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6 Ways to Use Leftover Mashed Potatoes

a delicious bowl of potato soup, garnished with bacon, cheese, and chives.
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Creamy and fluffy mashed potatoes help bring so many yummy meals together, but so often, you get stuck with leftovers. Here are a few clever ways to use those mashers without wasting.

It’s easy to scrape that leftover cup of mashed potatoes into the trash, but your guilty conscience might think otherwise. Depending on how many leftovers you have, here are a few tricks for reusing those smashed spuds.

Make a Casserole

Casseroles are super versatile, and you can make a baked dish with just about anything. After a few days of tasty meals, you might end up with a bit of leftover meat, potatoes, and veggies. Time to put your chef hat on and figure out how to layer these ingredients into a new dish.

Think about what other foods you have in your pantry and how they might work well with this casserole concoction. If you’re worried about experimenting, don’t—you can find many recipes online  to provide inspiration.

Hand-Craft a Few Potato Patties

Potato patties make a fantastic day-after side dish or main course. Place your extra mashers in a bowl plus a few favorite ingredients.

Scoop out about ¼ cup of your mixture, and roll them into balls, then flatten into patties. Fry them up in butter until golden brown and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Here are a few ingredients you could add to these patties:

  • Cooked bacon
  • Ham
  • Canned tuna or salmon
  • Chopped onion, green onion, or chives
  • Chopped celery
  • Shredded cheese
  • Garlic
  • Herbs
  • Salt and pepper

Make Freezer-Friendly Minis

If you have just enough leftover potatoes to make a few mini dishes that are freezer-friendly, then we say go for it. Mini shepherd’s pies, casserole dishes, or even potato cakes all do well in the freezer and can be consumed at a later time.

Thicken Your Soup

Mashed potatoes make a fantastic thickening agent, especially if you’re making a creamy, rich soup. Take a small saucepan and add about one cup of mashed potatoes, along with about one or two cups of hot soup broth.

Use a whisk to combine the two until the potatoes begin to loosen up and blend. You might add a bit more liquid until you’ve reached a thin potato slurry. Then add your mashed potato slurry into the rest of the soup and watch as it adds depth to the liquid.

This method works best for soups that already have potatoes as an ingredient. For example, a New England clam chowder or baked potato soup is ideal for this method.

Make a Breakfast Bowl

There’s nothing like enjoying a plentiful hot breakfast on a chilly Sunday morning. Add your leftover mashed potatoes to a skillet, and rewarm on the stovetop. You might need to add a bit of milk to loosen and fluff them back to life.

Sprinkle in cheddar cheese, cooked bacon bits, chopped breakfast sausage or ham, then crack open a few eggs on top. Bake for about 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees or until the eggs are cooked through. Salt, pepper, and chives effortlessly finish this dish off once it’s out of the oven.

Throw It in the Waffle Iron

Freshly made mashed potato waffles with a dipping sauce.
Just a Taste

Pretty much anything can go in a waffle iron, and yes, mashed potatoes have been tried and true. In fact, mashed potato waffles have become a day-after-Thanksgiving favorite for many people. They taste amazing smothered in gravy or topped with cheese and sour cream.

Get the Recipe: Just a Taste


Whether you’re layering a casserole dish or creating your very own version of a breakfast skillet, use up those mashed potatoes. With a little inventiveness and love for cooking, you might craft a new family favorite.

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »

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