Use Up Leftover Mashed Potatoes By Making Savory Little Pancakes

Mashed potatoes are just so easy to make, especially once you embrace the idea that peeling potatoes is the wrong way to go and start skipping this step for a slightly more rustic, yet much more nutritious mash. The problem is that sometimes you may get a little overenthusiastic with your potato prepping and wind up with a mountain of mashed potatoes too big to eat in a single sitting. Cold, congealed spuds may not appear appealing, but you can bring these leftovers back to life again by re-purposing them in savory potato pancakes. According to Mashed recipe developer Ting Dalton, her potato cake recipe is "filling [and] delicious ... comfort food at its best." Of course, as she notes, it's also "perfect to use up leftover mashed potatoes," so it ties in with our philosophy of reducing food waste whenever possible.

What's more, you need not fear having leftovers of your leftovers because Dalton says these potato cakes work well for meal prep. "These are great to freeze," she assures us, advising that they can simply be re-fried once they are thawed. "You can also make them ahead of time and keep [them] in the fridge," she adds, which means that you can fry up a fresh batch of these pancakes whenever you're in the mood for pure potato-y pleasure.

Here's how to make our leftover mashed potato cakes

You'll need more than just mashed potatoes alone to make Dalton's potato cakes. For one thing, cheese is an important ingredient. As she tells us, "The combination [of cheese and potatoes] for me here is a real treat." While she tends to use cheddar, she says other cheeses can be used, as well. The potato cakes are flavored with pepper, garlic, green onions, and bacon bits (though you can leave out this last ingredient if you prefer meat-free pancakes, as per Dalton) while an egg and some flour will provide the proper consistency. One last ingredient, cornstarch, is used to provide the pancakes with a crispy, crunchy coating.

Once you have all of the necessary components, you'll combine everything but the cornstarch and a portion of the flour. Shape the potato dough into patties about 1 ½ inches thick, then dip both sides of each patty into a flour-cornstarch mixture to coat them. Shallow-fry the potato cakes in hot oil for about 2 minutes on each side, working in batches as necessary so as not to overcrowd the pan.

When the potato cakes are cooked, drain them on paper towels to soak up the excess grease. They're tasty alone or with ketchup, but Dalton suggests eating them with a fried egg on top to make what she calls "a more substantial meal."