Although mashed potatoes are not typically on the menu at my house, for this first time in a while we had a craving for them and whipped up a batch of herby kale mashed potatoes from one of my favorite food blogs, Budget Bytes (recipe linked here if you want to make this too!). In usual form every time I make mashed potatoes, I made way too much, and now have a full container of them in my fridge calling my name. What to do with these leftovers? A fun idea came to my mind – turn them into crispy, cheesy, potato-y waffles.
This recipe took a couple of attempts to get right, but now that I have it down to a science, I’m so excited to share. I’ve been happily snacking on failed mashed potato waffles throughout the week after work, which honestly, is not a bad place to be. The key to this recipe is adding an egg to the potatoes to hold everything together in the waffle machine as it cooks. The proteins of one beaten egg is enough to keep everything in waffle form during cooking while not making it tough or gummy like adding additional flour or starch will. Skip this step, and you’ll have crispy mashed potatoes, but it will likely fall apart upon exiting the waffle machine. It’ll still taste good, but it won’t be a waffle.
To up the flavor of these waffles even more, I added additional herbs (I’ve been using fresh basil because that’s what I have on hand, but any tender herbs (dill, parsley, fennel fronds) would all be fantastic here). I also added a big addition of freshly ground pepper for that little bit of extra heat. Most importantly, I added cheese – in chunks, instead of grated. The chunks of cheese are imperative to the success of this recipe, because as the cheese melts, it creates super crispy/crunchy edges over the surface of the waffle and little melty pockets of cheese within. It’s truly magical and makes this waffle super decadent and fun to eat. Shredded cheese will work here if you’re in a pinch and that’s all you have, but if possible, definitely go for the cheese chunks. You’ll thank me.
This recipe is a great way to use up any leftovers from a meat and potatoes dinner, and is hopefully some good inspo for your Thanksgiving leftovers coming up soon! I’ve been eating these as a little snack after work, but these could definitely be dressed up for a meal. Make as a fun potato side for a post-holiday breakfast, top with sour cream and smoked salmon for a super-deluxe bite, or serve with a zesty side salad with lots of vinegar and acid, which will pair nicely with the carby, cheesy goodness of these waffles for a nice brunch.
Recipe down below, photos up top and below! This recipe is enough to make 4 small-ish waffles, so feel free to scale up if you have a lot of potatoes left over and are feeding a crowd!
Recipe: Waffled Mashed Potatoes
- 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
- Preferably these are cold and have been chilled overnight before use
- 1 egg, beaten
- ¼ cup freshly chopped basil
- Swap for dill or parsley here, or mix and match!
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ cup hard cheese, diced into small cubes
- Cheddar, manchego, swiss, gruyere, gouda cheeses would all be great here
- 1 tbsp butter, melted
- In a small bowl, crack and whisk one egg, and add it to the cold mashed potatoes. Stir to fully incorporate the egg into the mashed potatoes.
- Chop your herbs into a rough chop and add to the potatoes. Add the black pepper to the potatoes as well. Stir to fully combine.
- Use a knife to slice your cheese into small dice (about ⅛ – ¼ inch cubes). Add the small cheese cubes into the potatoes, and mix to thoroughly combine.
- Melt the butter either in the microwave or on the stovetop and set aside.
- Heat up your waffle maker until it’s fully warm and ready to go. Using a heat safe (silicone) brush, brush both sides of the waffle machine with melted butter. Using a half-cup measuring cup, scoop a half cup of the potato mixture and deposit it in the center of the hot waffle iron. Close the waffle iron and allow the potato mixture to cook fully, about 3-5 minutes depending on your machine. The waffle is complete when the waffle is golden brown, the cheese has melted and is becoming crispy, and the amount of steam reduces coming out of the machine. Once the waffle is golden brown and fully cooked through, carefully remove the waffle from the machine using a fork.
- Repeat Step 5 to make the remaining waffles. Store the completed potato waffles in a warm oven (200F) to keep warm until all are completed, or serve one at a time to enjoy immediately while hot (ideal serving method).