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
4.91 from 213 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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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



  • 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 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.


YouTube video


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 213 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
cooked Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes with a title
cooking Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes with writing
close up of Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes with writing
Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes on a plate and with a bite taken out of them and writing


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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. Magnificent recipe Holly.
    Tried it this morning using smoked bacon and small pork sausages from our local Scottish butcher. Plus leeks (vs onions) and chopped red peppers plus eggs and cheese.
    One quick question. As there are only two of us, would the remaining mixture freeze well?5 stars

    1. Hi Nigel, so glad you enjoyed them! We haven’t tried freezing them but I think it should work well. It may change the texture a bit though. If you do try, please let us know how they turn out!

  2. You have so many delicious recipes. I can’t wait to try more of them. Time to go shopping and stock up on more ingredients.

  3. These are the bomb! I made mine with diced leftover ham, cheddar cheese, and chives. I’ve made shepherd’s pie with my leftover mashed potatoes for 20 years. This is such a better way to reuse the leftover mashed potatoes!5 stars

  4. Very good! I added corn to the mix based on a few other recipes for potato cakes. These were very colorful. I forgot the eggs though so I’m guessing if I had remembered them it would have been a five star rating (duh on the cook!). I’ll be trying them again.4 stars

  5. Thanks for sharing this! I grew up eating them, raised my Son eating them, it’s 1 of several dishes “I must call” him if I’m making, to this day!! He’s now 31yrs old, a great cook himself! There’s just several dishes that he says “it’s better when you cook it”! lol He always ask how to make them, my reply….leftover mash potatoes, eggs,flour, onion, etc, being from the Ole South, we weren’t taught to measure anything!! Also, different each time, depending on what was in the frig!! I just printed this, to take to him tomorrow!! Thanks from me as well as, him!!5 stars

  6. We loved these potato cakes so much that I had to make a second round the next day. The second time around I only put half the amount of herbs suggested and added more bacon and cheese. They were so much better! I might try not using the flour and egg next time as some have suggested because my mashed potatoes were a good consistency. Can’t wait to try some new things in them next time. A great way to use leftover mashed potatoes!5 stars

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. We have tried some of your recipes and enjoyed
    them. Always looking for good comfort food at a reasonable price.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

    1. Holly, just finished making this terrific recipe. I followed the recipe pretty much the way you suggested. I did however use bacon bits instead of frying bacon strips, and sautéed the onions with the bacon. They were delicious, my wife and I really enjoyed them, not to mention, no waste with the potatoes. Thank you so much, and am adding this dish to our regular rotating.
      Did I mention, this is the first dish I tried off the net.5 stars

  13. 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

  14. 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