Air Fryer Potato Cakes are a quick and easy way to use up leftover mashed potatoes! They’re golden brown and crispy on the outside with a light, fluffy and creamy centre. These potato pancakes make a delicious side dish or appetizer with a dollop of sour cream and chopped chives on top!
If you’re anything like me, when you make mashed potatoes, you always have some leftover. I can never quite judge how much to make, and I’d rather have some leftover than not enough.
Sometimes we use leftovers to make shepherd’s pie, and other times, I like to whip up some mashed potato patties, also called potato cakes or pancakes.
The best part about this recipe is that it is so easy to make! In addition to leftover mashed potatoes, you’ll just need eggs, flour and seasonings.
Reasons to love this recipe
- You don’t need to dredge the potato cakes in flour or pan fry in oil. They get golden brown and crispy in the air fryer with minimal oil.
- Since you need cold mashed potatoes for this recipe, these potato patties are ideal for making ahead.
- It’s an easy way to repurpose mashed potatoes and you probably already have the few ingredients you need in your fridge and pantry.
Details on the ingredients
Below is just an overview of the ingredients. For the full list and quantities used, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.
Mashed potatoes – You’ll need 3 cups of mashed potatoes for this recipe. Make sure they’re cold so they’ve had a chance to thicken.
Eggs – Two large eggs will help bind the potato cakes.
Flour – Flour also acts as a binder. I used all-purpose white flour.
Seasonings – Just a simple mix of salt, pepper and garlic powder is needed. Feel free to add different seasonings, if you prefer. And, if your mashed potatoes are not already seasoned, you will definitely need to add more salt and pepper.
Chives – I like to add chopped fresh chives to the potato patties and have some on hand for garnish. You can also use chopped green onion (scallions) if you prefer.
Oil – To help the patties get golden brown and crispy, you’ll need a little oil. You can use a spray oil or non-stick cooking spray. I usually just brush on some extra virgin olive oil.
How to make mashed potato cakes in the air fryer
In a large bowl, add the mashed potatoes, eggs, flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix to combine.
Stir in the chopped chives.
Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup or cookie scoop to portion out the mixture for the patties.
Gently shape into 10 patties that are 1/2-inch thick.
Grease your air fryer basket with spray oil and arrange the patties in a single layer. (Depending on the size of your air fryer, you’ll need to air fry the patties in 2 or 3 batches).
Spray the tops with oil or brush on the oil.
Air fry at 400F for 8-9 minutes. Carefully flip the potato cakes over and spray or brush more oil on the other side. Continue air frying for another 6-7 minutes, or until the tops are browned and crispy.
Storage and freezing tips
These mashed potato pancakes are best enjoyed hot and crispy. If you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge, where they should last for 3-4 days. This depends, however, on how old your mashed potatoes are to begin with. If they’re already a few days old, I suggest enjoying the potato cakes within a day or so.
You can also freeze potato cakes. Just arrange the cooled patties in a single layer, or in between sheets of parchment or wax paper, in a freezer safe container. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat the patties, air fry at 400F for 5-7 minutes. If they’ve been frozen, let them defrost first in the fridge before reheating.
The best potatoes to use are those that are best for mashed potatoes. So, you’ll want to make sure you use low moisture potatoes such as russet or Yukon gold potatoes. They usually create fluffy, creamy and thick mashed potatoes.
Potato cakes usually fall apart if they’re too wet. This can be easily fixed by adding more flour. Add a little at a time until the potato cake mixture sticks together. Be careful not to add too much flour as the cakes will end up too dry.
I haven’t tested this recipe with instant mashed potatoes. If you give it a try, just make sure the mashed potatoes are not wet and thick enough to hold together with the binding ingredients.
Absolutely! Since you need cold mashed potatoes, they’re ideal for making ahead. You can make your mashed potatoes the day before, and just follow this recipe to make the patties the day you want to enjoy them. Or, you can even make the patties a day in advance, and leave them covered in a single layer in the fridge until ready to air fry.
Yes, just substitute the all purpose flour for gluten-free 1:1 flour.
Key recipe tips
- Seasoning. This recipe only calls for a small amount of seasoning as mashed potatoes are usually already seasoned. If your mashed potatoes are not seasoned, you’ll want to add more salt and pepper to the recipe.
- Wet mashed potatoes. If your mashed potatoes are not thick enough, you’ll need to add a little more flour to help the patties bind together.
- Sticky mixture. The mixture for the potato patties will be sticky, so you may need to rinse your hands a few times while shaping them.
- Don’t use parchment paper. I tested this recipe with air fryer parchment paper (with small holes in it) lining the air fryer basket. I don’t recommend this. The patties stuck to the parchment paper and did not crisp up very well.
- Air fry in single layer. For even cooking, these potato cakes should be air fried in a single layer and not over crowded as they will puff up a little as they cook. The recipe makes 10, so I normally air fry the potato cakes in two batches.
- Type of air fryer. I used a Cosori 5.8 quart air fryer for this recipe. If you have a different size, brand or model, you may need to adjust the air frying time and temperature slightly.
More air fryer potato recipes
- Air Fryer Potato Wedges
- Air Fryer Baby Potatoes
- Air Fryer Potato Slices
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Wedges
- Air Fryer Parmesan Potatoes
- Air Fryer Home Fries
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!Print
Air Fryer Potato Cakes are a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes! They get crispy with just a little oil and stay light and fluffy in the middle.
- 3 cups (600g) cold mashed potatoes
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (70g) all purpose white flour
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives (plus more for garnish)
- Oil (to spray or brush on patties)
- In a large bowl, add the mashed potatoes, eggs, flour, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Mix to combine. If your potatoes are extra thick, you may need to use a potato masher.
- Stir in the chopped chives.
- Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup or cookie scoop to portion out the mixture for the patties.
- Gently shape into 10 patties that are 1/2-inch thick.
- Grease your air fryer basket with spray oil and arrange the patties in a single layer. (Depending on the size of your air fryer, you’ll need to air fry the patties in 2-3 batches).
- Spray or brush the tops with oil.
- Air fry at 400F for 8-9 minutes. Carefully flip the potato cakes over and spray or brush more oil on the other sides. Continue air frying for another 6-7 minutes, or until the tops are browned and crispy.
- This recipe only calls for a small amount of seasoning as mashed potatoes are usually already seasoned. If your mashed potatoes are not seasoned, you’ll want to add more salt and pepper to the recipe.
- If your mashed potatoes are wet, you’ll need to add a little more flour to help the patties bind together.
- The potato cakes mixture will be sticky, so you may need to rinse your hands a few times while shaping them.
- For even cooking, these potato cakes should be air fried in a single layer. The recipe makes 10, so you’ll need to air fry in at least two batches.
- The cook time in the recipe is based on two batches.
- I used a Cosori 5.8 quart air fryer for this recipe. If you have a different size, brand or model, you may need to adjust the air frying time and temperature slightly.
- Be sure to check out the other sections above the recipe card for more detailed advice and suggestions for making this recipe.
Keywords: potato cakes, patties, pancakes, air fryer