Cheesy Roasted Garlic Potato Balls

Cheesy Roasted Garlic Potato Balls

Cheesy Roasted Garlic Potato balls are basically the best way to use up holiday leftovers. Ever. 

I have discovered the ultimate way to use up leftover mashed potatoes and the perfect appetizer for holiday cocktail parties. First you mix leftover potatoes with fresh roasted garlic and shredded Gruyere cheese. Next they are coated in a mixture of regular and panko bread crumbs. Finally, you take the cheesy roasted garlic potato balls and fry them until they are perfectly golden brown. These Cheesy Roasted Garlic Potato Balls are crispy on the outside and oh so soft and cheesy on the inside.

Cheesy Roasted Garlic Potato balls are basically the best way to use up holiday leftovers. Ever.

As if I really needed another way to eat mashed potatoes. But after trying something similar to these potato balls out at a local restaurant, I couldn’t resist the temptation to make them at home. I mean really, there is no possible way that you could go wrong with fried mashed potatoes. Am I right?!

The numbers of combinations that you could do with this recipe are essentially endless. I chose roasted garlic simply because I love the way it makes your house smell and the sweet taste is always a welcome addition to mashed potatoes. And I chose Gruyere cheese because its sweet but slightly salty flavor was the perfect compliment to the garlic and mashed potatoes.

If you’re looking for a dipping sauce to go with Cheesy Roasted Garlic Potato Balls an aioli would be good, as would ranch. Obviously.

Cheesy Roasted Garlic Potato balls are basically the best way to use up holiday leftovers. Ever.

Updated: Originally posted in 2009. Recipe and photos updated 2016.

Cheesy Roasted Garlic Potato balls are basically the best way to use up holiday leftovers. Ever.

Cheesy Roasted Garlic Potato Balls

Print Recipe
Makes about 20 balls Prep Time: Cook Time:


  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • kosher salt
  • 2 cups leftover stiff mashed potatoes, at room temperature
  • 2 cups freshly shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • oil for frying



Preheat oven to 400 degrees.


Cut 1/4 inch off the top of the bulb of garlic to expose the cloves beneath, but do not peel the garlic, you want to roast it in the skin. Place clove on a piece of aluminum foil, place butter on top, pour lemon juice over the garlic and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bring up all sides of aluminum foil and twist together to close. Cook for 60 minutes or until garlic cloves are soft and golden in color. Allow to cool.


Place mashed potatoes in a bowl. Once garlic has cooled use a fork to remove cloves. Add roasted garlic cloves to mashed potatoes. Stir in Gruyere cheese.


Using about a tablespoon of the mixture. Roll into balls.


In one bowl beat the eggs. In another bowl combine equal parts plain bread crumbs and panko bread crumbs.


Dip each ball into egg, then coat in bread crumbs. Then dip in egg and bread crumbs again to double coat. Repeat with remaining potato balls.


Heat 2 inches of oil in a large pan or pot. Once oil starts to shimmer sprinkle in a few bread crumbs, if it sizzles the oil is ready. Fry potato balls in batches until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.


Using a slotted spoon transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with kosher salt, allow to cool for a couple of minutes.





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  • amy

    Oh, these look delicious! And I have a bowl of left over mashed potatoes in the fridge calling out for this kind of treatment. thanks for posting!

  • Amy

    They look delicious. I will have to try that next time I have leftover potatoes.

  • YUM!!! These sound amazing…and totally creative! Well done. Will have to keep these in mind for my next batch of leftover mashed potatoes… :)

  • Look absolutely lovely. I adore potatoes in every shape and form, and I’ll try these – that’s for sure.

  • I love how crunchy, yet soft on the inside these must be! Will be making a note to come back to this recipe when I have leftover mashed potatoes!

  • Love it, love it, love it!!!

  • i usually make cheese balls but ur recipe is really nice… :) what are panko bread crumbs ?

  • MB

    I don’t usually have left over mashed potatoes but think I could even make these.

    There is a place in the North End (Boston) that makes these. They call them Panzarotti. They are absolutely delicious!


  • OOOOH they look so good. I’d be tempted to make mashed potatoes just to make these.

  • i want to eat these right now. they look amazing! I wonder if you could bake them instead of fry them?

