Mashed Potato Cakes with Broccoli and Cheese

January 20, 2014
8 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

The mashed potato cake is the best way, second only to shepherd's pie, to breathe new life into leftover mashed potatoes. With a crunchy panko crust, garlicky broccoli, and sharp cheddar cheese, these won over even my spud-snubbing two-year-old. —Merrill Stubbs

What You'll Need
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 fat clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups panko crumbs
  • Poached eggs for serving (optional)
  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 2-inch pieces. Put them in a large pot and add cold water to cover and several large pinches of salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer the potatoes until they easily slip off a sharp knife when you pierce them (this should take 15 to 20 minutes).
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, combine the butter and milk with 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a small saucepan and set over low heat. When the milk is hot and the butter has melted, turn off the heat.
  3. Drain the cooked potatoes and return them to the pot over low heat. Mash them with a potato masher or a fork over the heat (this removes any excess water from the potatoes). Still over the heat, stir in the warm milk and butter, and then the crème fraîche or sour cream and a few grinds of pepper. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Cover the pot and set the potatoes aside to cool to room temperature.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the broccoli, garlic, and a large pinch of salt; stir through. Cook until the broccoli is completely soft and everything is lightly caramelized, about 20 minutes. Remove the broccoli from the pan and chop it finely.
  5. Add the broccoli to the room temperature potatoes, along with the cheddar, eggs, and 1/2 cup panko. Combine thoroughly.
  6. Put the rest of the panko in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Form the potato mixture into small cakes (about 2 inches in diameter) and coat them well in the panko.
  7. Heat the oven to 250° F and arrange a cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Set a large heavy skillet over medium heat and cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of olive oil. When the oil is hot, fry the potato cakes in batches (don't crowd the pan!) until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the cakes to the rack as they're done, and keep them warm in the oven while you cook the rest. Serve warm with a poached egg on top of each cake, if you like.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • kim goad
    kim goad
  • JulieBoulangerie
  • Mae
  • alison brown
    alison brown
  • greglum

29 Reviews

Allison August 10, 2020
These were tasty! I upped the broccoli to 2 cups and doubled the garlic. Next time I'd fully double the broccoli and the cheddar, as well (I didn't taste it overly much). Added some sliced scallions since I had them :)

Some notes on making ahead: I spread the prep for these over two days and found the mixture fairly easy to handle after the rest in the fridge. I formed all of the cakes (without the panko crust) and froze most of them. They reheated well at 425 after a brief rest on the counter to soften the outsides enough to get the panko (and some added cheddar) to stick.
kim G. April 22, 2019
Since I didn't use leftover mashed potatoes, and I caramelized the broccoli for 20 minutes, then of course fried in batches, this was a lengthy recipe for me. I knew it would be, but wanted to do it anyway. Next time, I'll roast the broccoli (no hands on), use my Instapot for the potatoes, and bake the patties in the oven. Or maybe just fry a few for the meal that night, and bake the rest. This recipe made a TON. Going to try an egg on top with leftovers! Thank you to the reviewer who suggested baking- 350 for 20 minutes, 1 minute on broil.
JulieBoulangerie February 11, 2018
Made these tonight. I've been a fan of mashed potato cakes since Sara Moulton opened up my eyes! These were quite good. I used leftover russets and about double the broccoli and garlic- I wouldn't have done it with less! Potatoes need salt, so don't be stingy. I fried in butter and vegetable oil. They tasted well-seasoned.
Mae April 21, 2017
I'm not a huge fan of fried food, but my boyfriend asked for potato pancakes so I made these for him. The came out pretty good. I veganized the recipe by using aquafaba instead of egg (1/4 cup plus 2 TBS) and a white creamy pasta sauce that I made instead of sour cream. I omitted the cheese, and added 1/4 cup of white flour to help with binding. Also added 2 TBS of nutritional yeast for the cheesy flavor. They tasted great.
alison B. March 13, 2015
Do you think these would work with ground flax in place of the egg? I know it might change the flavor, but I'm totally out of eggs and want to try this!
greglum November 10, 2014
I made a doubled batch for a potluck, but ended up forming the second half of the cakes with the panko and sticking them in the fridge because I had enough with the first half! (Okay, and I was late to the event)

