20 Delicious Ideas for Leftover Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes in pancakes? You better believe it! And we're just getting started...


Crystal Hughes

Maybe the kids aren't crazy for cranberry sauce or your Dad doesn't love green beans, but properly cooked mashed potatoes are the one side dish everyone can agree on (and always get passed around for seconds). Even so, making a huge batch of mashed potatoes can leave you with that age-old holiday conundrum: What should you make with all the leftover mashed potatoes?

You can always eat mashed potatoes straight from the fridge, use them as a topping for shepherd's pie, or thin them out with chicken broth and simmer with sautéed leeks, thyme, and a splash of white wine for soup. Or you can make one of these delicious leftover mashed potato recipes.

Remember that proper food storage is key: Always use an airtight container and keep leftovers on the highest shelf in your refrigerator. (You can store mashed potatoes for up to four days.) Then, add a bit more milk and a pat of butter to preserve their creamy texture when reheating.

01 of 20

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie served in a white dish.
Caitlin Bensel

Who says you need beef to bake an incredibly delicious Shepherd's Pie? This vegetarian version uses hearty eggplant, pearl onions, and carrots as a stand-in for meat—and trust us, you won't miss it once you see how fresh and flavorful the veggies taste. Top with your leftover mashed potatoes and pair with a rich red wine for easy dinner perfection.

02 of 20

Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pancakes

Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pancake
Heami Lee

White potatoes aren't the only versatile ingredient. Fortunately, leftover sweet potatoes can be transformed, too. In fact, the sweetness from the mashed sweet potatoes adds a delectable quality to this classic breakfast staple. So if pancakes from scratch usually intimidate you, don't worry—this recipe is easy to follow; just wait for each side to brown before flipping for optimal results.

03 of 20

Loaded Mashed Potato Balls

Loaded Mashed Potato Balls
The Cooking Jar

Golden and crispy outside, plush and cheese-flecked inside, these mashed potato balls make a great appetizer or fun side dish. The panko bread crumb coating adds a nice gentle crunch. No bacon? Skip it altogether—or use up other leftovers like sandwich meat (ham, for instance) or Italian sausage.

04 of 20

Mashed Potato Fries

Mashed Potato Fries
Cookie Named Desire

These crispy-creamy mashed potato fries are best eaten fresh out of the oven. To make it with leftover mashed potatoes, skip the mashed potato making portion of this recipe and go right to the sheet pan directive in step four.

05 of 20

Mashed Potato Waffles

Mashed Potato Waffles
Do You Even Paleo

Aside from the fact that they're already waffles (yay!), you can eat them solo, topped with a poached egg and hollandaise, or made into a meaty little breakfast sandwich.

06 of 20

Loaded Mashed Potato Rolls

Loaded Mashed Potato Egg Rolls
Spend with Pennies

While you can certainly go with traditional mashed potato matching flavors (cheddar, chives, etc.) with this super cool rethink of fried rolls, we say let your culinary creativity run amok. Warming spices and ingredients, like curry, onion, spinach, and fennel seed, work particularly well here.

07 of 20

Spinach and Garlic Potato Patties

Spinach and Garlic Potato Patties

These super savory spinach-stuffed leftover mashed potato patties are not only great at dinner, but can be topped with a poached or fried egg for breakfast, paired with a turkey burger at lunch, or even make a great finger-food appetizer if friends are coming over.

08 of 20

Cheesy Mashed Potato Egg Skillet Casserole

Cheesy Mashed Potato Egg Skillet Casserole

One-pan breakfast dishes are a great way to feed the family en masse (and on their own schedules—when the early birds are done, the stragglers can grab a fork and dig in).

09 of 20

Mashed Potato Doughnuts

Mashed Potato Doughnuts
Dinner with Julie

We love how this creative re-think of a traditionally savory side dish is reborn as one of the all-time favorite sweet treats: doughnuts. Icing sugar adds the finishing touch, but a cinnamon-sugar combo would be great, too!

10 of 20

Potato Rolls

Potato Rolls
Spicy Southern Kitchen

You need a little time to allow the yeast to do its work here, but these fluffy, golden-brown orbs of bready deliciousness are worth the wait. A round cake pan is suggested for baking these up, but a handy-dandy cast iron pan works just as well.

11 of 20

Leftover Mashed Potato Cheese Soup

Leftover Mashed Potato Cheese Soup
Noble Pig

Feel free to add some sautéed leeks or chives in lieu of green onions to this soothing leftover mashed potato-based soup, sure to ease the chill on a cold day!

12 of 20

Easy Shepherd's Pies

Easy Shepherd's Pie
Marcus Nilsson

Shepherd's pie has got to be one of the world's best comfort foods. While traditionally made with lamb, beef works just as well—you could even go completely vegetarian. Either way, this simple version is a total treat.

13 of 20

Mashed Potato and Mushroom Quesadilla

Mashed Potato and Mushroom Quesadilla

Packed with mushrooms and onions, this veggie-centric snack can also be packed up for picnics and eaten at room temperature. They're great reheated if you want a grab-and-go lunch for work, too.

14 of 20

Potato Cakes From Leftover Mashed Potatoes

Potato Cakes From Leftover Mashed Potatoes
Natasha’s Kitchen

Serve these potato cakes with a dollop of sour cream for the ultimate comfort-food combo.

15 of 20

Mashed Potato Gnocchi

Mashed Potato Gnocchi

Leftover mashed potatoes make these gnocchi light and fluffy—just like we want them to be!

16 of 20

Mini Twice Baked Potatoes Using Leftover Mashed Potatoes

These two-bite taters are totally addictive, thanks to a cheesy, creamy interior surrounded by thin and crispy potato skin. Get the recipe for Mini Twice-Baked Loaded Potatoes.
Grace Elkus

We love the crunchy bits of bacon and kick of black pepper in this twice-baked leftover mashed potato hack. Prepare the recipe as described, then mix in your leftover mash to have even more loaded potato snacks.

17 of 20

Mashed Potato Pancakes

Mashed Potato Pancakes
For the Love of Cooking

The saltiness of these leftover mashed potato pancakes is lip-smackingly evened out when topped with mildly sweet apple sauce.

18 of 20

Potato Croquettes

Potato Croquettes
Goodie Godmother

Simple and classic, potato croquettes are a leftover mashed potato staple. These get a great crunchy coating due to the recipe's flour, egg, and breadcrumb combo.

19 of 20

Cheesy Potato Casserole

Cheesy Potato Casserole
Alison Miksch

Hearty, cheesy, and filling, this potato casserole takes a lot less time when you start with leftover mashed potatoes in place of uncooked russet potatoes. This recipe will have a slightly different texture with the mash, but it is still great served with a side of peppery arugula.

20 of 20

Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Muffins

Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Muffins
Just a Taste

Use an ice cream scoop to create even portions of this great fork-free recipe for leftover mashed potatoes.

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