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These Fried Mashed Potato Balls perfect for a side dish or appetizer! If you have leftover mashed potatoes sitting in your refrigerator from Thanksgiving, use them with this easy recipe. Soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside, you’ll love these fried potato balls!

A basket of fried mashed potato balls is presented by a green tea cloth.
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Fried Mashed Potato Balls

It’s officially Thanksgiving season, and I’ve got you covered with all the Thanksgiving day recipe ideas! However, maybe even more than the actual holiday, I really love the amount of leftovers I have to munch on for the days that follow. Instead of just reheating what you have in the microwave, though, why not get creative with a recipe like this one or my skillet turkey pot pie?!

These fried mashed potato balls are crunchy as can be on the outside while being soft and fluffy on the inside. More than just that, too, they’re also filled with savory bacon bits!

Trust me, enjoying a serving of these mashed potato balls is so much more satisfying than just zapping leftovers in the microwave.

I think what I enjoy the most is just how creamy the mashed potatoes are when mixed with the sour cream. The mashed potatoes become even more decadent that way, especially in contrast to how crunchy the fried breadcrumbs are!

While they’re delicious when dunked in leftover gravy or another favorite dipping sauce of yours, they’re also scrumptious all on their own.

Mashed potato balls are in a pile and garnished with chives.

Ingredients for fried mashed potato balls

  • Mashed potatoes – Use your leftover mashed potatoes to make these irresistible fried treats!
  • Sour cream – You can use either low fat or full fat sour cream, either will work.
  • Breadcrumbs – Plain breadcrumbs only! Don’t use any flavored ones, as the flavor here comes from the other ingredients.
  • Egg
  • Bacon – Instead of buying bacon bits, fry it up yourself for the best results.
  • Parsley – Fresh, not dried.
  • Vegetable oil – This is the best for frying. Don’t substitute it with anything else!
A bite has been taken out of a fried mashed potato ball.

Frying tips

  • Have an instant read thermometer (like the Thermapen) so you can measure the temperature of the oil every now and then to make sure it doesn’t drop below the frying temperature.
  • If you don’t have a thermometer, you can drop a little piece of the mashed potato mixture into the oil and if it sinks then floats up, then you know the oil is ready. If during frying you notice the balls are getting dark extremely fast, that means your oil is too hot and best to reduce the heat.
  • You’ll want to make sure you fry the balls in batches of 4-5, depending on how large your pot is. If you overcrowd the pot, it’ll bring down the temperature of the oil and instead of frying, your mashed potato balls will just be soaking up oil and becoming oily and undercooked.
A mashed potato ball has been bitten in half, revealing a fully cooked center with bacon bits.

Frequently asked questions

How do I know when fried mashed potato balls are completely cooked?

Once they’re a nice golden color like the ones I have pictured, you’ll know they’re good to go!

Can I use store-bought bacon bits?

You sure can! While I prefer cooking up my bacon nice and crispy for the most flavorful results, store-bought bacon bits also work, especially if you’re in a time crunch.

How should I serve fried mashed potato balls?

Whether you’re serving these as an appetizer or as a side dish, I recommend pairing them with some white country gravy! However, if you have no gravy, they’re still tasty without it.

How do I store leftover mashed potato balls?

You can store them in an airtight container for up to three days. To reheat, I would reheat in the toaster oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10-15 to get the exterior crispy again and the inside warmed up.

Can you freeze these? Yes! You can freeze these before or after you fry them. If you freeze them before you fry, when you’re ready to fry them, drop them into the oil carefully and fry until they’re cooked through. If you freeze them after you fry, I would reheat in the toaster oven for 20-25 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

A basket is lined with parchment paper and filled with fried mashed potato balls.
Chopped chives are sprinkled on top of a pile of mashed potato balls.

Here are some more of my favorite potato side dishes!

Scalloped Potatoes

Parmesan Garlic Ranch Butter Smashed Potatoes

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

Instant Pot Colcannon Potatoes

5 from 1 vote

Fried Mashed Potato Balls

Soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside, you'll love making these fried potato balls with your leftover mashed potatoes!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chill time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 30 balls


  • 1 ½ pounds (680 g) leftover mashed potatoes
  • ½ cup (115 g) sour cream
  • 1 cup (108 g) plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 5 pieces bacon, cooked until crispy and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (4 g) minced parsley
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
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  • Reheat mashed potatoes until slightly warm (not hot; just enough that it's not too tough to stir). Add the sour cream and stir to combine, then add breadcrumbs and egg and stir again to combine.
  • Finally add the crumbled bacon and chopped parsley.
  • Form 2-inch balls from the mixture and place them on a baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Freeze for 1 hour or until solid.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium heat to 350 °F (177 °C). The oil should fill the pan about 2 inches of the way up.
  • Leave the potato balls in the freezer while you fry 3-4 balls in the oil for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until they turn a golden color on all sides.
  • Remove them from the oil and place them on a plate with a paper towel to drain off the excess oil.
  • Repeat the frying process with the remaining potato balls taking out only as many as you need at a time from the freezer.
  • Serve with country white gravy, freshly chopped chives or ketchup.


These fried potato balls can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Reheat them in an oven set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-6 minutes, or until toasty.


Serving: 1ball, Calories: 43kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 33mg, Potassium: 111mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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    1. i haven’t tried in the air fryer myself so i’m hesitant to give advice on it. my first instinct is that it may work but it might fall apart in the air fryer basket since they aren’t super firm to begin with and deep frying them is what allows them to hold their shape due to how fast it cooks them.