Potato Croquettes

NEED FIRST-CLASS FINGER-FOOD FOR YOUR NEXT COCKTAIL PARTY? Consider Potato Croquettes. Everybody loves these little morsels that are oh-so-crunchy on the outside, and smooth and creamy on the inside. I make them this way:Start with four cups of plain, unbuttered mashed potatoes. You can make your own from fresh, peeled potatoes or — and please don’t shoot me for suggesting this —  from boxed, “instant” potato flakes. Let the potatoes cool to room-temperature before proceeding.

Add one beaten egg yolk to the mashed potatoes, and mix well.

Stir in 2 tablespoons of fresh, minced parsley…

And add salt and pepper to taste.

You can add other flavorings, too, if you wish. Like Parmesan cheese? Add it. Want a little spice in your life? Add a pinch of cayenne pepper.  Believe me, this recipe invites all kinds of experimentation.

In other words, it’s a recipe you can make entirely your own.

Now set up a work station, by arranging 3 pie plates on your counter top.

Pour all-purpose flour (or a gluten-free substitute) in the pie plate that’s nearest your mashed potatoes.

In the next plate, pour in one egg yolk beaten with one tablespoon of water. Pour dried breadcrumbs in the third plate.

A note about breadcrumbs: I’ve experimented with different types, and find I really, really love “Panko.” Panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs) delivers the mightiest crunch. But if you are on a gluten-free diet, use whatever wheat-free crumbs you like.

Oh. Just make sure the crumbs are dried. I tried making croquettes with fresh bread crumbs, and had to throw the whole batch out.

Please learn from my mistakes.

You’ll also want to have a sheet of waxed paper and some paper towels nearby.

This is my finished work-station.

Grab a fist-full of mashed potatoes…

And roll it between your palms to form a fat cylinder, roughly 1 inch wide by 1 1/2- to 2-inches long. If your cylinder is too thin,  it will disintegrate during the coating-process. Trust me on this one.

Roll the log in the flour…

Then in the beaten egg…

And finally, in the breadcrumbs.

Place the croquette on waxed paper.

Form and coat the rest of the croquettes. As you can see, I managed to achieve 12 handsome appetizers from my four-cups-worth of mashed potatoes.

Let’s fry these babies! In a heavy-bottomed pot,  pour vegetable oil to a depth of 2 inches. Attach a candy-thermometer to the pot.

Don’t have a candy thermometer? Get one. It will take all the guess-work out of your deep-frying adventures.

Heat the oil to 350 degrees F.

Now do a test: slip one croquette into the hot oil. Let it cook until beautifully browned and crisp — about one minute.

Retrieve the beautiful morsel with a slotted spatula, and then let it drain on several layers of paper towels.

Poof! You’re a master croquette-maker now. This means you’re qualified to fry two or three logs at a time.

To serve, arrange the croquettes on a platter. I stacked mine like “Lincoln Logs.”

And speaking of Lincoln…have you seen the new film with Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Field?

It is a well-known fact that Abraham and Mary Todd-Lincoln loved Potato Croquettes, and requested them at every cocktail party they attended.

Okay. I just made that up.

In the comments field below, let me know if you’ve tried (or hope to try) these crisp and creamy appetizers.  I don’t think they require a dipping sauce, but if you want one, simply arrange the croquettes around a small bowl of Dijon mustard.

And here’s a copy-and-paste version of the above recipe:

Potato Croquettes
Kevin Lee Jacobs, A Garden for the House (dot) com.
Ingredients for about 12 appetizers
4 cups un-buttered mashed potatoes, made from peeled potatoes* or “instant” potato flakes
1 egg yolk, beaten
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional flavorings: one 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese; a pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or a gluten-free substitute)
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
1 cup dried bread crumbs (can use gluten-free crumbs)
Vegetable oil

*2 pounds of potatoes will give you approximately 4 cups of mashed potatoes

Special equipment – 3 pie plates; a heavy-bottomed sauce pan that will hold at least 1 quart; a candy thermometer; a sheet of waxed paper

