Oh My (crunchy golden brown) Goodness, potato cakes from instant mashed potatoes!
And to top it off, they’re so easy! Can you believe that I make these Incredibly Simple Potato Cakes from instant mashed potatoes? This is the first time I tried frying them in avocado oil and I think they turned out really well!
As you have probably already figured out, I’m always looking for ways to save time in the kitchen without sacrificing flavor in my recipes. Can you believe that you can make potato cakes from instant mashed potatoes? Keep in mind that this recipe uses Idahoan Buttery Homestyle instant mashed potatoes, which is lower in sodium content than most of the other Idahoan options. If you want the recipe to turn out well, be sure to use exactly this brand and type of potatoes. If you do try another brand, you may have to leave out the ranch powder or use less to keep it from becoming too salty and you may have to adjust the amount of water to potato ratio.
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The secret to the golden brown crust
I tried using avocado oil for the first time with this recipe and was amazed at how well they turned out! Since avocado oil has a higher smoke point than most other oils, you can get that crunchy golden crust without the oil burning. I am an avocado oil newbie, but plan to try it out with searing steaks and stir fry as well. I was afraid that the flavor would be strange, but it really doesn’t smell or taste like avocados. It has more of a mild, nutty flavor. Here is the brand that I picked up at my local grocery store for $10.99. If you like time-saving recipes and product reviews, be sure to subscribe for new posts!
TIME SAVERS FOR BUSY FAMILIES
If you’re a busy mom like me, you really should check out the rest of my website! I post recipes and products that save time for my busy family, like my favorite kitchen gadgets. Be sure to subscribe to my page to get new time-saving recipes and ideas in your inbox! Here are a few of my posts: Reverse Seared New York Strip Steak (never over-cook your steak again, seriously!). A couple of my other most popular recipes are this Best PF Chang’s Mongolian Beef Copycat recipe and my Twist on Trader Joe’s Gnocchi, where I created a new recipe using two versions of TJ’s gnocchi, plus some extra garlic (of course) and tomato paste. I also post an occasional review of products, like this one for an acne treatment (Proactive vs. Curology Review) that worked really well for my older daughter.
Disclaimer: the links in this post for products are Amazon affiliate links.
In the pictures below, I have 2 Tablespoons of avocado oil and fried three at a time in a small skillet. You can push each cake up the edge of the skillet to make it easier to flip them over. I have an electric stove and set it at just a little over medium high heat.
Ingredients and Kitchen Gadgets I use for this recipe:
Click here to see my favorite measuring spoons, spatula and herb scissors (with 5 shears) that I use for this recipe. Also, I use a one-tablespoon cookie scoop to make consistent-sized potato cakes. The larger cakes in the pictures are 2 tablespoons each (the frying pan pictures and front two plates in main picture) and the smaller ones in the back of the photos are 1 tablespoon each. I place the shaped potato cakes on a silicone baking sheet after I flatten out each one so they’re easy to lift off and transfer to the skillet for frying. Last, but not least, I often use a kitchen weigh scale for the ham so it’s easy to get the amount that I intended.
- 1 egg
- 1 cup room temperature water
- 1 teaspoon dry Hidden Valley Ranch powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 oz finely diced ham (1/3 cup)
- One 4 oz package Idahoan Buttery Homestyle Mashed Potatoes* (see note)
- 2 Tablespoons sliced green onion
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil in small skillet as shown in pictures. Use more oil if using a larger pan.
- Garnish with green onion and sour cream
- To a large bowl, add egg and beat lightly with a whisk
- Add water, ranch, onion and garlic powder and whisk
- While continuously whisking, add instant mashed potatoes and mix well.
- Add ham and green onion while it is still thin and mix to combine.
- Let sit about 5 minutes for the potatoes to thicken.
- Stir one more time because ham may have settled to the bottom.
- Shape 2 Tablespoons of the mixture into a ball, then flatten into the shape of a potato cake.
- If the cakes stick to your hands, it can help to moisten your hands with water before shaping the cakes.
- Fry in avocado oil (or other high smoke point oil like peanut oil) on medium to medium-high heat, checking for brownness after 2 minutes on each side. I used 2 Tablespoons avocado oil in my small frying pan.
- See the picture above to see how you can push the cake toward the edge of the pan with your spatula to make it easy to check for brownness and to flip them over.
- Recipe yield is 12 potato cakes.
- Garnish with sour cream and green onion.
Resist the urge to add butter or cheese to the mixture! It makes them more likely to fall apart in the pan. You can always sprinkle some shredded cheddar on the cakes as a garnish.