Mashed Parsnip & Potato Pancakes


What’s the thing I like best about making my mashed parsnips and potatoes? Transforming the leftovers into light and fluffy mashed potato pancakes.

They’re crisp on the outside, and creamy on the inside. Serve them for brunch with a dollop of garlick-y sour cream or a compound butter with freshly grated Parmesan and garlic. They’re great as a side to soft-boiled eggs and a fried ham steak.

How delicate or hearty your pancakes are will depend on the consistency and moisture content of your mashed parsnips and potatoes.

If you made the mashed veggies on the thinner side (i.e. with more cream), they may be hard to flip. If that’s the case, beat an extra egg into the pancake mixture and they should be much easier to turn.

You can also totally do this with leftover homemade mashed potatoes (no parsnips). You’ll just have to monkey around with how many eggs you add.

Mashed Parsnip & Potato Pancakes

4 eggs
4 cups mashed parsnips & potatoes
spray oil
chives, for garnish

Grab your leftover mashed parsnip and potatoes. (Or whip up a batch expressly for this purpose. Just cool them to at least room temperature before you add the eggs.)

Crack the eggs into a large bowl.

Beat them well.

Add the mashed parsnips and potatoes to the beaten egg.

With a whisk, beat the mashed veggies and egg together.

Beat them together until the mixture is uniform.

Heat a large, non-stick skillet on the stove over medium heat. When the pan is hot, lightly (very, very lightly) spritz it with spray oil. Drop large spoonfuls of the pancake mixture into the pan.

In terms of size, don’t make them bigger than the top of a tuna-fish can. If you do, they’ll be really hard to flip.

Cook undisturbed like this for a few minutes. I cook these over medium heat, so that the pancake has a chance to firm up without burning.

As they cook, small air holes will start to appear on the surface of the pancake.

Wait to flip them until you notice that the edges are becoming opaque and more solid looking, like this:

When the pancake looks about like this, it’s time to flip it. (If you flip it too soon, before it’s fairly solid, it will likely fall apart on you.)

When you flip it over, it should be a golden brown underneath. (Peek before you flip, if you like!)

Cook for a few minutes on the other side, until your pancakes have the same nice crust on the bottom. When they do, remove them from the pan. Repeat with the rest of the mixture until you’ve used it all.

To keep them warm while you make the whole batch, put the cooked pancakes in a single layer on a lined sheet pan in a 200 degree oven.

Serve warm, garnished with chives.

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


  1. can you believe I have never made potato pancakes, I’ve been thinking about how to go about making them and I had no idea you can use left over mashed potatoes. Next time I have left over mashed potatoes, I’m going to attempt making them 🙂

  2. I’ve done potato cakes before with just plain potatoes- no eggs- dusted with seasoned flour. I usually make my potatoes rather chunky when I mash them. I’ve also made potato cakes out of left over Skordalia with awe-inspiring results. I may have to try the parsnip/potato combination.