Mashed Potato Pancakes. From Leftovers!

 Leftover mashed potatoes?  LUCKY YOU!  You can make these crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside mashed potato pancakes tonight!


Skip right to the mashed potato pancake recipe.

My favourite potato dishes in order of preference (as of my mood at this exact moment): potato chips, french fries, mashed potatoes, gnocchi.

At any given time, on just about any given day, any of those choices can be replaced with potato pancakes. This desire is usually triggered by looking at the jars of homemade chili sauce in my kitchen cupboard.  Get my chili sauce recipe here if you’re wanting to make some of the good homemade stuff.

I have the same reaction when I spot horseradish in my fridge only that ends with me making an entire roast beef dinner.  I think we all know what I end up making when I spot the bottle of ketchup. 

I’m highly suggestible when it comes to food condiments.

So you want some potato pancakes? ‘Cause you can have some!  All you have to do is remember to make extra mashed potatoes the next time you have them.   Thennnnn the next night you can have potato pancakes.  It’s simple math really.

Obviously these don’t have to be made with leftover mashed potatoes, you can cook mashed potatoes specifically for this recipe. You just need to make sure you have time to cool the cooked potatoes in the fridge before making the mixture can can firm up enough to form patties that won’t fall apart.

I guess now is as good a time as any to let you in on the fact that I don’t have an actual “recipe” for potato pancakes. I just make them by eyeballing everything. You’ll do fine. Don’t worry about it.  But just in case, I’ve included an actual recipe with measurements down below.

Mashed Potato Pancakes

1. Slice a couple of green onions.

2. Mix the green onions in with 2 cups of mashed potatoes and an egg.

* If you’re making these from just cooked, hot mashed potatoes, you need to temper the egg with some hot potatoes before adding it to them. 


3. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.  

4. Grab a ball of the potatoes.  About “this” much.  Maybe 1/4 cup or so and form the potatoes into patties.

How to keep potato pancakes from falling apart

The egg is what will bind everything together so there’s no need to add flour.

If your pancakes aren’t sticking together while you form them, you can add a bit more egg, or put the potato mixture into the refrigerator to firm up again.

If your pancakes are feeling too wet and won’t form into a patty you can add a bit of flour to act as a binder.

6. Fry in olive oil and/or butter in a non stick pan over medium/low heat until golden brown. Keep an eye on them to make sure your heat isn’t set too high which will burn them.


7. Serve with chili sauce or sour cream.

Can you see that?? I’m sure you can see that. Crispy on the outside, fluffy and hot on the inside. And just so you know, there’s really no such thing as too much chili sauce with potato pancakes. I’ve been known to go through an entire jar in one sitting. 

Not fond of chili sauce?  I don’t actually understand that but like I mentioned before sour cream is another respectable condiment choice for potato pancakes OR the classic dollop of applesauce. 

Mashed Potato Pancakes

This is a recipe for mashed potato pancakes.  
3.58 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 pancakes
Calories: 191kcal


  • 2 cups Potatoes mashed
  • 2 Green Onions sliced thin
  • 1 Egg
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter


  • Preheat oven to 210 f.
  • Slice your green onions.
  • Add green onions and egg to mashed potatoes and mix together.
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Form mixture into hamburger shaped patties.
  • Heat oil and butter in non stick pan over medium low heat.
  • Fry patties allowing the underside to brown until crisp before flipping them over to fry the other side.  Add more oil or butter if needed once you flip them.
  • Keep finished potato pancakes on a plate in the preheated oven to keep hot.
  • Serve potato pancakes with sour cream or chili sauce.


Serving: 1pancake | Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 77mg | Potassium: 465mg | Fiber: 2g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 13.1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 3.7mg

I know I’ve mentioned this before but these really do pair well with the fall spices of homemade chili sauce. It’s addicting. As an added bonus, while you’re simmering this chili sauce your whole house will smell delicious.  Less of a bonus is when you start licking your own furniture because of it.

If I’ve convinced you about the  merits of homemade chili sauce you can read my whole recipe and canning instructions for it in this post.

O.K., you have mashed potato pancakes now what are you going to serve them with?  If you’re having them for breakfast then you can have them in place of hash browns but for dinner this is how I like to serve them.

What to serve with potato pancakes

My go-to is grilled sausage with some type of greens like swiss chard or green beans with butter.

