Offbeat Bites: Potato Pancakes

Chef’s Note: In the holiday season, leftovers are in abundance. Thankfully, this recipe gets rid of your extra mashed potatoes in a way that doesn’t make it seem as if you’re eating them over and over again.

This recipe is quite flexible, and doesn’t need to be completely accurate. The amount of flour varies on the percentage of dairy in the mashed potatoes – the more dairy, the looser the potatoes, the more flour is needed. You can use breadcrumbs in place of flour, for crisper pancakes, or even use up leftover stuffing. You could also add green onions, cheese, or any other finely chopped items that catch your eye. Don’t be afraid to experiment with proportions and flavors.

The mashed potatoes should be hot, to fully blend with the flour and egg.


  • 2 cups of hot mashed potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • about ½ cup of all purpose flour or breadcrumbs, plus extra depending on the dairy content of the potatoes
  • extra seasonings or add ins (optional)
  • vegetable oil


Warm up potatoes, if needed.

If you add too much flour, the batter will eventually turn into a sticky, but manageable dough. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because these type of cakes fry easier, but they tend to taste far more bland. If you choose to make a dough, be sure to adjust the seasonings.

Stir in the egg, until thoroughly blended. Stir in flour or breadcrumbs. The mixture should be like a very sticky, thick cake batter. Add more flour, if needed. Add any extra desired seasonings at this point.

Without flattening the tops of the spoonfuls, the cakes cook unevenly.

Heat vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Drop batter in by the tablespoonful, and flatten them.

Flip the cakes when the bottom edges are visibly browned.

Fry until golden brown on bottom, about 1 to 2 minutes, then flip sides and repeat.

Draining the cakes keeps them from being too oily, while letting them cool.

Place finished cakes onto a paper towel to wick away excess oil. Serve the cakes hot, with sour cream, jam, or apple sauce.

Click here for a variation on this recipe, and here and here for a few more ways to use up leftover mashed potatoes.


All photos by Lauren Quinn.


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