Transform your leftover mashed potatoes into yummy loaded mashed potato cakes!

Mix leftover spuds with crispy bacon bits, green onions, and lots of cheddar cheese, and then panfry them until golden brown and crisp.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream & chives, a squeeze of ketchup, or top them with leftover turkey and gravy.

plated Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes

We Love These Mashed Potato Cakes (and so will you!)

  • Transform leftover mashed potatoes into fried potato patties with a few extra ingredients and seasonings.
  • Mashed potato cakes are budget friendly, and kids love ’em.
  • Mix and match the cheese and other add-ins to create new flavors and use up your leftovers.
  • Fry them up in bacon grease and top with a runny fried egg for a great breakfast (or use them as a base for eggs benedict).
  • These potato cakes can be served alone as a light dinner or as a side dish to meat or chicken.
ingredients for loaded mashed potato cakes

Ingredients for Mashed Potato Cakes

Mashed Potatoes – Use leftover mashed potatoes if you have some or use instant mashed potatoes (or pre-made) if you don’t have any. Even cauliflower mashed potatoes can be used for a low-carb recipe.

Cheese – Experiment with different types of cheese, such as cheddar, parmesan cheese, Mexican blend, or pizza mozzarella.

Bacon – Bacon and mashed potatoes go hand in hand. Bacon can be oven baked or use real bacon bits.

Leftovers – As a variation, you can add leftovers like chopped chicken or turkey, leftover roasted veggies, etc.

Seasonings – Green onions are a favorite, add in other fresh herbs if you have them.

How to Make Mashed Potato Cakes

  1. Fry bacon until crispy. Cook onion and garlic in the bacon grease (per recipe below).
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and form into potato cakes.
  3. Pan fry in bacon fat or butter until golden brown on both sides.

Serve hot with extra green onions, sour cream, or ketchup.

Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes with sour cream and green onions with a bite out of them

Leftovers & Reheating

  • Keep leftover mashed potato pancakes in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Reheat them in the microwave, oven, or air fryer until heated through.
  • Mashed potato cakes made in batches can be chilled and frozen for up to 6 weeks in zippered bags. Simply crisp them up on the stovetop or in the air fryer!

More Leftover Mashed Potato Recipes

Did you enjoy these Loaded Mashed Potatoes? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

plated Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes
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Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes

These loaded mashed potato cakes make an amazing side dish or light dinner or lunch! They are the perfect way to enjoy leftover potatoes and the flavor combinations are endless!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings


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  • 6 strips bacon
  • ½ cup white onion diced, (or ¼ cup green onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 cups cold mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded cheese such as cheddar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped, or ½ teaspoon dried
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped, or 1-2 teaspoons dried
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour *see note
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine for frying


  • In a large skillet, fry the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Drain on paper towels and once cooled, crumble.
  • Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the frying pan. Cook the onion and garlic over medium heat until translucent. (If using green onion, no need to precook).
  • In a medium bowl, combine crumbled bacon, mashed potatoes, cooked onion, shredded cheese, basil, parsley, eggs, salt & pepper. Mix well and add flour a bit at a time until the potato cakes hold together. You may not need all of the flour.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon of butter (or leftover bacon fat) in a clean skillet over medium heat.
  • Scoop about ¼ of a cup of the potato mixture and form it into a ball. Place it in the hot pan and flatten it with a spatula until it’s about ½ – ¾″ thick. Repeat with remaining potato cakes (cooking in batches if needed).
  • Fry for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until the potato patties are golden brown and crisp.
  • For best results, serve immediately while hot and crispy.
  • Top with green onions, sour cream, or ketchup.



Flour – Depending on the consistency of your potatoes, you may need a little bit less flour (or a little bit more). You want the cakes to stick together (and not be too sticky). 
Air Fryer – Potato cakes can be cooked in an air fryer. Form into patties and brush with melted butter. Cook at 400°F for about 12 minutes, turning after 6 minutes.
*Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
Leftover cakes will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. They can also be frozen and will keep for 6 weeks in the freezer. 
4.91 from 220 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 253 | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 558mg | Potassium: 321mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 448IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
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cooking Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes with writing
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Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes on a plate and with a bite taken out of them and writing


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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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Recipe Rating


  1. Made Belgian potato waffles with this recipe and they turned out beautiful and delicious5 stars

    1. I haven’t tried freezing these so I can’t say for sure. While it would likely work, the texture of potatoes can sometimes change once frozen.

  2. Yup, a keeper, hubby approved. Made according to the recipe and only change I made was using bacon bits as I didn’t have bacon. Fried them in olive oil and butter and served with sour cream. Thanx for the recipe!!5 stars

  3. They are pretty good, but cooking time 10 minutes?? That is some mighty gas lighting. It takes 15 minutes at least to cook the bacon, the onions and garlic.
    It is a great way to use up mash potatoes.

  4. Absolutely delicious. l can eat pork so l left out the bacon. l fried patties in 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter.5 stars

  5. Made these tonight. All I had were mashed potatoes and corn- used all purpose gluten free flour. Turned out really well!5 stars

  6. Tasty but overpowering. Next time I’ll halve the add-ins. It was so rich, it was difficult to finish and lost the flavor of the potatoes.3 stars

  7. These did not disappoint! Excellent! Paired these potato cakes with a ricotta whip on top. I will definitely make these again and will never wonder what to do with leftover mashed potatoes. Just wishing I had made 2 batches!5 stars

  8. To eat potatoes I have to remove starch (diabetic). soaking and par boiling then rinsing. will the cakes hold together after removing a lot of the starch?

    1. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure Carrie. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!

  9. Really good! Mmm Mmm! My wife is a big eater, I made a double batch and she woofed them all down. I’ll definitely be making these again.. thanks5 stars