Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes

Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes
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I hope you had a Thanksgiving that was packed with family, friends, and great food. I had a great Thanksgiving and one that resulted in quite the surplus of mashed potatoes…more on that later. All you need to know right now, is that I have created the perfect recipe for using up those leftovers: Mashed Potato Pancakes.

Or just potato cakes if the idea of savory pancakes unsettles you.

These Mashed Potato Pancakes are stuffed with gooey cheese, crisp bacon, a perfectly crisp crust, and soft fluffy core. I know, a lot of descriptions. But basically I’m getting at the fact you need to try them out. Lucky for you, we are in the height of mashed potato season.


Which brings me back to the story of my surplus of mash potatoes.

You may remember me mentioning when I shared my easy chipotle apple slow cooker pork loin recipe, that I had multiple family gatherings to go to last week.

First my mom and I hosted Thanksgiving at my parent’s house. It was our first time hosting this event. I should stop right here and say a huge THANK YOU, to my Aunt who has hosted this event for years.

Holy Smokes.

It was it a lot of work. Like a ton of work. Like my feet hurt at the end of the day from standing so long in the kitchen hard work.

The morning before we celebrated, we woke up early, pulled the turkey out to finish thawing, and started baking. I made two of my Crumb Topped Apple Pies, a sweet potato casserole, baked brie appetizer, cranberry cheddar cheese dip, and then prepped the potatoes for mashing.

To make a long story short, here’s the important part: When the bag of potatoes says to prepare one pound for each person there, it’s lying. There is no way a human being will eat one pound of mashed potatoes when there is also a million other yummy things to eat on the table. But we were naive and trusted the potato bag. (To my stepdad: you were right, next year mom and I will listen to you, maybe.)

We scrubbed, peeled, and boiled exactly one bajillion Yukon potatoes. Our family ate like a quarter of those mashed potatoes.

So I took the leftovers and created Mashed Potato Pancakes.

mashed potato pancake on skillet

These delightful little fluffy cakes are crazy versatile. You can use literally any kind of mashed potato to make them. Yes, even preseasoned ones, or mashed potatoes that have added milk and butter.

For my first batch I used leftover Thanksgiving mashed potatoes, which like I mentioned, were Yukons.

For the second batch (shown here in the photos) I used mashed red skinned potatoes because I hate peeling. Red skins have thin enough skins you can leave them on. I also love that the skin on a red skin potato adds a nice earthy flavor to the mashed potatoes pancakes.

If you are cool with peeling and want an very smooth and creamy mashed potato opt for the classic Golden Yukon.

You can also change up the cheese you use in this recipe.  The first time I made them I used Sharp Cheddar, which turned out fabulous. The next time I tried out Smoked Gouda, which again, was an excellent decision.

mixing mashed potato pancake

Depending on the moisture content in your leftover mashed potatoes, the mixture may seem a tad wet. My advice is to error on the side of caution, and let the mixture be wetter than you think it needs to be (translation: don’t add more potatoes). When the patties cook on the skillet they will lose quite a bit of moisture (which you need them to do to stay together). And you don’t want the potato pancakes drying out.

To make my pancakes I formed them into balls that were about the size of a tennis ball and then used a spatula to flattened them on the skillet into pancakes.

Once they were golden brown on each side (about five minutes each) I garnished them with sour cream and parsley flakes. Feel free to get crazy here and top with whatever your heart desires…bacon bits, cheese, chives, onion, the list goes on….

And there ya have it…a beautiful use of leftover mashed potatoes.

mashed potato stack with bite taken out

Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes

Servings 6 pancakes


  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled bacon (about 2 slices)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/2 tbsp minced onion (dried)
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Mix all ingredients until well combined. 

  2. Form into six patties. Cook over medium heat until the cakes are browned on each side, approximately 5 minutes each side. 

  3. Serve with additional shredded cheese and sour cream. 

If you try these leftover potato pancakes out and love them let me know!

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Until we cook again,

~ Chloe M.


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