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Mashed Potato Balls are an irresistible appetizer or a quick lunch if you’ve got some leftover mashed potatoes on hand. They’re loaded with cheddar cheese, bacon, and chives and then pan-fried until nice and crispy!

Make it an appetizer party by adding some Deviled Eggs with Bacon, The Best Raspberry Baked Brie, and an Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip to the menu!

Mashed potato balls on a white plate.

Mashed Potato Balls

These guys are a real treat! Crispy on the outside, soft inside, and bursting with delicious bacon and cheese flavor.

We often serve these as an appetizer. They practically fly off the serving plate and people rave about them.

But this is also a recipe that we’ll make for a quick lunch or dinner when we have some leftover mashed potatoes on hand. Pair them with a simple green salad and you’re set!

How To Make Mashed Potato Balls

If you can make mashed potatoes, you can make mashed potato balls!

  1. Boil and mash some potatoes.
  2. Mix in some crispy bacon, cheese, and chives.
  3. Roll into balls, dip in egg, then roll in panko breadcrumbs.
  4. Pan-fry the balls in a little oil until they’re nice and crispy.

4 pictures showing how to make mashed potato balls

Can I use Leftover Mashed Potatoes?

Yes, this is a great recipe to transform leftovers into something new and fresh.

Keep in mind that if there is too much moisture (butter/cream) in the mashed potatoes, the balls can split open when you fry them. If you’re concerned, roll 1 or 2 balls in panko and fry them. If they split open, add an extra egg to the potatoes.

How Long Will These Last In The Fridge?

Mashed potato balls will keep well for 2-3 days in your fridge in a covered container.

The best way to reheat leftover mashed potato balls is to bake them in a 350-degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until they are warmed through.

Can These Be Frozen?

Yes,! Cooked mashed potato balls freeze very well. Let them cool completely then transfer them to a tray and put them into your freezer. Once they’re frozen, you can store them in a freezer-safe bag.

To reheat frozen mashed potato balls, bake them from frozen in a 420-degree oven for about 20 minutes.

Variations to Try

While we love the classic bacon and cheddar combination, you can flavor these in many different ways.

  • Buffalo: add some hot sauce and use blue cheese instead of the cheddar.
  • Jalapeño popper: add a little cube of cream cheese and a pickled jalapeño inside the balls.
  • Italian: add some minced salami and some Italian seasoning.
  • Tex-Mex: add some corn, minced red pepper, and use jack cheese.

Mashed potato balls on a plate with chives sprinkled on top.

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Mashed Potato Balls

By: Kristen Stevens
Mashed potato balls are impossible to resist! They have creamy mashed potatoes, cheddar cheese, and bacon inside and are crispy on the outside.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 28 balls



  • Cut the peeled potatoes into quarters and put them into a pot. Cover them with 1 inch of water then bring the pot to a boil. Continue to boil until the potatoes are soft, about 12-15 minutes. Drain the water then put the potatoes back into the pot.
  • Add the butter and salt to the potatoes and mash them well with a potato masher. Put them into your fridge, uncovered, and let cool.
  • When the potatoes are cold, add the crispy bacon, cheddar cheese, chives, and egg to the mashed potatoes and mix well.
  • In a wide bowl, whisk the remaining eggs with 2 tablespoons of water. Add the panko to another wide bowl. 
  • Use a medium-sized cookie scoop to scoop out 28 balls. Dip the balls first into the egg and then into the panko. Move all the rolled balls to a cookie sheet or a plate. 
  • Heat the oil in a high-sided frying pan. Working in 2-3 batches, fry the mashed potato balls just until they turn golden.


This is a great recipe to use leftover mashed potatoes, like these Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes. You'll need about 3 cups of leftover mashed potatoes to make this recipe. 


Calories: 101kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 3gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 184mgPotassium: 22mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 88IUCalcium: 48mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

About Kristen Stevens

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    1. You could definitely try baking them. Just know that they likely won’t be quite as crispy. They will still be tasty, though!