Meat mains

  • sausage
  • pork chops
  • goulash
  • roast chicken
  • brisket
  • smoked salmon

Vegetarian mains

  • chana masala
  • ratatouille
  • tempeh breakfast sausages
  • cheesy black bean bake

Now that I’ve polished off every one of the potato pancakes seen in this photo I can plan for tonight’s dinner.  What am I having?  Here’s a hint.  I got the craving while looking at the bottle of squeeze mustard in my fridge.


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Mashed Potato Pancakes. From Leftovers!


  1. Elen G says:

    Well, damn. Thanks for posting those again, Karen. I don’t think I was reading here in 2010. They look fabu. Is that recipe block a WP plug-in? Printing in 3…2…1

  2. LibrarianNancy says:

    So yummy! When I’m doing a low-carb diet for weight loss (like I’m supposed to be doing now), I make similar little cakes with shredded zucchini or yellow squash. The squash is a lot more watery, so you have to squeeze out as much water as possible. Same issues with turning them, though. If they’re not browned enough, they tend to fall apart. Potatoes are definitely better – as soon as I lose the 20 lbs. I need to lose, it’s back to potatoes!

  3. Andrea says:

    Leftover mash potatoes. What’s that?

  4. Katie Grace says:

    Talk about perfect timing! I made mashed potatoes last night solely so I didn’t have to throw out some on the cusp potatoes. I didn’t even eat them, just knew that’d keep them for a few days so I could eat them. This is perfect to liven it up a bit.

  5. Mary W says:

    These have been a regular for over a hundred years, that I know of in my, my parents, and my grandparents home. (German heritage) BUT, must be fried in butter, served with applesauce and sour cream, please. I make mashed potatoes just so I can make the pancakes the next night. Usually with hotdogs and canned spinach for my ‘cheap night’ of eating. Gotta save money so I can send tax dollars to build some weird wall people keep bringing up. Actually, you can skip the dogs and spinach and be just fine with only the pancakes (with sour cream and applesauce!) but I was trying to be all Martha Stewart-ish. LOL

  6. shoshana leeder says:

    AAH! Latkahs for passover!!! Why didn’t I think of that? Always loads of potatos around at this holiday. (we start with a 50lb bag). My family will thank you Karen. Bobby Leeder scores a new something to do with potatoes!!! This is why I LOVE this blog!!

    • Karen says:

      Yes! I prefer this version of potato pancakes to the shredded ones which are often used for latkes. Mashed potato pancakes RULE. :) ~ karen!

  7. Gillian Lehman says:

    That looks like it would also be yummy with parmesan or shredded cheddar….or both. Yummy!

  8. Anne R. says:

    I make “Tattie Scones” with leftover mashed potatoes (it’s a Scottish thing) you have them with bacon n eggs for breakfast. Check Pinterest there is all kinds of recipes. It takes me back to my childhood when I make them.

  9. Jan Fujimoto says:

    My mother is a 92 year old Maritimer and still a great cook. She always makes this recipe as fish cakes by adding salt cod that has been soaked in water, then rinsed, then boiled in fresh water. She adds chopped white onion instead of green onions. It’s been a family favourite since I was a kid.

  10. Tracy Hoover says:

    Can I just echo that “hell, yeah!”?

    I usually use flour to bind the potatoes, but I’m going to try the egg next time just to compare. And I have used yellow onion with great results. For those times when you *need* these but the green onions are a forgotten sloppy mess in the vegetable drawer.

  11. Robert says:

    My mom’s always end up way too salty but instead of green onions she uses queso cotija

  12. Mary W says:

    Last night I made your pumpkin soup and burnt the carmalized pepitos – didn’t realize how quickly that would happen. Oh well, only two in our family wanted soup so I have filled my freezer, yea for me. I also made mashed potatoes since every autumn I am also consumed with wanting potato pancakes with sour cream and applesauce. My daughter gave me a big spiral ham to cook since her hubby wants meat and no carbs and I live with them but she later ate a huge bowl of soup. I tried something new – adding evap milk to the smashed up taters with butter and s&p. They were so good but I also filled up on soup ahead of time (it was DELICIOUS) and so did my granddaughter resulting in a nice bowl of mashed goodness for tonight. I was going to look up a recipe for pancakes after I finished reading my blogs and there it was. You read my mind and have it all set for me. Thanks – and YUM. The burnt soup topper would have been delicious just as a treat but mine was bitter. Maybe I’ll try again tonight.

  13. Mary W says:

    My favorite way to eat these is with apple sauce and sour cream on top. My German grandmother would die if she saw us make them from mashed potatoes instead of ground fresh, but my Mom always made these since Dad wanted mashed potatoes almost every single night. (Unless she cooked egg noodles with browned butter.) She planned leftovers and I’d rather have these than dessert. She cooked them in butter not oil. It’s a Wisconsin thing. Yes, I have excess potato/butter weight!

