Today I need some tips on reusing mash potato. And not the "don't do it" tip. I mean, how can I fry it?

So far I've pretty much limited my reuse of mash potato to fried pattie-type things, but I found this doesn't work so great with every mash potato I come across. Sometimes it's either too dry or too wet. How can I fix that?

I usually sneak some cheese into mine when I make it, but the people I live with make it very plain, and anything from crumbly to watery. The crumbly ones to me have been essentially useless because I don't know what I can do to it after it's been made to make it okay again. For instance could I later add cheese or even an egg or some other bonding agent so it stays together in the pan long enough to seal and survive being manipulated a little with an egg-flip?

On the other hand, when it's really watery, what can I do about that? The limits of my knowledge of thickeners available in your average kitchen are flour and gravox, but I haven't been game enough to mix either with mash potato and fry it since one time when I had dry mash potato and some leftover gravy I just mixed it all together and fried it thinking, surely it will all just mix together and be wonderful. But it was terrible. Not to mention it kept almost burning because the gravy seems to seal a lot quicker.

Edit. I am indeed after any suggestion, not limited to frying. @Jefromi decided to edit my question to make it sound like I'm only interested in how to fry it.

  • 1
    You can bake it into potato bread, you can use it to thicken soup or gravy; and yes, you can add binders to make better pancakes. Leftover mashed potatoes are actually a very versatile ingredient. Here's a link to the BBC with a few more ideas to get you started.
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 15:07
  • Hash, or even Lefse come to mind. Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 15:23
  • 2
    Just use it as mash? Warm it through with butter and cream... Professional kitchens always prepare their mash in bulk and use it over the following days.
    – Doug
    Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 15:28
  • 1
    Also dry mash just needs butter adding and wet mash needs drying somehow... I'd bin wet mash to be honest means it's over boiled and rubbish.
    – Doug
    Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 15:31
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    @NICHOLASMARKAMOS The only thing that's a problem is asking for a list of things to do with them. If the too wet/too dry thing applies to more than just frying, feel free to put it all in here. But if you have 20 different problems with 20 different things you want to make, then by all means, ask 20 questions.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Nov 29, 2014 at 2:59

3 Answers 3


For one half of your problem: You can add a little bit of milk to dry mashed potato to make it moister, if it's too dry to use in a given application. The other half is a little more difficult, but instant mashed potato can be used to sort of "soak up" some of the moisture to make it drier.


When life throws lemons at you, make a lemonade!!

I know this saying is intended in a different way, but what I am trying to start with here is, when you have got mashed potatoes on hand, go try all these yummy recipes which I am going to suggest here now.

To start with, I am assuming that the mashed potatoes that we are talking here is made up of just potatoes(of course), a dab of butter and minimum dressing say salt and pepper and the texture is still gooey and not on the wetter side! With this on hand, you can try out these following recipes considering you want to more than fry your mashed potatoes:

  1. Leftover Mashed Potato Sandwich: Take a pan and drop little oil in it(2-3 drops). When the oil heats up add some tempering like cumin, chilli flakes, a spoonful cut onions, minced garlic, green chillies etc (basically for flavour). Then throw in the mashed potatoes and saute everything together until the potatoes start becoming very light golden brown. You might need to stir it so that it doesn't stick to the pan a lot. You can use this mashed filling inside any veg sandwich or sub. Just put a layer between bread slices, add your favorite veggies and cheese and you have an awesome sandwich in front of you.
  2. Indian Potato Curry: If you are a fan of indian food and you have got any indian spices like cumin, asafoetida, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder in your closet, then you could try making this quick curry. Start with oil in the pan thing and let it heat. Add cumins and let then crackle. Then add a am of all these powder masalas directly in the oil and then put the potatoes, 2-3 spoons yoghurt and water and let everything come to a boil. This can be eaten with hot rice or rotis!
  3. Puff Potato Pasties: If you buy puff pastry sheets and know how to use it, you could use the potato sandwich mix and roll it into a puff pasty sheet and put it in the oven to make a yummy snack item!
  4. Potato Patty: You can add some corn flour or refined wheat flour in the mashed potatoes along with some spices like chillies, garlics, and other flavoring agents and make it into a dry dough. Then you can make balls out of this dough and flatten it to deep fry until dark golden brown. These patties can be used in a burger instead of meat patties.

Maybe I gave you enough ideas to try next time!

  • Thanks. I'd vote up but I don't have the requisite rep'. You've definitely given me some more ideas to try. Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 11:38

For instance could I later add cheese or even an egg or some other bonding agent so it stays together in the pan long enough to seal and survive being manipulated a little with an egg-flip?

Yes, use an egg. It will dramatically affect how well things hold together.

Depending on the intended application, flour might also be suitable to help dry it out. (eg, gnocchi, boxty, matafan)

As for cheeses, they can either add moisture (eg, ricotta) or help dry it out (parmesan or other finely grated hard cheese)

  • yeah to bubble and squeak.
    – Adrian Hum
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 14:32

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