Creating completely new and interesting dishes with Holiday Leftovers might be my favorite part of having them. From using the turkey in casseroles (like I did here), to piling all of your favorites high onto a thick piece of bread—you can’t go wrong. One dish that typically has so much leftover you don’t know how you’re going to finish? Mashed Potatoes. I would never throw away perfectly good potatoes, so I’m going to share how I create a completely new dish with leftover mashed potatoes. Enter… Potato Cakes.
Mashed Potatoes are one of my absolute favorite side dishes, by far. Not even just for the Holidays, they really pair so well with so many difference recipes. Over the years, I’ve experimented with adding various ingredients to perfect my mashed potato recipe, and I think I’ve got it. My mashed potatoes are simple, creamy as can be, and full of really rich delicious flavor.
Before we can start frying up our potato pancakes, we need to prepare our main ingredient— mashed potatoes. When using Thanksgiving leftovers, these will obviously not be freshly made and that’s actually preferred! Typically, when I make them fresh for this recipe, I pop them in the fridge for a little bit. They are so much easier to work with when they’re cold.
You Will Need:
- 7-8 Washed Gold Potatoes (I leave the peel on mine because no one in my family minds, but this is totally a personal choice. You can also use Idaho, Russet, Red, or even Sweet Potatoes—again, preference)
- 1 Stick of Unsalted Butter
- ½-ish Cup of Heavy Cream—sub for milk if needed.
- 1/3 Cup Sour Cream
*Optional Additives—Shredded Cheese, Fresh Cut Chives, Fresh Cut Dill.
Start by putting a big pot of water on the stove to boil. Once it’s gotten to at least a rolling boil, generously salt your water. While you’re waiting for the water to boil, go ahead and wash, peel (if prefer your potatoes peeled), and cut your potatoes. I cut mine into fourths so that they cook through a lot faster, and I find that they’re easier to mash when they’re in smaller chunks.
Once your potatoes are fork tender, strain them and return them to the hot pot (on a cool burner). Cut your stick of butter into fourths and toss it in, along with your milk and your sour cream, and mash away! I eye ball ALL of these amounts! So, just add the liquids a little at a time until they’re the right consistency. We do not want runny mashed potatoes here. Don’t be freaked out by the sour cream, it just adds a richness and depth to the flavor of your mashed potatoes. Of course, the more that you add, the more that sour cream taste will come through. My husband does not like sour cream, but he likes my mashed potatoes.
(This is also where you would add things like chives, dill, and cheese—just be mindful if you are planning on using these leftovers for mashed potato cakes that they *might* not be good with every sauce option.)
Now, for the reason that we’re here: The Pan-Fried Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes!
These are seriously so delicious, but I love potatoes in all of their many forms. You can have this with some eggs for breakfast, throw it inside of your Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey sandwich, or eat it alone dipped in some ranch, ketchup, or the cranberry mustard that we will be making today to pair with this. Heck, pour some gravy on top of it…that’s decadence.
You will need:
- 3 Cups Cold Mashed Potatoes
- 3 Large Eggs
- 10-12 TBSP Flour (Start with 10 and add more as needed, this will depend on how creamy your potatoes are)
- Oil, for frying
Combine your cold mashed potatoes, egg, and flour into a bowl and combine thoroughly. This will be where you see if you need to add more flour. We don’t want the mixture too thick, but they won’t fry well if they’re really runny. Use your best judgment here.
Using an ice cream scooper or a spoon, spoon out balls of the potato dough and flatten them into semi-thick discs. You can use a biscuit cutter for this step too, if you want—just lay all of the potato dough out and cut. (Pro-Tip: Keep your hands a little damp to prevent the dough from sticking to them).
Heat your oil in your pan (I used this coconut oil from Nutiva—I love that it’s squeezable) over medium heat. Then place your cakes into the pan (don’t crowd them here… 3-4 at a time depending on pan size) and cook them until golden brown on both sides, about 3-5 minutes each.
This is the color we’re looking for here when they turn over. You can gauge when you need to turn them by keeping an eye on the edges. When they’re golden brown, flip the.
How yummy do these look? They are best served hot, and don’t really do well sitting for very long… they will lose some of their fluffiness that way.
Cranberry Mustard Sauce
I’m a huge lover of dips and wanted to keep this dip flowing with the Holiday theme—so I made a Cranberry Honey Mustard to serve with the Potato Cakes. This is really simple and easy to whip up, and packs a lot of flavor!
(I did this ALL to taste in a ramekin, so I’m just kind of guessing measurements here… I always recommend cooking by taste).
- 1-2 TBSP Yellow Mustard
- 1/2 Can Cranberry Sauce (w Berries)
- 1-2 TBSP Honey
- 1 TBSP Brown Sugar
I dumped the cranberry sauce into my ramekin and just added ingredients and mixed until it tasted comfortable for me. I actually prefer it to be a little more honey-mustardy than cranberry as far as flavors go, but adjust for your tastes.
(If Cranberry and Mustard ain’t your thing, try this Bacon Ranch Dipping Sauce):
Tell me in the comments: What is one of your favorite ways to use Holiday Leftovers?