Mashed Potato Fritters are tender and creamy on the inside, with a crunchy crispy exterior. They are the perfect comfort food for any day of the week and use up any leftover mashed potatoes you may have sitting in your refrigerator! Top them with sour cream and chives to serve as a side dish or even an appetizer.
about these mashed potato fritters
Pillowy soft on the inside with a crunchy exterior… That’s what makes these mashed potato fritters my new favorite way to enjoy potatoes.
I’ve never met a potato I didn’t like. Whether they are fried or baked, steamed or mashed, I will eat any kind of potato that is put in front of me.
However, the potato fritter holds a soft spot in my heart. The reason might not be what you expect. To me, they are the perfect mash up of my favorite potato latkes with a creamier inside because of the mashed potatoes.
Of course, potato fritters (also known as potato pancakes) are a completely different dish than potato latkes, but some of the flavors are the same. The texture is the big difference, as well as the ease of preparation because the prep time is much less.
Potato fritters are simply a mixture of mashed potatoes, cheese, egg, flour, green onion, and chives. Form them into balls, fry them up in a skillet, and serve with your favorite toppings!
We love to make them to serve alongside chicken, pork, or steak. However, they are also a fantastic little appetizer (you could even form them into smaller bite-sized patties to make more of them!) or snack.
what’s the difference between potato fritters and potato latkes?
Potato fritters or potato pancakes and potato latkes are very different! The potato pancake (or fritter) that you see here is simply made and doesn’t require a lot of preparation time.
On the other hand, potato latkes are more labor intensive since they use potatoes that have been grated. It takes a long time to grate the potatoes and then squeeze out all the excess moisture to dry out the potatoes before making the batter for the latkes! Trust me, I have many memories from childhood of being tasked with squeezing excess liquid out of grated potatoes… My wrists still hurt!
To me, the biggest difference is the texture. You get more of a fluffier inside with a potato fritter or pancake. Whereas a potato latke really highlights just the potato versus adding in egg and flour.
mashed potatoes. Use mashed potatoes whether they are leftover or you are making them specifically for this recipe! When we say “mashed potatoes” we mean the kind with cooked potatoes mixed with cream, butter, and seasoning. It is not simply potatoes cooked and then mashed.
cheese. Sharp cheddar cheese is preferred, but you can also use pepper jack or colby jack cheese.
onion. Chopped fresh green onion gives the patties added sharpness.
chives. Freshly chopped chives are preferred over using dried!
egg. You will need one large egg for this recipe.
flour. All you need is all-purpose flour. If you need to make this recipe gluten-free, you can use gluten-free 1:1 ration flour.
oil. Canola oil is preferred, but you can also use extra virgin olive oil.
for serving… I like to serve these patties with sour cream and freshly chopped chives. You can also serve them with applesauce!
this recipe’s must haves
here’s how to make potato fritters
make potato mixture
Combine mashed potatoes, cheese, green onion, chives, egg, and 1/4 cup flour in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Remember that you should not need salt and pepper if your mashed potatoes are seasoned well already. If the mashed potatoes are bland to start with, add 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
Add the remaining 1/4 cup flour to a shallow plate or bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide the potato mixture into 12 portions and form into balls. Flatten the balls slightly into patties that are about 1/2-inch thick.
Dredge the patties in flour on both sides, shaking off any excess.
Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a large nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add patties, working in batches to not overcrowd the pan.
Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes per side, until golden brown. Do not flip before the bottom is golden brown! Make sure to at least not touch them for the 3 minutes of cook time before checking them.
Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and repeat with remaining patties. Season with salt.
Serve with sour cream and chopped chives or applesauce.
tips and tricks
wait to flip. Don’t flip the fritters too early! You want to get a nice crispy exterior before you flip. Make sure that you allow enough time for the bottom to brown and get crisp, before flipping them to cook on the other side. If you flip them too soon, you will run into issues with sticking!
nonstick pan is best. I recommend using a nonstick pan for this recipe, or a cast iron skillet. You want a pan that won’t allow the fritters to easily stick, so stay away from stainless steel.
add-ins! Use some fun additions to the mixture! You can add in cooked, chopped bacon, crumbled Italian sausage, different types of cheese like pepper jack, or even different herbs and spices. If you want your fritters hot and spicy, add some cayenne pepper or more red pepper flakes! You can also experiment with using different sauces to serve with the fritters such as garlic aioli.
do not just used mashed cooked potatoes. This recipe specifically uses mashed potatoes – a mixture of cooked potatoes, cream, butter, seasoning, etc. Do not simply cook potatoes, mash them, and then use them in this recipe. The result will not be as intended!
can potato fritters be baked?
