Or… What In Tarnation Do I Do With All Those Mashed Potatoes On Friday?

Or even… Boring Recipes That Turn Out To Be Something Amazing.

(I like the second one better.)

There are a few meals my mom made that screamed “comfort food”. Certain meals that I can remember sitting down at the table to eat on cold, crisp nights. One of them was pot roast with egg noodles, mashed potatoes and gravy. Another was egg sandwiches with fried, chipped ham. And one of my favorites were these mashed potato pancakes.

She made these on nights when my dad wasn’t home for dinner because it was never really something he would go for. I can still remember exactly how delicious they smelled frying away on the stovetop.

Yesterday I asked her how she made them. I was fairly certain she didn’t just form plain old mashed potatoes into a patty.

Well, she almost did. She added a sprinkling of flour, then formed them into patties. And I chirped, “then you just fried them in butter, right?”

She laughed. Her next words were music to my ears. “Um, no… I fried them in bacon grease.”

Hey, at least you all know where I come from.

Would you believe that up until five years ago, I thought these were the only potato pancakes that existed? In fact, the first time I ordered potato pancakes at a restaurant and was served the latke version, I was disappointed. Those sure are tasty, but they are nothing like these. However, discovering the latkes were a relief… because I really couldn’t figure out how one ate applesauce or sour cream on a potato pancake like the ones here.

These just taste like home. The outsides are crispy and the insides fluffy. You can add toppings or dipping sauces. You can add tasty treats mixed throughout the pancakes. They make a fun side dish when mashed potatoes are getting old.

Mashed Potato Pancakes

serves 2

2 cups mashed potatoes

3 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons bacon grease, butter or olive oil

Sprinkle flour on mashed potatoes, add in any mix-in’s and form into patties that are about 1 inch thick.

Heat a skillet on medium high heat. Add your fat of choice and let it heat for 30 seconds. Add patties and let brown on each side, about 3-4 minutes per side.

As expected, Mr. How Sweet covered his in ketchup.

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118 Responses to “Mashed Potato Pancakes.”

  1. #
    Erica — November 23, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

    mmm I bet those are nice and crispy on the outside but still smooth and creamy on the inside, Genius idea


  2. #
    Erika [FoodFitnessFun] — November 23, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

    These look delicious! I’ve only had latke potato pancakes so I’m curious to try these…


  3. #
    Amber — November 23, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

    My daddy made these for years!! He also added an egg to help the potatoes stay together. Every so often, he’d chop up an onion & add it to the mixture along with some crumbled bacon…those were always my fave!!


    • Jessica — November 23rd, 2010 @ 12:25 pm

      I’m so glad someone else knows what I’m talking about!


      • Amber — November 23rd, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

        Of course I’m a Southern girl, so we call them Tater Cakes…lol! I am making mashed potatoes with cream cheese & half & half in them for Thanksgiving…I can not wait for the leftovers….they will definitely be turned into tater cakes!! (I even have bacon waiting for them in the fridge!! ha ha)

        • Jessica — November 23rd, 2010 @ 3:25 pm

          Love that! I use heavy cream in my mashed potatoes… so creamy.

  4. #
    Victoria (District Chocoholic) — November 23, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

    I feel like I would want to put cheese in these (if it wasn’t already in the mashed potatoes). And I feel like with that cheesy casserole from last week as the way to deal with leftover turkey, there would be no need to leave the house the rest of the weekend.


  5. #
    Stephanie — November 23, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

    Bacon grease makes everythinggggg better! I’ve made potato pancakes (latkes) before but never like this with leftover mashed taters, great idea!


    • Jessica — November 23rd, 2010 @ 12:42 pm

      Yes… I knew I loved you. Bacon grease FTW!


  6. #
    Estela @ Weekly Bite — November 23, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

    We love making these with our left over mashed potatoes! We mix an egg in ours though. And like Mr. How Sweet… we cover ours in ketchup :)


  7. #
    Sarah@sarahnotsoplainandtall — November 23, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

    Hmmmm maybe these will be on my thanksgiving table…I always like trying a new spin on a classic ;)


  8. #
    Sharlene — November 23, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

    Yum! Fantastic idea! The best part is definitely the bacon grease.


  9. #
    Cara — November 23, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

    So good.
    I think they also lend themselves nicely to be topped
    with cheese :)


  10. #
    Amy — November 23, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

    I love these! We sometimes use egg to hold it together as well. And coming from Maine and being the daughter of a fisherman we made fishcakes – which are the same as these except you also add flaked, leftover cooked fish. Very good!


