In my house, we are obsessed with potatoes. Like, legitimately obsessed with anything potato that we can get our hands on.
From fries to mash, wedges to hash browns, we go through a substantial quantity of spuds every single week. How can one resist, when potatoes pair so well with practically everything?
Due to this intense daily interest, I find myself looking for new and unique ways to satisfy our longing for this starchy root vegetable.
These potato fritters are just the recipe to shake up your normal side dish routine, while helping you savor the flavor in new ways.
Making potato fritters may seem like a fussier recipe than you might usually like to make. But don’t worry – the technique is not too complicated.
Keep in mind that you need to make the relish with enough time to let it cool before serving, and the mashed potato patty mixture will also need some time to chill before you fry up your fritters. These steps can actually be done ahead of time if you like, and the effort is well worth it.
Potato fritters, also known as croquettes, are filled with seasonings, fresh herbs, and in this case, a good helping of onion and sharp cheddar cheese. All of these elements come together in a patty to enhance the flavor of the spud, and homemade red pepper relish is the perfect accompaniment.
They are soft and creamy on the inside, golden brown and crispy on the outside. Each bite is peppered with cheese, onion, and cilantro, giving your taste buds a burst of excitement with every mouthful.
When you pair all of this with the red pepper relish, a whole new burst of flavors comes into the mix. The relish is cool, tangy, and slightly sweet from the balsamic vinegar and agave combination. The relish would also pair perfectly with other fried delights, like our fried zucchini or sweet corn fritters.
I highly recommend that you take the time to finely dice the peppers and onion for this relish, for the best texture. If you’re in a hurry, a few pulses in the food processor should do the job, but I think a more uniform veggie mixture makes a nicer presentation.
Part of the magic of these fritters is that they are fantastic for using up leftover mashed potatoes. If you have a good helping of at least 3 cups left over from a previous evening’s dinner, this is a fantastic way to use them up and repurpose them, rather than simply reheating and serving.
In fact, these make a delicious addition to a post-Thanksgiving brunch!
If you don’t have leftover mashed potatoes, you can easily peel, dice, cook, and mash the potatoes ahead of time. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days prior to making and cooking the patties.
This is a great idea when you are prepping for a large cocktail party or dinner. Just make sure you leave enough time for the patties to firm up in the refrigerator or freezer before you fry them. It’s the best way to ensure that the fritters keep their shape throughout the frying process (but we do have an easy baked version of potato fritters, if you don’t want to fry!).
Plus, these fritters look so pretty when you’re done and they’ve been topped with the colorful relish! The smooth and crispy texture, and the rich and tangy flavor combination will win over whoever you choose to serve it to.Print
A new take on potatoes, our mashed potato fritters with red pepper relish are an appetizer that gives your favorite spuds a whole new look.
For the Fritters:
- 4–6 russet potatoes, peeled and diced (or 3 cups leftover mashed potatoes)
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 4 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
For the Relish:
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium red bell peppers, finely diced
- 1/4 medium red onion, finely diced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 tsp agave syrup
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes and boil until tender, approximately 10-15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and place in a large bowl. Mash, leaving them a bit chunky in texture. If you are working with leftover mashed potatoes, skip this step.
- Add egg yolks, cilantro, onion, cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
- Shape the mixture into small patties. Arrange on a plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or freeze for at least 10-15 minutes to chill before cooking.
- While the patties chill, make the relish. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers and onion. Stir in salt and pepper.
- Cook the vegetables until they begin to soften, approximately 3-4 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar and agave. Cook until the liquid evaporates, approximately 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- When ready to cook, place breadcrumbs in a shallow dish, and coat each patty on all sides.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the patties in batches, approximately 4 to 5 at a time, until browned on both sides, approximately 2-3 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Serve with pepper relish.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hours
- Category: Fritters
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Appetizers
Keywords: potato, mashed potato, red pepper, relish
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prepare Fritter Ingredients
Peel and dice the potatoes, and place in a bowl of cool water as you continue to prep, to keep them from browning. If you are using mashed potatoes that you’ve already made, bring them to room temperature before starting the recipe.
Chop the cilantro, dice the onion, and grate the cheddar cheese (if not already grated). Set aside.
Measure out the remaining ingredients as listed.
Step 2 – Prepare Relish Ingredients
Finely dice the red bell pepper and red onion.
Measure the remaining ingredients and set them aside until you are ready to make the relish.
Step 3 – Cook Potatoes
In a large pot of boiling water, cook the diced potatoes until they are tender, approximately 10-15 minutes. Drain the potatoes well in a colander.
If you are working with leftover mashed potatoes, skip this step.
Step 4 – Prep Fritters
Add the drained potatoes to a large bowl and mash, leaving them a bit chunky.
Add egg yolks, cilantro, onion, cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
Shape the mixture into patties, working with approximately 3-4 tablespoons at a time.
Place on a plate and set it in the refrigerator or freezer to chill through before cooking.
Step 5 – Make Relish
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the bell pepper and onion.
Stir in salt and pepper, cooking the vegetables until softened, approximately 3-4 minutes.
Stir in the balsamic vinegar and agave syrup. Cook until the liquid is mostly evaporated, approximately 8-10 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool completely. The relish can be placed in the refrigerator to chill when it is no longer steaming. It can also be made ahead of time, up to a few days in advance.
Step 6 – Cook Fritters
Heat the oil for the fritters in a large skillet over medium-high heat. While the oil is heating, coat the potato fritters in breadcrumbs.
When the oil is hot, cook the patties in batches until browned on both sides. This should take approximately 2-3 minutes per side. Be careful when you flip them – if they are sticking to the pan, they aren’t quite ready to flip yet. Add more oil to the pan between batches if you need to. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
Serve warm with red pepper relish.
Fried Doesn’t Always Have to Mean Fries
As much as we all love the deep-fried goodness of French fries, sometimes you might yearn for the crispy exterior and soft interior of a different preparation.
That is where these heavenly mashed potato fritters come in.
The exterior is golden and crispy, but in a lighter way than what you get with fries. The fried element in these fritters is light and simple, so it doesn’t outshine the creamy center, peppered with chunks of onion and bites of cheese.
This is what makes the red pepper relish really shine when you pile it on top of the fritters.
The sweetness and tartness come through pleasantly in each forkful. Don’t be surprised if you find that it’s difficult to stop eating them.
Have you ever made potato fritters or croquettes before? When do you like to serve them? Tell us in the comments below. And when you give this recipe, be sure to leave a five-star rating if you loved it!
And for more potato-licious recipes check out some of these tasty recipes:
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Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on July 28, 2009. Last updated: May 3, 2021 at 18:08 pm.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.