Top 10 ways to use up mashed potatoes

We’ve put together our favourite ways of using up leftover mash in both sweet and savoury dishes.

Mashed potato in pan with masher

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 re-used to bulk out various other dishes. We’ve put together our favourite ways to use it up...

Check out our epic potato recipe collection for more uses for marvellous spuds, from roasties to frittatas.

Watch our video on how to make the ultimate mashed potato:


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:

Types of potato: 
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.

Get the right consistency:
Try one or more of the following: butter, whipping cream, milk, warmed milk, buttermilk, mayonnaise, crème fraîche, margarine, olive oil, truffle oil, cream cheese. Passing your potato through a ricer first will ensure a really fine consistency.

Flavouring ideas:
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.

Optional additions:
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

1. Potato cakes

Potato cake with crackling topping
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

2. Mashed potato pie topping

Cottage pie with potato topping
As well as classic cottage pies and super satisfying shepherd’s pies, you can spread mash on lots of different fabulous fillings. You’re not likely to have huge amounts of mash left, so rustle up a pie for two, or individual pies for freezing. 

BBQ beans with mashed potato tops
Easy chicken pie
Italian veggie cottage pie

3. Lemon & orange cake

Cake with icing and chocolate eggs
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. 

Lemon & orange cake

4. Potato pancakes

Potato pancakes with bacon and eggs
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.

Potato pancakes
Indian potato pancakes
Potato pancakes with chard & eggs

5. Croquettes

Croquettes with dip
These breadcrumbed fritters are great for a tapas spread. Traditional Spanish ‘croquetas’ usually contain jamón, cheese and white béchamel sauce, but you can also make them with mashed potatoes. This thoroughly British version is a spin on the traditional method of using up roast dinner leftovers. 

Bubble & squeak croquettes
Broccoli & potato croquettes

6. Gluten-free lemon drizzle cake

Lemon cake with slice cut
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. 

Gluten-free lemon drizzle cake

7. Vegetarian kofta

Koftas with sauce on plate
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. 

Malai kofta with spicy gravy

8. A thickening agent

Gravy in jug
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. 

Gravy recipes

9. Gnocchi

Gnocchi with trout on plate with fork
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. Take a look at our top 10 ways to serve gnocchi for moreish dumpling dishes. 

Villa Valentina’s potato gnocchi

10. Soup

Soup with bacon and bread
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! 

Prawn chowder with mashed potato
Leek, bacon & potato soup

Are you often faced with a batch of surplus spuds? How do you like to use them up? Share your ideas with us below… 

Comments, questions and tips

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3rd Jan, 2015
When my grandmother had left over mashed potatoes she made this irish dish called Fadge. 1lb/500g potatoes, cooked and mashed 1 oz/30g butter, melted plus for greasing 1/2tsp salt 1 medium egg 4 oz/125g flour, plus a little extra for rolling out 1tsp baking powder Place the mashed potato in a large baking bowl and add all the other ingredients to form a sticky dough. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to approx ½ inch/1 cm thickness. Cut into saucer sized rounds then score a cross into the dough to mark 4 equal wedges or using a round cutter make individual cakes. cook on a hot skillet with lots of butter until brown on each side. Great for breakfast or brunch with eggs, regular bacon or peameal (canadian bacon)
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