Cheesy mashed potato bites are so tasty and they’re a perfect way to use up any leftover mashed potatoes you have sitting in your fridge.
I love leftovers, and I hate wasting food. I’ve gotten much better over the last several months about utilizing my leftovers. I’m ashamed to admit that my fruit and vegetable drawers do see a little more waste than I’d like, partially because a lot of delicate produce goes bad a lot more quickly than two people can eat it, and partly because I forget about it or I’m just too lazy to cut up the darned romaine for a salad.
The reason that we do such a great job with eating all of our leftovers is because I plan to use them up. When I make my menus, I either plan to have a meal twice or I plan to make one thing into something else (like turning roasted chicken into chicken salad). I also freeze a fair amount.
But then…then there are mashed potatoes. For some reason, I am terrible at judging how many potatoes I should cook for just the two of us, which is really ridiculous when you consider how many times I’ve made mashed potatoes in my life. I really should know this by now, but I always make too much. And the thing about mashed potatoes is that they just aren’t the same the second day around. Usually my mashed potatoes get thrown out (I know, I know…). Other times, though, wonderful things happen with leftover mashed potatoes. Things like boxties.
The last time that we went to BrewHaus, they served these tiny little potato cakes that reminded me an awful lot of mini boxties, and that made me start thinking about how I could pack as much flavor as possible into a cute little homemade tater tot. I tried using shredded potatoes and ended up being pretty disappointed. Then I remembered some “housemade tater tots” I had in a Nashville restaurant (I don’t recall the name) a few months back. They were made with cheesy mashed potatoes that were deep-fried, which I thought was a genius idea…but since I’m not much with the deep fryer, I decided that my cheesy mashed potato bites needed to be oven fried. I packed them with bacon, cheese, and green onions, rolled them in panko crumbs, and baked them on an oiled baking sheet, which basically masquerades as a frying pan with not nearly as much oil or mess.
I made a little oniony sour cream dip to go with these (just mix a little onion powder and salt into some sour cream-I added parsley flakes too) and it was delicious. Ranch dressing would work great as well. I was very happy with these cheesy mashed potato bites, which we ate as a side with sandwiches. One batch made two very large servings…they’d definitely be a decent appetizer for four people.
I hope you’ll try these baked cheesy mashed potato bites as a way to use up your leftover mashed potatoes and an alternative to frozen tater tots!
Yield: 2-4 servings
20 minPrep Time:
15 minCook Time:
35 minTotal Time:
- 2 cups cold, leftover mashed potatoes
- 2 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
- 2 ounces (1/2 cup) cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup panko crumbs
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- Sour cream or ranch dressing, for serving (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, combine the mashed potatoes, bacon, cheese, green onions, and flour. Scoop tablespoon-sized balls of the mashed potato mixture onto a baking sheet.
- Carefully press the balls of mashed potato mixture into discs and coat completely in panko crumbs. Place back on the baking sheet.
- Drizzle the oil onto another baking sheet and brush the oil all over the sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven and preheat until smoking, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the coated mashed potato bites onto the hot baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes.
- Remove the mashed potato bites from the oven. Carefully flip each bite. Rotate the pan and place it back into the oven. Bake for another 7-8 minutes, until lightly browned on both sides. Serve immediately with sour cream or ranch dressing for dipping.