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Growing up in the South, we made use of everything, little or nothing went to waste.  This was one of the ways my family used up leftover mashed potatoes and they were on of my favorite things to have for breakfast along with eggs and sausage or ham.  It's hard to describe how good the combination Breakfast Potato Pattiesof a fried egg with still-liquid yolk is with these potato patties.  The combination is heavenly.
 
We served these yummy potato patties at Hizzoner's  as one of the choices of breakfast sides.  We made ours out of mashed potatoes we made specifically for the potato patties.  You can use leftover mashed potatoes or start from scratch by cooking some potatoes, mashing them with just  a little milk and butter and chilling them overnight.  

Potato patties can be a little tricky if you don't know the secrets.   One of the big secrets is to use stiff mashed potatoes, so if you have leftover mashed potatoes they need to be completely and thoroughly chilled so that they are stiff and thick.

The following measurements are for  starting with raw potatoes and making the patties.  If you are using leftover mashed potatoes, these measurements may need to be more or less.   Use your eye and your common sense.  

We counted two potato patties as a serving.  This recipe makes about 6-8 servings depending on how big you make them.  We used a scoop to measure them out.  

About 6 cups of cubed potatoes (russet, Yukon gold, red, etc)
2 pats of butter
splash of milk
1/2 cup flour or plain bread crumbs - optional
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup chopped, cooked bacon or real bacon bits
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup sour cream
black pepper  (you won't need much salt if you use the bacon)
oil and butter for sauteing  

1.  Put potatoes in cold water and bring to boil, turn down and simmer till potatoes are just done.   Drain and mash with a pat of butter and splash of milk.  Some small lumps are just fine.  Don't use much milk because you want the potatoes to be stiff.   
          Put the potatoes in the refrigerator until they are cold.   

2.   In bowl combine the potatoes with the egg, cheddar cheese, bacon bits, green onions and sour cream.   Only if the potatoes seem very soft should you use the flour or bread crumbs.  The mixture should be the consistency of stiff mashed potatoes.  

At this point you can cook up the potato patties or refrigerate the mix for the next morning.  This mixture will keep for several days well chilled and you can make up a batch and have potato patties for breakfast all week, using a bit each day.  

3.  Heat a large non stick skillet to  medium high.   Put a little oil and a pat of butter in the skillet and when the butter stops foaming it is ready to use.  Use a cookie or ice cream scoop to scoop out the potato patties and place them in the hot oil.    Gently pat  down to make a patty.  

Cook about 4 to 5  minutes per side until they have a nice golden brown crispy crust on each side and feel just firm to the touch. 

You don't have to serve these potato patties just for breakfast, you know, you can serve them as a side dish for any occasion.