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Mashed Potato Pancakes (Latkes)

Leftover mashed potatoes make these Mashed Potato Pancakes (Latkes) a snap. They’re crispy on the outside and creamy, cheesy delicious on the inside.

If you don’t have leftover mashed potatoes, you can buy some at a restaurant or grocery store (shhh). 

stack of mashed potato pancakes on plate

I made these mashed potato cakes as one of my Hanukkah recipes last year and now it’s my new favorite way to use leftover mashed potatoes. They’re that good! And it’s a pleasure not to have to do that grating and squeezing the potatoes dry for traditional latkes.

We had a few of these mashed potato pancakes left over which I reheated and reluctantly shared with my husband. He loves them too. I’ll have to hide the leftovers next time 🙂

Basic Ingredients: I used several recipes as a loose guide, then experimented with getting the textures and flavors right. In the end, you just mix together your mashed potatoes with a few simple ingredients you like. I add cheese, green onions, an egg and parsley or fresh chives, dredge them in flour and fry them in a skillet the same as you would with any potato pancake.

If you like crispy pancakes with creamy insides, you’ll love these. Holiday feast or not. This easy recipe makes a great side dish or light main and is a perfect way to use up leftover mashed potatoes (maybe Thanksgiving leftovers?).

If you’re still in the mood for more traditional potato latkes, try our Potato Latkes (Oven or Fried) recipe. And here’s a good basic mashed potatoes recipe if you don’t have leftovers.

What to serve with this potato pancakes recipe

Potato pancakes make a great side dish for any protein. Here are are a few favorites to pair them with.

Tips

  • Don’t skip dredging the pancakes/latkes lightly in flour before frying. It helps create the crust. It also helps reduce the stickiness of the pancakes, making them easier to handle.
  • If your mashed potatoes are on the wet side, increase the flour a bit. Not by too much though – you want those latke insides nice and creamy. If your potatoes are on the dryer side, you can add another egg or a bit of milk.
  • Great toppings:
    • Latkes are traditionally served with sour cream and, in our family, with applesauce.
    • I’ve just discovered caramelized onions as a new topping – sensational!
    • Other good toppings are cranberry sauce, chutney or chopped fresh chives

Tailor To Your Taste

  • Cheese: Vary the cheese. I used a combination of gruyere and cheddar. Add some parmesan cheese if you like as well. A reader even suggested a Mexican four cheese blend. Or, you can leave out the cheese if you wish.
  • Potatoes: for a different taste with extra nutrition, use mashed sweet potatoes.
  • Add-ins
    • You can add crispy bacon if you like (but not for Hanukkah!).
    • Herbs like thyme, basil or tarragon.
    • Caramelized onions can be used as an add-in instead of a topping. 

Shortcuts

  • Use leftover or store-bought mashed potatoes.

Make Ahead 

  • Fresh out of the pan is the best way to serve potato pancakes (latkes) to get that crispy exterior. They are just as tasty, however, if you make them ahead and reheat them in the oven, although the crust will not be crisp.
  • To store: Cool and store in fridge in sealed container for up to 2 days. Reheat on a baking sheet in oven at 350F/176.7C for 8-10 minutes.
  • To freeze: Potato cakes may be frozen between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container or bag. Or flash freeze on a sheet plan for 1/2 hour, then pile into a ziplock or airtight container to freeze for up to 3 months. 

What else to do with leftover mashed potatoes

Our vegetarian shepherds pie uses a root vegetable mash as the topping, but could just as easily be replaced with leftover mashed potatoes. A great way to use them!

Simple steps to make mashed potato pancakes

mashed potatoes, eggs, green onions, cheese, flour, oil, seasonings
Ingredients: Mashed Potatoes, butter, eggs, green onions, oil, cheese, parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper, flour.
mashed potato pancake ingredients in bowl
Add all ingredients for mashed potato pancakes (latkes) to a large bowl.
mashed potato mixture combined in bowl
Combine mashed potatoes, cheese, green onions, parsley, egg and seasonings in a bowl
balls of pancakes on cutting board
Form potato mixture into 2 inch balls
pancake balls dredged in flour and flattened
Roll balls lightly in flour then flatten a bit to make pancakes
Mashed Potato Pancakes frying in skillet
Fry batches of pancakes in a large nonstick skillet or cast iron skillet in butter and olive oil until golden brown
Mashed Potato Pancakes (Latkes)
4 mashed potato pancakes (latkes) stacked on plate
stacked mashed potato pancakes cut open
stack of mashed potato pancakes on plate
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4.78 from 36 votes

Mashed Potato Pancakes (Latkes)

