Potato croquettes are a dreamy, comfort-food appetizer! This simple croquette recipe transforms leftover mashed potatoes from a ho-hum side dish to crispy, delicious gems.
Creamy mashed potatoes, crispy bacon crumbles, fresh green chives and shredded cheddar cheese create the flavorful filling, which is then tossed in bread crumbs and baked until a crunchy golden brown.
Serve up these tasty morsels as a starter to any main course and watch them quickly disappear!
Leftover mashed potatoes are one of those sides that you always seem to have a bit extra of, and this simple croquettes recipe is a great way to make use of them!
Who can resist mashed potatoes mixed with all of your favorite baked potato toppings then portioned into little bites that are coated in crispy bread crumbs?
The final product offers a delightful twist on a classic comfort food, turning what might have been an overlooked side dish into the star of the show.
Why This Potato Croquettes Recipe Works
Not only are they extra tasty and the perfect combination of textures (soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside), but they’re baked and not fried and therefore a healthier version of classic potato croquettes.
Baking them will create a yummy and crisp Panko exterior and also eliminates the need for deep frying. Anytime we can opt for baking instead of hovering over a pan of hot oil, we’re thrilled!
Plus, you can make them ahead of time and freeze them for a quick and easy appetizer.
Here’s why this recipe works:
- Resourceful and Economical: This is a great recipe for repurposing extra mashed potatoes, transforming them into a new and exciting dish. It’s perfect for those who love finding clever ways to minimize food waste while still enjoying delicious meals.
- Versatile and Customizable: The basic recipe is wonderfully adaptable. You can easily tailor it to your taste by experimenting with different cheeses, herbs, or even adding a vegetarian twist with sautéed mushrooms or bell peppers instead of bacon bits. We’re including several fun variations below!
- Perfect for Any Occasion: Whether it’s a casual family dinner, a fun snack for the kids, or an elegant appetizer for your next dinner party, these baked croquettes are a great addition that fit seamlessly into any setting.
- Healthier Alternative: Unlike traditional potato croquettes, these are baked, offering a healthier option without sacrificing the delightful crunch and flavor. Enjoy the indulgence without the extra oil from frying.
Ingredients for Potato Croquettes
Here is a list of the ingredients you will need for this recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full recipe which includes ingredient amounts.
- Panko bread crumbs. You can use regular bread crumbs but since these potato croquettes get baked, the Panko helps give them an extra layer of crunchy texture. Highly recommended!
- Mashed potatoes. Leftover mashed potatoes is the main ingredient. Of course, fresh mashed potatoes will work as well.
- Eggs. Eggs add a richness to the potato croquettes and help bind everything together.
- Sliced bacon. You can also grab a bag of precooked bacon bits or crumbles. Bacon makes everything better!
- Cheddar cheese. This gives the potatoes a rich, cheesy flavor that is just irresistible.
- Chives, scallions or spring onion. Choose whichever you prefer or have on hand!
- Sour cream. Lightens up the potatoes and adds the perfect amount of tanginess.
- Seasonings. All you need is some salt and black pepper.
How to Make Potato Croquettes (Oven Baked)
Here’s a look at the process but be sure to view the printable recipe card for all of the details!
Toast Panko: Spread the Panko bread crumbs on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly browned.
- Mix Ingredients: Combine the potatoes, one whisked egg, bacon, cheese, and most of the chives in a large bowl.
- Coat Croquettes: Form the potato mixture into balls. Dip in the remaining whisked egg, then coat with toasted Panko crumbs in a shallow bowl.
- Bake: Transfer the croquettes to a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake until golden and crispy.
Tips for the Best Results
- Make sure your mashed potatoes are not too wet. If they are, the little balls might not hold their shape well. You can adjust the consistency by adding a bit more cheese or bread crumbs if needed.
- For uniform cooking, try to keep all the balls the same size. Using a medium cookie scoop or a tablespoon is the perfect way to achieve consistency in the size of the croquettes.
- When toasting the bread crumbs, watch them closely to prevent burning. They should be golden brown, which adds a delightful crunch to the croquettes.
- If time allows, chilling the potato mixture for about 30 minutes before shaping can make the little nuggets easier to handle and help them hold together better during baking.
- Don’t overcrowd the croquettes on the baking sheet. They need space around them for even browning and to ensure they crisp up nicely.
- Dipping Delights: Offer a variety of dipping sauces like blue cheese sauce, chipotle aioli, garlic aioli or buttermilk Ranch dressing to complement the baked potato flavors.
