5-Ingredient Mashed Potato Cakes

updated Jun 17, 2023
5-Ingredient Mashed Potato Cakes

These fluffy, cheesy potato cakes can be made from scratch or with leftover mashed potatoes.

Serves4 to 6

Makes14 cakes

Prep20 minutes

Cook35 minutes to 40 minutes

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5 ingredient mashed potato cakes in skillet.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

I think we can all agree that potatoes are the vegetable for all seasons. We enjoy them in salads and grilled all summer long, and during cooler months we crave them in all their most comforting forms. These mashed potato cakes, which are pillowy and fluffy with a hint of cheese, might be the coziest yet. Plus, you only need five ingredients to make them.

If you’re starting with raw potatoes, you’ll simmer them until tender and pass them through a ricer. Add butter, cheese, flour, an egg, and seasoning, and you’ve got the mixture for potato cakes. If you have leftover mashed potatoes on hand, all you need to do is add the flour, egg, and cheese. Just be mindful of how your potatoes are already seasoned, and adjust as necessary. Another thing to note is to prepare the mixture when you want to make the cakes, as prepping it ahead of time can result in drier, more crumbly cakes.

I promise this recipe is so tasty exactly as written (just ask my neighbor!), but I also love that it’s a blank canvas. Add ham or bacon pieces. Season with smoked paprika, powdered garlic, or more cheese. Cook them in duck fat or schmaltz! Add chives or scallions to the mix or as a garnish. There are so many ways to riff on this recipe and make it your own.

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

5-Ingredient Mashed Potato Cakes

These fluffy, cheesy potato cakes can be made from scratch or with leftover mashed potatoes.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 35 minutes to 40 minutes

Makes 14 cakes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 1 1/2 pounds

    russet potatoes (about 4 medium)

  • 1 tablespoon

    plus 4 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt , divided

  • 3 ounces

    cheese, such as cheddar, Manchego, or Parmesan

  • 4 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1

    large egg

  • 1/2 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 3/4 cup

    vegetable oil


  1. Peel and chop 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Place in a large pot, add enough water to cover the potatoes by 2 inches, and add 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender and can be easily poked with a paring knife, about 10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, grate 3 ounces cheese on the large holes of a box grater. Melt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter on the stovetop or in the microwave (omit if using leftover mashed potatoes). Whisk 1 large egg in a small bowl until beaten.

  3. When the potatoes are ready, drain through a heatproof colander. Place the colander over the pot. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle but still warm, pass the potatoes through a ricer or food mill back into the pot. (Alternatively, drain the potatoes, return to the pot, and mash with a potato masher until smooth.)

  4. Add the cheese, melted butter, beaten egg, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and stir to combine. (If starting with leftover mashed potatoes, omit the butter and add the egg and cheese to 2 1/4 cups mashed potatoes. Add the flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is stiff enough to form into a disc with your hands. Season with salt and pepper to taste).

  5. Scoop the potato mixture out with a 1/4-cup measuring cup and form a small disc with your hand. Press the disc until 1/2-inch thick. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining potato mixture.

  6. Line a second baking sheet with paper towels. Heat 3/4 cup vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place 5 potato cakes in the pan and cook until deep golden brown, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to the paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 days.