These goat cheese potato cakes aren’t like those old-school cakes made with leftover potatoes. These creamy-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside babies are a perfect side dish with beef, or just on their own with a salad.

Hey, remember those mushy potato cakes Mom used to make from leftover mashed potatoes? You know, the ones that she’d forget about and leave in the skillet until they were burnt or, as she’d say, “slightly blackened” on one side? Yeah.

These goat cheese potato cakes are nothing like that. They don’t even require leftover mashed potatoes. This is for several reasons.

First, when have you ever had leftover mashed potatoes for which someone hadn’t claimed dibbs?!

Second, because really, what’s so wrong with rewarmed mashed potatoes just plain or mixed with ground lamb and fried? (As an aside, if you’ve never nestled warmed leftover mashed potatoes inside an omelet and served it with bacon, you really ought to remedy that. Truly.)

These cakes call for freshly cooked spuds, not cold leftover mashed spuds. Just plop them in a skillet, sizzle, and sigh.–David Leite

LC Personalize Your Potato Cakes Note

While we like these subtly flavored goat cheese potato cakes as is, there are almost infinite ways in which you can personalize your potato cakes.

  • Use a stronger cheese
  • Stir in more herbs
  • Try different herbs
  • Toss in some minced chile peppers
  • Make the cakes flatter if you like things crisp

Should you suddenly find yourself short on time or motivation once you’ve started the recipe, we have it on good authority that this potato mixture is also swell in mashed form—just straight up while it’s still warm, just after adding all the ingredients.

We’d be remiss to not mention the author’s recommendation to plop the mash on a plate with a grilled bavette steak or a lovely bacon-wrapped pork roast. Whatever you decide, kindly take a moment to let us know what you chose in a comment below.

The goat cheese potato cakes in a cast iron skillet.

Goat Cheese Potato Cakes

5 from 1 vote
Creamy and cheesy on the inside, golden and crispy on the outside. What else could you ask for? Goat cheese, mashed potatoes, scallions, and a pinch of parsley make these a stunning side.
Servings6 servings
Calories346 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour


  • Round biscuit or cookie cutters, preferably 2 1/2 inches in diameter


  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes peeled
  • 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sliced scallions
  • 8 ounces goat cheese crumbled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour plus more for the work surface
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  • Plunk the potatoes in a large pot and pour in enough cold water to barely cover the spuds. Season the cooking water with salt (it should taste like the sea) and bring to a boil. Cook on medium-high heat until the potatoes are tender but not mushy, 10 to 15 minutes or so, depending on the size of your spuds. Drain the potatoes, place them in a large bowl, and roughly mash them with a fork or a potato masher. Let cool slightly.
  • Add the parsley, scallions, goat cheese, and salt and pepper to the potatoes and mix until just combined, making certain that blobs of goat cheese are still visible. Cover and refrigerate until chilled through, at least 6 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Using your hands, form the mixture into a 1-inch-thick block on a lightly floured countertop and cut it into rectangular cakes about 2 1/2 inches along their long side or, if you prefer, use a 2 1/2-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter to cut out individual potato cakes. You should have at least 12 cakes (and, quite possibly, more). Place the flour on a plate and lightly flour the cakes on both sides.
  • Place 2 large ovenproof nonstick skillets (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Divvy the oil between the skillets and heat until hot but not smoking. Add the potato cakes to the skillets and cook until the first side is golden brown. Flip the potato cakes and cook for another minute or so, and then transfer the skillets to the oven until the cakes are warmed through, about 10 minutes. Figure about 2 potato cakes per person. Leftover potato cakes are just dandy for breakfast the next morning alongside eggs.
Tasia's Table Cookbook

Adapted From

Tasia’s Table

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 346 kcalCarbohydrates: 37 gProtein: 11 gFat: 17 gSaturated Fat: 7 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 8 gCholesterol: 17 mgSodium: 159 mgPotassium: 831 mgFiber: 4 gSugar: 2 gVitamin A: 593 IUVitamin C: 40 mgCalcium: 81 mgIron: 3 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2012 Tasia Malakasis. Photo © 2012 Stephanie Schamban. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

