Use up leftover mashed potatoes after the holidays to make these delicious, golden brown potato pops.

potato pops on a plate with green, condiment and more pops in the background

If you love fun and inventive ways to use up leftovers, don’t forget to PREORDER THE SCRAPPY COOKBOOK! It contains 150+ plant-based recipes all aimed to help you reduce food waste and make the most of your ingredients.

Everyone who preorders the book gets immediate access to over $120 worth of freebies, including kitchen inventory sheets, a holiday menu, a 2-week meal plan, a live cooking class, and more!

Speaking of holiday food, I’ve got the perfect Scrappy Cooking recipe for your leftover mashed potatoes. With only two extra ingredients, you can enjoy delicious, crispy potato pops in 20 minutes.

potato pop on a skewer dipped in ketchup close up

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It is SO VERY EASY! It takes less than half an hour and you don’t need any special cooking skills to make this.
  • Making these potato pops is a great activity to do with your kids, particularly if you’re trying to teach them about using leftovers.
  • Leftovers are the best and the worst part of the holidays. On one hand, it’s nice to indulge in your favorite dishes, but if there is a lot of food left, you need creative ways to reimagine them. This recipe is one of them!
  • Mashed potatoes can be messy to eat… These potato pops are definitely easier to handle! Plus, you can pair them with your favorite condiment or dip.
  • You don’t actually have to wait for leftover mashed potatoes to make this recipe! You can definitely treat yourself and make this from scratch.
potato pops top down with kale

Let’s Eat More Potatoes

Potatoes are a versatile and nutritious vegetable that offer a range of health benefits. Here are some of the key benefits of potatoes:

  • Rich in Nutrients. Potatoes are a good source of essential nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and dietary fiber.
  • Dietary Fiber. Potatoes contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which can help with digestion, promote a feeling of fullness, and support a healthy digestive system.
  • Energy and Carbohydrates. Potatoes provide a good source of complex carbohydrates, which are a primary energy source for the body.
  • Antioxidants. Potatoes contain various antioxidants, including flavonoids and carotenoids, which help neutralize free radicals in the body and may contribute to overall health.
  • Calorie content. For someone on a low budget, potatoes can provide a great deal of calories essential for the daily intake.
  • Versatility. Potatoes can be cooked in so many ways! They are delicious on their own, as well as part of an ensemble. They can be soft, crunchy, or both!
potato pops close up

Leftover Makeover

Turning leftovers into a different dish is a good practice for several reasons:

  • Minimizes Food Waste. Repurposing leftovers prevents excess food from going to waste. It’s a sustainable approach that aligns with efforts to reduce food waste and its associated environmental impact.
  • Variety in Meals. Transforming leftovers into a different dish adds variety to meals. It helps break the monotony of eating the same thing repeatedly and keeps meals interesting.
  • Cost-Efficient. Making use of leftovers can be cost-efficient. It allows you to maximize the ingredients you already have, reducing the need to buy additional items for new meals.
  • Creativity in Cooking. Repurposing leftovers encourages creativity in the kitchen. It challenges individuals to think outside the box, experiment with flavors, and come up with inventive ways to use ingredients.
  • Time-Saving. Utilizing leftovers can save time in meal preparation. Since some ingredients are already cooked, the overall cooking time for the new dish may be shorter.
  • Reduced Cooking Fatigue. When meals are repurposed, it can reduce the feeling of cooking fatigue, making meal preparation feel less burdensome.
potato pops ingredients

How to Make This Recipe

In a mixing bowl, combine the mashed potatoes with cornstarch, until you have a dough-like texture. 

Using your hands, roll the resulting “dough” into balls and arrange them in an air fryer slightly apart from each other.

Spray liberally with cooking spray and cook at 400F for 15-20 minutes. The outside should turn crispy and golden, while the inside stays soft and fluffy.

Enjoy on their own or with your favorite dip!

Hack It!

  • These potato pops pair beautifully with ketchup, aioli, or vegan green goddess sauce. Trust me now and thank me later!
  • If you don’t have cornstarch or arrowroot powder, use a small amount of flour to bind your potato balls.
  • Before baking, you can roll these potato pops in seeds, cornmeal or breadcrumbs for extra flavor and texture. Then, spray with oil and cook as directed.
  • The mashed potatoes don’t have to be plain. You can all a bunch of your favorite spices before making the “dough” so that the seasonings are locked in.
  • If you do not have an air fryer, just bake these in the oven on a lined baking sheet. Be sure to preheat the oven, and it should take about the same amount of time.
potato pops served on a plate with fresh kale, one picked up with a skewer

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a single potato pop on a skewer dipped in ketchup

The Recipe: Potato Pops

An easy and fun way to repurpose leftover mashed potatoes after the holiday dinner.
5 from 4 ratings


  • 2 cups mashed potatoes, leftover or fresh
  • 5 tbsp cornstarch, or arrowroot powder
  • Cooking spray


  • Air Fryer


  • Add the mashed potatoes to a bowl with the cornstarch, and mix until a dough is formed. The dough should be almost like a thick gnocchi dough, and should hold its shape easily. You can add more cornstarch or flour as needed.
  • Using clean hands, roll into balls, slightly smaller than a golf ball.
  • Transfer to an air fryer. Spray liberally with oil. Air fry at 450F for 15 to 20 minutes, until the outsides are golden brown.
  • Enjoy immediately.
Calories: 577.2kcal, Carbohydrates: 133.9g, Protein: 10.1g, Fat: 0.5g, Saturated Fat: 0.2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g, Sodium: 128.4mg, Potassium: 1318.8mg, Fiber: 8.3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 13.2IU, Vitamin C: 97.2mg, Calcium: 33.2mg, Iron: 1.6mg