Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes

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These Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes make an amazing side dish or light dinner or lunch!  These are the perfect way to enjoy leftover potatoes and the flavor combinations are endless!
Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes with sour cream and green onions on a plate

If you’re anything like me, I always seem to make extra mashed potatoes ‘just in case’.  I’m not sure why because I’ve never run out but somehow I always end up with leftovers.

Of course they’re good to just reheat or to use in Loaded Mashed Potato Egg Rolls but my absolute favorite way to enjoy them is this recipe. Mashed potato pancakes make leftover mashed potatoes (with a few easy additions), into a new family favorite!

potato cakes in a frying pan

You can just add a little cheese and seasonings to make a side but if you want to turn this into a light meal or hearty lunch, add in some leftover chicken or turkey (or even stuffing)!

Mashed potatoes are easy to make (and even easier to make in the crock pot) so I often will boil up some potatoes just so we have enough mashed potatoes to make these mashed potato cakes!

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

You can really get creative with the seasonings and add ins in this easy recipe!  Pretty much anything in your fridge is game… add some spices & herbs, a little bit of meat/protein and whatever veggies you have on hand!

A few of our favorite combos include:

  • ham, cheddar, red bell pepper, squeeze of dijon
  • leftover taco meat, corn, cheese
  • pepperoni, oregano, green pepper, mozzarella
  • leftover chicken/turkey, poultry seasoning, leftover stuffing
  • sundried tomatoes, oregano & basil, fresh mozzarella
  • anything in your fridge :)

They can be topped with sour cream, extra bacon bits, sautéed veggies, ketchup, sausage and eggs, basically anything you might have handy!

Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes with sour cream and green onions and parsley in the background on a wood table
4.81 from 61 votes
Review Recipe

Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
These Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes make an amazing side dish or light dinner or lunch! These are the perfect way to enjoy leftover potatoes and the flavor combinations are endless!


  • 2 cups cold mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded cheese such as cheddar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 6 strips bacon
  • 1 medium onion chopped (or 1/4 cup green onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp butter or margarine

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  • Fry the bacon until crispy and drain on a paper towel until cool. Crumble into small bits. Place the bacon bits into a large bowl.
  • Pour off all but 2 tbsp of bacon grease from the frying pan and cook the garlic, and white onion if using, over medium heat until translucent. (If using green onion, no need to precook).
  • Add to the bacon bits along with remaining ingredients (except butter/margarine) and blend well with a spoon or your hands (it’ll be sticky).
  • Wash and dry your frying pan, then melt 1 tbsp of butter or margarine in it over medium heat.
  • Scoop up about 1/4 of a cup of the potato mixture and form it into a ball. Place it in the hot pan, flattening it out until it’s about 1/2 – 3/4″ thick.
  • Fry for about 3 minutes on each side, until they are lightly golden brown.
  • For best results, serve immediately, while hot and crispy.
  • Top with green onions, sour cream or ketchup.

Recipe Notes

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

Nutrition Information

Calories: 284
Keyword mashed potato cakes

This Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes recipe is such a great way to take boring leftover potatoes and create a unique and delicious side dish that you will be sure to love!

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Great recipe. I didn’t have fresh herbs and was out of basil but it was still fantastic. I had leftover spiral sliced ham so I used it instead of bacon. I’m sure it would be fantastic with bacon as well. Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  2. I made this recipe pretty much as written. They were good, but I would not add the flour again, as I could taste it. Probably leave out the egg, and add bread crumbs if they are too runny.3 stars

  3. Wow we loved this recipe. It was so good. I made the cakes as directed with all the ingredients listed in the recipe but omitted the egg as the leftover mashed potatoes were soft to start with. The potato cakes were perfect. Crispy yet soft and full of so much flavor. Thank you for sharing a recipe we will enjoy again.5 stars

  4. I’m always looking for recipes that are low in cost but different than the average meals.
    I make potato pancakes but they are pretty much bland. Any suggestions.