These goat cheese potato cakes are a nice alternative to the usual mashed potato side dish. I loved the flavor combination of potatoes, goat cheese, and scallions, and the crisp exterior next to the creamy interior was divine. I had a number of concerns while reading through the recipe, but it really worked perfectly as written. I thought the potato patties would fall apart without an egg binder, but they stayed together perfectly.  Then I thought there would be way too much goat cheese, but the 8 ounces turned out to provide the perfect pronounced but not overwhelming, goat cheese flavor. These were simple to make and super convenient since you can do the bulk of the work ahead of time and just form and fry at the last minute. I should mention that it’s important that you form these and coat with flour right before you fry them. I tried to do this ahead of time and store them in the fridge, but the flour turned gloppy. The cakes still tasted fine, but I’ll be following the directions next time! I should also mention that this recipe doesn’t work with leftover mashed potatoes. Once you’ve added cream and/or butter to the potatoes, they become too loose and the patties fall apart once they hit the pan.

These goat cheese potato cakes were very good and very easy to quickly throw together.  I liked the flavor of the goat cheese in the potato cake. This would be a nice side to serve in lieu of the typical mashed or baked potatoes—plus it makes for a really pretty presentation!

For a quick, easy and different potato side dish, these goat cheese potato cakes recipe is the recipe to use. These little cakes are crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside. They’re slightly tangy little bites of deliciousness. I’ll be making them again and again for sure. Two cakes for each person seemed right.

These goat cheese potato cakes are a great side dish or hors d’oeuvre. They’re creamy on the inside and slightly crusty on the outside and full of bold flavor from the goat cheese. I think these would adapt well to using another strong-flavored cheese, such as blue cheese. I ended up having more than the suggested yield.

These goat cheese potato cakes are easy to put together and make a nice change from plain roast potatoes on the side of a roast dinner. I also have a sneaking suspicion they’d be great with a steak. They’re soft and melty in the middle, crisp on the outside, and the scallion and parsley perfectly balance the rich goat cheese.

These goat cheese potato cakes were tasty warm or at room temperature and wonderful to take to work for lunch. The goat cheese, the parsley, and the scallions made a great combination of flavors, and the amount for each was just right. The cakes held their shape for presentation, and the golden crust looked so appetizing, too. Three pounds potatoes yielded 12 cakes total, and I found that 2 cakes and a side salad made a nice serving. If you decide to use leftover mashed potatoes that have milk or stock in them, you may want to add a touch of flour to the potato mixture to keep the cakes from falling apart.

I love potato pancakes! The addition of the creamy goat cheese reminded me of a potato and cheese pierogi. The fresh parsley and the scallions added flavor and color. I fried the potato cakes until they were a crisp brown on the first side. The oven time made a crisp crust on the second side. A great side dish.

What a nice addition to mashed potatoes—goat cheese! This goat cheese potato cakes recipe was easy with just a handful of ingredients. I used about 2 3/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes. I let the potato mixture chill for 6 hours or so and then formed the cakes. I got 12 cakes, and 2 per person is plenty, so I think this could easily serve 6. They fried nicely in the cast iron skillet. I put them in the oven as suggested, but I don’t think it was really necessary if you’re ready to eat when they’re browned on both sides. They had a nice, crisp crust while the interior was soft and delicate. The goat cheese and scallions flavored them just right! I initially thought the goat cheese would be too strong, but that wasn’t the case at all. I even reheated a couple in the toaster oven the next day and they were great. I wouldn’t really change much, but you could easily use other cheeses to flavor the cakes. This was a great recipe!

These delicious goat cheese potato cakes were a nice take on the Italian croquette. Just mashed potatoes mixed with parsley and scallions and creamy goat cheese. Easy to form and to cook, these lovely potato cakes are a versatile side dish. We enjoyed them alongside baked tilapia and steamed broccoli with lemon, but they’d also be a nice base to a brunch dish. (Perhaps served with a mound of sautéed spinach, a broiled tomato slice, and a poached egg with a bit of hollandaise sauce?) This recipe made 9 potato cakes and would serve 4 to 6 people as a side dish. I had to work in 2 batches when frying them in the olive oil, and used 2 tablespoons oil per batch to achieve the lovely golden brown crust.

