The holiday meal is over. You have spent hours in the kitchen and have successfully fed 23 people a big meal with all the fixings. And now you look at your refrigerator and come to an alarming realization: you still have 14 pounds of mashed potatoes leftover.
We’ve all been there, right? If not at Christmas or Thanksgiving, then after a big family dinner or Sunday roast.
You don’t want to throw them out; you spent a long time peeling, cooking, mashing, and flavoring those potatoes. But you have no idea what to do with leftover mashed potatoes; you can’t possibly eat mashed potatoes as a side for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next week before they go bad.
Well, have no fear, because I am here to tell you that you do not need to let those mashed potatoes go to waste. They make a delicious addition or base for loads of other recipes, 27 of which I have gathered here from around the Internet.
1. Leftover Mashed Potato Patties
This is one of the simplest recipes for leftover mashed potatoes, but it proves that sometimes what’s simplest is also the best. Instead of eating your leftover mashed potatoes straight, turn them into these delicious patties.
The recipe calls for cheese and green onions to give your mashed potatoes a bit of extra flavor, but there are so many other things that would be deliciously mixed in—other kinds of cheese, herbs, and meat would all be delicious. Imagine these with bacon or ham!
What I really like about these is that they change the shape and texture of your mashed potatoes; they turn soft, pillowy scoops of potatoes into little patties with a nice crunchy texture on the outside.
2. Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes
Here’s another fun way to use up your mashed potatoes. You mix up your potatoes with flour and egg to bind everything into a nice, moldable dough, then use it to make patties.
Roll these patties in breadcrumbs and fry them for a delicious, crunchy snack.
These would be great served alongside a salad or soup for a nice, hearty meal.
3. Mashed Potato Soup
There’s nothing more hearty and comforting on a cold night than a delicious creamy, cheesy potato soup.
So I love the idea of using leftover mashed potatoes as the basis for such a soup.
And with the potatoes in such a different form, your family will have no idea that you’re serving them leftovers.
Bacon and cheese, which go beautifully with potatoes in any form, give this soup extra flavor, texture, and interest.
If you prefer your soup extra creamy, leave out part of the milk that is called for and replace it with half and a half or even heavy cream.
4. Leftover Mashed Potato Casserole
Since mashed potatoes are a side dish, it’s easy to fall into the trap of only thinking of other side dishes when you’re wondering what to make with leftover mashed potatoes. But in recipes like this delicious casserole, mashed potatoes can move from the side to the main dish.
This recipe uses cheese and ham to bulk out the meal, plus breadcrumbs on top for texture.
If you don’t want to use ham, all sorts of meats would be delicious here, like bacon, prosciutto, or even leftover turkey, if you still have some after Thanksgiving.
5. Leftover Mashed Potatoes Gnocchi
I know that gnocchi, those delightful little gems of Italian pasta, are made of potatoes. But I have to admit that until I saw this recipe, it never occurred to me that I could use leftover mashed potatoes!
This might not be the most authentic Italian gnocchi, but it’s delicious and it’s a great way to use up those leftover mashed potatoes.
Best of all, it’s a super easy recipe, requiring only three ingredients and 20 minutes.
I haven’t tried it yet, but apparently, they freeze well, so this could be a great way to use up all of your mash potato leftovers and have some gnocchi ready in the freezer for the next time you need a quick, easy meal.
6. Mashed Potato Croquettes
This is a similar recipe to the Mashed potato patties above, but with a few key differences that make them croquettes.
First, bread crumbs are added to the recipe for binding and bulk, and flour is used to dredge the outside for frying.
Second, the addition of minced onions into the mix, and the lack of cheese, give it a different but still delicious flavor.
However, if you’re a big cheese fan, you could certainly add shredded cheese to this mixture to make cheesy potato croquettes.
7. Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Muffins
OK, so these aren’t muffins in the way that you normally think of them; they don’t have flour, and they’re not bready.
Instead, this is a fun way to make delicious, bite-sized mashed potato snacks, and—most importantly—to give them a great crust that you really need when you’re dealing with mashed potatoes; this way, it’s not mouthful after mouthful of the same texture.
The recipe calls for chives, but it would also be delicious with green onions or with spices like rosemary.
8. Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Waffles
Speaking of adding a fun texture, I think this is just the best easy idea for preparing leftover mashed potatoes.
As with a lot of other recipes we’ve seen, you add cheese and green onions to flavor your mashed potatoes, but you also add a larger amount of flour along with baking soda and baking powder to give them something approaching a real waffle texture.
And then you cook them in a waffle iron! How fun is that? The best part about waffles is that you have so many delicious outside edges, so this will give your mashed potatoes a lot of crispy cooked surfaces.
You’ll barely even realize that you’re eating leftover mashed potatoes.
9. Leftover Mashed Potato Bread
When I find myself wondering, “What can I do with leftover mashed potatoes?” I very rarely think about baked goods. So I was intrigued when I came across this recipe for leftover mashed potato bread.
This is a proper bread recipe, with yeast and rising times and everything. But the use of mashed potatoes makes it, unlike anything you’ve ever seen. The mashed potatoes make the bread sweet and fluffy.
Best of all, if you’ve got people at home who don’t want to eat any more mashed potatoes, I bet they won’t even realize that that’s what they’re having when they eat this bread!
10. Duchess Potatoes Casserole
Really, this is just mashed potatoes put in a casserole dish and baked, so it shouldn’t be that different than eating regular leftover mashed potatoes.
But somehow, this dish absolutely transforms your mashed potatoes into something else.
The egg yolks and cream really elevate the texture and taste of this dish, and the browned bits on top from when you bake it in the oven give it a nice extra bit of texture and flavor.
Note that, as with many recipes with mashed potatoes, you need to pay attention to the mashed potatoes that you start with. If your mashed potatoes already have a lot of dairy in them, maybe you don’t need to add the cheese that is called for.
If your mashed potatoes are very thick and chunky, you might need to add more cream or milk to thin them out.
11. Shepherd’s Pie
This is one of my all-time favorite meals; my mom cooked it all the time, and I always loved it. With the hearty meat mixture underneath and the mashed potatoes on top, it was like a whole meal in a single dish.
It wasn’t until I was much older that it occurred to me that you don’t have to make mashed potatoes in order to make this dish; if you have leftover mashed potatoes, this is a brilliant way to use them up.
This calls for vegetables and ground beef, so if the same meal that produced all of your leftover mashed potatoes also produced leftover vegetables and meat, this would be a great way to use them as well.
12. Mashed Potato Puffs
Here’s another recipe for mashed potatoes baked in a muffin tin. Mixing these with eggs makes them rise up into a fun, muffin-like shape, and baking them gives them a delicious, browned crust on top.
This recipe calls for bacon bits, chives, and parmesan cheese. But you could also add all sorts of other mix-ins. Some fun ideas include ham, green onions, rosemary, or ground breakfast sausage.
13. Leftover Mashed Potato Donuts
If you’ve never had donuts made from mashed potatoes—or spud nuts, as they are sometimes called—you are in for a treat.
Adding mashed potato to your donut dough gives them a nice heft and moistness that I just can’t get enough of. And the recipe is surprisingly easy.
You mix the ingredients together, roll the dough out, cut out the donut shapes, and fry!
This recipe calls for you to roll the finished donuts in cinnamon and sugar, but you could simplify these by rolling them in just sugar or really dress them up by adding nutmeg or cloves to the cinnamon sugar mix.
14. Mashed Potato Fries
This is such a fun idea: you mash potatoes, and then you reassemble them into fries.
OK, so there are technically not French fries; They are more like French fry-shaped Mashed potato patties, but they look so cute and are so much fun to dip and eat that I don’t think you’ll care about the distinction.
An important aspect of this recipe is making sure the mashed potatoes stay together when you cut them out into the French fry shapes—a chill in the refrigerator helps with that—so these are best made with leftover mashed potatoes that don’t have a ton of milk or cream in them.
15. Leftover Mashed Potato Rolls
Here’s another great baked good you can make with your leftover mashed potatoes. Since dinner rolls are the best part of just about any meal they are in, why not use your leftover mashed potatoes to make dinner rolls?
