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
cooked Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes with a title
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. We really enjoyed your potato cakes and I definitely will make again. I served with Lipton onion sour cream dip and ketchup and a little himalayan salt on top per another suggestion. Yum5 stars

  2. These turned out delicious, thank you Holly..I wish I could post a picture..they a beautiful too ❤️
    This recipe is on our Super Bowl Sunday menu !5 stars

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe Cyndikay! You can share a picture on Instagram and tag me @spendpennies!

  3. These look really good. Have you tried adding Himalayan pink salt at the end before serving? Just a quick sprinkle over them as a garnish to give a lovely crunchy texture?

  4. I absolutely love anything with potatoes. They are my favorite thing to eat I have made these and they are so easy to make and so delicious to eat .Anyone who likes potatoes will want to try this recipe. Thank you for sharing5 stars

  5. done these so many times no the supermarket ones bear no comparison to the homemade ones. love them cheap and cheerful. 5 stars

  6. Best ever potato pancakes. Delicious with maple syrup or ketchup and sour cream. Yum. I did cook mine longer as I like a really crispy outside.5 stars

  7. Omg DELICIOUS!! When I first read the recipe I didn’t think they were gonna be very good I thought they would be kind of gummy because of the flour, to my surprise they have a wonderful texture. absolutely delicious I cut back on the cheese a little but other than that I stuck to the recipe. I will be printing the recipe and keeping it in my arsenal for all the times I always make way too many mashed potatoes. And I made sure to share it with all the women in my circle!5 stars

  8. Amazing idea! I followed the recipe exactly but definitely needed way more flour for that sticky consistency. After mixing everything, I stuck the bowl in the freezer for 20 minutes to get everything back to *cold* – way easier to handle after that. I formed half into patties and put them in the freezer to hold the shape. Again, easier to work with. The other half I formed into balls, froze, then rolled then in panko and deepfried. Also delicious.

    Thank you for the idea!4 stars

  9. This does not come out as anything resembling a pancake, just a gooey mess of potatoes. And yes, I adjusted the flour for the consistency of my mashed potatoes. I ended up putting it into a baking dish and putting it under the broiler.1 star

    1. That is correct, these are not pancakes and they should not resemble pancakes. The recipe is for potato cakes which is a mashed potato patty.

      Using the measurements in the recipe you should have a mashed potato mixture that is thick enough to form patties as there is no liquid in these besides the eggs. Since there is no additional liquid, I can’t say for sure why yours were gooey. There is a video in the post so hopefully that will help you get the right consistency.

  10. Delish! I had a ton of leftover mashed potatoes and no idea what to do with them. This recipe was simple and easy and my husband thoroughly enjoyed it5 stars

  11. I love any recipe that utilizes leftovers, but with this particular one, I enjoyed it even more than I did the original mash.
    I’ve tried making potato cakes before, but they have a hard time holding together, but these ones were perfect, and that’s in spite of my tendency for a buttery mash. Thank you for sharing5 stars

      1. Hi Jo, we haven’t tried freezing these potato cakes but I think they would hold up okay. They may not stay as crispy when reheated but should still be delicious. Let us know how they turn out!