These goat cheese potato cakes worked perfectly for a light vegetarian dinner entrée. I rounded out the meal with cranberry sauce and a simple green salad, both of which added flavor, color, and texture to the cakes. My test made 9 cakes, each 2 1/2 by 1 inches. Figure about 2 cakes per person, so this does indeed serve 4 to 6. The cakes were warmed through in the oven in the 10 minutes noted. They were simultaneously yummy and comforting, and I happily watched my guests go back for seconds. While the cakes were comfortably delicious, they veered a tiny bit towards bland, and we collectively felt they could use a bit more seasoning. More black pepper? More parsley and scallions? Perhaps some roasted garlic? Later I thought an easy route would be to purchase an already seasoned goat cheese, which would then affirm and accentuate the fresh parsley and scallions a bit. While I served the cakes for dinner, this could also be a lovely brunch offering.

Potatoes and cheese—what could be bad? The tang of the goat cheese contrasts nicely with the creamy earthiness of the potatoes. The scallions brighten the flavor just enough. And you can’t beat the browned crusty bits of potato and cheese around the edges. A winner of a recipe all around. I used 2 1/2 pounds potatoes, and it made a lot. I would say this serves 6 to 8, unless everyone has Paul Bunyan appetites. A cake that is an inch thick is very tall, so I made mine a little thinner, which made them about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. They were very large—like giant hamburger size. When I make these again, I’ll probably make 16 smaller cakes. I used two 10-inch cast iron skillets to cook these, and they barely fit.

My mother often made patties like this with leftover mashed potatoes, so I’m fond of them and sometimes make them myself when I have leftover mashed potatoes. I had never added other ingredients besides salt and pepper to the potatoes before, and this combination was a good one. These goat cheese potato cakes had a little tang, a little bite, and a bit of color from the greenery. The cakes were delicious served alongside fried eggs, roasted cherry tomatoes, and Merguez goat sausages I had bought at the farmers market. The recipe, however, seemed overthought. The oven step is puzzling to me, as the cakes are already heated through from being fried in the skillet before they go into the oven. I found that the oven step made the cakes soften up and, when removing them from the skillet to serve, they didn’t hold together as well as they had while being flipped on the stovetop. I would omit the oven step in the future, unless they need to be held while something else is cooked. I required 2 large skillets to fit them all. These definitely need the refrigerator step. They would have never held together at all if they hadn’t been cold going into the pan.

We really enjoyed these goat cheese potato cakes. I thought that I had parsley in the fridge, but it turned out that I had cilantro instead. I used the cilantro in place of the parsley. The smallest of the potatoes were cooked in 10 minutes, the rest were cooked after leaving them in for 2 additional minutes. Breaking the potatoes into rough pieces is important. The potatoes should not be mashed. After folding the ingredients together, I divided the mixture into 8 portions, rather than worry about trying to make cakes the dimension mentioned in the recipe. The finished product had a very crisp exterior with a creamy interior. They held together beautifully, something that has been a problem with other potato cakes in the past. I will add extra scallions next time, as the 3 tablespoons seemed to get a bit lost in the mixture. I might cut down on the amount of goat cheese the next time that I make these. I thought the ratio of goat cheese to the potatoes was just a tad too high. I’d like to try this using other cheeses.

These goat cheese potato cakes are fun to make and easy to put together. Once the potato mixture is together, the cakes fry up quickly, and we set them to bake in the oven while we finished the main dish. We made this two ways—one with the goat cheese, one with feta—and the goat cheese version was creamy and a bit subtle, and the feta cheese version had a bit more texture. Both were yummy.

Originally published April 21, 2014

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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  1. I just had a visual memory of a glob of white inside a red glass refrigerator dish. My mother didn’t burn the potato cakes, but we rarely had them since our family of 7 didn’t leave many leftovers. This version looks delicious – will try them soon.

    1. Dottie, I certainly hope you find these to be better looking than your “glob of white!” Let me know what you think if you make them.