Fried Mashed Potato Balls

These cheesy fried mashed potato balls are the perfect way to use up leftover mashed potatoes, transforming last night’s side dish into a crispy, craveable appetizer!

Fried Mashed Potato Balls

What are your thoughts on leftovers?

If you’re team leftovers like my family, you get positively excited over having your favorite dishes on repeat. Cook once, eat twice can be a lifesaver during the week, especially with work/school/sports and such.

Some meals I’ll simply reheat as is, making my life oh so easy when lunchtime rolls around the following day. Other times I make a few tweaks and revamp them into a completely different dish.

Today’s recipe does the latter, transforming a cup and a half of leftover mashed potatoes in to an easy cheesy appetizer!

fried mashed potato balls with melty cheesy center

Mashed Potato Ball Ingredients

  1. leftover mashed potatoes (1 + 1/2 cups)
  2. chives or scallions
  3. grated cheddar cheese
  4. garlic powder
  5. a large egg
  6. all purpose flour
  7. panko breadcrumbs
  8. salt + pepper

For the mashed potatoes, this legit works with any kind you have handy and can be made with homemade or store bought mashed potatoes. I used my favorite sour cream and chive mashed potatoes that I like to make in the Instant Pot. I haven’t blogged the recipe on here yet but let me know if you want it!

They are also be amazing with cheesy mashed potatoes or garlic mashed potatoes if that’s what you have on hand!

For extra crisp and stability, I use a flour coating and panko coating on my mashed potato balls. I find it gives them a lovely crust to support the creamy mashed potato center. If preferred, you can 100% make them with just the panko coating.

For the cheese, I like to use medium cheddar, sharp cheddar, or pepper jack.

mashed potatoes with grated cheddar cheese and chives

How to make Fried Mashed Potato Balls

I tried to make as many process shots of this recipe as I could, but feel free to leave me a comment if you need any assistance at all. I’m happy to help!

Step 1: prep the potatoes

In a medium bowl, combine cold leftover mashed potatoes (straight from the fridge is best) with cheddar, chives, and garlic powder. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and mix well with a large spoon.

Step 2: scoop into balls

Use a small cookie scoop with a 2 teaspoon capacity to easily scoop mixture into small balls. If you don’t have an easy-release cookie scoop, you can absolutely measure out 2 teaspoons per mashed potato ball using a regular teaspoon.

For best results, we want the mashed potato balls to be no larger than 1 inch in diameter.

Roll each scooped portion into balls. If they aren’t cold and keeping their shape, place in the fridge for 10-20 minutes to set so they will hold their shape when fried.

Step 3: prepare the coating

Place flour, egg, and panko each in their own shallow bowl. Whisk the egg until the white and yolk are well combined.

Dredge each mashed potato ball in flour, then egg, then panko.

Step 4: fry the mashed potato balls

I like to use a small saucepot so I use less oil. But a larger pot works too especially if you plan on doubling the recipe.

Heat about 2-3 inches of oil to 375℉.

Carefully drop in the mashed potato balls into the hot oil, frying just 3-4 at a time.

Use a slotted spoon to lightly stir in the beginning to prevent sticking. Fry each batch for 2-3 minutes or until they are fully browned and crispy. Use the slotted spoon to remove from the oil and place on a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain. Repeat with the remaining mashed potato balls.

Fried Mashed Potato Balls

I like to serve them with sour cream for dunking – SO GOOD!

Sometimes I’ll add a little garlic powder and avocado to the sour cream for a speedy avocado crema. They’re great with creamy horseradish sauce too! Both options are inspired by the crispy fried mashed potato balls at one of my favorite restaurants in Pensacola, FL. McGuire’s Irish Pub has these Boxtys on the menu year round and they’re easily one of their best selling and most talked about apps.

However you dunk them, this awesome appetizer is sure to be a hit!

Fried Mashed Potato Balls
Fried Mashed Potato Balls

Fried Mashed Potato Balls

These cheesy fried mashed potato balls are the perfect way to use up leftover mashed potatoes, transforming last night's side dish into a crispy, craveable appetizer!
5 from 2 votes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheesy mashed potato balls, fried mashed potato balls
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 19 mashed potato balls
Author: Jenn Laughlin – Peas and Crayons

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups leftover mashed potatoes (cold from fridge from previous 1-3 days)
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese (packed)
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP chopped chives or scallions
  • tsp salt and pepper
  • ¼-⅓ cup flour
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup panko
  • oil for frying (avocado oil, peanut oil, or vegetable oil)
  • optional sour cream for dipping

Instructions

STEP 1: PREP THE POTATOES

  • In a medium bowl, combine cold leftover mashed potatoes (straight from the fridge is best) with cheddar, chives, and garlic powder. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and mix well with a large spoon.

