leftover mashed potatoes
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How to Fry Leftover Mashed Potatoes

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When it comes to cooking in the contemporary age, most people are looking for delicious food that can be prepared quickly.

Between work, school runs, volunteering, and socializing, people are often in search of smart ways of making their cooking last longer throughout the week. 

In addition, with rising costs of living in most countries around the world, stretching your budget a little more will help to save a few cents for a rainy day.

Potatoes have long been a favorite in most households. Whether fried into chips, mashed, or baked, they are often the heart of delicious and mouthwatering meals.

Even if you have fussy and picky eaters, mashed potatoes are something most people love to eat. The smooth texture and simple yet mouthwatering taste are appealing to the young and old alike.

If mashed potatoes are a regular in your household, chances are you’re often faced with the task of how to reuse leftovers.

Cold or leftover mashed potatoes can often become incredibly dry and unappetizing, which can cause many people will throw them out after a day or two.

So, how do you fry leftover mashed potatoes? Mashed potatoes are best fried on the stove. Using a neutral vegetable oil to fry in the pan, along with a few drops of extra liquid in the form of milk or milk alternatives to help reconstitute the potatoes, helps to turn these leftovers into a crispy, golden snack.

Leftover mashed potatoes can become an exciting new meal or side, saving you from wondering what to cook for lunch the next day. Read on to learn more about how to fry leftover mashed potatoes.

How to Fry Leftover Mashed Potatoes

When it comes to leftover mashed potatoes, there are a few tricks that will either make your leftover potatoes deliciously appetizing or completely unpalatable.

To eat yummy mashed potatoes on the second or third day, you need to make sure that the consistency is correct and that they are heated and cooked in the right way.

If your mashed potatoes are too dry, they may taste like cardboard, and you won’t get past the first mouthful.

On the other hand, mashed potatoes that are overboiled and too soggy can be watery and tasteless, making any accompanying food unappetizing too. 

In fact, many professional kitchens also make mashed potatoes in advance for a few days and reheat as needed.

Step-By-Step Guide

To fry mashed potatoes on the stovetop, follow these steps:

frying mashed potatoes
  1. Set the stove to medium heat and set a non-stick pan (like this one) over the heating element.
  2. Pour in enough frying oil (use oil with a high smoke point) to cover the bottom of the pan.
  3. Layer the mashed potato thinly onto the pan (like you’re making hash browns).
  4. Allow one side to fry until it reaches a golden brown color, then flip.
  5. Serve hot!

Other Ways of Frying Leftover Mashed Potatoes

While traditional frying is usually done on a stovetop, there are many modern means of frying and heating mashed potatoes that can put a healthier spin on your food.


Similar to our frying method, oven-baked potato cakes are a great idea if you want to include less oil.

Set your oven to 400°F.

Add flour, seasoning, and lots of cheese to taste. Following that, shape your mashed potatoes into patties.

Depending on the size of your patties, they will need to bake for 10-15 minutes.

One way to check if they’re done is that they look golden on the outside (if they go past golden and start to look brown, they’ve baked too long and might taste burnt).

Air Fryer

You can also make mashed potato pancakes in the air fryer. They are a great way of using up leftover potatoes in a new way. They are crispy on the outside and creamy and fluffy in the middle. 

Great as a treat on their own or as a side dish, this is a method worth mastering.

With two cups of mashed potatoes, add cheddar cheese to taste, a bit of spring onion, one egg, and a couple of spoons of flour. Make sure it binds well and then make pancake shapes from the mixture.

To make sure they hold their shape in an air fryer, you can simply place the pancake shapes into the freezer for 10 minutes.

Then they will be ready to go into the air fryer. Cook for 10 minutes, then flip and cook for about 5 more minutes.


Done the right way, leftover mashed potatoes can be heated up in the microwave.

  • Add a little milk, butter, and cream to a microwave-safe dish and stir well.
  • Cover with a paper towel to catch any mashed potato that splatters as it heats.
  • Microwave on high for 30-second increments until hot.

As long as you keep an eye on them as they microwave so they don’t overheat.

Leftover Mashed Potato Recipe Ideas

There is no reason why leftover mashed potatoes should only be reincarnated as mashed potatoes once more. There are many potentially exciting ideas you can try to give your mashed potatoes an exciting edge and an added twist.

leftover mashed potatoes

Read on for some mouthwatering tips that will help you fill your weekly meal planner:

1. Mashed Potato Patty

Patties made from leftover mashed potatoes are incredibly versatile. They can either be served with meat or chicken or with an array of vegetables. Mashed potato patties also make excellent meat alternative burgers.

For a delicious potato patty, mixed the mashed potatoes with flour, onion, egg, black pepper and salt together. Make sure it is all evenly well-combined.

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Carefully place a patty-shaped dollop of mixture into the pan. Fry until it is golden brown. Remove it and drain. 

2. Mashed Potato Sandwich Filling

Heat up a pan and add a few drops of oil. Add some spices and flavors to taste. This can include chili flakes, salt, and pepper.

Add onions and garlic, and cook for about 2 minutes. Then add your potatoes. Stir thoroughly to ensure it doesn’t burn or stick to the pan. 

Once it is all mixed together it should be a yellow golden color. You can add salad and cheese to taste.

3. Indian Potato Curry

There is nothing like a delicious curry. You simply need a handful of spices such as cumin, turmeric, chili, coriander, and mustard seeds. 

You begin by adding a few drops of oil to your pan. Fry the cumin and mustard seeds. Once they start to crackle, you can add the potatoes and the rest of the spices. Mix well, and add 1/2 a cup of water and 1-2 tablespoons of yogurt. 

The result should be a sensationally creamy curry that can be served with rice or naan.

4. Potato Pastry Filling

There is nothing quite as delicious as a cheese pastry. While the name is deceptive, the main ingredient in these pastries is, in fact, potatoes. 

Simply add in butter, add generous amounts of cheese, and mix it up with your mashed potatoes. You can also add a splash of milk or cream for a smoother texture. 

Roll out some pastry squares and fill them with the cheese/potato filling on one side. Fold over, and seal with a little milk or egg. Place in the oven and bake until they are golden about 10-12 minutes

Once they are baked, you will have a delicious and cheesy potato-filled crispy pastry to enjoy. These pastries can also be frozen and baked at a later date. 


Potatoes are well-loved around the world in a whole variety of cuisines. Mashed potatoes, in particular, make an excellent side dish to any meal.

Whether it’s to accompany a steak or grilled chicken or even a bean burger, mashed potatoes are comforting and delicious.

If your family enjoys mashed potatoes, you can make a large batch and refrigerate.

Leftover mashed potatoes are also amazingly versatile. If fried in the right way, they can deliver a new and equally delicious meal in mere minutes. They can make a pie topping or pastry filling or be made into patties or pancakes too.

If you want to feed your family on a budget or make your cooking go a long way to last several days, learning how to fry mashed potatoes can free up your time and your wallet.

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