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10 Different Ways to Use Up Leftover Mashed Potatoes

Gordon has been cooking and experimenting with food since childhood. He loves coming up with new and tasty culinary creations.

Mashed potato stuffed portobello mushrooms with sausages and spicy tomato sauce

Mashed potato stuffed portobello mushrooms with sausages and spicy tomato sauce

Mashed potatoes are a hugely popular meal component, at all times of year, and can be successfully made to accompany and complement a wide variety of principal meal ingredients.

One of the drawbacks of preparing mashed potatoes, however—especially for a large number of people—is that it is notoriously difficult to judge precisely how many potatoes will be needed to meet the requirements of the occasion. This can often mean that leftovers are created, which even with the best intentions, will frequently become waste. This page is devoted to looking at new and interesting recipes for using up leftover mashed potatoes for up to a couple of days later to both reduce waste and more than satisfy the requirements of future mealtimes.

Mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes

Tips for Making Perfect Mashed Potatoes

It's more than worthwhile beginning by taking a look at some top tips for making perfect mashed potatoes every time, whether for immediate service or to be used in leftovers.

  1. Always choose floury/starchy potatoes when intending to make mash. Waxy potatoes will simply not work. If in doubt which variety to choose in your part of the world, simply ask in store for advice or search online.
  2. As a general rule of thumb, allow two medium baking sized potatoes per person.
  3. Peel the potatoes and chop to around one-and-a-half-inch chunks. Do not chop them too small, perhaps with an idea to cooking them more quickly. All that will happen is that the potato pieces will absorb too much water and your mash will be irretrievably soggy.
  4. Add the potatoes to a pot with plenty cold water and some salt. Bring the water to a gentle simmer for 20 minutes. Test the potato pieces are just softened and no more.
  5. Drain the potatoes at your sink through a sieve or colander. Leave them to steam off and partly dry out for 5 minutes before even thinking about mashing. Again, this is to allow the excess moisture to evaporate in the form of steam and prevent soggy mash.
  6. Return the potatoes to the empty pot and add a little butter. Turn the potatoes around in the butter by gently swirling the pot.
  7. Always use a hand masher to mash potatoes. Never use a food processor or similar. This produces pomme puree, not mashed potatoes.

Leftover mashed potatoes should be allowed to cool completely before being spooned in to a suitable dish (a plastic dish with a lid is perfect) and transferred to the refrigerator. They are easily good for a couple of days to be used in the form of leftover recipes as now featured further down this page.

Please note that the cooking times included in the recipes below do not include the time required for the initial preparation of the mashed potatoes.

Cocktail sausages in mashed potato deep fried in breadcrumbs, served with beans in tomato sauce

Cocktail sausages in mashed potato deep fried in breadcrumbs, served with beans in tomato sauce

Cocktail Sausage Potato Croquettes

Cook Time

Prep time: 35 min

Cook time: 15 min

Ready in: 50 min

Yields: 4 croquettes plus accompanying sauce

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons leftover mash
  • 4 skinless pork cocktail sausages (about 2 inches long)
  • Generous pinch dried thyme
  • Plain or all-purpose flour
  • 8 ounce can chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
  • Generous pinch ground basil
  • Generous pinch ground oregano
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 8 ounce can mixed beans of choice in water
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs (or as required)
  • Vegetable or sunflower oil for frying
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Instructions

