Use Store-Bought Mashed Potatoes For Quicker Croquettes

Leftover mashed potatoes are awesome for making croquettes on the fly. However, there's an even speedier way to prep a batch of these crispy cuties that comes with additional perks — use store-bought mash to make golden croquettes in a fraction of the time while benefiting from the yummy ingredients featured in flavored varieties, such as garlic, cheese, and buttermilk.

Making croquettes with a basic store-bought stash of mashed potatoes is a breeze because it eliminates an entire stage of time-consuming prep; peeling, boiling, and mashing the taters. Many of these supermarket spuds have already been whipped with butter, milk, and basic seasonings like salt and pepper, which means you can move straight onto mixing in an egg yolk, shaping the mash into rounds or cylinders, and coating them in beaten egg and breadcrumbs before deep frying. While these traditional crispy rounds have a comfortingly classic taste, they can be elevated with the addition of aromatic seasonings, shredded cheese, fresh herbs, and even minced jalapeno peppers; virtually any pantry ingredient can be added to croquettes as long as they are low-moisture and won't soften the texture of the taters. 

However, if you select mashed potatoes that have already been flavored with delicious extras, such as roasted garlic, Romano cheese, bacon bits, or salty Parmesan, you can skip this step too, saving oodles more time. This will give you heaps more bandwidth to focus on the other elements of your meal or assemble a scrumptious homemade dipping sauce.

Taste your flavored mashed potatoes before shaping them

Before assembling your croquettes, it's vital that you taste your flavored mashed spuds to check their seasoning. You may want to add more salt, sprinkle in some chili flakes, or even stir through shredded onions to create a fully-loaded, customized croquette. You could even experiment with mixing seasonings into different coatings, like Japanese panko or crushed cornflakes.

Packed and chilled in the packet, store-bought taters are super-easy to shape because of their firm texture, and won't stick to your fingers. Their stiffer consistency also means they're perfect for stuffing with mozzarella and creating a melty pocket in the middle that has an appetizing cheese pull once deep fried. Just make sure to keep your mashed potatoes in the fridge right up until you're ready to stuff and shape them so they retain their dense and compact texture. Did you know that cooling cooked potatoes also turns them into a resistant starch that is beneficial for the good bacteria in the gut?

Some supermarkets stock mashed potatoes in single-serve sizes, which is ideal if you're flying solo for dinner or prepping croquettes for kids with small appetites. Mashed sweet potatoes are also available if you prefer making vivid-colored croquettes with a slower release carb that has a low glycemic index.