Anyway, I didn't want to start frying again, so I just threw them onto a baking sheet on parchment, baked them for about 20 minutes at 350 and broiled them on high for about a minute and they turned out great! I personally like them better this way than fried, and I can cook more of them at a time. :)
Jess January 27, 2015
Thank you so much for those baking instruction tips! I'm going to try them that way, especially because it sounds like they worked so well with the make-ahead step you ended up with.
mauigirlcooks April 13, 2014
Wow, this sounds fantastic! One of my favorite foods as a kid was chopped broccoli mixed into mashed potatoes. This recipe takes those flavors to a whole new level. Thanks for sharing!
Stubor March 23, 2014
Any reason not to add a little bit of minced onion and crumbled bacon?
Merrill S. March 23, 2014
I don't see why not!
Von A. December 21, 2019
There aren’t many savory dishes that can’t benefit for a bit of bacon🤣
Lex N. February 28, 2014
Made these recently and I ran into the problem of them being too soft to fry. The recipe is very tasty though. The mashed potatoes in themselves (minus the egg) are amazing! Will definitely use this recipe when I make mashed potatoes again.
spiffypaws February 26, 2014
Awesome recipe. Can't wait to try.
Tom S. February 25, 2014
Anyone: Every time I see a recipe that calls for frying I want to try it. Every time I try one I stink up the condo and smoke up the kitchen. Aside from frying outside, how do you control what is running amok in the fry pan? Thanks.
Marta March 1, 2014
Tom, use a high heat oil like sunflower or canola. They stand higher temperatures and don't smoke so easily. Extra virgin olive oil is delicious and works perfectly for sautéing but it reaches high temperatures very quickly. Hope that helps.
Tom S. March 23, 2014
Usually do use olive oil, no, did use olive oil. Thank you.
Mimi H. February 10, 2014
Made this, and I must not have drained the potatoes well enough. The mixture was tasty, but too soft to fry into cakes. I'm putting it in a small casserole and baking it with some crunchy onions on top. Should be good.
Mia K. January 31, 2014
Mia K. January 31, 2014
Hi - I am Danish - could you please explain to me - What is
panko crumbs ?
Sylvia January 31, 2014
Panko crumbs are a brand of dry bread crumbs, some say the best.
Merrill S. January 31, 2014
They are the Japanese version of breadcrumbs -- very light and flaky, and great for getting a crisp crust.
Simone R. January 27, 2014
I echo Ashley's question.
Heidi R. January 26, 2014
these are perfect as little bites for a cocktail party...can get creative with toppings.
thanks Merrill!
sometimesOctavia January 22, 2014
These look fantastic! If I wanted to make these mini and put them in the oven (to simulate tater tots for my 18-month-old who misses NOTHING), what might you recommend for baking time?
mauigirlcooks January 22, 2014
These look outstanding! As a kid, I loved mashed potatoes mixed with cooked broccoli, and this sounds light years better than that. Thanks for sharing!
Ashley January 22, 2014
If I want to use leftover mashed potatoes, how much should I use and do I need to reheat and then add sour cream or can I just add the sour cream to the cold mashed potatoes?
Merrill S. January 27, 2014
Hi, Ashley! You'll need 5 to 6 cups of mashed potatoes, and no need to add the sour cream if you're using leftovers.
Lessardi January 21, 2014
Delicious! I just made half a batch of these potato cakes for supper (I did not have enough panko), but still, I have 10 cakes ready to be eaten by my three little affamed girls!
Merrill S. January 21, 2014
Wow, you're speedy!