Crispy, Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes

 Leftover mashed potatoes?  LUCKY YOU!  You can make these crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside potato pancakes from mashed potatoes tonight. No flour needed. Just an egg, green onions, seasoning and a fork.

Skip right to the potato pancakes from mashed potatoes recipe.

My favourite potato dishes in order of preference (as of my mood at this exact moment): potato chips, french fries, potato pancakes, gnocchi. TWO of the things on my list are made with leftover mashed potatoes.

I have an easy gnocchi recipe that uses leftover mashed potatoes and then there’s my potato pancakes. The love of my life.

I usually get a craving for them just 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. Yes french fries. In fact, I believe I make some pretty perfect french fries. It’s all in the double fry.

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 out of the leftovers.  It’s simple math really.

Obviously these don’t have to be made with leftover mashed potatoes, you can cook mashed potatoes specifically for making them. You just need to make sure you have time to cool the cooked potatoes in the fridge before making the mixture. Using cold mashed potatoes help stop the pancakes from falling apart.

I normally just eyeball everything but for those of you who like a recipe I’ve included one.

potato Pancake Recipe

  1. Slice a couple of green onions.
  2. Mix the green onions in with 2 cups of mashed potatoes and one 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.  But I would recommend cooling the potatoes in the fridge after mashing them and before adding the onions and egg.

  1. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.  
  1. Grab a ball of the potatoes.  About “this” much.  Maybe 1/4 cup or so and form the mixture into patties.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.  
4.43 from 26 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 pancakes
Calories: 191kcal
Author: Karen


  • 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

How to keep potato pancakes from falling apart

  1. Egg is what will bind everything together so there’s no need to add flour.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Putting your mashed potato pancakes into the fridge before frying will firm them up and help them hold together while you cook them.

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 are you gonna serve with them?

I’m not sure why you don’t want to just eat an entire plate of potato pancakes, but O.K.

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
Can I make potato pancakes out of baked potatoes?

Yes yes yes! Baked potatoes make great mashed potatoes, which in turn make really good potato pancakes.

How do I make them cheesy?

Add 1 cup of grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese per 2 cups of mashed potatoes for really cheesy potato pancakes. Just add the cheese to the mixture after you’ve incorporated the eggs.

Can you freeze mashed potato pancakes?

You bet you can. They’ll freeze best if you cook them first then let them cool. After that you can place them on a parchment lined plate and stick them in the freezer to freeze quickly. Once frozen, separate each pancake with a small piece of parchment or waxed paper and put them in an airtight container or bag.

Do these have gluten?

As long as you don’t add flour to the mixture, your potato pancakes will be gluten-free.

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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Crispy, Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes


  1. Denise Windle says:

    OK, so I NEVER have any leftover mashed potatoes. Guess I’ll be making some specifically for this!!

  2. Tina says:

    I love potato pancakes! I do my potatoes mashed with green onions, salt, pepper, garlic and butter and cream cheese instead of milk. They’re the best ever! So when I do potato pancakes, I just take a ball of potato out of the fridge, roll it in a bit of flour and fry. It’s already got everything in it!

    I love a pancake with a egg, fried or soft boiled. I eat breakfast food at dinner time. My stomach is not awake at breakfast time. I eat it with a side salad or some coleslaw. Yum! And now I’ll start serving them with chili sauce.

  3. Diana Mackey says:

    Reading this as a rerun in 2020 – I make these all the time, but I love them with butter and real maple syrup! They make a great breakfast with homemade sausage or thick sliced bacon..

  4. Mary says:

    I make them with leftover mashed potatoes, LOTS of sauteed onion and bellpepper. Add a raw egg and flour, mix it up then flatten into patties in crushed Ritz cracker crumbs. Sometimes I add real bacon bits or cheddar cheese. I made these for my husband now he wants them all the time! I noticed that restaurants always use shredded potatoes…not a fan of those so much, loved the mashed!

  5. Neelam says:

    I have made mashed potatoes maybe twice in my lifetime 😊. But we make a lot of potato patties. Same shape n similar process. Boil potatoes, add onions, green chilies, fresh coriander and mint, spices and dip them in egg and fry on medium heat. Yummy. If there ever happens to be leftovers, I keep them in the fridge ( without the egg coating of course) , but it becomes so watery after a couple days. Some people said it is better with few days old potatoes. Is it just cause of my different ingredients?

  6. Heather says:

    I made these tonight, Karen. They were delicious. No eggs in the house, so I used a tbsp of ground flax mixed with 2 tbsp of water – let that sit 10 minutes before mixing it into the potatoes and green onions. It worked like a charm. Thanks!

  7. Patty Knight says:

    I always make extra because I love them in the morning for breakfast with beautiful chicken eggs. I am beginning to feel you are a kindred sprit. I just joined your blog and I love it. wonderful Chicken house.

  8. Shauna Henry says:

    I did this with my leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving (I made extra on purpose). It was the plain greek yogurt in my fridge that made me want to do it. It worked pretty well, but they do fall apart easily. Practice makes perfect I suppose

    • Karen says:

      They’ll fall apart less easily if you make sure to get a good crust on them when you fry them. Also keeping the potato pancakes on the small side helps. :) But broken or whole … they’re delicious. ~ karen!

  9. Dale Lacina says:

    A typical classic….potato pancake recipe discussion that has spanned 8 years. Still a good post.

  10. Heather says:

    Will definitely give it a go. Last time I made potato pancakes they were more like splatcakes. Not good. Thanks, Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Just be careful to not add too much egg! And if they seem like they might be splatty (lol) then do what the other readers do and add a bit of flour. ~ karen!

  11. 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

    • Karen says:

      It is indeed. It’s WP Recipe Maker. ~ karen!

    • Joanna says:

      Oh my goodness, these look great. My grams used to make these and they are yummy. I haven’t made them in years. I saw your recipe and it made me think of her. I think I’ll make some. Thanks

  12. 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!

  13. Andrea says:

    Leftover mash potatoes. What’s that?

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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!

  17. Gillian Lehman says:

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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