each Potato Cake for about 3 minutes on the first side, then, flip them and fry for about 2 1/2 minutes more.
POTATO PATTIES | INGREDIENTS
- Mashed Potatoes (more on this below)
- Yellow Onion | Grated or Finely Minced
- All-Purpose Flour
- Salt and Pepper
- Flavorless Frying Oil | Canola or Peanut Oil
CAN I USE LEFTOVER MASHED POTATOES?
Potato Cakes are absolutely ideal for using up leftover mashed potatoes! However, all mashed potatoes were not created equal. Some are extra decadent, with tons of butter and cream (like our favorite Mashed Potato Recipe), some are more rustic with skins in them, and others, a little more basic.
This will probably be the only time you see me opt for “basic” on this website, but in the case of Potato Patties, the more basic your mashed potatoes are, the better!
BASIC MASHED POTATO RECIPE FOR POTATO PATTIES
Here is a basic mashed potato recipe; the one we actually used for making these Potato Patties!
- 3 Russet potatoes (cut into cubes and boiled in water until tender)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Strain the cooked potatoes, taking care to drain well.
- Add back to the pot, along with butter, milk, salt, and pepper.
- Mash just until the potatoes are smooth and no longer lumpy. Do not overmix.
POTATO CAKES TROUBLESHOOTING:
If you’re using leftover mashed potatoes, and you run into any of the following problems, here are some tips to get you on the right track in the moment, and some to keep you on the right track for next time!
MY POTATO CAKES ARE TOO WET
If the mix is too wet, it’s probably because there was a fair amount of liquid or butter in your mashed potatoes. If this is the case, gently mix in an additional tablespoon of flour until your mixture thickens up to the proper consistency.
MY POTATO CAKES ARE TOO DENSE
The opposite problem could also arise: There wasn’t enough liquid in the mashed potatoes. If this is the case, simply add one to two tablespoons of milk until the mixture loosens up.
MY POTATO CAKES ARE GUMMY
If your Fried Potato Patties turned out somewhat gummy in texture, it likely has to do with over zealously mixing the flour with the mashed potatoes! You should take care to mix in all of the ingredients gently, or too much gluten will develop and result in an unappetizing texture.
MY POTATO CAKES WON’T HOLD TOGETHER
If you can’t get your Potato Pattie “batter” to hold together, it could be one of two culprits; the first of which we mentioned above. If your mashed potato mixture has too much liquid, you won’t be able to properly form a patty. Another problem could be that the mixture was not cold enough. It is very important when forming the patties that you use cold mashed potatoes!
Potato Patties are delicious as is, hot out of the pan. However, if you want to spruce them up, by all means, go for it! Any topping you might add to a loaded baked potato would be perfect for topping off your fried patties!
- Sour Cream
- Cheddar Cheese
- Green Onions
WHAT TO SERVE WITH POTATO PATTIES?
There aren’t a ton of dishes out there that wouldn’t be delicious alongside Potato Patties. But, just in case you’re in need a little dinnertime inspiration, here are a few of our favorite TAK protein options for pairing with this carby side!
CAN YOU FREEZE THEM?
Absolutely! This side dish freezes beautifully. Once your Potato Cakes have cooled completely, transfer them to a freezer-safe storage container, and separate each layer with a sheet of wax paper.
Once frozen, you can take the patties out of the storage container and place them in a freezer-safe, zip-top bag to safe space (if desired). But, be sure to remove all of the excess air from the bag to prevent freezer burn!
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST POTATO CAKES!
- Make sure the mashed potatoes are cold before you begin. This is why leftover mashed potatoes rock for this recipe!
- B sure they’re smooth, and not lumpy potatoes.
- Use a flavorless oil for frying!
- Don’t overheat the pan! If the oil is too hot, the interior of the patties will not cook through before the exterior burns. Don’t crank the heat above medium and you should even take care to turn down the dial as needed.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. You’ll need room to get in the pan with a spatula and flip the patties. If the patties are too close together, you’ll have a difficult time maneuvering around them.
- You may find a second utensil really comes in handy for the flip!
5 MORE POTATO RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Smashed Potatoes
- Scalloped Potatoes
- Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
- Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole
Fried Potato Patties are the best way to use up leftover mashed potatoes -- gorgeously golden brown on the outside, and fluffy, creamy potato heaven on the inside!
- 2 cups cold, leftover mashed potatoes
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup grated yellow onion
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- About 1 1/2 cup canola oil
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cold mashed potatoes and the egg. Make sure the egg is evenly distributed through the potatoes.
Add the grated onion, flour, salt, and pepper and use a fork to gently mix in the ingredients.
Add enough oil to a large fry pan so that it is approximately 1/2" deep and place over medium heat. Allow the oil to come to temperature, about 350°F.
Scoop scant 1/2 cups of the potato mixture and gently drop them into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan -- cook no more than 3-4 patties at a time. Gently, flatten each mound into a patty shape with a spatula.
Fry for about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes on the first side, until golden brown. Then, slide the spatula under the patty and turn it over. You'll find enlisting a second utensil makes the flip a bit easier! Then, cook for another 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.
Transfer the cooked patty to a cooling rack placed over paper towels. Allow to cool slightly, serve, and enjoy!