Since dinner rolls R a savory side, one of the things that are great about this recipe is it doesn’t matter if you heavily flavored your mashed potatoes. Are they full of cream cheese, butter, or seasonings? That’s fine; it just means that your rolls would carry some of these flavors, which could be delicious.
But really, these rolls mostly turn out surprisingly sweet. And they’re so tender and soft; I bet no one figures out what your secret ingredient is.
16. Mashed Potato Candy
So pretty much everything that we have talked about so far has been a savory dish, and that makes sense because mashed potatoes are a savory dish. But have you ever thought about making candy out of your leftover mashed potatoes?
This is a fun and old-fashioned recipe that mixes mashed potatoes with powdered sugar to make a rollable dough; then you spread peanut butter over the top and roll it up like a Jelly roll, then slice and serve.
One note about this recipe: because it is a sweet recipe, it won’t be a great choice for mashed potatoes that are heavily flavored with herbs or cheese. It’s better suited to more plain mashed potatoes, or to boiled potatoes that you haven’t gotten around to mashing yet.
17. Tender Potato Biscuits
Did you like the idea of the mashed potato bread or mashed potato rolls that we have talked about, but do you want something that takes less time and effort?
Then why not try these mashed potato biscuits? Like most biscuits, they use baking soda instead of yeast, so there’s no rising time required. Just mix these up and pop them in the oven.
As written, this recipe will make a great plain biscuit. But if you wanted a jazzed-up biscuit, you could add Rosemary, chives, scallions, paprika, or all manner of flavorings.
Just be cautious about adding cheese; If you add a lot, it can change the texture of the biscuit unless you also adjust the rest of the recipe.
18. Leftover Mashed Potato Pizza
OK, so this is one of the more eccentric ideas on how to use leftover mashed potatoes, but hear me out. Anyone who’s tried potatoes on pizza before, maybe with some bacon and Rosemary, can tell you that it works better than you would imagine.
In this recipe, the usual pizza sauce is replaced with a layer of mashed potatoes, then topped with delicious toppings. Baking your pizza will give the mashed potatoes a nice crust.
While the recipe calls for leeks, basil, and cheese, I think the possibilities are endless here for substitute toppings. Pretty much anything that goes well with mashed potatoes—such as bacon, pancetta, or ham—would also be absolutely delicious here.
19. Mashed Potato Quesadilla
Here’s a simple but ingenious way to use up your extra mashed potatoes: spread them on a tortilla and make yourself a quesadilla.
The mashed potato is mixed with cheese, which gets deliciously gooey and melty while the quesadilla cooks, and the tortilla on the top and bottom get browned and crispy and delicious, as well as giving you somewhere to hold while you eat.
This is a very basic quesadilla, but you could add nearly anything and it would be delicious. You could top it with sauteed onions or mushrooms, tomato with basil, or go truly Mexican and add some chorizo sausage. The possibilities are endless.
This is another one of those recipes that I never would have thought to use as a way to use up my leftover mashed potatoes, but once it was pointed out to me, I couldn’t believe I had never thought of it before!
Pierogi, those delightful Eastern European dumplings, are already filled with potatoes, so why not fill them with leftover mashed potatoes?
Be careful if your mashed potatoes are too creamy; you’ll have to watch the pirogi as you cook them to make sure they don’t fall apart.
Another great thing about this recipe is that they freeze well, so you can have a big pierogi-making night, and then keep a bunch in your freezer so you have a quick meal in the future.
21. Loaded Mashed Potato Bake
This is a simple, tasty, hearty way to use up your leftover mashed potatoes. All you do is mix the potatoes with sour cream, cheese, and bacon, then press them into a casserole dish. Sprinkle with a butter and cracker mixture for crunch.
With a recipe this simple, you have so many great options for customization. Change out your meat for ground beef or sausage, diced ham, or even leftover turkey or pot roast from the same meal that gave you your leftover mashed potatoes.
You could even slip some cooked veggies in there to bulk it out and to give some extra nutrients to your meal.
For the added crunch on top, if you don’t have the crackers that it asks for, you could mix breadcrumbs and butter or even corn flakes and butter to get that same nice crunch.
22. Leftover Mashed Potato Meatloaf
I usually serve mashed potatoes along with my meatloaf, so I was intrigued when I saw this recipe that uses leftover mashed potatoes in the meatloaf itself.