  1. Cook the sausages by gently shallow frying them in a little oil, as per the package instructions, or for around 10 minutes, turning frequently. Remove from the pan, cover and set aside until cool.
  2. Put the mashed potato in to a small bowl and stir in the dried thyme.
  3. Scatter enough flour over the base of a dish large enough to contain the four formed croquettes in a single layer without them touching.
  4. Take a quarter of the mashed potato mix and roll it in to a ball. Roll out further between the palms of your hands in to an oval shape, about an inch longer than one of the sausages.
  5. Make an indent in the mash, deep enough to contain one of the sausages. Add a sausage and carefully work the mash around it until it is evenly contained.
  6. Lay the formed croquette in the floured dish and repeat three more times. Place the dish in your refrigerator for 30 minutes to let the mash firm up.
  7. When the potato assemblies have been in the fridge for almost 30 minutes, pour the tomatoes in to a small saucepan and add the dried herbs, peeled and crushed garlic clove and some salt and pepper. Stir well and bring to a simmer, continuing to stir occasionally with a wooden spoon.
  8. Break the eggs in to a flat-bottomed bowl and beat to combine. Add the breadcrumbs to a second, similar bowl.
  9. Roll each croquette carefully in the egg and then the breadcrumbs to ensure even coating before laying on a clean holding plate.
  10. Bring a deep frying pan with about an inch of vegetable oil in it (or a deep fat fryer) up to a moderately high heat. Carefully add the croquettes and fry for 6 to 8 minutes until crisp and golden, turning frequently if using the frying pan with a metal slotted spoon.
  11. When the croquettes are on to fry, drain the beans, add to the tomato sauce and stir them through. Continue to simmer while the croquettes cook.
  12. Lift the cooked croquettes to a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain for a couple of minutes. Spoon the tomato and bean sauce on to two suitable serving plates and lay two croquettes on top in each instance to serve.
Lamb pie with minted mash and baked beans in tomato sauce

Lamb pie with minted mash and baked beans in tomato sauce

Pie, Mash and Beans

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 20 min

Ready in: 35 min

Yields: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 2 individual minced/ground lamb pies*
  • 4 tablespoons mashed potatoes
  • ½ teaspoon dried mint
  • 14 ounce can baked beans in tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley, with extra to garnish
  • Black pepper

*This is a Scotch pie, made from seasoned lamb and hot water pastry. It has a circular crust border on top forming a well, designed for gravy but making it also perfect to contain mashed potato. Any similarly designed pie would work with this recipe.

Instructions

  1. Put your oven on to preheat to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5.
  2. Add the dried mint to the mashed potato and stir very well to evenly combine.
  3. Divide the mash between the two pie tops and spread out carefully with a knife or the back of a spoon. Do not smooth out the upper surface but leave it uneven to aid crisping in the oven.
  4. Sit the pies on a baking tray and heat in the hot oven for 15 minutes.
  5. When the pies are halfway through heating, add the beans to a saucepan with plenty black pepper and the tablespoon of chopped parsley. Place the saucepan on a low heat and stir frequently until the beans are heated through.
  6. If desired, the pies can be placed under a hot grill/broiler for a couple of minutes when they are taken from the oven to further brown and crisp the potato topping.
  7. Divide the beans between two deep serving plates, lay a pie on top of each serving and garnish with the remaining parsley.
Kippers, mash and peas

Kippers, mash and peas

Kippers, Mash and Peas

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 20 min

Ready in: 25 min

Yields: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 2 boil in the bag kipper fillets in butter*
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • Few tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper
  • Malt vinegar (optional)

*A fresh kipper fillet can easily be substituted where desired

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and add the kipper fillets to simmer gently for 15 minutes (or as directed on the pack).
  2. Five minutes before the kippers are due to be ready, add the mashed potatoes, milk and dill to a saucepan. Gently heat, stirring frequently and well.
  3. Add the peas to a large pot of boiling water. Simmer for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove the kipper bag from the water with a large slotted spoon, carefully cut open and slide the contents on to a deep bottomed plate. Pour the melted butter in to the mash and stir through.
  5. Drain the peas at your sink through a colander and season with salt, pepper and malt vinegar.
  6. Arrange the mash in a deep bottomed serving plate and lay the kipper fillets on top, before spooning the peas around the edge to serve.
Sausages and fried onions on chilli and mustard mash

Sausages and fried onions on chilli and mustard mash

Sausages With Chilli and Mustard Mash

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 20 min

Ready in: 25 min

Yields: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 6 medium pork sausages
  • Vegetable oil
  • ½ medium red onion
  • 1 large red chilli pepper
  • 2 cups leftover mash
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Black pepper

Instructions

  1. Pour a few tablespoons of oil in to a non-stick frying pan and add the sausages. Fry over a gentle heat for about 20 minutes, turning frequently, or until cooked.
  2. Moderately finely slice the peeled onion half. Cut away and discard the top of the chilli and finely slice the main body in to discs.
  3. When the sausages are about halfway cooked, pour some more oil in to a saucepan and saute half the onion slices for a few minutes until softened. Add the chilli and saute for another minute or so.
  4. Add the mash to the saucepan with the onion and chilli, along with the mustard. Season with black pepper, stir well and heat very gently for a few minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Add the remaining onion slices to the pan with the sausages for the last few minutes of cooking.
  6. Spoon the mash in to a deep serving plate, top with the sausages and finish off with the fried onions.
Pollack and tarragon fishcakes are served with broccoli, cauliflower and tartare sauce