  14. marie says:

    Can you freeze these?

  15. Pat says:

    LOVE potatoes and pretty much in the order you listed. When I make potato latkes, I use 2/3 shredded potatoes and 1/3 shredded rutabaga. Yummy!!

  16. Luanne says:

    That was the first pull to try the potato pancakes out, actually. I’ve got “shop for tomato seeds” on the list of to-do’s so that I can get started on that chili sauce right away….. (Late to TAODS party, but glad I’m here!)

  17. Luanne says:

    Holy macaroli. *Entirely* too tasty. Fingers crossed that I forget all about how to make this!!!

  18. Tricia says:

    My all-time favorite childhood food!

    Karen, my Mom’s eyeball recipe called for some flour. Have you ever tried flour in your mix? Hers were dense and a bit doughy but really savory. I haven’t been able to duplicate the flavor but maybe I’m missing an egg….sadly she’s no longer around to ask.

  19. Cathy says:

    Oh yea, now yer talkin.

  20. Ann says:

    I love them too! If you are from the East Coast, like me, you may call them potato fadge. Thanks for the memories, Karen.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Never heard that one. I don’t care what you call them. I love ’em. ~ karen!

    • Ann says:

      Yup, I checked all of the responses to see if anyone else called them potato fudge and there you were, Ann. I’m an Ann too, from New Brunswick. My grandmother who had an Irish background (and a huge family) made these a lot. Who would have guessed?!

      • Ann says:

        Oops, replying to my own message with a correction. I meant potato fadge not fudge and that dreaded autocorrect almost caught be again! Ann 2

  21. Barbara Q says:

    Followed a link from today’s On The Menu to this recipe. In the “you might also like” section was a suggestion for ” Draw your guns, let’s talk calk!” Hahaha

  22. Susan says:

    So thrilled to realize I typed “pealed” instead of “peeled”, for all the world to see! Oye vey! LOL!

  23. Susan says:

    I made potato pancakes for Chanukah last December. I don’t have a recipe either, but I remember watching my grandmother make them. Grate pealed russet potatoes and some brown onion on the box grater. Add egg and matzoh meal. Salt and pepper to taste. Fry in vegetable oil. Serve with sour cream and a stent. Yum yum yum!
    My own personal touch (Don’t listen, Bubby!) was to eat then sitting next to the menorah AND the Christmas tree…

  24. Bonnie Cramond says:

    I meant to say I ate dinner. I guess that was a Freudian slip.

  25. Bonnie Cramond says:

    This reminds me of a time when I was a little girl, and I hate dinner at my step grandmother’s house. She fixed three strange things: potato pancakes, codfish balls, and squash. I thought it all looked awful, and after one taste of the squash, I was sure it was awful. So, when she wasn’t looking, I wrapped it all up in a napkin and later threw it under the house. Well, I love summer squash now, and I have never met any potato dish that I don’t like. But, I still don’t think I ever want to eat a cod fish’s balls.

    • Dale says:

      “But, I still don’t think I ever want to eat a cod fish’s balls.”
      I got a feeling your name would go with others on a rather loooooong list!!

  26. Amy says:

    I just ate 6 potato pancakes.

  27. colleen says:

    i would love a recipe for your home made chili sauce. Is that possible??? Or do you share those secrets??lol

    • Karen says:

      Yup, I share. I just don’t need to make any at the moment, ’cause I still have a fairly large batch. I’ll do a post on it as soon as I need to make chili sauce! If you DESPERATELY need a chili sauce recipe immediately because you’re having a chili sauce emergency then I can send just the recipe to you w/out pictures. ~ karen!

  28. Adam says:

    I’ve always made mine too big until today. These were perfect for the day after US Thanksgiving. My roommates all thought I was crazy until they had one for themselves. Unfortunately someone ate all our sweet chili sauce but they were delicious with some leftover gravy too.

  29. Singer says:

    I made an extra amount of mashed potatoes just so that I could make this!!!! WIll update on results later!!! Thanks

  30. kath says:

    In NY, we eat them with applesauce. This looks like a great recipe. Can’t wait to try it!

    • billy sharpstick says:

      We always ate them with applesauce. (I thought everybody did.) I suspect it might be a tradition from my Lithuanian wetback ancestors. I took my mom to breakfast in a restaurant a couple years back. She asked for applesauce with her potato pancakes and I said I’d have the same. The waitress smiled and said, “Like mother like son, eh?”. Mom turned to her and said, with a straight face, “I wish I’d strangled him in his crib.”. Mom was beginning to have issues about then.

