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, here’s a recipe for Perfect Basic Mashed Potatoes. Or just buy some at a restaurant or grocery store (shhh). I made these latkes for Hanukkah last year and now make them anytime I have 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 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 some extras you like – I add cheese, green onions and parsley – dredge them in flour and fry them in a skillet the same as you would with any potato pancake.
If you like creamy mashed potatoes with a bit of crispiness, cheese and onions, you’ll love these. If you’re still in the mood for a more traditional latke/potato pancake, try our Potato Latkes (Oven or Fried) recipe.
- Don’t skip dredging the pancakes/latkes lightly in flour before frying. That 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!
Tailor To Your Taste
- Vary the cheese. I used a combination of gruyere and cheddar. Or, you can leave out the cheese if you wish.
- I used caramelized onions as a topping, but you can incorporate the onions right into the latkes instead.
- You can add crispy bacon if you like (but not for Hanukkah!)
- Try adding herbs like thyme, basil or tarragon.
- The potato pancakes/latkes are best served immediately 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.
- Store them in the fridge in a sealed container for up to a few days, then reheat them in a 350F oven for 8-10 minutes.
How to make mashed potato pancakes
Mashed Potato Pancakes (Latkes)
- 4 tsp butter
- 4 tsp vegetable oil
- flour for dredging (about 1/4 cup)
Potato Pancake/Latke Mixture
- 3 cup cooled mashed potatoes (fresh, leftover or store bought)
- 1 cup grated cheese (I use a cheddar-gruyere combination)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion (or more)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup flour (or less if mashed potatoes are dry)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper to taste
- MAKE POTATO MIXTURE AND PANCAKES: Combine all potato pancake/latke ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Using your hands, form mixture into about 12 balls about 2-2 1/2 inches 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 latke 1/2 inch thick. Repeat with all 12 balls.
- FRY POTATO PANCAKES/LATKES: Heat large skillet (cast iron if you have) to Medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons butter and 2 teaspoons oil. 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 towel. Heat the remaining butter and oil. Repeat with remaining potato pancakes/latkes.
- SERVE: Serve immediately plain or with caramelized onions, sour cream or apple sauce.