Leftover mashed potatoes make these Mashed Potato Pancakes (Latkes) a snap. They’re crispy on the outside and creamy, cheesy delicious on the inside.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time28 mins
Course: brunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Jewish
Servings: 12 pancakes/latkes
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoon butter
  • 4 teaspoon vegetable oil (or neutral olive oil)
  • flour for dredging (about 1/4 cup)

Potato Pancake/Latke Mixture

  • 3 cup (630 grams) cooled mashed potatoes (fresh, leftover or store bought)
  • 1 cup (110 grams) grated cheese (I use a cheddar cheese-gruyere combination)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion (or more) 1-2 green onions
  • 1/4 cup (6 grams) chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup (31 grams) all purpose flour (or less if mashed potatoes are dry)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 large egg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • MAKE POTATO MIXTURE AND PANCAKES: Combine all potato pancake/latke ingredients in a medium bowl or large bowl. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Using your hands, form mixture into about 12 balls about 2-2 1/2 inches (6 cm) in diameter for medium latkes. Place dredging flour on a plate. Roll each ball in flour, move it to a cutting board and press down to form a pancake 1/2 inch (1.27cm) thick. Repeat with all 12 balls.
  • FRY POTATO PANCAKES/LATKES: Heat large nonstick skillet or cast iron if you have to medium-high heat, then lower it to Medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons butter and 2 teaspoons oil to the hot skillet. When sizzling, add half the latkes. Don't overcrowd pan. Fry for about 3-4 minutes, flip over and fry another 3-4 minutes. Drain on plate lined with paper towels. Heat the remaining butter and oil. Repeat with remaining potato pancakes/latkes.
  • SERVE: Serve immediately plain or with caramelized onions, a dollop of sour cream or apple sauce. 

Notes

  1. Variations
    • Cheese: Vary the cheese. I used a combination of gruyere and cheddar. Add some parmesan cheese if you like as well. Or, you can leave out the cheese if you wish.
    • Potatoes: for a different taste with extra nutrition, use mashed sweet potatoes.
    • Add-ins
      • You can add crispy bacon if you like (but not for Hanukkah!).
      • Herbs like thyme, basil or tarragon.
      • Caramelized onions can be used as an add-in instead of a topping. 
  2. Make ahead:
    • Fresh out of the pan is the best way to serve potato pancakes (latkes) to get that crispy exterior. They are just as tasty, however, if you make them ahead and reheat them in the oven, although the crust will not be crisp.
    • To store: Cool and store in fridge in sealed container for up to 2 days. Reheat on a baking sheet in oven at 350F/176.7C for 8-10 minutes.
    • To freeze: Potato cakes may be frozen between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container or bag. Or flash freeze on a sheet plan for 1/2 hour, then pile into a ziplock or airtight container to freeze for up to 3 months. 
Nutrition values are estimates and do not include toppings.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Mashed Potato Pancakes (Latkes)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 137 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 27mg9%
Sodium 251mg11%
Potassium 199mg6%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 376IU8%
Vitamin C 8mg10%
Calcium 85mg9%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?We’d love you to rate it above under ‘rate this recipe’ or in the comment section below. Thanks!

I created this recipe with inspiration from: Spend with Pennies, The Busy Baker and Kitchme.

14 Comments

  1. Hi, just made these and they were very yummy!, reminded me exactly of the ones my mom would make us when I was a kid!, I have Pattie’s leftover that I did not cook, I have a question, when you are talking about freezing them, do I need to cook them first or can I freeze them for cooking later, wasn’t sure since they have raw egg in them.
    Thanks
    Bridget

    1. Glad they brought back memories Bridget. I would cook them before freezing. Then let them cook. Lay them on a sheet pan and flash freeze. At that point you can put them in a container or ziploc to freeze for a couple of months. Reheat in the oven to enjoy again.

  2. 5 stars
    Dear Two Kooks,
    As Hanukkah is coming to a close I had leftover mashed potatoes & tried your recipe for potato pancakes/latkes! The latkes came out fantastic held together, tasted great and browned nicely with your flour trick. Thanks for sharing your talents with us! Peace

    1. Hi Clinton,
      Wonderful to hear. I’m honoured you used our latke recipe to celebrate the last night of the holiday. Thanks so much for leaving a comment.

  3. 4 stars
    I’ve made these twice and they are absolutely delicious. The first time I made this recipe with cheddar and jack cheeses. The second time I didn’t have enough of any one cheese, so I mixed half cheddar, with about a tablespoon of Mexican four cheese blend and the rest mozzarella. Likewise, I only had one small green onion, so I added yellow onion and chives as well. Second batch came out delicious as well. These latkes freeze beautifully. We own a Brava oven and even after having been frozen, the potato latkes crisp up well using the “bottom sear” function. Overall a great recipe. Thanks so much.

    1. 5 stars
      My rating was supposed to be 5 stars. Don’t know why the site dropped one of my stars. These latkes are awesome.

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