Say goodbye to plain mashed potatoes, and make these delightful Crispy Fried Mashed Potato Balls instead! They have a crispy coating made using crackers instead of bread crumbs, a soft and creamy mashed potato interior, and a cheesy center. This recipe is perfect for all holiday gatherings. Any time I make these they fly off the table, and people can never stop raving about them.
For this recipe, you will need:
Mashed potato filling:
- Potatoes - I recommend Russet or Yukon Gold
- Cream cheese, room temperature
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Chili flakes
- Garlic powder
- All purpose flour
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Crackers - I used Back To Nature Original Round Crackers, but you can use any other brand too! I find crackers to be a better alternative to bread crumbs - they have the same crispy texture but taste much better
- Shredded parmesan cheese
- Chili flakes
- Cubed mozzarella cheese (you can buy a block and cut it into cubes yourself)
HOW TO MAKE CRISPY FRIED MASHED POTATO BALLS
First, check out this video in which I demonstrate how to make these balls:
Now, let's walk through the steps:
1. Boil the potatoes
Peel the potatoes, chop them into medium sized cubes, and boil them in a saucepan until they are tender. A fork should be able to enter the potato without needing a lot of force, but the potatoes should not be mushy.
Drain the potatoes once they are boiled.
2. Prepare the mashed potato mixture
In a bowl, mash the potatoes using a fork or a potato masher. It's ok if there's a little texture in them.
Then add all the ingredients: cream cheese, cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, chili flakes, garlic powder, all purpose flour, and chopped parsley. Mix everything together and taste. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
Tip: At this point, the mixture should not be too wet or sticky, but also not too dry. You can adjust the consistency by adding a little more flour if needed.
3. Make the crispy coating
Crush the crackers using a pestle or in a food processor, and mix with the parmesan cheese and chili flakes.
Use a 2" cookie scoop to scoop up the potato mixture into a ball. Place it in your palm, and gentle flatten into a thick disc.
Place a cube of mozzarella cheese in the middle. Shape the mixture into a ball, trying your best to keep the cheese in the middle so it doesn't ooze out while frying. Place all the balls on a tray with parchment paper.
This process can be quite sticky. I recommend wiping your hands clean between every ball. If the mixture still feels too sticky, refrigerate for 20-30 minutes instead of adding more flour!
Transfer the potato balls to the freezer for 30 minutes. This is important as the balls will firm up, making it easier to coat them.
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Remove the potato balls from the freezer, and working one ball at a time, dip it in the egg, then coat with the crushed crackers, then back into the egg, and back into the crackers. Try to be as thorough as you can with these 4 coating steps, getting all sides covered. Place the balls back on the tray after coating them.
Place the balls back in the freezer as the oil heats.
In a heavy bottomed skillet, heat 2" of vegetable oil until it reaches about 330F. The oil should be hot, but not so hot that the potato balls get burnt.
Fry the potato balls in 2 batches, for about 6-8 minutes each.
Important tip: instead of letting the balls fry on one side all the way and then turning them over, keep turning them every 1 minute or so. If you let them cook fully on one side while the other side is still raw, the cheese will ooze out as you try to flip them.
Place the balls on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
6. Serve and enjoy!
That's it! Now it's time to enjoy this delicious side. These crispy fried mashed potato balls are best eaten hot right after frying, as they can lose their crispy texture over time.
If you enjoy this recipe, you will also love my other popular savory recipes:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes, you can make these potato balls in an air fryer. I recommend freezing them for 20 minutes before placing in the air fryer at 350F, spraying with some oil, and frying until they are golden on all sides. You may need to flip them over halfway through.
You can prepare these balls ahead of time, but I recommend not to fry them until you are ready to serve them. Instead, you can keep the fully assembled balls in the fridge for 1-2 days, or in the freezer for several weeks. Just make sure they are properly covered. If frozen, let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then fry.
You can keep these balls in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days, or in the fridge for 5 days. To reheat, I recommend using an air fryer or the oven at 350F until they are fully warmed up.
Yes, you can skip the mozzarella cheese in the middle, but don't skip the parmesan cheese and cheddar cheese.
Yes, you can use panko bread crumbs instead of crackers, but I recommend giving crackers a try! They taste a lot nicer.
This can happen if the balls aren't well coated, or the mozzarella cube isn't in the middle, so be careful during assembly. This can also happen if the temperature on one side of the ball is very different from the other side during frying. To prevent this, I recommend you keep flipping the balls every 1 minute so both sides heat evenly. Also be very gentle when flipping and handling the balls during the frying process.
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