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overhead view of small plates with crispy fried mashed potato balls with marinara sauce

Cheesy Fried Mashed Potato Balls

  • Author: Joanie Simon
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 14 balls 1x


Mashed potatoes, stuffed with cheese then fried, for a comforting appetizer or side dish!


  • 6 small russet potatoes – peeled and cut into quarters
  • water for boiling
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 c sour cream
  • 1/2 c milk (I used whole, but 2% or skim work, too)
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 16 1-oz square cubes of cheese
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1 ½ c panko
  • frying oil (enough to fill a frying pan 1 inch deep)


  1. Boil potatoes in salted water until cooked through and easily mash-able
  2. Drain off water and place potatoes back in the pot
  3. Thoroughly mash with 3/4 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup milk, 1 tsp granulated garlic and 1/2 tsp salt
  4. Once potatoes have cooled and are easy to handle, scoop out some potato with your hand (approximately 1/4 to half cup…depending on the size you want your balls).
  5. Roll the mashed potato scoop into a ball and the take a piece of cheese and press it into the center of the ball, rolling the ball more to cover up the hole and ensuring the cheese is in the center.  If you need help covering the hole, just add more mashed potatoes, like edible spackle. Repeat until you’ve used up all the mashed potatoes (approx 16 large size potato balls).
  6. Once all balls are formed, heat up the oil over medium high heat to a desired temp of 375F and pre-heat oven to 250 degrees with a cooling rack inside.  The oil should be deep enough so that a ball can be half submerged.
  7. Take a ball and roll it in the the flour, dusting the outside.  Then roll it in egg, coating it. Allow excess egg to drip off and roll the ball then in panko. The egg should cause the panko to adhere.
  8. Place panko coated ball in the frying oil and allow to sit for 45 seconds undisturbed, then turn it in the oil once a minute until browned and crispy on all sides.
  9. Once fully browned, using tongs, place finished balls on the cooling rack in the oven to keep warm and cook through the cheese.
  10. Repeat with each ball, dredging in flour, egg, panko, frying and placing in the oven.
  11. Serve the potato balls warm so that the cheese is melty.
  12. Optional garnish can include your favorite marinara or fancy ketchup.


For the frying oil, I especially like using coconut oil because of the high smoke point.

Oil should be at 375F to achieve a nice fry.

  • Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: panko, cheese, cheddar, fried, mashed potatoes, potoatoes, appetizer