What To Do With Leftover Mashed Potatoes?

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Doughnut mashed potatoes 3

Thanksgiving leftovers.  Don’t you love them?  There is nothing like having a turkey sandwich and turkey soup the next day.  Or sometimes in our house, pumpkin pie for breakfast.  But those mashed potatoes.  My mom used to make potato pancakes, which I loved.  And of course, there is always just heating them up and pouring more gravy over them.  How about something a little different?  Mashed potato doughnuts!

Doughnuts trio 4

All you need is 1-1/2 cups leftover plain mashed potatoes and your family will wake up to a new Thanksgiving leftover surprise.  The other ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.  I made three different coatings – glazed, powdered sugar, and granulated sugar.  To the granulated sugar, you could add cinnamon, nutmeg, or your favorite spice.  And don’t forget to make the doughnut holes!

Doughnut holes 2

Making doughnuts is easy and fun, but it’s best to have all the ingredients in place before beginning.  It’s a quick process to fry them, so it’s best to have the sugar, glaze, baking sheets, and whatever is needed to make it go smoothly.  You will need to make the batter the night before making the doughnuts, as it must be very cold which makes it easier to cut the shapes.

Doughnut halves 2

The finished doughnuts are very tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.  Making them can be a fun family project the next morning.  Kids will love to help coat the doughnuts, and might enjoy colored sprinkles on theirs.  Any leftovers can be placed in plastic bags or airtight containers.  If there are any left, that is!

Mashed Potato Doughnuts

5 cups all-purpose flour

7 teaspoons baking powder

1-1/2 cups slightly warm plain mashed potatoes

1 teaspoon salt

3 eggs, well-beaten

2 cups sugar

1-1/2 Tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 cup milk

Oil for frying

Coatings:  granulated sugar (with added spice like cinnamon, if desired), powdered sugar, thin confectioner’s sugar glaze*

Sift the flour with the baking powder and set aside.  In bowl of electric mixer, beat together potatoes, salt, eggs, sugar, and melted butter.  Add nutmeg and milk and stir.  Add flour and mix just until blended.  Spoon the batter into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  When ready to make doughnuts, have all ingredients ready to go as the process goes fast once you begin.  To form the doughnuts, place about 1/3 of the dough at a time on a lightly flour surface.  Keep remaining dough refrigerated.  Using lightly floured hands, pat dough to about 1/2-inch thickness.  The dough should be stiff enough to handle, but remember the softer the dough, the more tender the doughnuts.  Cut with a doughnut cutter that has been dipped in flour, and dip after each use.  Carefully place formed doughnuts (and the holes!) on a baking sheet.  Heat a couple of inches of oil in a large pan to 375 degrees. ( I use my electric skillet and it works great).  Fry doughnuts, turning once, until golden and cooked through.  When done, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain briefly, then roll doughnuts in desired coating and set on another baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining dough.  Makes about 2 dozen (3-inch) doughnuts.

* For a thin glaze, for every cup of confectioner’s sugar, stir in 2 Tablespoons milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  The glazed are my husband’s favorite, so I made a couple batches of it.

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10 Responses to What To Do With Leftover Mashed Potatoes?

  1. Kathy - Panini Happy November 29, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

    These look SO amazing! And now I’m kicking myself for having made my potatoes with roasted garlic. 🙂 Next year I’ll have to remember to keep that out so I have good doughnut-making options!

    • Debbie November 30, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

      Thanks, Kathy! I hope when you have some plain mashed potatoes you will try the doughnuts. By the way, I love your cookbook!

  2. Shari December 1, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    How do these hold up? I would love to make some and send to my daughter’s family but they would have to be able to hold up well for at least three days.

    • Debbie December 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

      Hi Shari! How nice that you want to send some to your daughter and her family, but I’m afraid doughnuts do not stay fresh for days and shipping would not work. Doughnuts are always best made and eaten the same day.

  3. Ellen Houston July 13, 2015 at 5:36 am #

    Thank you so much! I just made some and these are soooo good! I was wondering if it is possible to freeze the dough?

    • Debbie July 13, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

      Hi Ellen – glad you liked them! Good question. I have never tried freezing the dough. If you try it and it works, let me know!

  4. klab November 14, 2015 at 8:01 pm #

    What exactly do you mean by “plain” mashed potatoes? Most leftover mashed potatoes have at the least some butter, milk, salt and pepper. Do you mean plain cooked (boiled or steamed) potatoes that are then mashed? All I know is that if I have any leftover mashed potatoes they also contain garlic along with butter, cream, salt and pepper.

    • Debbie November 15, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

      Hi Kimberly- Butter, milk, salt, and even a little pepper are fine to use for leftover mashed potatoes in this doughnut recipe. I sometimes even put a little sour cream in mine and the doughnuts have been great. Garlic, onions, shallots, or any very strong flavor or herb that does not sound like it would be good in doughnuts, I would avoid. Instead, those strong flavored potatoes could be made into savory potato pancakes. I have come across some very interesting recipes using leftover mashed potatoes including candy! My grandmother used leftovers for breads and rolls. It’s an old-fashioned thing to do but a delicious one!

  5. michelle December 1, 2017 at 1:16 am #

    These work great as a fried bun. So garlic, onion,seasoned spuds work well. Instead of sweet, just replace with savory. Our favorite is a quick top dunk in melted butter, into a mixture of sea salt, granulated garlic, a little minced onion and pepper. They are fantastic on their own, but also make beautiful sliders for the leftover ham, Turkey or beef!

    • Debbie December 1, 2017 at 10:20 am #

      Sounds fabulous, Michelle! Thanks for the idea!

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