Mashed potato pancakes are a fun and easy way to use up leftover mashed potatoes (you can also make fresh mashed potatoes, of course!). They’re golden and crispy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside, and loaded with potato, cheese, herbs, and spices. Every bite is irresistible!

Pile of golden brown mashed potato pancakes on a parchment paper lined tray.

Mashed potato pancakes are one of the easiest and most delicious ways to use up leftover mashed potatoes if you have them! Whether you’ve just hosted a holiday crowd or you don’t feel like reheating Sunday’s dinner, the idea of turning them into savory, seasoned pancakes just makes sense!

They’re reminiscent of these hash brown waffles and easy corn fritters, a couple of other must-try recipes!

About these mashed potato pancakes

Potato pancakes come together so quickly and are portable for on-the-go breakfasts, school lunch bags, appetizers, and afternoon snacks. Top them with a fried egg and a slice of perfectly cooked bacon for the perfect brunch!

These little gems are rounds of deliciously seasoned fluffy mashed potatoes on the inside, and when fried, the outside forms a crispy golden brown exterior. There is a sharp cheesy flavor from the parmesan that gives the pancakes just a bit of extra saltiness. Break open one of the freshly made pancakes and see the steam escape and the scents meet your nose…heaven!

Along with mashed potatoes, a little garlic and onion powder, and some fresh herbs, these divine little savory potato pancakes are perfection. However, they can be customized to add in some extra ingredients for extra flavor! They are just as tasty served warm on their own, with a pat of chive butter, with a spoonful of bacon jam, or with a side of your favorite tangy dip!

Pair these with candied bacon and a mimosa (or a mimosa mocktail!) for a simple, sweet, and savory breakfast idea!

Potato pancake dipped in a bowl of sour cream.

What you need

  • Potatoes – Idaho or russet potatoes are great for mashed potatoes, as are Yukon Golds. Peel them and cut them into 1-inch cubes for boiling.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese – Whenever possible, grate your own from a block. The prepackaged stuff comes coated with additives. We also love a sharp cheddar in potato pancakes!
  • All-Purpose Flour – Used to help give the mashed potato pancakes a bit more structure and strength.
  • Egg – Just one egg is needed for binding all of the ingredients together.
  • Seasonings – You probably have them all in your pantry! You’ll need garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, salt, and ground black pepper.
  • Oil – You need an oil that has a high smoke point. Vegetable or olive oil will work as will avocado oil.
Overhead view of ingredients needed or recipe in small separate bowls.

How to make them

Boil 6 cups of water over high heat and cook the potatoes for 6-8 minutes or until soft. Drain the potatoes from the water and mash them in a large bowl. (Did you know you can also make mashed potatoes in an Instant Pot? We love this method!)

Add the parmesan, flour, egg, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, salt, and pepper and mash and mix until combined.

Four images showing how to make seasoned mashed potatoes.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. In the meantime, form two-inch balls from the dough then flatten them out into ½-inch thick patties.

Fry 6-8 patties in the pan at one time for 2 ½ – 3 minutes on each side or until light and golden on each side.

Repeat the process with the remaining potato mixture.

Three images showing how to form and fry potato pancakes.

Let them cool on a plate with a paper towel for five minutes then serve with sour cream and chopped chives if desired.

Close up of a pancake made with mashed potatoes, a bite taken out of it to show texture.

FAQs

What’s the difference between potato pancakes and latkes?

They are very similar, however, latkes are generally made with shredded potato rather than mashed. They’re both rounded into flat disks (although, the shredded potato latke tends to play fast and loose with the neat edges). They are also both golden crispy pancakes that are seasoned and lightly fried.

Mashed potato pancakes are said to have a German origin, at a time when food scarcity bred food creativity. Now they are enjoyed by people all over the world, and latkes are a staple tradition throughout Hanukkah.

How do you make potato pancakes crispy?

You want to make sure your pan and oil are hot before adding the pancakes. It’s also important to make sure there is not too much moisture in the pancakes. There’s no need to squeeze out any excess water from the potatoes, but it’s important to use enough flour. If you want extra crispy pancakes, try dredging the outside of the pancake before adding it to the pan!

How do you keep potato pancakes from falling apart?

To keep pancakes from falling apart, use a binding agent like an egg. This addition will do wonders for keeping your pancake intact. Also, make sure there is no excess moisture. If when you are shaping your potato pancakes, you’re noticing they’re not holding together, try adding a bit more flour.

What do you eat with potato pancakes?

These savory mashed potato pancakes pair as well with the sweetness of applesauce as they do with the tang of sour cream. Your favorite dipping sauce, or a scoop of bacon jam, is a good place to start. If you’re serving them as the main you can enjoy them with a simple side salad. If they’re a part of a delicious breakfast or brunch, serve them with bacon, eggs, and a batch of this strawberry cream cheese French toast.

How to make these pancakes your own

  • If you’re not up to mashing potatoes today and you don’t have any leftovers, you can use store-bought mashed potatoes.
  • As well, you could opt to use shredded potatoes instead for a slightly crispier texture.
  • Add in some chopped onion, caramelized onion, bacon bits, ham, or other ingredients to up the flavor.
  • Swap the parmesan cheese for mozzarella or cheddar for a gooey cheesy interior.
  • Leftover rotisserie chicken or holiday turkey? Shred some of that in there too! Just don’t add too much or the pancakes won’t hold together well.
  • If you like yours a little spicy, add some chopped jalapeño or sriracha sauce into the mixture.
  • For a gluten-free version, make them with gluten-free flour or without flour altogether. For a vegan mashed potato pancake skip the eggs! The structure of the pancake may not hold as well, but they’ll still be delicious.
Close up of crispy potato pancakes.

Make Ahead Ideas

Save a bit of time later on and make the mashed potatoes ahead of time. They can be made up to 3 days before and combined and fried the day of. Super easy.

Storage Suggestions

Keep cooled pancakes in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. This recipe yields about 20 pancakes, so you may want to freeze leftovers. Store in a freezer-friendly bag and separate them with parchment paper for up to three months.

Take out only what you need and enjoy breakfast for one on the go or as part of a sit-down meal all over again.

Reheating Tips

Place in the oven at 350ºF for 5 minutes or until crispy on the outside.

Other savory breakfast recipes

Pile of golden brown mashed potato pancakes.

Get the Recipe: Mashed Potato Pancakes

Mashed potato pancakes are a fun and easy way to use up leftover mashed potatoes (you can also make fresh mashed potatoes, of course!). They’re golden and crispy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside, and loaded with potato, cheese, herbs, and spices. Every bite is irresistible!
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 5 cups)
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup vegetable or olive oil

Instructions

  • Boil 6 cups of water over high heat and cook the potatoes for 6-8 minutes or until soft.
  • Drain the potatoes from the water and mash them in a large bowl.
  • Add the parmesan, flour, egg, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, salt and pepper and mash and mix until combined.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • In the meantime, form two-inch balls from the dough then flatten them out into ½-inch thick patties.
  • Fry 6-8 patties in the pan at one time for 2 ½ – 3 minutes on each side or until light and golden on each side.
  • Repeat the process with the remaining potato mixture.
  • Let them cool on a plate with a paper towel for five minutes then serve with sour cream and chopped chives if desired.

Notes

  • Makes 18-20 potato pancakes
  • Store leftover potato pancakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat them in a 350ºF oven for 5 minutes or until crispy.
Serving: 2pancakes, Calories: 163kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 205mg, Potassium: 406mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 70IU, Vitamin C: 18mg, Calcium: 71mg, Iron: 1mg