a formula for happiness: everything-bar-the-kitchen-sink potato cakes

potato and vegetable cakes
Another fabulous way to love your leftovers is by making hearty fried potato and vegetable cakes. I have to confess that if you fry them, then they are not for the calorie-conscious but I'm guessing you're starting that healthy eating regime in 2013.

By combining an equal amount of leftover cooked potato with vegetables, you have a great base for a breakfast with bacon and eggs or a perfect lunch with smoked salmon.

We recently had some with our Balinese-style duck curry, with a little extra curry spicing in the potato mix. But my absolute all-time favourite addition to potato cakes is a healthy dollop of leftover cauliflower cheese.

Perfect party nibbles too, served warm with a tomato salsa.

Makes 4 large or 8 small cakes
Skill level: Easy

oil and butter for frying
1 x English onion, very finely chopped
300g leftover cooked potato (mashed is best)
300g leftover cooked vegetables - I particularly like using roasted parsnips as well as peas, spring onions, brussel sprouts, savoy cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, roasted squash or runner beans, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
25g cheddar cheese, grated
fine semolina or plain flour


  1. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and gently fry the chopped onions for about 10 minutes until soft and golden.
  2. Transfer the cooked onions to a mixing bowl and combine with the mashed potatoes, chopped vegetables and cheese. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Dust your hands with a little flour before forming the mixture into cakes. I first make a ball of the mixture before flattening with the palm of my hand or the bottom of a jam jar.
  4. At this point you can refrigerate for 20 minutes or so to firm up.
  5. Lightly dust the cakes with fine semolina or plain flour, on all sides.
  6. Heat a little oil with butter in a large frying pan, and then add the cakes.
  7. They will need to fry for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side to develop a golden crust. You could flash fry them on each side, before transferring them to the oven for 10 minutes to finish. Alternatively opt-out completely from frying - just brush with a little melted butter and bake at 200C / Gas Mark 6 for 20 to 25 minutes.

  • Add lardons of bacon to the onion while cooking, for a more substantial potato cake. Top with a fried egg and a splash of Worcestershire sauce.
  • Spice up your potato cakes with curry spices or fresh chillies.
  • A potato cake served with smoked salmon, rocket leaves, a spoonful of sour cream with lime juice and fresh chives makes one of my favourite lunches.
  • These freeze very well and cook well from frozen.


Petra08 said...

This sounds like a great way to use left overs and I can never resist cheese and potato!

Karen S Booth said...

PERFECT recipe for what I have lurking in my fridge right now! I just popped over to wish you a very happy New Year! Love Karen xxxx

o cozinheiro este algarve said...

Absolutely a formula for happiness in anyone´s house.A welcome alternative to bubble and SCREECH.
A deliciously happy new year to you!!!

Stacy said...

Love these and love the even crispier exteriors you got the most recent version with wild leeks. I make what I call potato patties, but never thought to add leftover veg. You are brilliant!