      • Mary W says:

        If you can’t laugh at the ‘issues’ then you will be able miserable. My cousin’s Mom developed dementia and my cousin and her hubby could entertain us for hours telling Mom stories which sure helped them deal with it. Mom wouldn’t have cared if she were in a place for those suffering from dementia but they would have missed that opportunity to care for her and since they were a ‘they’ it was easier to cope. Laughter became the cornerstone of that coping. Thanks for sharing your bit of Mom – It does make me giggle picturing it! I actually sounds like it should be in a skit in some British comedy show.

  31. Kostas says:

    Nice recipe i ate such pancakes but they where stuffed mith chopped boiled meat. In Lithuania we make slightly different Potato pancakes. we just grate (small grater) potatoes add some flour, salt and an egg. batter must not be too hard or too liquid (as sourcream +/-). Fry on nonstick pan with oil about 10 minutes (5min one side). We eat them with sourcream, sauce made of fryed onions and choped bacon and sourcream or with curd and salmon and fresh parsley.

  32. Theresa says:

    great recipe- on my list of cold weather meals now – I absolutely love latkes with apple sauce- a grated potato pancake – a staple for the jewish holiday hannukah or the irish version we called boxy potatos- either way just added “get extra potatos ” to my shopping list.

    • Karen says:

      Theresa – I haven’t made latkes since I was in grade school! I should try them again. You know, now that I’m allowed to use a knife for myself. Latkes usually include a bit of flour and are made from shredded raw potatoes. I had some sweet potato latkes a couple of weeks ago. Delicious! Yup. Gonna have to make latkes now. Thx. – karen!

      • Jane m Jacobsen says:

        I’ve seen latkes made with shredded carrots and beets as well as the potatoes. The American tv chef, Sarah Moulton, demonstrated them. She recommends experimenting with other root vegetables. Maybe some them would translate to mashed potato pancakes, too.

  33. Ariel says:

    These remind me of llapingachos – a traditional food of Ecuador. I ate a bazillion of them when I was on a study abroad there.

    They are essentially little potato pancakes, but with a little piece of white, tangy cheese melted in the center.

    Between the potatoes and the empanadas, I grew to become shaped like a llapingacho while I was living there – SO delicious.

  34. Amy says:

    These look great. There’s one concept I’m having trouble with, though… Leftover mashed potatoes?
    Who ever had leftover mashed potatoes?
    If there are ANY left after Thanksgiving (usually the only time we allow them), they are eaten by 11:00 the next morning.
    If I make potato pancakes, I’d have to make mashed potatoes expressly for that, and we’d be temped to stop there!!

    • Shannon says:

      I struggled with that one too!

      • Karen says:

        People! That’s why I tell you to make extra mashed potatoes. Make more mashed potatoes than is humanly possible to eat so you’re sure to have enough left over for the next night. I know. I know. No such thing. Sigh. I tried. ~ karen

  35. Shelly (FlagirlinTN) says:

    One of the things I love about livin’ in the South is Potatoes is one of the 4 food groups. Now I want french fries……..

  36. misskher says:

    I’m allergic to eggs, but I still want to make these as they look amazing – what would you suggest I use as an alternative?

    • Karen says:

      Misskher – I would try making them with no egg. If that doesn’t seem as though it’s going to work try mixing up about 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch with some water and stirring that in. I think you’ll be O.K. with just the potatoes though. – karen!

  37. deborahinps says:

    Little bits of crispy bacon mooshed up with the lot and you’d have me running all the way from Southern California up to your digs, beggin’ for a place at the table :)

  38. Are you going to do a post on how to make homemade chili sauce tomorrow? Please and thank you.

    • Karen says:

      Ummmmmmmm. No. Homemade chili sauce is a bit of a “thing”. I won’t be making anymore until next spring at the EARLIEST. I try to make double batches. I can, however, post the recipe. My particular recipe uses clove and cinnamon and brown sugar and tomatoes and onions and celery and such.

      • Lavada says:

        You’ve already posted your Chili Sauce recipe. I actually went and checked — October 2nd, 2013. I thought I remembered because, although you were sick (sinuses) and had difficulty, I laughed during the post (as we all usually do)!

        • Karen says:

          Yes, that was an older comment of mine from when I originally published this post 5 or so years ago. :) Sorry for the confusion.

