Mashed potato leftovers from Thanksgiving are transformed into savory potato pancakes with a fluffy interior and a crispy exterior.
One of the great things about surviving the Thanksgiving holiday is all of the delicious leftovers. So many Thanksgiving foods improve with reheating.
Potatoes might not be as great the second time when they are just plopped onto a plate and microwaved, but they are amazing when transformed from a side dish to potato pancakes. A bit crisp on the outside with warm, wonderful mashed potato on the inside. Yum!
The best thing about potato pancakes is that they can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I will share my basic potato pancake recipe and then tell you how you can add to it.
A Basic Recipe for Potato Pancakes
No matter what you choose to top your potato pancakes with, you will surely have a delicious dish that will make your guests say, “Wow!” So don’t hesitate to get creative and turn these savory treats into something truly special. With a few simple ingredients and a little imagination, you can jazz up your potato pancakes in minutes and turn a classic dish into a truly unique and memorable meal.
- 2 cups of leftover mashed potatoes
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Milk (optional)
In a medium bowl, combine mashed potato, beaten egg, cheese, flour, and salt. If you are starting with stiff mashed potatoes, you may choose to thin them a bit with milk. Start adding milk at 1 tbsp. at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
Chill potato mixture for 10-15 minutes in the fridge for an extra crisp outside.
Heat the skillet to medium heat and melt butter to grease it.
Drop potato mix until you get pancakes about the size and thickness of a sausage patty. Fry pancakes in the pan for approximately 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Potato pancakes are best served hot.
Basic Potato Pancake Add-Ons
For a sweet alternative, omit the cheese and mix in 1 tablespoon of sugar. Serve with maple syrup or applesauce and a dash of cinnamon.
For a savory potato pancake, you may want to try some cayenne and green onion with a bit of Parmesan cheese. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.
For a full breakfast in a pancake, try tossing in some cheddar cheese, yellow onion, and bacon. My kids like to add a bit of ketchup to their breakfast pancakes.
I personally love to make these potato pancakes with minced garlic (or garlic powder if I’m feeling lazy) and chives. You can never go wrong with garlic. These ones are best topped with a bit of butter, salt, and pepper in my opinion.
Finally, if you are looking to pack a bunch of leftovers into your pancakes, you can add some leftover veggies and stuffing and dress the finished potato pancakes with gravy. It’s like a whole Thanksgiving meal in a pancake.
How To Make Perfect Potato Pancakes
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- In a medium bowl, combine mashed potato, beaten egg, cheese, flour, and salt.2 c. Mashed Potatoes, 1 Egg, 1/4 c. Cheddar Cheese, 3 tbsp. Flour, 1 tsp. Salt
- If you are starting with stiff mashed potatoes, you may choose to thin them a bit with milk. Start adding milk at 1 tbsp. at a time until you reach the desired consistency.Milk
- Chill potato mixture for 10-15 minutes in the fridge for an extra crisp outside.
- Heat the skillet to medium heat and melt butter to grease it.1 tbsp. Butter
- Drop potato mix until you get pancakes about the size and thickness of a sausage patty.
- Fry pancakes in the pan for approximately 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Why are my potato pancakes not crispy?
If you find that your potato pancakes are soggy rather than crispy, it’s likely because your skillet and oil are not hot enough. The oil and pancakes should sizzle when they hit the pan. Also, do not overcrowd the pan by trying to cook too many pancakes at once. Work in batches.
Can potato pancakes be made with instant potatoes?
Certainly! Just make them stiffer than they are usually made and make sure they are at room temperature before proceeding. I bet the flavored instant potatoes would be delectable!
What is the difference between potato pancakes and latkes?
Both latkes and pancakes use potatoes and eggs as the main ingredients. Latkes, however, also include baking powder and matzo meal. Because potato pancakes are made from mashed potatoes, they are rounder in shape. Potato latkes are shredded on the largest holes of the grater and have a more textured appearance when cooked.
On a whim, I tried my potato pancake recipe in the waffle maker and it works! You can make potato waffles and those little crevices are amazing for holding butter, gravy, and/or sour cream. You’re welcome.
How do you like to eat your potato pancakes?
If you’re looking for more amazing things to do with your Thanksgiving leftovers, let me direct your attention to these slow cooker recipes. You may also enjoy my Broccoli Hush Puppies with Homemade Ranch Dressing.