How To Make the Best Mashed Potato Croquettes

updated Dec 4, 2020
How to Make The Best Mashed Potato Croquettes

A step-by-step recipe for making cheesy mashed potato croquettes using leftover mashed potatoes.

Serves6 to 8

Makes18 croquettes

Prep30 minutes

Cook9 minutes to 12 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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Mashed potato croquettes on plate.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

If you’ve got leftover mashed potatoes on hand, you’re already well on your way to golden, cheese-stuffed croquettes. Made with cold mashed potatoes, eggs, cheese, and breadcrumbs, these croquettes are the perfect way to breathe new life into your leftover potatoes. They’re savory, crisp, and just as fun to eat as they are to make.

This step-by-step recipe will guide you through the best way to make, shape, and fry your croquettes. As for serving, they’re perfect for dipping into creamy sauces like garlic aioli — but just as delicious eaten all on their own. If you’ve never had potato croquettes before, you’re in for a treat.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

The Best Mashed Potatoes for Croquettes

Using warm mashed potatoes will result in a mixture that’s too loose to work with, so it’s important to use cold mashed potatoes to prevent them from falling apart. The best are leftover mashed potatoes that have been sitting in your fridge for at least a day, which are drier than fresh and therefore easier to form into neat little balls that hold together. As long as they’re chilled and not too runny, you can use any type of leftover mashed potatoes, whether it’s a plain mash or one made with butter and cream.

Adding flour to the filling also prevents them from falling apart. Our recipe uses three tablespoons, which is just enough to help hold them together. If your croquettes are still giving you trouble, you can try chilling them for 30 minutes before frying to firm them up.

Lastly, because these croquettes are so starchy and rich, they need a decent amount of salt to bring out their flavor. Before you form them into balls, give the mixture a taste and add more salt if needed.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

3 Tips for Perfectly Fried Croquettes

To prevent your croquettes from bursting open during frying, read these tips before getting started.

  1. Only fry for three to four minutes. If left in the fryer for too long, the filling will get too hot, expand, and cause the croquettes to split. To prevent this, only fry the croquettes for three to four minutes — just enough time for the outside to crisp and the filling to heat through.
  2. Heat your oil to exactly 350°F. Any hotter can cause them to expand too rapidly and burst open. The best way to monitor the temperature is to attach a thermometer to the side of the pot. Keep in mind that the temperature of the oil will fall once you add your croquettes to it, so you’ll have to let your oil come back up to temp before adding your next batch.
  3. Make sure your potatoes are dry enough. If your mashed potatoes are too soupy, they’ll produce steam when frying, causing the croquettes to burst.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell
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Here's how to make the best mashed potato croquettes.

How to Make The Best Mashed Potato Croquettes

A step-by-step recipe for making cheesy mashed potato croquettes using leftover mashed potatoes.

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 9 minutes to 12 minutes

Makes 18 croquettes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info


  • 1 ounce

    Parmean cheese, finely grated (1/2 cup)

  • 3 cups

    cold mashed potatoes (not instant)

  • 4

    large eggs, divided

  • 1/2 cup

    plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for serving

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 8 ounces

    sharp cheddar cheese, preferably white

  • 1 cup

    plain, fine breadcrumbs

  • 2 quarts

    canola or peanut oil, for deep frying

  • 1 tablespoon

    finely chopped fresh chives


  • Measuring cups and spoons

  • Chef’s knife and cutting board

  • Slotted spoon or spider

  • Large bowl

  • 3 shallow bowls or pie plates

  • Wire cooling rack

  • Rimmed baking sheet

  • Whisk

  • Rubber spatula

  • Candy or deep-fry thermometer

  • Paper towels

  • Large Dutch oven


  1. Make the croquette filling. Finely grate 1 ounce Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup) and place in a large bowl. Add 3 cups cold mashed potatoes, 1 large egg, 3 tablespoons of the all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until no lumps of flour remain.

  2. Porion the croquettes. Cut 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese into 18 (about 1/2-inch) cubes. Scoop out the croquette filling into 18 portions (about 2 rounded tablespoons each). Shape each portion into a ball and place onto a baking sheet. (If the mixture is too sticky to work with, add additional all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until firm enough to work with.)

  3. Fill with cheese. Working with one ball of filling at a time, place a cheese cube in the center and shape the potato mixture so it completely encloses the cheese. Roll the ball between your hands until smooth, then return to the baking sheet.

  4. Set up a breading station. Place the remaining 1/2 cup all-purpose flour in a large shallow bowl or pie dish. Place the remaining 3 large eggs in a second shallow bowl or pie plate and whisk until smooth. Place 1 cup plain breadcrumbs in a third shallow bowl or pie plate.

  5. Bread the croquettes. Working with one croquette at a time, gently roll in the flour, then dip in the egg mixture, then roll in the breadcrumbs to evenly coat. Return to the baking sheet.

  6. Heat the deep frying oil and set up a cooling station. Pour 2 quarts canola oil into a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven and attach a deep-fry thermometer. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 350ºF. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with paper towels and place a wire rack over the paper towels.

  7. Fry the croquettes. Reduce the heat slightly to maintain an oil temperature of 350ºF. Fry croquettes in batches of 6 until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Use a spider or slotted spoon to remove the croquettes from the oil. Hold them over the pot for a few seconds to drain off excess oil, then place on the rack. Repeat with the remaining croquettes, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain an oil temperature of 350ºF. Let croquettes cool at least 5 minutes.

  8. Serve the croquettes. As the croquettes are cooling, finely chop until you have 1 tablespoon fresh chives. Garnish croquettes with chives and additional kosher salt.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The croquettes can be formed and breaded up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated on a sheet pan loosely covered in plastic wrap.

Storage: The croquettes are best eaten the day they are made.