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Loaded Mashed Potato Balls

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Loaded Mashed Potato Balls are the perfect way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. Filled with bacon and cheese and fried to golden perfection, they’re perfect as a snack, side or appetizer. These creamy bites are finished with the sharp bite of fresh-grated Parmesan cheese

This post and recipe card updated September 9, 2019
close up shot of finished mashed potato balls in a metal bucket, with a few balls on the parchment paper

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 it would be an epic failure.

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.

As much as I love potatoes, I rarely eat them mashed. My parents never made them when I was a kid, so I only ever had them at restaurants or around the holidays.

It took a lot of practice, but I finally mastered mashed potatoes when I created 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.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
  • They’ve got a crunchy exterior and creamy inside
  • It’s an excuse to always make extra mashed potatoes!
  • They’re perfect for a snack, side or holiday entertaining
overhead shot of finished mashed potato balls in a metal container
MASHED POTATO FILLING

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

If you make mashed potatoes the same day, let them rest in the fridge for at least one hour.

Use Russet or Yukon gold potatoes. Red potatoes have a waxier consistency and will result in a gluey mashed potato.

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 for a uniform shape. I use a 1 1/4″ scoop.

Once rolled, let the balls rest in the fridge for about 15 minutes so they don’t fall apart as they fry.

I often season the Panko Bread Crumbs when I use them to add another layer of flavor. But with all of the flavor already in the filling, I just leave these plain.

close up shot of finished mashed potato balls in a metal bucket, with a few balls on the parchment paper
PAN FRY OR DEEP FRY FOR LOADED MASHED POTATO BALLS?

I tried pan-frying these Loaded Mashed Potato Balls several times, but they never turned out quite right. So I use my Fry Daddy Mini Deep Fryer, and the tall sides help to prevent oil splatter.

I recommend using a Deep Fryer Thermometer to gauge the temperature. A Spider Strainer is ideal because the long handle keeps your hands and arms out of harm’s way from the hot oil.

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

Dice bacon into bite-sized pieces, and cook in a Cast Iron Skillet until done. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.

In a large bowl, add cold mashed potatoes, bacon, cheese, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, spring onion, and roasted garlic.

overhead process shot of filling ingredients in a clear bowl

Combine mixture well. Use a 1 1/4″ cookie scoop to create balls, and transfer to hands to form into a uniform shape. You will get about 18 Loaded Mashed Potato Balls.

Place in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill.

Meanwhile, create a breading station. In one container, whisk egg and water for egg wash. In another container, add Panko bread crumbs

Toss balls in egg wash, and then coat with bread crumbs

Add oil to about a 1 1/2″ depth, and heat to 375 degrees.

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 at a time

Fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Keep an eye on them, because they’ll go from golden to burnt quickly.

Transfer balls to paper towels to drain, and immediately sprinkle with Kosher salt.

close up shot of finished mashed potato balls in a metal bucket, with a few balls on the parchment paper
SERVING AND LEFTOVERS OPTIONS

Serve Loaded Mashed Potato Balls immediately! Nobody likes cold potatoes, and cold fried potatoes definitely are a NO.

I like to eat them plain, but you could certainly dip them in my Coconut Milk Ranch Dressing or your favorite dip.

I don’t recommend leftovers, as they just won’t taste the same.

Make-Ahead Options for Loaded Mashed Potato Balls

  • Option #1 – Make the filling and roll into balls up to 3 days ahead, and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Bread and fry when ready to eat
  • Option #2 – Make the filling, roll and bread. Only do this if you’re going to fry them on the same day
MORE DELICIOUS SNACKS & SIDES
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Loaded Mashed Potato Balls - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Loaded Mashed Potato Balls

Yield: 18 pieces
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Resting: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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
  2. In a large bowl, add mashed potatoes, green onion, roasted garlic, cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper and cooled bacon. Mix fully
  3. Using a 1 1/4" cookie scoop, form mixture into balls. Release the scoop into your hands, and finish forming the balls into a uniform shape. You will get about 18 balls. Place on a large plate, and let rest in fridge for 15 minutes
  4. Create a breading station. In one container whisk together egg and water for egg wash. In another container add Panko bread crumbs. I use Tupperware-like containers with lids
  5. Working in batches, toss balls in egg wash, transfer to bread crumbs, and toss well to fully coat.
  6. 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.
  7. Work in batches, so you don't overcrowd the fryer. They will only take 2-3 minutes to cook, so keep an eye on them.
  8. Use a spider strainer to remove the balls from the fryer, and lay on paper towels to drain. Immediately sprinkle with Kosher salt
  9. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes. Garnish with green onion and Parmesan, and serve

Notes

Make sure the mashed potatoes are cold! If they’re warm, the mixture will stick to your hands, and the balls will fall apart when you fry them

If you make mashed potatoes the same day, let the finished potatoes rest in the fridge for at least one hour before rolling.

Use Russet or Yukon gold potatoes. Red potatoes have a waxier consistency and will result in a gluey mashed potato.

Use a Deep Fryer Thermometer to gauge the temperature, and a Spider Strainer to keep your hands and arms out of harm's way of hot oil.

Serve Loaded Mashed Potato Balls immediately! Nobody likes cold potatoes, and cold fried potatoes definitely are a NO.

I like to eat them plain, but you could certainly dip them in my Coconut Milk Ranch Dressing or your favorite dip.

I don’t recommend leftovers, as you’ll lose that perfect crunch and they just won’t taste the same.

Make-Ahead Options

  • Option #1 – Make the filling and roll into balls up to 3 days ahead, and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Bread and fry when ready to eat
  • Option #2 – Make the filling and bread the balls. Only do this if you’re going to fry them within 4 hours
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 6 pieces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 542Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 1757mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 22g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients, etc

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