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Air Fryer Mashed Potato Bites with Bacon

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These air fryer mashed potato bites are a must make recipe. Leftover mashed potatoes, cheddar cheese, green onions, bacon all rolled in crispy panko bread crumbs and air fried to golden crispy doneness. These mashed potato balls are a huge hit for an appetizer or side to pair with your dinner.

Five mashed potato balls sitting on a black skillet with dipping sauce on the side.

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Never toss out those leftover potatoes ever again. If you love potato cakes, you will love these mashed potato bites with bacon.

Potato bites are similar to a fritter. You might like to try out these zucchini fritters, which are crispy outside tender center. Or for another tasty air fryer recipe, whip up these garlic parmesan air fryer fries!

Why this recipe works!

  • Great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes from dinner last night.
  • Crispy outside with a creamy potato filling.
  • Bursting with bacon, cheese, and crispy panko.
  • Minimal amounts of oil used, vs deep frying.

Key Ingredients

  • Potatoes – Mashed, cold is best.
  • Cheese – Cheddar, shredded.
  • Green Onions – Finely diced
  • Egg – Whisked.
  • Panko – Seasoned.
  • Bacon – Cooked, crumbled.

The complete list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.

How To Make

Collage of creating mashed potato balls.
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed potatoes, shredded cheese, chopped green onions, and crumbled bacon.
  2. Shape the mixture into balls using an ice cream scoop or your hands. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 10 minutes.
  3. In one shallow bowl, whisk the eggs. In another shallow bowl, place the panko breadcrumbs.
  4. Dip each mashed potato ball into the egg mixture, then roll it in the panko breadcrumbs until evenly coated. Place the balls back on the baking sheet. (Photos 1,2 & 3)
Collage of unbaked mashed potato balls in an air fryer and baked mashed potato balls on a plate.
  1. Spray the air fryer rack with cooking oil. Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (191°C).
  2. Place as many mashed potato balls into the air fryer basket as you can fit without overcrowding and not touching. Cook for 15-18 minutes, checking frequently and shaking the basket to avoid sticking. (Photo 4)
  3. Let the mashed potato balls cool for at least 10 minutes before serving with sour cream, ketchup, or your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy! (Photo 5)
Six mashed potato balls sitting on a black skillet with a sauce on the side.

Tips from our Recipe Developer

  • Taste as you go and adjust seasoning as needed. Don’t be afraid to add more salt, pepper, or spices to achieve the desired taste.
  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket or the baking sheet to ensure even cooking and browning.
  • Use cooking spray or a brush to apply a thin layer of oil to the air fryer basket or baking sheet to prevent sticking.
  • Let the cooked food rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld and the texture to set.
  • Experiment with different flavor combinations and variations to make the recipe your own. Have fun and enjoy the cooking process!

Storing Tips

Refrigerator

To store the potato balls, allow them to cool to room temperature, then place them in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. You can store them in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Freezing

You can also freeze the potato balls for longer-term storage. After shaping the potato mixture into balls, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze them for 1-2 hours.

Once frozen, transfer them to a resealable plastic bag or airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

Reheating

To reheat the frozen potato balls, preheat your air fryer to 375°F (191 °C). Place the frozen balls in the air fryer basket and cook for 10-12 minutes or until heated through and crispy on the outside.

You may need to shake the basket occasionally to ensure even cooking. Alternatively, you can reheat the frozen potato balls in a preheated oven at 375°F (191 °C). for 15-20 minutes.

What To Serve With Air Fryer Potato balls

These can be served as an appetizer or a side dish to go with dinner. You can check out these maple pork chops, or even this jumbo shrimp.

Feel free to play around with how you want to serve up your mashed potato balls.

Mashed potato balls sitting on a white plate.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use leftover mashed potatoes for this recipe?

Yes, you can use leftover mashed potatoes for this recipe. Just make sure they are not too wet, as this can make it difficult to shape the mixture into balls.

Can I omit the bacon and make the mashed potato balls vegetarian?

Yes, you can omit the bacon and make the balls vegetarian. You can also substitute the bacon with vegetarian bacon or leave it out entirely.

Can I use a different type of cheese in this recipe?

You can use a different type of cheese in this recipe. Cheddar, mozzarella, or gouda are good options. You can also use a combination of cheeses for added flavor.

How do I know when the mashed potato balls are cooked?

The mashed potato balls should be golden brown and crispy on the outside when they are cooked. To test for doneness, you can insert a toothpick into the center of a ball. If it comes out clean, the balls are done.

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Mashed potato balls in a skillet sitting on a tablecloth.
5 from 1 vote

Air Fryer Mashed Potato Bites


Author: Kim Schob
Course: Appetizer & Snacks
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Mashed potato bites are a delicious air fryer appetizer. This is a great way to use leftover mashed potatoes. A crispy outside tender filling.

Ingredients 

  • 4 cups (840 g) leftover mashed potatoes cold is best, so they keep shape
  • 1 cup (113 g) cheddar cheese
  • 4 green onions
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups (120 g) seasoned panko
  • 6 slices of cooked bacon

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed potatoes, shredded cheese, chopped green onions, and crumbled bacon.
  • Shape the mixture into balls using an ice cream scoop or your hands. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 10 minutes.
  • In one shallow bowl, whisk the eggs. In another shallow bowl, place the panko breadcrumbs.
  • Dip each mashed potato ball into the egg mixture, then coat it evenly in the panko breadcrumbs. Place the balls back on the baking sheet.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 375 °F (191 °C) Spray the air fryer rack with cooking oil.
  • Place as many mashed potato balls into the air fryer basket as you can fit without overcrowding or touching. Cook in batches if necessary.
  • Cook the balls for 15-18 minutes, checking frequently and shaking the basket to avoid sticking.
  • Let the mashed potato balls cool for at least 10 minutes before serving with your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Potatoes – Cold potatoes work best as it helps hold the shape of the balls. 
  • Bacon – You can leave out the bacon if you want to make a meatless potato bites recipe. 
  • Breadcrumbs – If you don’t have panko, Italian flavored breadcrumbs will work just as good. 
  • Spray Balls – Use some cooking spray to create a golden and crunchy texture to the balls. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 108kcal (5%) Carbohydrates: 14g (5%) Protein: 5g (10%) Fat: 4g (6%) Saturated Fat: 2g (13%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0.01g Cholesterol: 24mg (8%) Sodium: 140mg (6%) Potassium: 173mg (5%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 1g (1%) Vitamin A: 107IU (2%) Vitamin C: 10mg (12%) Vitamin D: 0.1µg (1%) Calcium: 59mg (6%) Iron: 1mg (6%)

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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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