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pile of potato pancakes on a white plate
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5 from 6 votes

Mashed Potato Pancakes

Perfectly soft and fluffy inside, and crispy on the outside, these potato cakes are great for clearing out the fridge, and so easy to make!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: potato recipe, potato side dish
Servings: 9 servings
Calories: 141kcal


  • 3 cups mashed potatoes leftovers are great for this
  • 1/2 medium yellow or sweet onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 - 2 cups all purpose flour *see recipe note #3
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt if your mashed potatoes are unseasoned, use more (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper if your mashed potatoes are unseasoned, use more (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme if your mashed potatoes are unseasoned, use more (to taste)
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil avocado or canola oil are great substitutes


  • minced fresh chives or scallions
  • minced fresh parsley
  • sour cream



  • This recipe works best with cold or room temperature mashed potatoes, not hot or warm.
  • Set out a large mixing bowl, and a plate (or baking sheet) lined with wax or parchment paper.
  • Place some paper towels down on the counter near your stove, and top it with a wire cooling rack. This will be where the potato pancakes will go after being cooked, and the excess oil will drip off and keep them nice and crispy (instead of soggy).

Mix and assemble

  • To a large mixing bowl, add mashed potatoes, onion, garlic, eggs, flour, salt, pepper, and thyme. Mix using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until very well combined.
  • If mixture is dry and crumbly, add another beaten egg. If mixture is wet, add a little more flour and mix again.
  • Using a 1/2 cup measuring cup (or 4 oz cookie scoop), portion out about 1/2 cup of the mixture and form into a patty, about 1/2" thick. Place on prepared plate (or baking sheet), and continue making patties until potato mixture is used up.


  • Preheat a large skillet over MED/MED HIGH heat, then when hot, add the vegetable oil.
  • Add patties to skillet in the hot oil, cooking about 4-5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  • You definitely don't want to overcrowd your skillet, otherwise you won't get that beautiful golden brown exterior, so depending on the size of your skillet, I would cook about 4 patties at a time.
  • When the first batch of patties is finished cooking, add them to the prepared wire cooling rack, and continue cooking batches until no more patties remain.
  • If you notice the skillet looking dry after a batch or two, feel free to add a drizzle of extra oil.


  • Serve these potato pancakes hot, warm, or at room temperature and topped with desired garnishes.


  1. I've found that I get about 9-12 potato pancakes out of this recipe, but of course, that will depend on their diameter and thickness.
  2. If you're looking for a great mashed potato to make these cakes with, try our Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes!
  3. The range of the flour measurement is due to different batches of mashed potatoes having different consistencies. Some are thicker, and some are runnier; for thicker mashed potatoes you'll use less flour. For runnier potatoes, you'll use more.

Optional Add-in Ideas:

  • Ham
  • Bacon
  • Cheese
  • Ranch seasoning


Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 166mg | Potassium: 263mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg