Incredibly Simple Potato Cakes - From Instant Mashed Potatoes!




Introduction: Incredibly Simple Potato Cakes - From Instant Mashed Potatoes!

About: Hi, I'm Shari! I'm a busy wife and mom with two tween/teen daughters, and I work full-time. You'll find that the recipes and products in my blog have become huge time-savers for my family.

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 these Incredibly Simple Potato Cakes are made from instant mashed potatoes? This is the first time I tried frying them in avocado oil and I think they turned out really well! If you've visited my blog The Root Family Review (, you have probably figured out that I'm always looking for ways to save time in the kitchen without sacrificing flavor in my recipes.

For this recipe, keep in mind that it's developed based on using 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.

Original Recipe Incredibly Simple Potato Cakes

I'm new to Instructables and just realized last night that there is a Breakfast Challenge going on. I immediately thought of this recipe, but unfortunately when I posted it on my blog, I did not take pictures of all of the steps. I got up early this morning and went right to work. I hope you enjoy this recipe and try it out for yourself sometime soon.

If your family is busy like mine is, be sure to check out my website for other simple recipes or follow me on Instructables. I am sure I'll be posting often to this site!

Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

1 egg

1 cup room temperature water

1 teaspoon dry Hidden Valley Ranch powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 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.


*It's important that you use exactly this brand and type of instant mashed potatoes if you want the recipe to turn out well as written. I tried using the Roasted Garlic version and they were way too salty since the ranch powder adds a fair amount of salt. The Idahoan Buttery Homestyle potatoes have about 25% less salt than most of their other options. Also, for other brands, the liquid to potato amount may not be quite right so they could end up too thick or too thin.

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.

Step 2: Materials / Gadgets I Use

I LOVE kitchen gadgets, so please bear me that I have so many. They're not required, but since I also LOVE to cook, these make my process a little faster. You can go to the link in the original recipe to find references to these gadgets (in photo, left to right):

my favorite spatula

5-Shear herb scissors

1 Tablespoon cookie scoop

my favorite whisk

kitchen weigh scale

silicone mat (underneath)

magnetic measuring spoons (in ingredients pic)*

* This measuring set has 5 measuring spoons and they nest together magnetically. I like that they stay upright if you're not holding them. This helps when my kids are helping me prep for meals since they can measure the ingredients ahead of time.

Step 3: Using 5-shear Herb Scissors to Cut Green Onion

Step 4: Add Initial Ingredients to Bowl

Place garlic powder, onion powder, ranch powder, egg and green onions in bowl.

Step 5: Whisk to Combine

I do this step before adding the water. It's easier to mix up the egg and break up clumps in the powders this way.

Step 6: Add Water and Whisk Again

Step 7: Add Instant Potatoes and Whisk

The instant potatoes will be thin for several seconds, so give them a quick whisk as soon as you pour them in to break up any clumps before they start to thicken.

Step 8: Add Ham and Whisk

You can use any meat that you like here... bacon, ham, sausage

A little secret here... I didn't plan to take these pictures until today and didn't have any ham on-hand. I used Spam Lite (less fat and sodium) and the potato cakes were amazing as usual.

Step 9: All Ingredients Are in Bowl, Ready to Make Potato Cakes Next

Step 10: Shape the Potato Cakes

You can see in the picture, I have a one tablespoon cookie scoop. Each potato cake is 2 Tablespoons of the mixture, so I just put two scoops in my hand, and roll them into a ball (top middle). While it's still in my hand, I squish each one down into a patty shape. I put them on a silicone mat, which makes it easier to lift them up with a spatula to put them in the skillet.

Step 11: Fry in Avocado Oil

I recently discovered avocado oil and love it! I don't really taste any flavor to it and it definitely doesn't taste like avocado. Some describe the flavor as being nutty.

I cook these on just over medium heat, about 2 minutes per side. You can see the edges start to brown and if you move them in the pan, you can hear/feel that the texture is becoming crunchy and golden brown.

Step 12: Push Cakes Up Side of Skillet to Make Turning Over Easier

This technique makes the flip-over super simple!

Step 13: Stylized Photo From My Blog

I've been working on my food photography and this is one of my favorites so far :)

Step 14: Serve With Breakfast!

My teenage daughter slept until about 11:30 a.m. today, which actually turned out to be perfect timing after I got all of my pictures taken for this Instructable. I served the potato cakes with Jimmy Dean sausages, a sunny-side-up egg and orange juice and she loved it!

Hope you enjoyed this Instructable! Leave a comment if you have any questions!

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    5 years ago

    Nicely done! I will try this out! I love potato pancakes, but who wants to shred potatoes in the morning to make them? Look quite yummy - I'm in!

    Whoa! These look so delicious! This is a very well made instructable, too. lots of great pictures. I might have to make these sometime!


    Reply 5 years ago

    Thank you Ace!