It totally makes sense when you think about it: you already use breadcrumbs and eggs to bulk out and bind your meatloaf; why not add mashed potatoes, which can do both? This is a great way to stretch out the meat that you buy and still have a hearty, filling meal.
The seasonings and sauce on top are your pretty standard meatloaf flavor; if you want to try something different, add a bit of mustard powder to the meatloaf, the sauce, or both.
23. Mashed Potato Salad
We’ve all had potato salad at a summer barbecue, but have you ever thought of using your leftover mashed potatoes for a fun new spin on the old classic?
This recipe combines all the things you’re used to having in a potato salad—hardboiled eggs, celery, green onions, and a mayonnaise-based sauce—but instead of using cubed potatoes, it uses mashed. All the same, flavors are there; you just have the advantage of using up your tired old mashed potato leftovers.
Make this salad a little healthier by swapping out Greek yogurt for the sour cream, or by adding in some extra vegetables, such as diced peppers or sliced radishes, to get that extra nutrition.
24. Mashed Potato Cinnamon Rolls
Like you, I was pretty skeptic when I first heard about the idea of mashed potato cinnamon rolls. Surely, that is taking things a step too far.
But then I thought about how it is universally agreed on that bread made from mashed potatoes is surprisingly sweet. Why not take that a step further and make cinnamon rolls?
The potatoes don’t affect the flavor; they just make the cinnamon rolls extra light and fluffy.
However, though the potatoes themselves might not change the flavor, if you have heavily flavored the potatoes with dairy or herbs, this might not be the recipe to use.
But for a lightly flavored mashed potato, this is a fun and surprising way to use them up.
25. Crispy Mashed Potato
I know we’ve already had a couple of variations on this theme, but this recipe does something fun and surprising that I wish I had thought of a long time ago: it adds stuffing to the patties.
It’s perfect because the meals that tend to produce leftover mashed potatoes—Christmas, Thanksgiving, big family meals on a Sunday night—often also produce leftover stuffing and turkey. And what better way to use up all of these leftovers by combining them?
Of course, if you only have leftover stuffing and mashed potatoes, or leftover turkey and mashed potatoes, you could still make this! It’s such a flexible recipe that you can add or remove pretty much anything (just not the mashed potatoes, or you won’t be able form patties).
26. Fried Mashed Potatoes
As a huge fan of hashbrowns, I was intrigued when I saw this recipe, which appears to be what would result if mashed potatoes and hashbrowns had a baby.
By reheating your mashed potatoes in a pan, you get those same delicious pan-browned edges that you would get with hashbrowns. But on the interior, you have creamy, soft, fluffy mashed potatoes. It’s the best of both worlds!
It’s important to know that this is a pretty simple recipe and assumes that you have already flavored your mashed potatoes before you put them in the pan, so it doesn’t add any new seasonings.
if you have not already flavored your mashed potatoes, you’re going to need to add a few things—butter, salt, and pepper, garlic powder, or rosemary would all be great options—or else your bland mashed potatoes are just going to turn into bland fried mashed potatoes
27. Loaded Mashed Potato Balls
Looking for a leftover mashed potato recipe that results in a fun, easy-to-eat snack? I love the idea of these fried mashed potato balls because they are the perfect size to pick up and pop into your mouth.
What’s also great about these is that they include bacon to make them a little heartier and more flavorful. However, if you don’t have bacon, these would also be delicious without.
The recipe author makes these mashed potato balls with her ranch mashed potatoes. I haven’t tried that myself, but I think adding a bit of ranch dressing or powdered ranch mix would take these potato balls to another level.
27 Best Leftover Mashed Potato Recipes
- 2 c mashed potatoes
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ c shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp butter
- Put the potatoes in a medium bowl, then add the egg, salt and cheese.
- Mix until thoroughly combined. In a griddle or frying pan over medium heat, add the butter. When it’s melted, measure ¼ cup of the potato mixture and drop onto the pan or griddle.
- Using your spatula, flatten the mixture down into a pancake about ½-inch thick. Fry until the pancake is golden brown (roughly 5 minutes for each side).