    1. Hi Harold, we love making these loaded potato cakes since they are full of flavor. In the write-up above the recipe, we also have a lot of different delicious variations you could try. Like taco meat, with cheese and corn!

    1. Hi Gabrielle, we have never tried baking these in the oven but other readers have with great results! We would love to hear how they turn out for you!

  5. Did not work for me. Probably my fault. I shredded four potatoes, medium size. Think I should
    Not have added all of the egg mixed, assume that should be only enough just to make the patty stick, I had liquid left in the batter mix. Took more than 5mi minutes. Just to mushy. Will try again, and reduce adding so much egg batter. Maybe less than a 1/2oil too. Thanks . Enjoy your Facebook posts.

  6. I made these for the first time and they awsome and quick, I did tweek it a bit by using instant buttermilk mash potato added ranch dressing, pepper, onion, spam diced into little cubes and panko bread crumbs I now have a fav quick meal I ate them with ranch or marinara sauce thanks for the recipes5 stars

  7. Big hit!!!! Huge!! Didn’t add all the spices. Just eyeballed salt, pepper and garlic powder, and flour but they were exactly What I was looked for. My family absolutely devoured them.5 stars

  8. I tried making these potato cakes and they didn’t hold their shape- do you think I need more flour. I used pre- made mashed potatoes.

  9. Love trying new things but these were a terrible waste of time and ingredients for me. There seemed to be way too much flour leaving the texture and flavor way off.

    1. So sorry to hear that! We have made this recipe many times with great success. When measuring the flour you will want to scoop it from the container into the measuring cup and level off your measuring cup, this keeps the flour light and airy, and prevents you from ending up with too much flour in your recipe. Hope that helps!

  10. I am a pretty follower to your page, loving every recipe I have tried so far including these.

    Thank you for sharing all these great recipes with us. Its hands down my favorite go too place!5 stars

  11. I really enjoy your recipes. This potato cake recipe really sounds good. I make potato cake with leftover potatoes, but not with all the items listed in your recipe. This recipe will be used very soon.

  12. I did not care for the flavor of the cakes but that’s just me ! I’m definitely going to try your other seasoning suggestions. Very good idea for using up mashed potatoes. Love your recipes ! .3 stars

    1. Thank you Betty. I regret that you didn’t love the flavor, but I am sure you can find some variations that better suit your taste buds! I would love to hear what seasonings you go with to inspire my next batch of these.

  13. my mother was a dab hand at producing something out of nothing during the war years , But have never found the recipe for her potatoes cakes which she would roll out like a scone mixture and me only being 10 yrs was allowed to with a cutter make round scones and then put into the oven to bake. I have thought of using part of your receipt but nowhere do you roll out and bake. Increasingly supermarkets sell much too many bagged veggies and at 88 yrs often have throw out. Some of course can freeze Help!!!

    1. What a great memory Jean! This recipe doesn’t need to be rolled, they can simply be shaped by hand. Your mother’s recipe sounds so yummy, I hope you find something similar!

  14. I remember my mom making these when I was a child. I have tried to recreate these over the years and have not been successful…..until this recipe. These were so good. I did add a few more garlic cloves than called for, and used seasoned salt. Yummy. they are rich; I can only eat one. I read a comment where they were going to freeze some. I didn’t think potatoes froze well, but may try, as I made a bunch. I may try to make these in the oven next time to cut down on the butter, but frying them was really good. Thanks for the recipe5 stars

    1. Such great memories Carole, I’m glad they turned out well for you! Please let us know how they freeze for you as I’m sure other readers would love to know as well!

  15. Tried it and liked it however; next time I will roll the gushy patties in breadcrumbs and put them in the oven instead: I’m want to cut back on butter/margarine etc.4 stars

  16. I just finished making these. The flavor is great. I changed a few small things. Also mine should have had a little more flour and cheese. I started with some leftover kfc mashed potatoes, which are thin to start with. I’ll keep a few out for dinner and heat them up in the air fryer. The rest will get frozen. Thanks for this I will definitely do this again.