    • Jessica — November 23rd, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

      That sounds delicious. We would love that!


  11. #
    Julia — November 23, 2010 @ 12:54 pm

    Yes, this is what you do with leftover mashed potatoes!! My mother-in-law taught me how to make these when I got married. She added an egg to the mixture and I’ve made my own little additions by putting cheese on top. Sooo good!


  12. #
    Krystina (Basil & Wine) — November 23, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

    Those are so cute. Like puffy, creamy ladke’s.


  13. #
    Madeline - Greens and Jeans — November 23, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

    This was always the star of my dad’s famous breakfasts. They also usually involved leftover steak and eggs. And waffles. The man loves breakfast.


  14. #
    Ami @ beyondpeasandcarrots — November 23, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

    my mom used to make these too!!! She also would sometimes just fry the leftover mashed potatoes up loosely in bacon grease for breakfast (like home fries)… some of the bits got crunchy and some stayed soft… sooo yummy.


  15. #
    Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg — November 23, 2010 @ 1:02 pm

    Yum– those do look like the perfect comfort food. I love family recipes…they just always taste better. :-)


  16. #
    marla {family fresh cooking} — November 23, 2010 @ 1:04 pm

    Love the idea of frying these up in BACON grease! Great breakfast or any time of the day meal :)


  17. #
    Nienke at Revel — November 23, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

    MMM I’m a huge mashed potato fan – just add bacon and we are all happy campers :)

    P.S. I love when food tastes like home!


    • Jessica — November 23rd, 2010 @ 1:13 pm

      It’s the best, isn’t it?


  18. #
    Liz @ Blog is the New Black — November 23, 2010 @ 1:09 pm

    I know what I’m making Friday!


  19. #
    Lauren at KeepItSweet — November 23, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

    hmmm i wonder how this would turn out with mashed sweet potatoes!


    • Jessica — November 23rd, 2010 @ 1:13 pm

      I was thinking the same thing yesterday. I bet it would be delicious. Especially if you added some maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar!


  20. #
    Vanessa — November 23, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

    I love potato pancakes!! And I have made them with leftover sweet potatoes and they were delicious!! I can’t wait for Turkey Day leftovers!! :-)


    • Jessica — November 23rd, 2010 @ 1:20 pm

      Good to know! Yum.


  21. #
    Kayla — November 23, 2010 @ 1:27 pm

    We do something similar after TDay. We mix mashed potatoes, stuffing, and turkey, sometimes even a little bit of corn, form it in a ball with some flour and fry. Then we cover in gravy and devour!


    • Jessica — November 23rd, 2010 @ 1:29 pm

      Some may think that sounds gross, but I think it sounds AMAZING.


  22. #
    Kim in MD — November 23, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

    You had me at mashed potatoes! I love anything and all mashed potatoes…they are my favorite! :-)


  23. #
    Kylie @ A Hungry Spoon — November 23, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

    This brings back such memories for me! My mom ALWAYS made these same potato pancakes with leftover mashed potatoes–and she also fried them in bacon grease! I suspect if I tried to duplicate them without the bacon grease they just wouldn’t be the same though :(


  24. #
    Hazel — November 23, 2010 @ 1:43 pm

    I seriously wish some of these were sitting in my kitchen right now. Let me wipe the drool off my keyboard and go eat my boring breakfast!

    Can’t wait to try these :)


  25. #
    Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine — November 23, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

    I’m emailing these to my sister in law to make for my brother (and me). They look amazing, but I’m scared to mash potatoes, so I can just let her do the dirty work :)


  26. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — November 23, 2010 @ 2:13 pm

    Mmmm these sound soooo tasty! They kind of remind me of hash browns, but the home made kind as opposed to the straight-from-the-box kind they’d have in the dining hall when I was in university. Love it!


  27. #
    Kelly — November 23, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

    Sometimes I think you read my mind. I just had potato pancakes for the first time last weekend and loved them!

    Looks delish! :)


  28. #
    Pure2Raw Twins — November 23, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

    Look delicious! I need to make these for the BF as soon as I get back into town ;) Thanks!


  29. #
    Naomi(onefitfoodie) — November 23, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

    hahahaah I was going to say I could make these for hannukah but having them fried in bacon grease in a Kosher home probably wouldn’t jive with my dad! BUT I can use butter or olive oil, love the subsitutions!! :)


    • Jessica — November 23rd, 2010 @ 3:28 pm

      LOL! Yeah… it’s butter or oil for you!


