Up Your Leftovers Game With Cheesy Bacon Mashed Potato Balls

Potatoes are one of those foods that can be used in so many amazing, different ways. Fried? Boiled? Mashed? But they can be reused again the next day too. Our favorite way to do it is with mashed potatoes.  Let’s be honest, no one LOVES leftover mashed potatoes two days in a row. The potatoes harden up, they dry out, and they for sure don’t taste like they did the day before. 

What if I told you there are lots of other ways to use up that leftover mash? There are potato pattie cakes, dumplings, gnocchi, and even potato donuts that can be made with this one effortless ingredient. My favorite way to reuse them? Cheese-filled bacon fried mashed potato balls. 

potato dimplings with bacon crumble and dill on white plate
Photo Credit Karolina-Grabowska from Pexels


I know I got you all excited, but please do not go digging those potatoes out of your garbage. All of these recipes work just as well with a freshly made batch of mashed potatoes. 

mashed potatoes in a white bowl with red spoon
Photo Credit: Jess Tellier

If you want an excellent mashed potato recipe, check out our recipe for the Ultimate Mashed Potatoes. Trust me, the secret ingredient inside that article will make your leftover bacon friend potato balls even better.

Cheesy, Gooey, Bacon-Fried Mashed Potato Balls

Fried potato balls with cheese and bacon in hand
Photo Credit: Jess Tellier

Do I have your attention yet? This is my personal favorite leftover mashed potato recipe. This easy DIY potato pub appetizer is stuffed with cheese, bacon, green onion and wrapped in breadcrumbs. Excuse me while I wipe the drool from my beard. I mean, come on, look at these things! Perfectly crispy on the outside. The inside bursting with flavor and oozing cheese and bacon. Need I say more?

mashed potatoes with bacon and chives
Photo Credit: Jess Tellier

Best yet, you don’t need a deep fryer, and you probably have all of the ingredients in your house right now. Let me walk you through this.. 


These little guys are quick and easy to make. Here’s what you’re going to need: 

  • 3 cups of leftover mashed potatoes
  • Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup green onions
  • ¾ cup crumbled bacon
  • 1 egg beaten
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Oil for frying
  • Frying pan
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Recipe ingredients on kitchen table
Photo Credit: Jess Tellier


Start by mixing up the mashed potatoes, bacon, parmesan cheese, and green onions together. I use my hands for this step and fold all of the ingredients until it’s well mixed. Common’ what man doesn’t enjoy getting their hands dirty?

mashed potatoes with bacon, parmesan cheese and green onion
Photo Credit: Jess Tellier

Cut up some cheese cubes,  about ½ inch in size. 

Cheddar cheese cubes on white plate
Photo Credit: Jess Tellier

Using an ice cream scoop (or continue using your hands), roll the mashed potato mixture into 1 inch balls and push a cheese cube to the center. Continue rolling until the potato has covered the cheese. 

Thumb pushing cheddar cheese into mashed potato ball
Photo Credit: Jess Tellier

Set the potato balls in the fridge to chill and stiffen up for 30 minutes 

mashed potato balls on a white plate in a fridge
Photo Credit: Jess Tellier

While you’re waiting on that, in a shallow bowl toss in your bread crumbs and add some salt and pepper to taste. Mix it up well. 

pouring bread crumbs into a blue bowl
Photo Credit: Jess Tellier

In a separate shallow bowl, beat the egg. 

whisking an egg in a white bowl
Photo Credit: Jess Tellier

Start heating your oil on medium high heat. I use a basic vegetable oil and fill my frying pan to the 1″ mark.

black stone pan filled with hot oil on stove
Photo Credit: Jess Tellier

Let’s get back to the potato balls. Remove them from the fridge and dip them into the beaten egg. Shake off the excess. 

man hands rolling food in egg and breadcrumb
Photo Credit: Jess Tellier

Now, roll them inside the breadcrumb mixture until it’s evenly coated. Then, dip it back in the egg quickly and roll it in the breadcrumbs one more time. 

Man hands rolling food into breadcrumbs in a blue bowl
Photo Credit: Jess Tellier

Drop the potato ball into the heated oil and turn it every couple minutes until you have fried all sides of the ball. You can work with as many balls that will fit in your pan at the same time. My only advice here is to make sure there is an inch of space between each ball. This simple tip helps to cook the balls evenly. 

breaded potato balls cooking in hot oil on the stove
Photo Credit: Jess Tellier

Carefully remove the mashed potato balls from the oil and set them on a plate with some paper towel. The paper towel will help catch all of that greasy juice that our arteries don’t need. 

breaded potato balls on paper towel catching grease
Photo Credit: Jess Tellier

Let them sit for a couple of minutes until they are cool enough to touch. Serve these as they are, or dip them in some sour cream. If you want to take it a notch higher, add some dill spice to your sour cream. You won’t regret it.

green bowl filled with sour cream and dill
Photo Credit: Jess Tellier

You can make these in advance and bring them to your next gathering. Just pop them in the oven to re-heat for a few minutes, and they taste just as good. Cheers, and enjoy!