Loaded mashed potato balls are crispy on the outside but soft and creamy on the inside with loaded mashed potatoes covered in a panko-Parmesan breading and pan-fried until golden. Impress your guests at potlucks, parties and holiday dinners!
If you’ve ever had something that’s crispy on the outside but so fluffy and soft on the inside, you’ll understand just how tasty these loaded mashed potato balls are. It’s like having ice cream with your hot apple pie. Hot and cold. Crispy and soft. Extremes like these are so much fun.
We’re taking mashed potatoes and mixing them with cheddar cheese, bacon bits and chives. That there will be the fluffy. Then we’re dredging them in a Parmesan-panko bread crumb mixture. This will be the crunch. Crispy yet creamy. Happiness awaits!
We’ll use the magic of a spoon to keep breading fuss minimal. You won’t even have to get your hands dirty while breading! I’ve refined the technique a little for minimum mess and stress. Let’s begin!
How To Make Loaded Mashed Potato Balls (1 Min Video)
Ingredients in Loaded Mashed Potato Balls
LOADED MASHED POTATO BALLS RECIPE TIPS
Just like mashed potato puffs, you can use leftover mashed potatoes or make mashed potatoes just to make these balls. The recipe even works with instant mashed potatoes if you feel like cheating a little. Just make sure to chill the mashed potatoes beforehand so they’re easier to handle and won’t fall apart in your hands. Once they’re ready, mix them up with cheddar cheese, bacon bits, chives and pepper to taste.
Then we’ll make them into balls. Just like I did with my meatballs, I used an ice cream scoop to make uniform-sized balls. You should get about 24 balls for 3 cups of mashed potatoes. Dusting your hands with flour before rolling them into balls really helps with the sticking. Pat them gently at first into ball-sized shapes before rolling them gently in your palms to finish them off. Do this until you finish making all the balls.
We’ll be doing this stage by stage so there’s less hand washing in between. If your hands get coated with too much mashed potatoes, a trick I learned was to get more flour and rub them in your hands over the sink. The flour will help clump them all up and get them off your hands. You want minimal hand washing during the ball-forming stage because your hands should be dry so the potatoes don’t stick.
The hard part is over! Now onto the breading stage. You’ll want one bowl with beaten eggs and one bowl with the Parmesan-panko mixture. Each bowl is equipped with a handy spoon so your hands don’t get dirty. I used panko bread crumbs because they’re crispier and flakier than the regular kind.
First, drop a ball in the egg mixture. This is the glue to get the bread crumbs to stick. Flip it over and around with the spoon until all sides are fully coated. Now use the spoon to pick it up and tilt it at the edge of the bowl to remove any excess egg. You’ll want to do this because too much egg drippings into the bread crumb mixture will clump it all up which doesn’t make it stick.
Drop the ball in the bread crumb mixture and use the bread crumb spoon to heap it all over until fully coated. Use the back of the spoon to pat it in. You can also choose to pat in any excess bread crumbs with your hands after this without getting your hands clumpy with breading. That’s one ball down! The breading stage will take up the bulk of your time so don’t stress if it’s taking too long.
Finish breading all the balls and we’re onto the frying stage. Make sure your oil is hot before frying so the breading doesn’t come off and stick to the pan. It’ll strip all that breading right off. Pan fry in batches or deep fry if you want to. I just coated the bottom of the pan with oil and rolled them around to brown them evenly. The important thing to remember is to be gentle when frying, they’re still fragile and an accidental stabbing will ruin your perfect balls.
If you’re not a fan of frying, you can choose to bake these. I estimate about 5-10 minutes or until browned. If you feel baking them doesn’t brown them as much, you can also choose to toast the panko bread crumbs in a pan over medium-high heat until they are browned before breading them. No oil is needed, just heat them up in the pan and move them around until evenly browned. Mix it with the Parmesan and use that for the breading. Then bake it!
- Substitute chives – Try substituting chives with some chopped parsley or fresh green onions.
- Add a cheesy center – Press a cube of hard cheese into the center of the balls before coating it in bread crumbs for a gooey cheesy center. Try mozzarella or sharp cheddar or experiment with other cheeses!
- Add more flavor – Try adding a little sour cream or cream cheese to your loaded mashed potatoes for more flavor. Or add some minced garlic for garlicky balls.
That’s about it. Enjoy the mashed potato balls and happy eating. Let me know how you liked them, what substitutions you made or what you served them with in the comments below!
MORE POTATO RECIPES TO TRY
- Mashed Potato Puffs
- Crispy Garlic Parmesan Smashed Potatoes
- Garlic Parmesan Sweet Potato Stacks
- The Best Creamy Potato Salad
- Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes