We’ve put together our favourite ways of using up leftover mash in both sweet and savoury dishes.
According to Google statistics, mashed potato is one of the most common kitchen leftovers. As spuds are both plentiful and filling this makes sense, and having a portion looking up sadly from the bottom of the pan isn’t an unusual sight. While cold mash is about as appetising as eating gluey paste, it can be reused to bulk out various other dishes. We’ve put together our favourite ways to use it up...
Some mash tips for starters
In the potato world, nothing divides opinion quite like the method of making mash. We’re not ones to preach, so here are some suggestions:
Our choices would be Maris Piper or King Edward, but most floury potatoes will work well. If you want to lock in more earthy flavour and the vitamins from the skin, leave them unpeeled, but remove the skin if you want the mash really smooth.
The liquid agent:
Try one or more of the following: Butter, whipping cream, milk, warmed milk, buttermilk, mayonnaise, crème fraiche, margarine, olive oil, truffle oil, cream cheese. Passing your potato through a ricer first will ensure a really fine consistency.
Some of our favourite additions: Horseradish, mustard, nutmeg, white pepper, black pepper, garlic boiled in the skin with the potato then squeezed out to be mashed, caramelised onion chutney, pesto, curry powder, sugar, wasabi, lemon zest.
Add some extra bite with these optional extras: Sautéed bacon, steamed greens, watercress or rocket, crushed beans, cheese, slow cooked leeks, soft herbs, chives, oats, peas, shredded sprouts, spring onions, black olives.
Our leftovers recipes are best made with a simple mash - neutral flavourings like butter and milk are nice and versatile so can be used for a wider range of dishes, both sweet and savoury.
Storing and using up leftover mash
Our home economist Steffi recommends keeping leftover mash in the fridge for up to three days. You can also freeze it for up to two months. When it comes to defrosting, leave it in the fridge overnight to thaw completely.
Our favourite ways with leftover mashed potato
When cooled, mashed potato becomes pliable and easy to shape. It can be combined with fish – smoked haddock, trout, kippers and salmon work well. Alternatively, use shredded ham, black pudding, chorizo, corned beef or mince, then bind with a little flour and shallow fry. You could even use up a whole other dish at the same time - our cottage pie cakes are the ultimate reusable dish.
Black pudding potato cakes with fried eggs & tomatoes
Smoked haddock, spinach & potato cakes
Smoked trout fishcakes with mushy peas
Ham, pea & polenta cakes
Kipper fish cakes with watercress mayo
Cottage pie cakes
As well as cottage and shepherd's pies, you can spread mash on lots of different pie fillings. You're not likely to have huge amounts of mash left, so rustle up a pie for two, or individual pies for freezing.
Gluten-free baking requires some clever swaps. In this recipe, mashed potato is teamed in equal parts with gluten-free self-raising flour. Your mash shouldn't contain any savoury flavourings for this recipe, and if you’re cooking for someone following a gluten-free diet, double-check any additions made to the mash – some cream cheeses aren’t gluten-free for instance.
From Irish boxty to Jewish latkes, the potato pancake is a universal treat. In this recipe for dense American-style pancakes, part of the flour is replaced with leftover mash. Serve with bacon and scrambled eggs at brunch.
These breadcrumbed fritters are great for a tapas spread. Traditional Spanish ‘croquetas’ usually contain jamón, cheese and white bechamel sauce, but you can also make them with mashed potatoes. This thoroughly British version is a spin on traditional method of using up roast dinner leftovers.
This bake doesn’t even require flour – it’s replaced with mash and ground almonds. The result is a moist and dense cake that’ll leave everyone guessing about the surprise ingredient.
This North Indian dish is best made with cooled mash. The fried patties are filled with paneer cheese, nuts and lots of spices, and served with a 'gravy' of peanuts and tomatoes.
In very small quantities, mashed potato can be used to thicken traditional gravies and sauces. Use it cautiously as you would cornflour - and make sure it's stirred in very thoroughly.
These Italian dumplings have a reputation as heavy comfort food but try making a lighter version at home. This recipe states that for optimum results warm mash should be used, so reheat your leftovers in the microwave if you like. However, it's more important to pass the mash through a mouli as any lumps and bumps will show up in the final cooked gnocchi. Serve with a punchy sauce, such as blue cheese, Bolognese or pesto.
While mash would work perfectly well in a traditional leek & potato soup, go off-piste with a more adventurous combination. This unconventional chowder recipe takes the classic seafood soup and bulks it out to something altogether meatier. The mashed potato is added as a garnish - don't knock it till you've tried it!
Are you often faced with a batch of surplus spuds? How do you like to use them up? Share your ideas with us below…