  30. #
    Eleanor — November 23, 2010 @ 2:20 pm

    I’m sure you hear this all the time, but I just wanted to say that I think you are AMAZING. I’ve used so many of your recipes with great success…despite me being a crazy-person in the kitchen. But more importantly, the way you write tickles my soul. I seriously laugh out loud at your blogs and I love it! I follow a lot of food blogs but I think you by far have the best personality and are an incredibly talented writer.

    Also, I’d have to pull a Mr Sweet and cover those potato pancakes in ketchup. I love ketchup, I put it on everything….


    • Jessica — November 23rd, 2010 @ 3:27 pm

      Thank you so much! It means so much for you to comment and say that. Thank you so, so much for reading.


  31. #
    the blissful baker — November 23, 2010 @ 2:26 pm

    yum! my mom always makes this for breakfast the morning after thanksgiving.


  32. #
    Camille — November 23, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

    These sort of remind me of potato latkes… only mashed instead of shredded :)


  33. #
    Alina @ Duty Free Foodie — November 23, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

    I *just* made these the other night with my extra mashed potatoes and I loved them! They did fall apart a little though, so I might try adding the flour next time.

    I love mashed potatoes and all derivatives thereof!


  34. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — November 23, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

    all you really had to say was bacon grease ;)


  35. #
    Biz — November 23, 2010 @ 3:00 pm

    This is my daughters favorite side dish when I have leftover mashed potatoes. I haven’t made this in ages though – thanks for the reminder! :D


  36. #
    Amanda — November 23, 2010 @ 3:08 pm

    Bacon grease? Mashed potatoes? You’ve got me hooked. I NEED to make these! NEED.


  37. #
    Leah @ Why Deprive? — November 23, 2010 @ 3:14 pm

    My mom used to make something like this for us. Except for she never formed the potatoes into pancakes. This is pretty much the best idea ever.


  38. #
    Window On The Prairie — November 23, 2010 @ 3:21 pm

    Oh my. We used to fry potatoes in bacon grease when I was growing up. And when the electricity was out, we fried them in a skillet on the wood stove. Thanks for bringing memories back. Suzanne


    • Jessica — November 23rd, 2010 @ 3:25 pm

      There really isn’t anything better than potatoes and bacon grease.


  39. #
    Tracy — November 23, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

    Mmm, these look wonderful. They’ve been on my list to make for a little while and now I’m craving them!!


  40. #
    Ashley — November 23, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

    Yum! I love potato pancakes. My mom makes them, too, but also adds green onion (I don’t know if that’s a little too green for you, though!).


  41. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — November 23, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

    Great minds think alike! I posted a leftover mashed (sweet) potatoes recipe today. I will have to make some potato pancakes with your recipe. I’ve never made them before… can you believe that?


  42. #
    Shanna @ Shanna Like Banana — November 23, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

    Where’s the syrup? ;)


  43. #
    brandi — November 23, 2010 @ 3:43 pm

    I love potato cakes. They’re one of the best things about making WAY too many potatoes for big holiday meals :)


  44. #
    Healthy Chocoholic — November 23, 2010 @ 3:45 pm

    Neat! My grandmother used to make those, I think. Of course, I’m from Memphis, TN, so anything fried was fried in bacon grease, which we call “drippins”. So no wonder they’re good.


  45. #
    J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) — November 23, 2010 @ 3:56 pm

    Yum! I bet they’re so good with other leftovers.


  46. #
    Kristina @ spabettie — November 23, 2010 @ 4:17 pm

    oh. I WILL be making these Friday. maybe Thursday… as a midnight snack. at 6pm. instead of dessert.


  47. #
    Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) — November 23, 2010 @ 4:28 pm

    Sounds yummy! Whenever I make them, I like to add a little grated onion and parsley to it.


  48. #
    Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries — November 23, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

    Delish. They obviously belong with ketchup. It’s potato. Duh! Mr. How Sweet and I would get along swimmingly.


    • Jessica — November 23rd, 2010 @ 5:14 pm

      Yes you would. :)


  49. #
    Kelly — November 23, 2010 @ 4:57 pm

    I love that there is even a question of what to do with leftover mashed potatoes.


  50. #
    Katie — November 23, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

    I die for latke pancakes with applesauce, so I would LOVE these. What a perfect use for leftover ‘taters.



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