These potato cheese balls are delicious and addictive. They are crunchy on the outside but creamy and cheesy on the inside. You can serve these potato balls as a party snack to please the crowd, especially on game day!
The creamiest and crunchiest Potato Cheese Balls Recipe
One of my favorite snacks growing up was fried potato cheese balls served at a local food cart. To this day I still crave them and now fill that craving right at home.
Fried mashed potato balls may not be the healthiest snack to enjoy on a daily basis, especially when you are on a diet. However, they are inexpensive party appetizers that can be made for gatherings or brunches and are a sure-fire hit with just about anyone.
The tender fried mashed potatoes balls practically melt in your mouth, a nice balance with the crunchy outside.
Ingredients You'll Need to Make Fried Mashed Potato Cheese Balls
This potato cheese balls recipe is so easy to make. It calls for simple ingredients that many of you may already have in your pantry or fridge.
Potatoes: In this recipe, I made the mashed potatoes from scratch using Russet Potatoes. Leftover mashed potatoes will work just fine, too.
Butter: I added a generous amount of unsalted butter to add richness to the potato balls. You can use any type of butter you like, such as dairy-free butter or plant-based butter.
Heavy whipping cream: This adds creaminess and smoothness to the potato. If you don't have any heavy whipping cream on hand, you can use milk or cream cheese as a substitute ingredient.
Egg: Adding an egg gives extra moisture to the potato balls and works as a binding agent to hold ingredients together.
Chive: Chive gives a mild oniony flavor to the potato balls. You only need to add a small amount of it and may skip them based on your personal liking. You can also use green onion as a replacement ingredient.
Panko breadcrumb: This is my holy grail for baking and frying. Panko Japanese breadcrumbs give a lighter and crispier taste to any fried or baked dish. They are easy to find at supermarkets and are often cheaper or at the same price as regular breadcrumbs.
Cheese. This recipe works well with cheddar, Colby jack cheese, provolone, and/or mozzarella cheese.
How to Make Potato Cheese Balls
Step 1. Make Mashed Potatoes
To make your own mashed potatoes you can first boil the potatoes in a pot or use a microwave. In this recipe, I wanted to keep it simple and quicker by cooking the potatoes in a microwave.
- Cut the potatoes into small cubes (about an ½-inch thickness).
- Transfer the potatoes into a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and cook for 10 minutes.
- Once the potato cubes are fully cooked, add some butter, heavy cream, and salt. Stir to combine and mash until smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to a fridge for 1-2 hours or until cold. If you are in a hurry, you can put in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
Step 2. Add Fillings
Once the mashed potatoes are completely cold remove them from the fridge.
- Add some chopped chives and egg, then stir to combine.
- Use a large cookie scoop or ice cream scoop to portion the potato balls. Make sure that they have the same size to ensure they are properly cooked evenly at the same rate in the skillet.
- Flatten the portions into a pancake-like shape, then place a cube of cheese in the center. Wrap the potato mixture around the cheese and gently roll it with your hands until each one is a smooth potato ball.
Step 3. Breading
You need to set up a breading station. Here's how to do it.
- Place flour in the first bowl.
- Beat an egg in the second bowl.
- Lastly, mix panko breadcrumbs with seasoning in the third bowl/plate.
- Dip the potato balls in the flour then shake off any excess. Next, dip them in the egg and again shake off any excess. Coat the potato balls with panko breadcrumbs then (you guessed it), gently shake off excess.
Step 4. Fry the Potato Balls
- Heat oil in a large deep skillet over moderately high. Bring the oil to 350°F (hot but not smoking), then cook the potato balls for about 2 minutes or longer or until fully browned on all sides.
Tips of Making the Best Fried Potato Balls
- Use Cold Mashed Potatoes. It's important to use cold mashed potatoes so the potato ball holds well during cooking. This ensures a maximum crispiness.
- Maintain the Correct Temperature. Temperature is a vital key to frying. You need to maintain the temperature between 350°F - 375°F to produce a crunchy crust and to avoid greasy potato balls. To maintain the proper oil temperature, use a deep-fry thermometer. If you don't have one on-hand, just keep a close watch. If the oil starts to smoke then remove the pan from the source of heat for a few minutes.
- Don't overcrowd the pan. Work in multiple batches if necessary. Do not let the potato balls touch or overlapping each other. The more food added into the pan, the lower the temperature falls.
- Use oil with a high smoke point. Avocado oil, corn oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, peanut oil, and grapeseed oil are better suited for cooking at higher temperatures.
What to Serve with Potato Balls
You can serve these potato cheese balls with sour cream, marinara sauce, gravy, ranch salad dressing, remoulade sauce, honey mustard, ketchup, or hot sauce.
FAQ and Other Cooking Tips
Let the potato balls cool down to room temperature, no longer than 2 hours. After that, wrap the potato balls in plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container. Properly stored, they can last up to 4 days in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the fried potato cheese balls on a large baking sheet and cook for 10-20 minutes until crispy, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Check Out More Tasty Potato Recipes
- Easy Potato Hash with Bell Peppers
- Potato Rosti
- Tomato and Potato Soup
- Potato Latkes
- Cheesy Hash Browns Casserole
- Air Fryer Sweet Potatoes
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Instant Pot Colcannon
- Roasted Baby Potatoes with Rosemary
- Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
- Instant Pot Potato Soup
Potato Cheese Balls
- a 9-inch skillet or sauce pan
- 1 pound russet potatoes, (peel, wash, and cut into ½-inch cubes)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, (melted)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- black pepper, (to taste)
- 1 whole egg
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped chives
- 8 oz mozzarella or cheddar cheese block, (cut into ¾-inch cubes)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup panko breadcrumb, (use a rolling pin to crush the breadcrumb)
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 whole eggs, (lightly beaten)
- 2 cups vegetable or canola oil , (add more as needed)
- Cook potatoes. Place chopped potatoes into a microwave-safe bowl. Cover it with microwave-safe plastic wrap, pierce the film, and cook for 10 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Season and chill the mashed potatoes. Add butter, heavy cream, black pepper, and salt. Stir to combine and mash until smooth. Let it cools down at room temperature. Transfer the mixture to a fridge for 1 hour (or up to overnight), or in the freezer for 30 minutes, until cold. Remove from the fridge. Add chives and egg, then stir to combine.
- Shape into balls. Use a large cookie scoop or ice cream scoop to portion the potato balls. Flatten the portions into a pancake-like shape, then place a cube of cheese in the center. Wrap the potato mixture around the cheese and gently roll it with your hands until each one is a smooth potato ball.
- Breading. Place flour in the first bowl. Beat an egg in the second bowl. Mix panko breadcrumbs with salt in the third bowl/plate. Dip the potato balls in the flour then shake off any excess. Next, dip them in the egg and again shake off any excess. Coat the potato balls with panko breadcrumbs then, gently shake off excess.
- Fry. Heat oil in a large deep skillet over moderately high. Bring the oil to 350°F (hot but not smoking), then cook the potato balls, turning occasionally for about 2-3 minutes or longer or until fully browned on all sides. Transfer to a wire rack set over paper towels to remove excess grease.