Transform spare spuds into this quick and easy recipe for Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes!

Stacks of mashed potato pancakes topped with sour cream and scallions

Whether it’s the winter holidays (hello, Thanksgiving!), the spring bashes (hello, St. Patrick’s Day!) or just any night of the week, leftover mashed potatoes no longer have to be a boring re-warmed afterthought on day 2.

Now you can turn those surplus spuds into the ultimate Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes!

A glass bowl containing leftover mashed potatoes, cheddar cheese and scallions

What’s not to love about hot, crispy potato pancakes topped with tangy sour cream?

This simple recipe comes together in minutes, and best of all, is wide open to customizations.

Mashed potato balls being formed into pancakes

Not a fan of cheddar? Swap in your cheese of choice. Got spare turkey, too? Chop it up and add it to the mix. Looking for a hint of heat? Stir in some chopped chipotles in adobo.

A frying pan containing potato pancakes

And if you’re staring down even more surplus spuds, don’t miss additional recipes for:

Stacks of mashed potato pancakes on white plates and a small bowl of scallions

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Find more inspiration for making the most of Thanksgiving leftovers with additional classic and creative recipes.

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Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes

Transform spare spuds into this quick and easy recipe for Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes!
4.8 from 43 votes
Stacks of mashed potato pancakes topped with sour cream and scallions
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 12 pancakes


  • 3 cups chilled leftover mashed potatoes
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped scallions, green and white parts
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil, for pan-frying
  • Sour cream, for serving


  • In a large bowl, stir together the mashed potatoes, cheese, scallions, egg and 3 tablespoons flour until combined. (See Kelly's Notes.) Using your hands, divide the mixture into 12 portions. Roll each portion into a compact ball then flatten it into a pancake about a 1/2-inch-thick.
  • Place the remaining ½ cup of flour in a shallow dish and carefully dredge each pancake in the flour.
  • Heat 3 to 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. (Add enough oil to thoroughly coat the bottom of the pan.)
  • Fry the pancakes, in batches, until they're golden brown and crispy on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Add more oil to the pan as needed between batches. (Do not overcrowd the pan and do not flip the pancakes too soon or they won't develop a crisp crust.) Transfer the pancakes to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately sprinkle them with salt.
  • Serve the potato pancakes topped with sour cream and garnished with additional chopped scallions.

Kelly's Notes:

  • All leftover mashed potatoes will vary in consistency depending on how much cream, milk or melted butter you added to the original batch. If the mashed potato pancake mixture looks too dry and isn't holding together, add one more egg. If it looks too wet, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is cohesive.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.

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Calories: 109kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 60mg, Potassium: 181mg, Fiber: 1g, Vitamin A: 95IU, Vitamin C: 12.4mg, Calcium: 51mg, Iron: 0.6mg

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  1. 4 stars
    My potatoes were wetter than i expected. I added quite a bit more flower, by the tablespoon. It was still sticky when patted out.

  2. 5 stars
    I used a mixture of cheeses: gruyere, Swiss, Parmesan, and mozzarella and grated a jalapeño pepper into it. Reminded me of my grandma’s potato pancakes, but with a kick. I topped with ketchup as she always did!

    1. Absolutely, Nicole! Allow the pancakes to cool completely; once cool, transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet. (If you’re freezing more than one layer of pancakes, use another sheet of parchment paper to separate the layers.) Place the baking sheet into the freezer and freeze the pancakes for at least 6 hours. Once they are completely frozen, you can transfer them to a sealable freezer bag and store them for up to a month.

    1. Love this, Meredith! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, and thank you so much for your support!

  3. 4 stars
    A little hard to roll into balls but , my potatoes were creamy. Did add a tblsp. More flour .I added bacon bits to Delicious

  4. 5 stars
    Made these tonight and used grapeseed oil in the skillet, and added both fresh block Parmesan and cheddar (used a rasp grater/zested for a very fine grate of both cheeses), onion granules and garlic powder in the potato mix, and dried parsley and garlic powder in the dredging flour. Tried it with applesauce, ketchup and sour cream and liked the sour cream with it best because you could still taste the savory flavor of the pancakes.

  5. 5 stars
    I wanted to use up some mashed potatoes, this looked really simple. I didn’t have scallion so I used some onion flakes. They came out great, so delicious. Sometimes potato patties can be greasy, but I think that flour coating kept the grease out and it gave it like that fried chicken texture. Definitely make these again and make sure I have some scallions. Thanks for the recipe.

  6. 5 stars
    These were really fantastic! I was a bit skeptical that they would hold together but they did…beautifully! Wath a treat!

  7. 5 stars
    I made these potato pancakes, with leftover Instant Pot mashed potatoes, tonight for dinner. They were a hit – even my notoriously picky-eater dad loved them! I added crumbled bacon for extra yum and served them with a big salad.

  8. 5 stars
    So, I very seldom post and follow-up on a post, well this is a first. However, I had to share. With very few exceptions leftovers don’t match up to the fresh. In this case, Air Frying the leftover potato pancakes was a hit. Kelly this recipe still stands up and I found them equally as good on day 2.

  9. 5 stars
    I have been trying to make these for years with very little success, that is until today. They were still a tad loose and I had to brown them a little more to get them to stay together, however, the taste was perfect. Exactly what I have been wanting. I’m sure the next batch will be tighter and Sunday dinner is going to have a lot more mashed potatoes just for this.

  10. 5 stars
    These mashed potato pancakes were great. I made 15 of them. When I got home there were 3 left ! East recipe to substitute. I placed the dredging flour on a paper
    bag for quick cleanup.

  11. 5 stars
    Made these tonight. Spur of the moment so I didn’t have scallions or onions. Just put onion powder instead. Soooo yummy!!

  12. 5 stars
    Literally just whipped this up with some leftover mashed potatoes and I loved it! So good and I am absolutely using this again in the future!

  13. I have made these for many years. I sometimes add creamed corn. I also serve with homemade apple sauce. So very good on a very cold winter night.

  14. These were fantastic! My foodie son called them delicate. My husband ate 4! Easy and quick, I can see adding different ingredients or cheeses depending on what I have on hand. This one is joining the meal rotation!

  15. My grandson is a potato-aholic. I will make these to serve with leftover turkey & sprinkle with garlic or onion salt & leave out onion in recipe & serve with sour cream.

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