  17. I am almost 80 yr’s old and my Mother made these for our dinner frequently. They were called potato patties. never have had w cheese. can’t wait to try your recipe. sounds wonderful.

  18. I will never toss out left over mashed potatoes again! This recipe was a hit! I didn’t have green onions so I sautéed a quarter onion and then added I small clove garlic for the last minute. My recipe was half the portion because I only had one cup of potatoes left over. This would go nicely as a side dish for any meat entree as well.5 stars

  19. I made these tonight since I had leftover mashed potatoes and all but the fresh herbs but I used dried in it’s p,ace. I also decided to bake them in the oven as another person mentioned and they came out great. My husband loved them, as did I.5 stars

  20. Excellent mashed potato pancakes! I did not have bacon so I used garlic powder but everything else was as specified. I used green onions.
    My husband loves them too!5 stars

  21. Absolutely scrumptious! I made ‘nugget’ sized versions and baked mine in a hot oven because I hate frying. My children were begging for more and it was really hard to stop at one.

  22. Fantastic recipe! Thanks so much for all of the comments and recipe notes, they really helped! I used leftover twice-bakec potatoes and leftover steak added. Came out GREAT! This is a 5 star “keeper”.5 stars

  23. I made this and followed the directions exactly and my cakes turned out dry, rubbery, and totally bland. a real disappointment considering the prep work that went into this recipe. Also, potato cakes should not be fried in butter as the cooking temp is much too low and your cakes will just burn. I will not be making this recipe again1 star

    1. I’ve only made this was written. Depending on the consistency of your potatoes, you can skip the egg if they’ll hold together. The egg is used as a binder in this recipe.

  24. Everyone loved these it was a real hit. The only thing I changed was adding a little hunk of shredded Swiss cheese. Used my cast iron skillet and they browned beautifully just like the picture.5 stars

  25. Just what I was looking for. Thank you for helping me be creative and use what I had in the fridge. The fresh basil was such a nice touch. They were delicious!5 stars

  26. Made these tonight with leftover garlic mashed potatoes and they were excellent. We were surprised at how the basil and parsley added to the yummy flavor without standing out. I only used one egg since everything held together fine with just the one and only added 1/2 teaspoon salt since there was already some in the potatoes and it was perfect. I will definitely make these again. Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

    1. If using white onion, it is added in step 2 with the garlic. If using green onion, no precooking needed. Updated, hope that helps Monty!

  27. I made these and found them to be quite flavorful! I was wondering if you might be more specific on the skillet temperature. From the recipe, I couldn’t quite get a handle as to how hot my skillet should be. I use an infrared thermometer to help me with sauteing and searing. I cooked the cakes at 280 F, and they didn’t brown all that well at 3 minutes I cook pancakes at 350 to 375 F. America’s Test Kitchen suggests using 350 F and a quarter inch of oil for latkes. I placed a poached egg on each pancake with a basil chiffonade and got many compliments from my brunch guests.

    Thanks much!4 stars

  28. I made these this moring…they are AWESOME….didn’t put the called amount for the parsley or basil..used a little over half the amount…flavor is perfect…Thank you….yummy…

    1. I used “Cup4cup” multipurpose gluten free flour. I’m sure you could use rice flour, but you would have to add xanthan gum. I have had lots of trial and error over the years, converting regular recipes to gluten free. Hope that helps!

  29. I made these cakes with sauteed onion, a shredded slice of both cheddar and gouda, salt, pepper and they came out AMAZING! Easy and delish. Not as floury as other recipes i found.5 stars

  30. This recipe was great. Family was eating them so fast, I couldn’t keep up. Make this you’ll want leftovers all the time. Thank you for the recipe.5 stars

  31. Yes making  this recipe  now will let you know if if not liked a if i like  this recipe  will just tell everyone  its mine ps love this page

  32. Great to get a new recipe for these. We had them growing up as well. And extra boiled potatoes were fried for breakfast – funny how things go round in circles – reducing food waste is the thing nowadays too – lol!