1. The mashed potatoes – Add the beaten egg yolk and minced parsley to the mashed potatoes; mix well. Stir in other flavorings, too, if you are using them.
2. Set up an “assembly-line” –  Line up 3 pie plates on your work-surface. Pour the flour into the first plate, the egg and water mixture into the second plate, and the breadcrumbs into the third plate.
3. Forming the croquettes – Take a fist-full of the mashed potato mixture, and roll it between your palms to create a fat cylinder, approximately 1 inch wide by 1 1/2- to 2-inches long.
4. Coating the croquettes – Roll each cylinder first in the flour, then the egg mixture, and finally, the bread crumbs. Set each appetizer on a sheet of waxed paper.
5. Frying the croquettes – In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, pour the vegetable oil to a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F. (A candy thermometer is helpful here.)
Do a test – carefully slip one croquette into the hot oil, and let it cook until it becomes crisp and brown on all sides — about one minute. Remove with a slotted spatula, and let drain on several layers of paper towels. Fry the remaining croquettes 2 or 3 at a time, and drain these, too, on paper towels.
Serving – Croquettes are deliciously crisp and creamy as is. But if you want a dipping sauce, consider arranging the appetizers around a small bowl of Dijon mustard.

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Related Posts:
Bacon-Wrapped Grissini
Puff-Pastry Cheese Straws
Angelic Zucchini Fritters


  1. Love mashed potatoes. Have to try these! Thank you!

  2. Cary Bradley says:

    I really do think we were separated at birth ;). Potato croquettes! Kevin, again you nailed one of my favorite foods, the humble potato. You never cease to amaze me in the myriad different things you tackle, and in the fact that most of them are based around my favorite foods :)! I do have an abundance of leftover mashed potatoes (have been eating them at every meal since 2 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, and was considering making a Shepherd’s Pie. I think these croquettes speak more to my taste today. Thanks for this and all your wonderful suggestions. Always thankful for you!

  3. Do these freeze well, Kevin?

  4. I will make these for Christmas Eve, they look yummy. Maybe garlic mashed potatoes??

  5. the croquettes are on my “to do” list….made the paillettes about 2 weeks ago, made the bacon grissini about 5 days ago & saw “Lincoln” last night. Next….? btw, did you hear my car horn as i passed by 3007 Thursday afternoon?

  6. the croquettes are on my “to do” list. made the paillettes about 2 weeks ago, made the bacon grissini about 5 days ago. Next…? btw, did you hear my car horn as i passed by 3007 Thursday afternoon?

  7. the croquettes are on my “to do” list. i made the paillettes about 3 weeks ago, i made the bacon grisiini about 5 days ago…..Next? btw, did you hear my car horn as i passed by 3007 Thursday?

  8. ooops, sorry about the triplicate postings…..

  9. Any particular potato you would recommend to use? Thanks!

  10. I grew up on something similar………….mashed potato patties. We used about the same ingredients, left over mashed potatoes, egg and any desired flavorings. We did not coat them in anything and we fried the patties in bacon grease. That added to the taste. Your idea is much nicer for a party……………..i really like the idea of coating in panko. You do come up with some superb ideas. Thanks~

  11. Beverly, zone 6 eastern PA says:

    I wonder how many raw potatoes would morph into four cups of mashed potatoes?
    Is there a particular weight of potatoes you start with?

    For my favorite Julia Child recipe, sausage and potato casserole, I weigh the potatoes on the kitchen scale first to be sure I am well within the ball park.

    And I am with Kate at message #9 wondering if there is a type of potato you prefer for this yummy looking recipe?

    I am happy to say I already have a candy thermometer, purchased after encountering many enticing recipes calling for that piece of equipment and getting frustrated without one in my arsenal.

    Thanks for cheering up my Sunday morning AGAIN !! Love your ideas and how you share them.

  12. Julie – These croquettes are definitely better when fresh. But you can fry, freeze and then reheat in a 400-degree oven for about 18 minutes.

    Gloria – Garlic-mashed potatoes would make delicious croquettes!

    Dennis – If you try these croquettes, I hope you’ll met me know how they turn out for you.