  39. Looks delicious! Definitely try them with applesauce. Yum-o!

  40. debra b says:

    They look gooooooooood!

  41. Diana says:

    That looks delicious. When are you coming over to make some for me? j/k

  42. Anj says:

    Okay even this has not inspired a desire for Potato Pancakes which in my view is blech.
    Your gnocchi picture above did inspire though. The other day I saw this fantastic picture of Sweet Potato Gnocchi in Velvet Vodka Sauce in a magazine. It even has the recipe under it and now I am on the search for someone to make it for me.

    In my other life the one that didn’t include working from 9 – 8 every day and coming home and seeing to all the needs of 2 kids then doing homework for 4 more hours maybe I could think about making something like this.

    I was thinking about finding a chef to come over and make it for me or taking it to different restaurants and asking them to make it for me.
    But now I realized you would be perfect for this. Only you have the OCD to make something as step filled as gnocchi.

  43. Emmy Jay says:

    I agree with you 100% — not only are these my favorite ways to eat potatoes, but since potatoes are also my favorite thing to eat they’re also my very favorite foods, period. (I like my potato pancakes with sour cream and unsweetened applesauce — sour cream spread on them, and bites of applesauce in-between…)

  44. Jessie says:

    Potato croquettes! I love ’em, too!

  45. Sherry (BTLover2) says:

    Reminds me of my childhood days. My mom made those all the time with leftover mashed potatoes. Shall I sing “Memories” for you (I am Barbra after all).

    • Alena says:

      Leftover mashed potatoes? What is that? I NEVER have any mashed potatoes left!

    • holly says:

      OMGosh, I was thinking the same memories are from the 60’s :) The very best of times. Oh, to have them back. For my mom, not so sure: ) We were an Air Force family that moved every couple years, she had 5 kids, made breakfast, lunch and dinner for all of us every day, I am amazed to remember she ironed my dad’s handkerchiefs. She made noodles from scratch, actually everything from scratch. Amazing how times have changed and people have to buy stuff online now just to eat cuz “they don’t have time” to shop and cook. BTW, she also worked part-time as a teacher and went to school to get her master’s in teaching. Now I am going to make mashed potatoes so I can make pancakes! But mine never seem to taste as good as hers!

  46. marilyn says:

    and if you add some salt cod hmmm…fishcakes!

  47. mbb. says:

    inspiration to use up my tomatoes for chili sauce and my potatoes for pancakes!

  48. Liz says:

    Much more appetising than stupid barnacles.

  49. Orissa says:

    Do these really – work ???

    Mine always fall apart in the pan – is there some kind of trick to making these pan-cakes and not pan-splatters??

    ps. Love your blog

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Orissa! They do really work, but I know exactly what you mean when you talk about them falling apart. Make sure your patties are firm and remember to add the egg. Just a bit. It will make the potatoes thinner but will act as a binder. Then put them in the pan and do NOT try to flip them over until they’re browned. The brown crust helps to keep them together. Flip them carefully. And always only on medium to medium-high (depending on your stove). Good luck and lemme know how it goes. ~ karen

      • marie says:

        best if left over potatoes from a few days earlier, they get out a lot of the moisture I think.

        • Karen says:

          That’s true Marie! And I’ve never tried to freeze them. The only thing you can do is try, although potatoes don’t often freeze well. But give it a shot! I’m curious to see what happens. ;) ~ karen!

    • Langela says:

      Mine always do the same thing. I’ll have to try them again. Maybe my mashed potatoes are too thin to begin with?

      • Karen says:

        Could be! Also make sure you add a bit of egg. It helps bind em together.

        • Mary says:

          I add flour to the mashed potatoes and mash them into crushed Ritz crackers when making them into patties. Crunchy on the outside!

        • Karen says:

          Interesting! I do love Ritz crackers. :) ~ karen!

      • Dale says:

        Does the method of mashing effect the final consistency of the potatoes? We usually run an electric mixer and add milk plus butter to help the beaters plow through the potatoes. I may try my seldom used ricer to yield a dryer result.

    • Tina says:

      As the all-time queen of mashed potato pancakes, I can tell you all how to do it!

      First, when I make my mashed potatoes, I never use milk! I always use butter and cream cheese or goat cheese. Milk is too bland and watery. I also like to brown chopped bacon and add to my potatoes and some chopped green onions and maybe a mushroom.

      Make a ball of about the right size and pat it into a pattie in a spoonful of flour! Flip it over and flour the other side. I like to use leftover bacon fat to make these. Yum!

  50. Leah says:

    YUM! I am making some tomorrow.

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