Ways to use leftover mashed potatoes

It isn’t uncommon for there to be leftover foods after a nice supper. When people want their families to eat well and to end up with full bellies, they sometimes go a little overboard on some dishes, such as mashed potatoes. The good news is that there is little reason to throw the potatoes away. They can be used in other wonderful dishes. Following are only a few of many possibilities.

Fried potato patties

These are treats to many people, they are simple to make and they start with a base of mashed potatoes. That means that leftover mashed spuds are ideal, since the potatoes are already cooked and are usually the right consistency.

To make them, simply mix in a beaten egg per cup of mashed potatoes, add some cooking oil to a fry pan and heat it over medium, then fry the potatoes by the tablespoonful, flattened out in the pan, until they are golden brown. Turn them over and brown them on the other side and serve them hot. They go well with eggs, so the patties can be eaten with breakfast, and they are very tasty as a supper side-dish, with gravy over the top.

Note that while these are sometimes called potato pancakes, they really aren’t the same thing. However, leftover mashed potatoes can be used to make potato pancakes as well. Flour is usually added in that case, but it isn’t much more difficult than that.

Mashed potato fries

This is a variation of the fried potato patties, with a slightly different purpose. To make them, more egg is added to the mashed spuds in order to make them thick and stiff. Turn the potatoes out onto a cutting board or counter, pressing them out until they are about a quarter inch thick. Use a knife or butter knife to cut the mashed potato mixture into quarter inch strips, also cutting them to make them about the same length as a regular French fry.

These can be deep fat fried until they are golden brown, which only takes a couple minutes, or they can be cooked in the oven. Serve hot, sprinkled with seasoned salt. 

These fries are more versatile than the regular kind because crushed garlic or finely chopped onions, chopped chives or even finely diced bell peppers can be added to the mashed potatoes and blended in prior to rolling the mixture out and making it into fries. This changes the flavor and the extra ingredients are on the inside of the potato fries.

Cheesy potatoes and peas

This dish is simplicity in action. Just put the potatoes in a casserole dish, add a can of peas, drained, and put shredded cheese over the top. Pop this into a medium oven for five or ten minutes or long enough for the ingredients to get hot and for the cheese to melt. 

The joy of this dish is that it is quite changeable. Try using kernel style sweet corn instead of peas. Cooked cauliflower also goes well in this meal. Seasonings aren’t necessary but can be included according to a person’s preferences. The cheesy potatoes are also filling, partly because of the cheese, so this is a great meal stretcher. It can even be a great way to use other leftovers, for instance when there are leftover peas or cauliflower. This is also a healthy food, especially when cauliflower is used.


What has been listed so far are different dishes that can be prepared from the leftover mashed potatoes. The spuds also have a lot of value as a thickener. Added to soups and stews, the result is usually thicker soup or stew. Often, instant potato flakes are used for this purpose and leftover mashed potatoes do the same thing. They can be added to chili for the same effect. In fact, they can even be put in potato salad to help make it creamier and thicker.

Leftover mashed potatoes have many uses and they shouldn’t be thrown away because of this. The different ways to use them is limited mostly by a person’s imagination. The dishes that are produced are often so delicious that people might purposely make more mashed potatoes than they know they will eat, just so there will indeed be leftovers. 

Posted in Cooking