Loaded Mashed Potato Balls are the perfect way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. Filled with goodness, fried to golden perfection, these creamy bites are finished with the sharp bite of fresh-grated Parmesan cheese
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It’s no secret that I’m a carb fiend, especially pasta and potatoes. I’ve loved them all my life, and nothing and no one can change that. I wouldn’t even bother attempting a low or no carb diet, because I know I would fail.
It’s also no secret that I’m not a fan of leftovers. We ate leftovers several times a week when I was a kid, so when I moved out on my own I swore them off. One of my very few exceptions is my Baked Homemade Mac and Cheese. I don’t make it often because it’s indulgent. But when I do, I purposely make a big batch so I have leftovers.
As much as I love potatoes, I rarely eat them mashed. Yes, I know that’s kind of weird. I don’t recall my parents making mashed potatoes when I was a kid, so the only time I ever really had them was holidays. It took a lot of practice, but I finally got perfect mashed potatoes down. It started a few months ago when I made Venison Salisbury Steak. Since then I’ve made them a little more often, and always end up with leftovers. Plain leftover mashed potatoes are boring, so I decided to kick them up a few notches with Loaded Mashed Potato Balls.
How can you resist these gorgeous bites? Creamy mashed potatoes, loaded with goodies, fried to golden perfection. Loaded Mashed Potato Balls are perfect for the holidays, when you have lots of leftovers from Thanksgiving and Christmas. But after you try these, you’ll want to enjoy them all year long.
INGREDIENTS FOR LOADED MASHED POTATO BALLS
- Leftover mashed potatoes
- Thick-cut bacon
- Sharp Cheddar cheese
- Roasted garlic
- Green onions
- Panko Bread Crumbs
- Egg & water – for egg wash
- Canola Oil for frying
- Seasoning – fresh-cracked black pepper, sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika
- Fresh-grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
KEYS TO THE PERFECT LOADED MASHED POTATO BALLS
- Mashed potatoes should be cold out of the fridge. If they’re warm, the mixture will stick to your hands, and the balls will fall apart when you fry them
- Use Russet or Yukon gold potatoes. Red potatoes have a waxier consistency, and will result in a gluey mashed potato.
- Use real bacon! This is not the time for bacon bits. I prefer thick-cut bacon, but any good quality bacon will do
- Use a nice, sharp cheddar. I prefer Cabot Cheese because I love it, but any sharp cheddar will do
- Use a Small Cookie Scoop to form the balls, and then transfer them to your hands to smooth the shape. You want balls that are about 1 1/4″ diameter
- Once rolled, let the balls rest in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Roll in egg wash, then Panko bread crumbs, and fry until golden brown
BEST WAY TO FRY LOADED MASHED POTATO BALLS
I tried pan frying these Loaded Mashed Potato Balls several times, but I just couldn’t get it right. I very rarely ever deep fry anything, but for these I made an exception. A friend gave me a Fry Daddy Mini Deep Fryer which is perfect because I don’t need a ton of oil, and the sides are tall so there’s no splatter.
- Add oil to about a 1 1/2″ depth
- Heat the oil to 375 degrees, and I use a Deep Fryer Thermometer to gauge the temperature
- Don’t overcrowd the fryer! The temperature will drop, and the balls won’t fry properly. With my mini deep fryer, I add 5-6 balls at a time
- Fry the balls until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Keep an eye on them, because they’ll go from golden to burnt quickly
- Remove balls with a Spider Strainer and lay them on paper towels to drain
- Immediately sprinkle with sea salt
Of course, you want to eat these Loaded Mashed Potato Balls pretty quickly after they’re done. And because I have no self control, I have to make myself wait about 5 minutes so I don’t scald myself. The final touch for the perfect Loaded Mashed Potato Balls is fresh-grated Parmesan cheese and green onions.
SHOP THIS RECIPE
- 1 1/2 cups leftover mashed potatoes (cold)
- 2 slices thick-cut bacon
- 1/2 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 cloves roasted garlic, smashed
- 2 Tablespoons green onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon fresh-cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Canola oil, for frying
- Fresh-grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 egg, large
- 1 Tablespoon water
- Dice raw bacon into bite-sized pieces. Add bacon to a large skillet and fry over medium heat, until done. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, and lay on paper towels to drain and cool
- In a large bowl, add mashed potatoes, green onion, roasted garlic, Cheddar cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper and cooled bacon. Mix fully
- Using a small cookie scoop, form mixture into balls. You want balls to be about 1 1/4" diameter. Release the scoop into your hands, and finish forming the balls until smooth. You will get about 15 balls. Place on a large plate, and let rest in fridge for 15 minutes
- Create a breading station. In one container whisk together egg and water for egg wash. In another container add Panko bread crumbs
- Using a spoon, add the balls into the egg wash and cover fully. Transfer to Panko bread crumbs. Toss well, pressing down lightly to fully coat with crumbs. Transfer to another plate
- Add oil to deep fryer at a depth of 1 1/2", and heat to 375 degrees. Use a candy thermometer to control the temperature. Add balls to heat, being sure to NOT overcrowd the fryer
- Watch carefully, as balls will fry in about 2-3 minutes and will go from golden to burnt quickly
- Use a spider strainer to remove the balls from the fryer, and lay on paper towels to drain. Immediately sprinkle with sea salt
- Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes. Garnish with green onion and Parmesan, and serve