    Kate -I used ‘Red Norland’ from my garden. But any type of potato will do.

    Beverly – Damn. I knew someone would ask that question! And here’s the rule-of-thumb answer: 2 pounds of potatoes equals approximately 4 cups mashed potatoes. I’ll add this bit of information to the recipe above.

  13. Heather O'Shaughnessy says:

    These look wonderful…and I’m tempted to try them with some chives or basil too…..

  14. Do you think there’s ANY chance I could bake these rather than frying them?

  15. We wanted to thank you our Thanksgiving pumpkin pie with dark rum and now we can’t wait to try these : )

  16. Mother made potato pancakes with leftover mashed potatoes, coated them in flour and fried them in bacon drippings

  17. Brenda Johnson says:

    Once again- thank you for the taste testing opportunity!!!! These were crisp and crunchy on the outside… creamy and full of potato goodness on the inside- I agree perfect for entertaining or just because!!!!! (and certainly no dipping sauce required- these are able to stand alone just fine!)

  18. Will try them, and will use Bob’s Big Boy Bleu Cheese since I don’t care for Dijon. Thanks for all your info

  19. Looks Delish ! But I will most definately mix in some sharp grated cheddar !

  20. Antoniette says:

    omg those look so delicious! Of course, the weekend I start my “diet’ you post this. I can imagine some fried up bacon bits with cheddar, oh boy. Definately going on my Christmas Day appetizer platter, thanks Kevin!

  21. Susan in MI says:

    On my To Do list. Idaho spuds were on sale @ 10lbs for $2.00. Only needed 5 lbs but those were marked $2.97. Need to say which I purchased? Now I know what to do with the extras. Thanks! Will be adding garlic to these as well along with Dijon and honey dipping sauce.

  22. I love making these with leftover mashed potatoes. I typically use chopped chives from my garden instead of parsley. and for some reason have always shaped mine like crab cakes, but flattened like hockey pucks. It makes a nice serving disk for a dollop of sour cream and chive on top. There’s really no wrong way to serve potato!

  23. Anything deep fried is seductively tasty but OMG I’ll stick to crudités and dip. Too much obesity in the land!

  24. Diana Posthuma says:

    Hi Kevin,
    Would you be able to prepare these up to the deep frying stage, but freeze them before it, and then deep fry them when you are ready to have them?
    Some of my family despise eating potatoes, but Im sure they will eat them this way, and I am looking for stuff to freeze now for our ‘Strays, Waifs and Orphans’ Christmas lunch!

  25. Hey! What perfect timing for this recipe! What with all of the leftover mashed potatoes from Turkey Day! Hee hee!
    I will have to try these. And one of these days I’ll get myself an actual container for frying… I don’t like skillet deep-frying because of the mess/splatter…
    By the way, I made your root veggie pizza for an appetizer and it was a HIT. Now my boyfriend demands ricotta cheese on all of his pizza’s! Haha~
    Thank you, as always, for your wonderful recipes!

  26. Beverly, zone 6 eastern PA says:

    I made these with dinner this evening, Kevin, serving baked chicken, vegetables and homemade Irish Soda Bread. The croquettes were not hard to make, just a bit time consuming since it was my first time and I was feeling my way slowly. They formed up into log shapes very easily. I used Yukon Gold potatoes, mashing them with the electric mixer before allowing them to cool down and proceeding with the next steps.

    Your photo sequence convinced me to try the hot oil. My pan of choice was a tall Revereware copper-bottomed pan and the thermometer hung perfectly on the side. There was no splattering with the oil at the 2″ level.

    The outer crispiness of the finished product was wonderful. I cooked them for a minute each and it worked out so well. We will have the leftovers for breakfast.

    Because it is snowing here today, the first snow of this winter, I am stuck in the house and automatically inclined to try new recipes. I happened to have enough potatoes on hand. The Soda Bread was good, too – recipe taken from Alice Waters’ book called “In the Green Kitchen”. Two new recipes in one day! Thank you for expanding my culinary horizons.

  27. Janet G. Metzger says:

    Thank you for the step-by-step instructions AND photos. These remind me of the Cuban croquettes. I am glad to have a recipe!

