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So, what do you do with all your leftover mashed potatoes?

Make a quick meal out of them. After all, most of the work is already done.

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Meal #1: Make a grilled cheese sandwich and a mashed potato salad

 It doesn’t have to be a grilled cheese sandwich. Any sandwich will do. Mashed potato salads are super quick and easy, not much more than stirring in mayonnaise and condiments. So, a sandwich and a mashed potato salad is a quick, easy meal.

And if you like potato salads, you’ll like mashed potato salads.  Use the same ingredients that you use for your regular potato salads. It takes a little more dressing for mashed potatoes. If your salad seems a little bland, give it a bit of a kick with extra vinegar, lemon juice, or horseradish. Horseradish is a very nice touch.

Here’s a recipe for one of our favorite potato salads and it works well for your leftover mashed potatoes.  This is a large recipe—it feeds eight to ten—so scale it back depending on how many leftover potatoes you have.

Fiesta Mashed Potato Salad


2 pounds new red potatoes
1/3 cup chopped green onion
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1 1/2 cups canned whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 cup red peppers, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste


Cut the potatoes into large chunks and boil them in salted water until they are tender but not mushy. (It’s not necessary to peel the potatoes.)  Drain the potatoes and let them cool.  Mash or rice the potatoes.

Mix the mayonnaise and vinegar together. Stir the dressing into the potatoes until you have a creamy mixture.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Add the green onions, frozen peas, canned corn, and red peppers and stir. 

Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Meal #2: Use your mashed potatoes for breakfast; make mashed potato pancakes.

This is sort of like eggs, bacon, and hash browns.

You can mix mashed potatoes into your pancake batter or you can fry potato patties and call them potato pancakes or anywhere in between.  You’ll find lots of recipes online. Many of them add flour to the mashed potatoes; some add eggs. 

These directions simply call for seasoned potatoes dredged in flour and fried in oil. If you are using leftover mashed potatoes, they will be seasoned. In our kitchen, we usually mash our potatoes with butter, sour cream or cream cheese or a combination of these. That’s okay.

Take a quarter cup or so of mashed potatoes and form a patty ½-inch thick. Repeat with the rest of your potatoes. Set aside.

Heat a 1/4-cup of vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it is very hot.

Dredge the patties in flour until they are covered.

Place two or three patties in the pan at a time in hot oil. (Don’t put too many in the pan at once or cold potatoes will chill the oil. After two or three, let the heat recover before adding more.)

Cook them for 15 minutes or until they are golden brown and crusty. Turn them over and cook them for another 15 minutes.

Remove them from the hot oil and set them on paper towels. Serve them hot with more pepper and salt if needed and sour cream.

 Meal #3: Make a shepherd’s pie or other potato casserole.

There are lots of recipes online for various potato casseroles.  The most famous of the potato casseroles, I suppose, is Shepherd’s Pie. It’s a great way to use those leftover potatoes.           

Here’s how to make a Shepherd’s Pie:

Sauté ground meat and onions in a heavy, oven-proof skillet.  Season to taste. 

Add a can of stewed tomatoes, leftover gravy, or make a new gravy in the pan.

Add some veggies. Green beans or corn are typical.

Cover with mashed potatoes.  Top with grated cheese and a sprinkle of paprika. 

Bake at 350 degrees until heated through and the cheese is melted.  Times will vary with the pan and size of casserole. 

There you go, three ways to make a meal out of leftover mashed potatoes. These are good enough that you ought to make some extra potatoes this Sunday.

About the Author

Dennis Weaver has burned food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He is the founder of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho. He loves to help people bake and shares his vast collection of cooking and baking knowledge on his blog as well as in his e-books and magazines. Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children and six beautiful granddaughters.