Pollack and tarragon fishcakes are served with broccoli, cauliflower and tartare sauce

Pollack and Tarragon Fishcakes

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour 10 min (includes cooling/chilling time)

Cook time: 25 min

Ready in: 1 hour 35 min

Yields: 1 serving (2 fishcakes)

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces skinless pollack* fillet
  • Salt
  • 1 cup cooled mashed potatoes
  • ½ teaspoon dried tarragon
  • White pepper
  • Plain or all-purpose flour, for scattering on plate
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup (or as required) golden breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Tartare sauce to serve (optional)
  • Broccoli and cauliflower florets to serve (or accompaniment of choice)

*Pollack (collectively referred to as pollock, along with similar type fish in North America) is a firm white-fleshed member of the Atlantic cod family. Any similar fish type would work equally well.

Instructions

  1. Put the fish fillet in to a pot of cold, salted water and bring the water to a very gentle simmer. Continue to simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, just until you can see the fish starting to flake and no more.
  2. Lift the pollack fillet carefully from the water with a large slotted spoon to a suitable plate or dish, cover and leave for about 15 minutes to cool completely.
  3. Put the mash in to a mixing bowl and gently flake in the fish. Add the dried tarragon and season with white pepper and just a little more salt.
  4. Using your hand, gently mix the fish in to the potato, being very careful not to break up the flakes any more than is necessary.
  5. Divide the mix in to two equal parts and roll in to balls before carefully flattening between the palms of your hands in to cake shapes around three-quarters of an inch thick.
  6. Lay the formed cakes on a floured plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow them to firm up.
  7. Break the eggs in to a small, flat bottomed bowl and pour the breadcrumbs in to another. Beat the eggs lightly with a fork to combine the whites and yolks.
  8. Gently turn the fishcakes firstly in the beaten egg and then in the breadcrumbs until evenly coated.
  9. Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan. Lay the fish cakes in the frying pan and fry over a low to medium heat for 7 or 8 minutes each side until crisp and golden.
  10. Serve with some tartare sauce and poached cauliflower and broccoli florets, or accompaniments of choice.
Baked chicken thighs are laid on a bed of curried leftover mash with red onion and chilli

Baked chicken thighs are laid on a bed of curried leftover mash with red onion and chilli

Baked Chicken Thighs on Curried Mash

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 45 min

Ready in: 1 hour

Yields: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 2 whole chicken thighs (skin on)
  • 1 medium-sized red onion
  • 1 green chilli
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 ounces (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon hot curry powder
  • 2 cups mashed potato
  • 1 red chilli pepper
  • 2 teaspoons freshly chopped coriander leaf (cilantro), plus extra to garnish

Instructions

  1. Put your oven on to preheat to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5.
  2. Peel the onion, cut it in half down through the core, lay each half flat and slice across the way. Cut the top from the green chilli and slice the body finely in to discs. Lay half the onion slices and the chilli slices in the base of a casserole dish large enough to contain both the chicken thighs.
  3. Season the chicken on the flesh side with salt and pepper and lay skin side up on top of the onion/chilli trivet. Season the skins well with salt. Put the lid on the dish and place it in the heated oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Take the chicken thighs from the oven and pierce the thickest part of each one with a metal skewer to ensure the juices run clear. if not, bake for 5 further minutes and test again. Put the lid back in place and set aside to rest while you prepare the accompaniments.
  5. Gently melt the butter in a saucepan before adding the remaining onion slices, the peeled and finely sliced garlic clove and the curry powder. Saute for a couple of minutes over a low to medium heat until the onion is just softened.
  6. Top the red chilli and finely slice in to discs. Add the mash to the softened onion along with the red chilli. Stir well with a wooden spoon and heat for a couple of minutes - stirring constantly - before stirring in the chopped coriander/cilantro for a final minute or so of he