Three Ways to Make a Meal Out of Your Leftover Mashed Potatoes



Dennis Weaver


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We have this big, long hardwood table that we bought in Minnesota before we left.mash taters We can seat 12 around the table and more at the island. That handles most of our kids and grandkids. Plus we live in Idaho where you are never supposed to run out of potatoes. So whether it’s Sunday dinner or a holiday, we have lots of leftovers.


So what do you do with all your leftover mashed potatoes? Enjoy them. The work’s done. See if you can make a quick meal out of them.


Meal #1: A Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Mashed Potato Salad


So, it doesn’t have to be a grilled cheese sandwich. Any sandwich will do. Mashed potato salads are super quick and easy, not much more than stirring in mayonnaise and condiments. So it’s a quick, easy meal.

And if you like potato salads, you’ll like mashed potato salads.

See how to make mashed potato salads with recipes.


Meal #2: Eggs, Bacon, and Potato Pancakes

This is sort of like eggs, bacon, and hash browns.

You can mix mashed potatoes into your pancake batter or you can fry potato patties and call them potato pancakes or anywhere in between.  You’ll find lots of recipes online. Many of them add flour to the mashed potatoes; some add eggs.


These directions simply call for seasoned potatoes dredged in flour and fried in oil. If you are using leftover mashed potatoes, they will be seasoned. In our kitchen, we usually mash our potatoes with butter, sour cream or cream cheese or a combination of these. That’s okay.

  • Take a quarter cup or so of mashed potatoes and form a patty ½-inch thick. Repeat with the rest of your potatoes. Set aside.
  • Heat a 1/4-cup of vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it is very hot.
  • Dredge the patties in flour until they are covered.
  • Place two or three patties in the pan at a time in hot oil. (Don’t put too many in the pan at once or cold potatoes will chill the oil. After two or three, let the heat recover before adding more.)
  • Cook them for 15 minutes or until they are golden brown and crusty. Turn them over and cook them for another 15 minutes.
  • Remove them from the hot oil and set them on paper towels. Serve them hot with more pepper and salt if needed and sour cream.

tater pankcakesThe potato pancakes to the right are made with grated potatoes but are very similar to potato pancakes made with mashed potatoes.

 Meal #3: Shepherd’s Pie

There are lots of recipes online for various potato casseroles.  The most famous of the potato casseroles I suppose is Shepherd’s Pie.  It’s a great way to use those leftover potatoes. 


Here’s how to make a Shepherd’s Pie: shepherds pie

Sauté ground meat and onions in a heavy, oven-proof skillet.  Season to taste. 

Add a can of stewed tomatoes, leftover gravy, or make a new gravy in the pan.

Add some veggies.  Green beans or corn are typical.

Cover with mashed potatoes.  Top with grated cheese and a sprinkle of paprika. 

Bake at 350 degrees until heated through and the cheese is melted.  Times will vary with the pan and size of casserole. 

There you go, three ways to make a meal out of leftover mashed potatoes. These are good enough that you ought to make some extra potatoes this Sunday.