  • Jessica

    These are croquettes.

    And whatever place is calling them a Panzerotti is hilariously wrong – this isn’t even close to what a panzerotti is.

  • Thank you everyone for your nice comments! BNDQ8- panko bread crumbs are japanese bread crumbs made from bread without crust so they produce a lighter crispier texture than regular bread crumbs. You can usually find them in the Asian aisle or international food section of your local supermarket.
    Megan- I haven’t tried baking them so I can’t recommend it but if you try it let me know!
    Jessica- Thanks for the clarification.

  • I need to try this out promptly. I finally bought Panko a few weeks ago, so I should try them out with this dish. Thanks!

  • We made about three dozen of these for a New Year’s Day potluck party. Everyone loved them, but I thought they were disappointingly bland. They needed a sauce or dip of some sort — a creamy chipotle sauce or something sweet like a habanero glaze. (Perhaps something with a bite like fresh rosemary?)

    But, again, everyone else loved them. I ran out of panko near the end and ate the garlicky, cheesy, mashed potatoes for lunch the next day and liked it more than the balls.

    If you’re thinking of giving this a try, please do two things: (1) Remember to double-coat the potatoes. Otherwise, the fried shell will split and slough off. (2) Try a creamy-spicy or sweet-spicy dip or sauce and let us know what you think.

  • Todd- Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I am happy to hear that most people at your party liked them but sorry to hear that you didn’t like them as much as you hoped. While I liked them on their own, I can say that they would be delicious with some kind of sauce as well. I particularly like your idea of a cream chipotle sauce. I’ll have to mess with that one. Thanks!

  • I feel so lucky to have a stash of leftover mashed potatoes right now. I’m totally making this tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • I have tried these, super easy and super delicious! Thanks

  • You’re welcome Deborah!

  • Jerry s

    OK, for those of us over the pond, what is panko bread crumbs, if we can’t get it what do we substitute? One of the hardest parts of being in Europe, as a US expat, is finding the right materials to cook etc. Thanks, this looks great!

  • Hi Jerry- Panko are Japanese breadcrumbs that produce a lighter crunchier texture than regular bread crumbs. You can substitute regular store bought bread crumbs if you need to. However, you will be able to get closer to the panko bread crumb texture if you make your own bread crumbs. Simply remove the crust from some fluffy white bread, and place in a blender or use the shredding attachment to a food processor and process until coarse crumbs. Then bake in a 300 degree oven for about 5 – 7 minutes or until the bread crumbs are dry. Hope this helps!

  • It’s 9am here, but I want to make this now! Thanks for sharing.

  • Evo

    I won’t be waiting until the next New Year’s Eve to make these! Yum!

  • This looks absolutely fantastic…Thanks so much for the recipe, can not wait to try!

  • Wow. Those sound real good. I will definitely try this. And I learned what panko bread crumbs are. Thanks!

  • Oh wow, these look tasty. I’m just glad my stepson isn’t reading this post over my shoulder, because he would start demanding them. I will definitely try this!

  • hmmmmm yumy!!!!!!!!!!

  • They look really good. ☺

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  • Marcie

    I made these tonight! I followed the directions except for a few things. I did not double coat them, and I baked them instead of frying them. I used all panko and no regular bread crumbs. I added paprika and parsley to the bread crumbs because we like very flavorful food in our house. I baked them at 375 for 30 minutes, and the breadcrumbs were so perfect, crispy and crunchy and just light brown. Very yummy. I too was digging in my fridge for some kind of sauce…it needed something but I didn’t have anything and didn’t have the time to make anything. They were still good on their own. Pretty easy. I used red potatoes with their skin still on. So creamy, I wouldn’t use russets.

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  • Oh! This looks fabulous! Thanks for the recipe

  • Kitty Wampus

    I’ve made all kinds of different things similar to this because I ALWAYS have leftover mashed potatoes. I tried these and while they were super tasty, the bulk of them split open on me. I did double-coat them, but most of them just seemed to explode. Am I doing something wrong? Any suggestions on how to keep them from gooing all over the place like that?

  • Hi Kitty, I’m not sure why that happened. Did they ooze out from the filling? If that is the case then maybe the potatoes were a little too warm prior to frying.

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