I have not tried to bake these mashed potato fritters. Unfortunately, I do not believe they would get crisp enough on the exterior to be enjoyable, so I would not recommend it as a cooking method.
do I need to season the mixture with salt and pepper?
Since you are using leftover mashed potatoes that have already been seasoned with salt and pepper, you do not need to add additional salt and pepper to the mashed potato mixture.
can these fritters be made ahead of time?
While these fritters can be made ahead of time, I recommend making them right before serving so they can be enjoy fresh out of the skillet! This is when they taste the best and have the best crispy exterior.
If you do make them ahead of time, be sure to rewarm them in the pan with oil to crisp them back up a bit.
can I use any mashed potatoes for this recipe?
Yes, you whatever mashed potatoes you have on hand to make these fritters! We love to use Instant Pot mashed potatoes because the flavor of the roasted garlic really comes through. Any flavor of mashed potato will work for this recipe.
If you are thinking about just using plain potatoes that have been cooked and mashed, I would recommend turning them into a creamy mashed potato mixture first.
can potato fritters be frozen?
These fritters are fantastic for freezing and reheating later. We like to make a double batch when we have a bunch of leftover mashed potatoes (or we will even make the mashed potatoes specifically for the recipe!).
can I make these potato fritters vegan?
You can definitely make these potato fritters vegan! Use an egg substitute and either omit the cheese or use vegan shredded cheese substitute of your choice.
my mixture is too wet – help!
If your mixture is too wet and isn’t forming into patties, add a little more flour to hold the fritters together. Start with 1 Tablespoon flour at a time, mixing it in until incorporated and then testing to see if the mixture is still too wet. Be careful not to add to much!
my mixture is too dry – help!
If your mixture is dry and crumbly to the point where you can’t even form it into patties, then you need to add another egg! One egg should do it. You might need to add a little more flour to balance it out if the egg makes the mixture too wet.
Need more inspiration for appetizers? Check out my appetizers recipe page!
what to serve with mashed potato fritters
For me, nothing goes better with these fritters than a dollop of creamy sour cream and a sprinkle of chopped fresh chives. Another yummy option is serving the fritters with applesauce! Similar to the experience of potato latkes with applesauce, a memory that I’m fond of from my childhood.
These fritters can be served as an appetizer, snack or side dish.
If you are serving these for New Year’s Eve, check out these New Year’s appetizers to add to your table.
how to store
Store. Cool any leftovers to room temperature. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheat. Warm olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once warm, reheat the fritters gently to crisp them back up. A few minutes on each side will do it! You can also reheat them in the microwave, but they will lose the crisp exterior.
Freeze. Store fritters flat in an airtight container layered between sheets of parchment paper. They will keep for up to 3 months.
Thaw. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat as instructed above.
more potato recipes
Crispy fried mexican potatoes are a flavorful and bold side dish everyone loves!
The savory combination of oven roasted carrots and potatoes with garlic herb butter is a classic for a reason.
The easiest mashed potatoes ever? Instant Pot mashed potatoes with roasted garlic and parmesan!
Finally, if you make this mashed potato fritters recipe, please be sure to give this recipe a rating and/or leave a comment! I love to hear when you all make recipes, and I do take the time to respond to every single comment.
Feel free to drop questions below too, if you have them!
Oh and be sure to tag me on Instagram if you make the recipe! I love being able to see these recipes come to life in your homes – it’s my favorite thing to look through those photos. It really means the world to me!
Mashed Potato Fritters
- 3 cups mashed potatoes
- 2/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 1/2 Tbsp freshly chopped green onion
- 2 tsp freshly chopped chives
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour divided
- Canola oil
- For serving: sour cream freshly chopped chives, applesauce
- Add mashed potatoes, cheese, chives, green onion, egg, and 1/4 cup flour to a large bowl. Stir to combine. Note that you should not need to add salt and pepper if your mashed potatoes are seasoned well. If they are bland, season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add remaining 1/4 cup flour to a shallow plate or bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- Divide the potato mixture into 12 balls. Flatten each ball into a patty that is about 1/2-inch thick.
- Dredge the patties on both sides in flour, shaking off any excess. Place on a plate.
- Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add patties in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan as you work. Cook the patties for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
- Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with flaky salt. Repeat frying with remaining patties.
- Serve warm with sour cream and chives or applesauce.