  28. i saw someone ask but i did not see an answer, can these be baked instead of fried? they look so yummy and i have tons of potatoes.

  29. Diana Posthuma – Good news for you. As an experiment, I recently made and froze 8 “raw” croquettes. After they thawed in the fridge, I fried them. Success!

    Hi Mary & Kimberly – How I wish these could be baked. But they are only delicious when fried.

  30. Trudi Dido says:

    for some gluten free crunchy crumbs, I would suggest whizzing up some GF pretzels into crumbs or sometimes i use any gf cracker whizzed up in my blender.

  31. Amy Simonson says:

    You’ve done it again! I served these for dinner tonight with lobster! My husband was thoroughly impressed and my 5 year old who hates mashed potatoes (I know, what’s up with that?!) kept saying, “Mom, these are SO good!” I can’t wait, now, to try the cheese danish! Thanks again!

  32. Trudi Dido – Thanks for the gluten-free crumb-tips.

    Amy Simonson – Well. That is music to my ears!

  33. Marion Crutchfield says:

    My mother made these when I was a girl and I always meant to get the recipe from her…she once told me she froze them for awhile before frying them. Maybe it helped them stay together? I don’t know but these tasty little morsels will be gracing my family’s table soon. Maybe a little wasabi ranch dressing would be good too.

  34. These potato croquettes look really yummy.
    I have been making my mother-in-law’s turkey croquettes for over 30 years and they are really good so I am looking forward to making these. They are rolled just like hers.
    I just happen to have some potatoes that I thought I could make latkes with but instead I will make croquettes.
    Thank you for the recipes.

  35. I’ve made these with chopped garlic fried prawns and tarragon….yummmmmm!

  36. Judy G. – A potato croquette with garlic, fried prawns and tarragon…I’m swooning!

  37. We’ve made these for many years. My parents served them in their Italian restaurant as a side with veal dishes. We sometimes mix in some fresh herbs like dill and/or put a piece of mozzarella in the center. I especially like some garlic mixed in with mine. We’ve had luck making a big batch and freezing them. We put them in the freezer on a cookie sheet lined with freezer paper and when frozen put them in ziplock bags. We take out a few, coat them with the egg and breadcrumbs and fry them while still frozen.

  38. Ron F – Nice to meet you. Your idea of adding garlic to the croquettes sounds spot-on. I have a slew of these (already breaded) in my freezer right now, and will have to try frying them while still frozen, just as you do.

  39. They look so good! I will have to make them!

  40. Whenever I make anything crunchy fried, I mix some toasted wheat germ into my crumbs. It adds to the crunch. I also like to put grated Parmesan in the crumbs too. This recipe sounds yummy!

  41. Karen Wright says:

    Hi Kevin, I will definitely be trying these potato Croquettes. It is a great way to sneak some green leafy herbs into the potato lovers diet! Also, I want you to know that I told my sister, Irene that you are better than Martha Stewart for so many reasons. I can actually bring your suggestions into real life. Plus, I love your jokes! I suggested to Irene to start a blog like yours for her shop, Jackalope Moon Art Gallery and Vintage. Look her up. Keep all the great gardening and recipe tips coming. You are the Best. Thanks, Karen

  42. Sherlock says:

    mmmmmmmmmm! And when I saw your suggestion about a mustard dipping sauce, my mind immediately went to the time I tried my first Scotch Egg at a great pub called “The Scottish Arms”, here in St. Louis. I loved the mustard sauce they served with it!

    Now my mouth is watering & I find it hard to decide if I will make Potato Croquettes or Scotch Eggs next! lol

  43. The dinner I ate an hour ago is getting some fresh digestive enzymes down the hatch with all the saliva I’ve generated reading this potat
    o post and the piperde!

  44. Crushed corn flakes also make a nice and easy coating that browns beautifully.

  45. Shirley Welch says:

    These were absolutely delicious ! Wonderful recipe !

  46. These were sold at counter restaurants in Hawaii. There was usually some ground sausage mixed into the potatoes. Onolicious!

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