These Easy Crispy Pan-fried Mashed Potato Cakes are so crunchy on the outside with a creamy potato inside you will be making extra mashed potatoes just so you can have leftovers to make them.
How to make these easy crispy Fried Mashed Potato Cakes
My Dad was a meat and potato kind of guy. Vegetables were OK...along with the occasional taco and pasta, but meat and potatoes were the mainstays.
Growing up, I had a variety of potato preparations. Scallop potato, mashed potato, boiled potato, fried potato...baked potato.
One of my very favorite potato preparations was Fried Mashed Potato Cakes, made with left-over mashed potato. Crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside. Oh, so good.
While Mom made hers with just the left-over potato, an egg, flour, salt, and pepper, I've been making mine with a light panko crust.
This creates a crunchy outside with a soft tender inside.
What you need to make these pan-fried mashed potato cakes...
- Mashed potatoes - you want to use cold, preferably leftover mashed potatoes. Just be sure to use REAL mashed potatoes, not Potato Buds!
- All-purpose flour
- An extra large egg
- Additional add-on's - chopped parsley, green onion, cheese, and caramelized onions are all good choices
- Panko bread crumbs
- Oil and butter for frying
For this recipe, I used leftover mashed potato from dinner a few nights earlier, where I had added some caramelized onions to the mix. While not necessary, it certainly was good.
You can use just plain old Mashed Potatoes or even my recipe for Mashed Potatoes with Carrot and Caramelized Onion.
"A perfect use for left-over mashed potatoes"
I like to make my Fried Mashed Potato Cakes a little on the thick side because I love the crunchy outside and tender inside. If you like yours to have more crunch, then just make them thinner. Also, if you are making them with just mashed potatoes, adding some chopped green onion is nice.
Important things to know when making Fried Mashed Potato Cakes
When mixing the ingredients together, you will find that the dough is quite sticky.
It means you have a proper dough-like state and the potato cake will stay together when you cook it.
One of the most important parts of making this recipe is to make sure your pan and the oil in it are hot before you add the actual cakes so they fry, and don't just sit there absorbing oil.
That results in greasy potato cakes, not crispy potato cakes.
Add a small bit of oil to the pan, just enough to coat the bottom; then add a nice pat of butter for added flavor.
Once te butter has finished foaming, add the cakes and cook over medium heat until nice and browned, turn and finish the other side.
Thick or thin. The choice is yours.
If you decide to make them thick, then you might want to pop them into a 350º oven for about 5 to 10 minutes after you brown them, just to ensure they are warmed all the way through.
A cold middle is NOT good eats.
Thinner fried potato cakes should heat through with the browning process.
Once you make these, I have a feeling you will be making extra mashed potatoes from here on out!
Yep, they are that good.
Your mashed potato cake should hold together without breaking. Usually, 2 cups of mashed potato to 1 egg to ⅓ cup flour is fine, but sometimes, especially if your mashed potato is a little wet, you might need to add additional flour.
Add additional flour in small amounts until the cake holds together. Then put in the panko to coat.
You can, but the crust won't be as crispy. Panko, being coarser, makes a better coating in my opinion.
I love to add Gruyere. Especially when I have caramelized onions added. Grated cheddar is also good, with green onion.
Any heavy-bottomed pan is great for cooking these. A well-seasoned cast-iron skillet works great, as well as non-stick or stainless steel. Just make sure the pan and oil are sufficiently hot before adding the cakes. You want a fine layer of oil, not too deep, and of course, I find the added butter to add a lot of added flavor!
Sometimes if you cook them over too hot a flame, they will brown before they get hot enough inside, or if you make them extra thick. In either case, stick them in a 350ºF (177ºC) for 5 to 10 minutes or until the centers are hot.
If time allows, having them sit out for about an hour to come to room temperature can help with the cooking time.
So LindySez asks: What are you going to serve your Fried Mashed Potato Cakes with?
Easy Crispy Pan-Fried Mashed Potato Cakes
- Well seasoned cast iron pan or other heavy bottomed frying pan
- 2 cups cold left-over mashed potatoes
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- ⅓ cup flour or as needed to make a sticky dough
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley (optional)
- ¼ cup minced green onion (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup or as needed, Panko bread crumbs
- 1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon butter (optional)
- Place the potatoes in a bowl and add the egg along with the flour, parsley, and onion. Mix well, until a sticky dough has formed, adding small amounts of flour as needed. (The amount of flour will vary slightly depending on how dry your potatoes are, wetter potatoes will require more flour). Add a small amount of salt and freshly ground pepper and mix well.
- Place the panko in a wide bowl or on a plate.
- Using a ¼ measure; take a scoop of the potato mixture, then using your hands form into a patty cake; you can make them thicker or thinner as you prefer. Dip both sides of the cake into the panko, pressing lightly to make the crumbs adhere. Set aside. Proceed until all the potato is used.
- Heat your skillet over medium heat; add the oil, when hot add the pat of butter if using. Swirl this around to mix. Carefully add the potato cakes to the skillet and cook, turning once, until both sides are nicely browned and the center is hot. If the cake is browning too quickly and the center is not hot, place the pan into a 350ºF oven for about 5 minutes.