I'm on the record as saying Thanksgiving leftover recipes are a bit silly. Most Thanksgiving leftovers are perfectly good reheated. I don't need too many ways to eat leftover stuffing, for instance; straight out of the dish is generally quite good enough (although pan-frying as a reheating method is pretty sublime).
But there are a few opportunities to not just use up leftovers, but to make something wholly new and delicious out of them. Mashed potatoes often aren't as good reheated as they were fresh, so here's what I made: crispy, creamy, cheesy mashed potato puffs.
These are a quick-as-a-snap breakfast side dish or appetizer. People love them — they are bite-sized and yummy, warm and creamy inside and crispy on the outside. I mean, it doesn't get any better than that!
I have used a Lift-and-Serve pan with 12 little rectangles in it, and I've used mini muffin pans. You could also use regular muffin pans, but the baking time should be increased by about 10 minutes in that case.
Mashed Potato Puffs
Makes 12 to 24 puffs, depending on the size of the pan used
Cooking spray or butter
cooked mashed potatoes
large eggs, beaten
grated cheese, such as Parmesan or Gruyère, divided
minced fresh chives
diced cooked bacon or ham (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
Sour cream, for serve (optional)
Arrange a rack in the middle of oven and heat to 400°F. Lightly coat the cups of a mini-muffin tin with cooking spray or butter.
Place the mashed potatoes, eggs, 3/4 cup of the cheese, chives, and bacon or ham in a large bowl and stir to combine. Season, if necessary, with salt and pepper. The seasoning will depend on how seasoned your mashed potatoes were to begin with.
Fill each muffin cup with the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
Bake until the potato cups are set, browned on top, and heated through, about 20 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then use a spoon or knife to gently release them from the pan. Serve immediately with dollops of sour cream, if desired.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat and re-crisp, arrange the puffs on a baking sheet and bake at 400°F for about 15 minutes (depending on size).
More Flavoring Ideas for Mashed Potato Puffs
- Loaded Baked Potato: Cheddar cheese, cooked bacon, chopped green onions, served with sour cream and chives
- Curried Potato Puffs: 1 teaspoon curry powder (or to taste), chopped red onion, chopped jalapeño pepper, served with yogurt and cucumber.
- Goat Cheese & Spinach: Fine chopped spinach, minced garlic, crumbled goat cheese.
- Italian-Inspired: Finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, chopped basil, finely chopped shallots, served with a smear of tomato sauce.
Updated from recipe originally published November 2010.