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Potato Croquettes are golden fried mashed potato balls loaded with ham and cheese. They are crispy, tasty and a great way to use up leftovers after the holidays!

We definitely love our make ahead mashed potatoes and baked ham for the holidays. But with our favorite dishes comes a dilemma. What to do with the leftovers? Luckily I’ve got just the thing for using up leftover holiday ham and mashed potatoes – Fry up some crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside ham and cheese potato croquettes!

a close up of a stack of potato croquettes

Potato Croquettes with Ham and Cheese

Last Christmas I served a honeybaked ham for our holiday feast. I also fixed a lot of delicious (but filling) side dishes like Cheesy Potatoes, Corn Casserole and One Hour Dinner Rolls so we ended up with a ton of leftover ham. We were over the ham sandwiches after eating them for a couple of meals, so I was determined to find something totally different that I could get my kids to eat.

I surveyed my fridge and pulled out the leftover mashed potatoes, ham, cheese and some fresh chives. Ham and Cheese Potato Croquettes for the win!

What are Croquettes?

Potato croquettes are a small plate sort of appetizer or snack, made from mashed potatoes that can also be served as a main course with a copycat Olive Garden Salad. They usually include cheese and a salty protein, like ham or bacon with a binder, in this case flour, to hold them together. Croquettes are formed into a thick disk shape and fried in oil until they are golden and crispy all around.

process steps images for making mashed potato croquettes

How to Make Potato Croquettes

This recipe assumes you have some leftover mashed potatoes on hand, but other than that the ingredients are super simple to get. It’s also very versatile so you can get creative with the ingredients.

  • Mashed potatoes – When I cook mashed potatoes, I keep them pretty thick and with a little bit of a lumpy texture which is perfect for these potato croquettes. My Cheesy Mashed potatoes will also work really well and you wouldn’t have to add in extra cheese. In a pinch, grab some mashed taters from the deli on your next grocery run.
  • Ham – The ham can be leftover from your holiday feast, a ham steak from the meat department or even thinly sliced deli ham. Chop it up into very small pieces.
  • Cheese – Play around with your favorite cheese. Cheddar or swiss are classic pairings with ham, but parmesan or gruyere would also be fantastic.
  • Flour – This is the binder that will hold the potato croquettes together but you won’t be able to taste it. If your potatoes are more on the creamy or thin side, you’ll need to use more flour. If you’re having trouble even then, you can add in an egg to help bind them together better.
  • Chives – The fresh herbs are added for a little color and flavor. Green onions can be substituted.
  • Oil for frying – Choose a flavorless oil that has a high smoke point, like canola or vegetable oil. Fill the skillet about a quarter of an inch high. You don’t want to soak the croquettes in oil, but it should be just high enough to reach up the sides of each piece.
a stack of potato croquettes with one broken in half on top

Helpful Tips and FAQs

  • Can you bake the croquettes instead of frying them? You can, but you won’t get that golden exterior unless you coat them in breadcrumbs. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Form the croquettes as directed, then dip them in a whisked egg wash and then in breadcrumbs. Lay out on the baking sheet, not touching, and bake for 15 minutes until golden.
  • Make ahead of time – Make the potato mixture and form the croquettes, then lay them out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze for an hour, then transfer pieces to a plastic freezer bag. Freeze up to 6 months. Do not thaw – fry as directed from frozen.
  • Mashed potatoes can become very gummy and starchy when overmixed so I recommend mixing the croquette mixture using your hands.
  • These can be formed into a disk shape or balls, your choice. For balls, be prepared to flip them around to fry evenly.
  • Serve with ranch dressing or even a barbecue flavored ranch for dipping.
a hand holding a potato croquette being dipped into an orange sauce

Potato side dishes for the win!

Ham and Cheese Potato Croquettes are great as a side dish, a snack or even a main course. Leftover mashed potatoes are also fantastic as a topping for Turkey Shepherd’s Pie.

If potatoes are your carb of choice too, you should definitely try our Breakfast PotatoesRoasted Red Potatoes and the best Baked Potatoes.

Recipe
A close up of Potato Croquettes

Ham and Cheese Potato Croquettes

4.80 from 54 votes
Potato Croquettes are crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside and a great way to use up leftovers!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 7 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup finely diced ham
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour plus more for your hands
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil for frying
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Instructions
 

  • Add mashed potatoes, ham, cheese, garlic powder, chives and ½ cup flour to a large bowl. Stir together with a wooden spoon until combined.
  • Lightly flour your hands and divide the potato mixture into 16 small flat disks, about half an inch thick. TIP – use a cookie scoop to get perfectly even portions.
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed skillet (I recommend cast iron if you have it). TIP – you can test if the oil is hot enough by sprinkling a few drops of water in. If they sizzle, it’s ready.
  • Fry the croquettes in batches, flipping once, about 4 minutes per side until golden. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. TIP – don’t crowd the pan; leave space between each croquette so they crisp all around.
  • Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

Add a little more flour if they aren’t holding together well enough. Judge the amount of oil based on your pan. They shouldn’t be completely immersed in oil, but there should be enough to crisp all around.
Keyword potato croquettes

Nutrition

Serving: 2piecesCalories: 318kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 9gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 331mgPotassium: 214mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 199IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 121mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. Amy says:

    I’m trying to use up food we have, I even used the forever in the freezer ham. These were absolutely amazing. Everything came together in a couple of minutes….SO GOOD!!!!

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thanks for stopping by to share Amy.

  2. Kristen says:

    Excellent recipe! Easy and delicious. Definitely keeping this one.

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Kristen!

  3. Rj says:

    Delicious! I followed the instructions but I did double the recipe exactly. I also used the author’s suggestion to dip in egg wash and panko before frying for extra crunch. My family loved them too. I served them with a salad and dipped mine in a sriracha sauce. My family dipped in bbq. This morning I crisped one up under the broiler and ate it with a poached egg on top. So good and easy to prep ahead. They are extremely filling. I did use a garlic herb jack cheese as I was trying to use it up. Next time I might use a cheddar as recommended with a kick to it. Thank you!

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Rj! Love your feedback, thanks for stopping by.

  4. Amanda Brawner says:

    Hi! I want to make some to freeze for later on. Am I reading the instructions correctly on how long to cook from frozen? It says as “fry as directed from frozen”. Does that mean to fry 4 minutes per side until golden, same as if they weren’t frozen? Making sure I didn’t miss something in the instructions. Thanks!!

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      It may take longer than 4 minutes, but you fry them with the same method.

  5. Roni says:

    I used leftover mashed sweet potatoes with panko crumbs and added 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper and some crushed pineapple along with 1/4 cup diced coleslaw mix. Baked them and served with a pea shoot salad with a honey mustard vinaigrette.

    1. Kristin says:

      Awesome feedback Roni! Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Mary says:

    Enjoyed the recipe ingrediencies. It was food I found in my kitchen, easy to make, and loved that it was decent in the amounts of sugar and sodium. Not at hard to follow directions to make. My family enjoyed it. For me it was a great recipe to share. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Mary! Thanks for stopping by.

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