STEP 2: SCOOP INTO BALLS

  • Use a small cookie scoop with a 2 teaspoon capacity to easily scoop mixture into small balls. If you don’t have an easy-release cookie scoop, you can absolutely measure out 2 teaspoons per mashed potato ball using a regular teaspoon. For best results, we want the mashed potato balls to be no larger than 1 inch in diameter.
  • Roll each scooped portion into balls. If they aren’t cold and keeping their shape, place in the fridge for 10-20 minutes to set so they will hold their shape when fried.

STEP 3: PREPARE THE COATING

  • Place flour, egg, and panko each in their own shallow bowl. Whisk the egg until the white and yolk are well combined.
  • Dredge each mashed potato ball in flour, then in beaten egg, then panko.

STEP 4: FRY THE MASHED POTATO BALLS

  • In a small pot, heat about 2-3 inches of oil to 375℉.
  • Use a slotted metal spoon to carefully add in the mashed potato balls to the hot oil, frying just 3-4 at a time.
  • Use the slotted spoon to lightly stir the balls in the beginning to prevent sticking.
  • Fry each batch for 2-3 minutes or until they are fully browned and crispy. Use the slotted spoon to remove from the oil and place on a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain. Repeat with the remaining mashed potato balls.
  • Enjoy while hot and crispy with sour cream (or your favorite dip) for dunking!

Notes

Leftover mashed potato balls can be fried, cooled, frozen, then air fried at a later date. I use the air fry setting on my oven for the frozen mashed potato balls, which takes around 16-18 minutes at 375℉. A small countertop airfryer can cook them even faster. Arrange in a single layer (working in batches if needed) and check at around 10 minutes (then a few minutes after) for a crispy exterior and a piping hot center.
Find yourself with 3 cups of mashed potatoes instead of a cup and a half? That’s cause for celebration! Simply double the recipe and you’re good to go!
Nutrition Facts below are estimated for each fried mashed potato ball (made with 2 tsp of filling per ball) using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 67kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.001g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 55mg, Potassium: 13mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 0.2g, Vitamin A: 49IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 27mg, Iron: 0.2mg

NOTE: If you are making mashed potatoes with the hopes of turning them into these marvelous mashed potato balls, your best bet is to make the mashed potatoes the night before and chill in the fridge overnight so that they’re nice and cold. This helps them keep their form when coated and fried.

If you get a chance to try these cheesy fried mashed potato balls, let me know!

You can leave me a comment here (LOVE checking those daily!) or tag @PEASandCRAYONS on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creations. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

Love your Leftovers Title Image

This rockin’ recipe is part of my love your leftovers series! Here are some past installments to help you turn last night’s leftovers into something new and delicious!

  1. Leftover Cranberry Sauce Coffee Cake
  2. 7 Delicious things to do with Leftover Chili
  3. 15 Recipes for Leftover Chipotle Peppers
  4. Recipes to Make with Leftover Spinach Dip
  5. Cranberry Pecan Grilled Cheese
  6. Vegetarian Chili Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Jenn Laughlin Peas and Crayons Author
About The Author:

Jenn Laughlin

Hi! I’m Jenn and I’m here to help you eat your veggies! It’ll be fun, painless, and pretty darn delicious as I teach you to plan your meals around fresh, seasonal produce with a little help from healthy freezer and pantry staples.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Yes, I absolutely tried *two* of your recipes yesterday, LOL.
    These are INCREDIBLE. As a huge lover of mashed potatoes, I didn’t think they could be improved from their original state…and then you proved me wrong.

    Gonna need you to come out with a cookbook ASAP. 🙂

    1. Ahhhh yay! DAY = MADE!!! Thank you Jacqueline! I’m hoping to self-publish a cookbook sometime this year if I can get my act together 😉

      1. Yessssss!!!! 🎉
        I wanted to check back, just in case you wrote this exact thing. 🥳
        Count on me purchasing several pre-order copies: one for me & a few to gift!!! 😊