Air Fryer Mashed Potato Balls You’re Sure to Love

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Ever find yourself with a mountain of leftover mashed potatoes after a big meal and wonder what to do with them? Here’s a brilliant idea that’s not only resourceful but also incredibly delicious: air fryer mashed potato balls. This dish turns mundane leftovers into crispy, cheesy orbs of joy, perfect as a snack or a unique side dish.

Why You’ll Love Air Fryer Mashed Potato Balls

These mashed potato balls are the perfect combination of convenience and flavor. Not only do they help you reduce food waste by using up leftover mashed potatoes, but they also offer a crispy exterior surrounding a soft, cheesy center that’s just irresistible. And the best part? They’re made in an air fryer, giving you that delightful crunch without all the oil of traditional frying. It’s a guilt-free pleasure that’s easy on the waistline but heavy on taste.

Tip: For an extra cheesy experience, try stuffing the balls with a cube of mozzarella before breading.

The versatility of this dish allows for endless customization. Whether you’re a fan of sharp cheddar, crave the smokiness of bacon, or prefer the freshness of chives and green onions, you can adjust the ingredients to suit your taste. Imagine biting into a crispy ball to find a heart of gooey cheese and flavorful mix-ins. It’s a culinary surprise that delights with every bite.

The Magic of Air Frying

Air frying has revolutionized home cooking, offering a healthier alternative to deep frying. By circulating hot air around the food, it achieves a crispy texture without the need for excessive oil. This method not only makes dishes like mashed potato balls healthier but also simplifies cleanup. No more dealing with a pot full of used oil. Plus, the air fryer cooks food quickly, so you’ll have your snack ready in no time.

Tip: Ensure your air fryer is preheated for the best texture on your mashed potato balls.

If you’re in the market for an air fryer, consider one with a spacious basket to accommodate multiple potato balls at once. This not only speeds up cooking time but also ensures even circulation of hot air for uniformly crispy results. For your convenience, here’s a link to a selection of air fryers that would be perfect for this recipe: browse air fryers. Choose the one that best fits your kitchen and lifestyle needs.

Customizing Your Potato Balls

One of the joys of cooking is making a recipe your own, and these mashed potato balls are a perfect canvas for your culinary creativity. From the mix-ins to the coatings, you can tailor every aspect to your liking. Add a dash of spice with jalapeños, or keep it classic with bacon and cheese. The possibilities are endless, allowing you to reinvent this dish in countless delicious ways.

Tip: Experiment with different types of cheese for a variety of flavors and textures.

Not only is this recipe a fantastic way to use up leftovers, but it’s also a great opportunity to involve the whole family in the cooking process. Kids love getting their hands dirty, and rolling the potato mixture into balls is a fun and engaging activity. Plus, they can personalize their balls with their favorite ingredients, making this dish a hit with both young and old alike.

In conclusion, air fryer mashed potato balls are a game-changer for anyone looking to transform simple leftovers into something extraordinary. They’re crispy, they’re cheesy, and they’re utterly delicious. Whether you’re serving them as a snack during game day, as a side dish for a family dinner, or simply indulging in a late-night treat, they’re sure to be a crowd-pleaser. So next time you find yourself with a pot of cold mashed potatoes, remember this recipe and get ready to impress your taste buds and your loved ones.

Air Fryer Mashed Potato Balls

Course: SnackCuisine: American


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Transform your leftover mashed potatoes into crispy, golden, cheesy delights with this air fryer mashed potato balls recipe.


  • 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cooked bacon (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

  • 1 beaten egg


  • In a large bowl, combine mashed potatoes, cheddar cheese, bacon (if using), and chives. Season with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Mix thoroughly until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Form the potato mixture into 1-inch balls. If the mixture is too soft, refrigerate for 10-15 minutes to firm up. This will make it easier to handle.
  • Mix panko breadcrumbs with melted butter in a shallow dish. Roll each potato ball in the beaten egg, then coat evenly with the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 400°F. Place the breaded potato balls in the air fryer basket, making sure they are not touching. Air fry for 10-15 minutes, or until the balls are golden brown and crispy.
  • Let the potato balls cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy them as is, or with your favorite dipping sauce.


  • If the mixture is too sticky to form into balls, add a little flour to help bind it.
  • For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon or replace it with a vegetarian alternative.
  • These potato balls can be frozen before frying. Freeze on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag. Air fry from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I make these potato balls without an air fryer?
Yes, you can bake them in an oven preheated to 425°F for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. You may need to flip them halfway through baking to ensure even crispiness.

Q: How long can I store leftover air fryer mashed potato balls?
Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer at 350°F for 3-5 minutes to recrisp before serving.

Q: Can I use instant mashed potatoes for this recipe?
Yes, you can use instant mashed potatoes, but the texture and flavor may vary from using homemade mashed potatoes. Ensure the instant mashed potatoes are thick and well-seasoned for the best results.

Q: Can I add other ingredients to the potato mixture?
Absolutely! Feel free to get creative by adding green onions, diced jalapeños, or different cheeses. Adjust the seasoning as needed to complement your additions.

Jamie Anderson
Jamie Anderson
Hey there! I'm Jamie Anderson. Born and raised in the heart of New York City, I've always had this crazy love for food and the stories behind it. I like to share everything from those "Aha!" cooking moments to deeper dives into what's really happening in the food world. Whether you're here for a trip down culinary memory lane, some kitchen hacks, or just curious about your favorite eateries, I hope you find something delightful!

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