- Salad Pairing: Serve these crispy nuggets alongside a fresh green salad like our herb salmon salad or a tangy chipotle coleslaw for a balanced meal. The crispiness of the croquettes pairs wonderfully with the freshness of a salad.
- Protein Addition: For a heartier meal, pair these croquettes with grilled chicken, blackened tuna steak, or a vegetarian protein like black bean burgers. The croquettes add a comforting, carb-rich side to these protein options.
- Soup Complement: Serve the potato bites as a side with a warm, comforting soup, such as red pepper soup, butternut squash ginger soup, or a beef barley soup. They are great for dipping and add a satisfying crunch.
Storing and Reheating Potato Croquettes
Storing Leftover Croquettes:
- Refrigerator: Place any leftovers in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: For longer storage, freeze the croquettes on a baking sheet until solid, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container. You can store them in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- Oven Method: Preheat your range to 350°F. Place the potato croquettes on a baking sheet and heat for 10-15 minutes, or until thoroughly warmed and crispy. This method helps retain the original texture.
- Microwave Method: For a quick reheat, use the microwave. Place the leftover mashed potato balls on a microwave-safe plate and heat for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Note that this method will not keep the croquettes as crispy.
- Air Fryer Reheat: If you have an air fryer, you can reheat the leftover croquettes at 350°F for 3-5 minutes. This method also helps to maintain the crispiness of the Panko coating.
Variations For Potato Croquettes
Whether you’re using fresh or leftover mashed potatoes, each of these recipe variations has a unique twist. These recipes will make the most out of your leftover potatoes.
Potatoes and Cheese Vegetarian Balls
This vegetarian version is the perfect blend of creamy, cheesy potato packed with a vibrant mix of sautéed bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms.
- Swap the bacon for a mix of sautéed bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Drain any excess liquid before mixing them into the potatoes.
- Add a mix of gouda, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese for a different flavor .
Oven Toasted Spicy Version
This version is perfect for those who enjoy a little heat in their meals.
- Give the potato croquettes a spicy kick by adding finely diced jalapeños and sweet corn to the potatoes.
- You can also mix in some Monterey Jack cheese for a melty, spicy blend.
Herbed Goat Cheese Potato Croquettes
This option is fantastic for a more sophisticated palate or when you’re looking to impress at a dinner party. Goat cheese adds an earthy, tangy flavor to the potato mixture.
- Incorporate creamy goat cheese and finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes into the mix.
- Add a generous helping of fresh herbs like basil and thyme for a Mediterranean-inspired version.
Baked Italian Caprese Potato Balls
This baked Italian inspired variation is a delightful nod to the classic Caprese, known for its simple yet delicious combination of flavors.
- Replace cheddar cheese with a blend of mozzarella and Parmesan,
- Mix in finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil.
- You could also include a hint of garlic and a dash of oregano for an added Italian touch.
- Garnish the finished croquettes with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and a few fresh basil leaves.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, store-bought smashed potatoes can work as a convenient substitute. However, the texture and flavor might slightly differ from homemade whipped potatoes.
Absolutely! You can use gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs to make these croquettes suitable for those with gluten sensitivities.
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- 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
- 2 cups mashed potatoes
- 2 eggs, divided
- ¾ cup crisp bacon bits (from about 8 ounces of bacon)
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
- ¾ cup chopped chives, or scallion tops, divided
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup sour cream
- Preheat the oven to 400°F
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add the Panko bread crumbs, distribute them evenly and bake them on the middle rack for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned. Allow them to cool.
- Place the cold smashed potatoes in a bowl and use a masher or fork to break it up and make it as smooth as possible.
- Add one egg (reserve the other egg for the coating). Add the bacon, cheese, ½ cup of the chives, salt, and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of sour cream and reserve the rest for serving. Stir the potato mixture thoroughly to combine all the ingredients.
- Add the second egg to a dish and lightly whip it with a fork. In a second dish add the toasted bread crumbs.
- Using a medium-size cookie scoop, form balls with the potato mixture, dip each potato ball into the egg mixture and then roll it into the toasted bread crumbs and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer the crispy mashed potato balls to a serving dish. Serve warm with sour cream and the reserved ¼ cup of chopped chives
Potato croquettes can also be formed into log or patty shapes and served as a side dish with a main meal.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 216Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 525mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 10g
Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.