  33. I couldn’t exactly tell what went in the potato mixture and what went on top.  I mixed in the bacon cheese and some green onions and then also put some green onions on top.  Served with cheesy scrambled eggs and an extra slice of bacon on top although a nicely fried egg might be better.  Unfortunately I added too much flour and mine were a touch too dense as a result of that and the overmixing I may have done trying to figure out what went in the potato mixture.  Fun idea though!  Thank you.  Overall enjoyed!

  34. I made these this morning.  I found the directions a bit confusing and the garlic maybe a little unnecessary.  Will definitely follow instructions to watch the amount of flour next time as my mashed potatoes were already fairly starchy from having been baked in the oven.  Thanks for the fun idea!  

  35. They came out great I use turkey bacon instead of regular bacon and I saute the onions and the veggies and put them inside and I use less flour one third cup

  36. LOVE,LOVE,LOVE these. I did research on potato cakes and most all of them were about the same until I came across yours! I’ve made potatoe cakes before but I wanted something with more flavor. I made these tonight, The only substition was using a left over shallot and replacing basil with fresh chives, and also using green onion to boot! I love that you included to add all kinds of extras one might have in their fridge. These were a HUGE hit which means they will become apart of our regular left-over mashed potatoes recipe! Thank you so much. I do want to note that the prep time and cook time actually take more time than stated, it was more involved than the recipe stated – probaby double the time, otherwise it was DELICIOUS!!

  37. I made these tonight and they were a big hit! I don’t normally make potato cakes so I researched online a lot of the recipes. Your recipe was the one that really caught my eye because it seemed to pop with flavor. I was right! The only change I made was to substitute the basil for chives. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. Hubby said “now we have a really good recipe for using left over mashed potatoes!” Thank you for a wonderful recipe. I did notice that the closer to 3/4 inch they were the tastier they seemed to be. I had a large shallot in my fridge that needed to be used so I used that along with some green onions. Yummy!!

    1. I am so glad your family enjoyed this recipe Gwyn! It is really a delicious way to use the leftover mashed potatoes!

  38. I would love to make this recipe, but because it calls for eggs I’ve hesitated. I can’t have eggs. Period. Is there something I can substitute for them?

    1. I have only made it as written, but you could try just omitting the eggs. Let me know how it turns out if you try it.

  39. Can I make and freeze mashed potato cakes for later luv luv luv your recipes I go to your website a lot thanks for helping us put delicious meals on our table

    1. My Mom always made her Fish Cakes that way with a little chopped onion in them and of course the the cooked fish. I personally like to cook the salt Cod to make fish cakes.

    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.

  40. Would this recipe work with mashed sweet potatoes? I’ve got leftover smoked turkey to use up and was thinking this might be modified for southwestern flavors.

    1. I haven’t tried it but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work. You may need to cook them on a slightly lower temperature for a little bit longer to have them caramelize without burning.

  41. I went and made up the batter and am going to refrigerate to make tomorrow or the next day so I can take them into work. Hoping this works but I think the flavors will simply just blend as sitting…..I’ll let you know how it all works out….

  42. These are great – a fantastic way to use left over mashed potato – and all winners with the flavors! My family will love these!

  43. We always made cakes with leftover mashed potatoes! You can freeze for soup thickening and my grandmother made the best mashed potato doughnuts and pioneer candy.

  44. Love this recipe! My fave restaurant serves Parmesan potato cakes with dill sauce. So yummy to use those ingredients with it.

    I confess that I cheat. I use bob Evans prepared mashed potatoes. Just add some extra flour since they’re a bit thin otherwise.

  45. I grew up on these made in a simply fashion: left-over mashed potatoes, egg, & enough flour to thicken. They were fried in bacon grease (kept in a tin container on the back of the stove) so therefore didn’t need to actually add the bacon bits.

  46. 50 years ago, as starving students and new graduates we used to “Dine” off a version of these. Mashed Potato, Flour, Raw Egg, and ITALIAN HERB SEASONING. Formed into thin, maybe 1-3 rd ” thick patties then fried till golden brown. Meanwhile also fry; sunny side-up or easy-over, one egg for every two patties. Sandwich an egg between the patties and enjoy. Liz

    1. So glad you enjoyed it! I agree, definitely not a latke (which are one of my personal favorite!!). I use a cheese shredder for my Latkes!

  47. I made these tonight using instant mashed potatoes. The outside was crispy and the inside was smooth mashed potato texture… These are nothing like Potato Latkes…These taste like mashed potatoes had a baby with a baked potato and then eloped with a tater tot. The only latke recipe i use is very authentic and prepared entirely different. No mashing of anything!

  48. My mom made these for years, she only added the two eggs to whatever potatoes she had left. Then she would not even measure the flour, she just added until it stuck together. She didn’t add any more salt and pepper because they were already in the potatoes. Then she would cook them like pan cakes. The kids ate them better that way and just after World War II there wasn’t a lot of extra things to add.

    1. Brenda – during WW II, we could not get many things in the grocery stores. My dad was a store manager, but we had to have stamps to get what we were allowed. No sugar, margarine came as a white greasy substance in a cellophane bag with a yellow capsule to burst and mix. I made potato cakes for my daughters growing up with left over mashed potatoes, chopped onion, flour and fry them in hot oil.

  49. This is not a new idea. These were fairly standard fare when I was growing up. They were called potato latkes. The version I grew up on contained no meat of any kind. They contained potato, the seasonings of your choice and enough fat to fry them. Theey were delicious!1

  50. do they freeze well? I’m sure it is delicious, and I’d love to make some extra to throw in the freezer for right after my little guy gets here in Oct, since I won’t be cooking so much then… I would probably reheat in the oven, I think.

    1. I’ve never tried it!! You can buy frozen stuffed potatoes which is very similar so I would think it would work!

    1. I am sure you could! I have never tried but the consistency is the same so I would think it would work! If you do try it, please let us know how they turn out! :)

  51. I just tried these and they were really good. They were also pretty simple to throw together. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  52. These are also delicious with applesauce on top, jalapeño jelly, peach or apricot preserves, just adds that net little taste

    1. I haven’t tried it but I bet they could! I would suggest brushing with a little bit of butter before putting them in the oven! Let us know how it works out for you!

    2. Betty
      I have been looking for a recipe like this for years. My mother used to bake these often and we loved them! She took the basic recipe (just potatoes, flour, eggs S&P I think) mixed it well and shaped it into a large disk on a cookie sheet. She didn’t brush the top with anything, that I remember anyway, and baked it at 350* until it was baked. I just tried one recently and it baked for about an hour, but I guess it depends upon the size, too. They were so crispy and full of mashed potato flavor and a great way to use up the left over mashed potatoes (OK we never had any left over mashed potatoes, there were too many of us!)

          1. They w/b delish! My gram used to make these all the time – (she NEVER wasted ANYTHING)! – and she varied the add-Ins but creamedcorn was one of the kids’ faves – ( I know – I was one of them and LOVED them with cream-style corn)!

  53. Love potatoes, these are a great idea! Pinning :)

    Not Your Average Super Moms!

  54. YUM! I pnned this so I can remember to make them when we have an overload of potatoes from the garden in the fall/winter :-)

  55. This is a fantastic idea. Love the play on a loaded baked potato. Pinning these to try. Saw them on melt in your month monday.

  56. WOW…Potato heaven here. I saw this post on Melt in your Mouth Mondays Blog Hop and had to see it to save it! Thanks :o)