oday we are making Air Fryer Loaded Mashed Potato Balls. Together with cheese, bacon, and green onion these potato bites make the perfect snack or appetizer, also an awesome Potato Recipe Idea for St Patrick’s Day. You can always customize this recipe by adding ingredients such a jalapeño for a spicy kick.
These potato balls freeze perfectly and make an awesome appetizer for gatherings, parties, or events. You can make them in large batches all at once. Mashed potato balls can be deep fried, air fried, or baked. It is truly up to you!
What Are the Ingredients for Air Fryer Loaded Mashed Potato Balls?
- Potatoes (Medium Sized)
- Sea Salt (For seasoning the water)
- Unsalted butter
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Shredded)
- Mozzarella Cheese (Cut in small chunks)
- Green Onion (Chopped in small pieces)
- Garlic Powder (For seasoning the potato mix)
- Salt & Pepper (For seasoning the potato mix)
- Eggs (Scarmbled – Used for dipping station)
- *Parmesan Cheese* Optional (Finely shredded – Use in bread crumb mixture and to shave over the top)
- Bread Crumbs (Fine Italian Breamcrumbs)
- Cooking Spray (To coat the tray of the air fryer as well as potato balls prior to frying)
What Kitchen Skills Are Needed to Make Mashed Potato Balls?
Mashed potatoes are fun to make and eat! In order to make these potato balls, the following kitchen skills are needed:
- How to use a peeler
- How to use the stove top – for boiling and frying
- How to grate/shred cheese (you could also use a food processor, I am sure the kids will find it amusing watching how quickly the cheese can turn shape)
- How to safely use a knife – for cutting the green onion
- Mashing mixtures
- How to use a trigger release scoop (they can also just form a ball from the mixture)
- How to whisk an egg
- Coating food in egg wash and breadcrumb mixtures
- How to operate the air fryer
How Do I Make Air Fryer Mashed Potato Balls?
This recipe for air fried loaded mashed potato balls is very forgiving and you can bake, air fry, or deep fry the balls! Here are the step-by-step instructions for making these heavenly good potato balls:
- Fill a deep pot with water until three quarters of the way full. Season the water with sea salt and place on the stove over high heat, boil the water.
- Peel the potatoes. Once peeled, rinse the potatoes in a colander under cold water for about 1 minute.
- Place the potatoes in the boiling water. Boil on high heat for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and cooked through.
- Carefully heat a stovetop burner over medium heat. Add the bacon to a frying pan and fry until the bacon is cooked through, it should be crispy, but not burnt (5 – 6 minutes, but every stove is different.)
- Safely chop the green onion.
- Shred the cheddar cheese, either using a grater or a food processor.
- Cut the mozzarella into small cubes.
- Once the potatoes are cooked strain the water and place the potatoes in your stand mixer or deep bowl. Add the butter and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place the mixer on low speed until combined.
- Add the bacon, green onion, and cheese to the mashed potatoes and mix on medium-low speed until combined.
- Cool the potatoes in the fridge for at least one hour. *The mixture has to be cold when rolling*
- Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Add the breadcrumbs to another bowl and shred the parmesan cheese (cheese is optional) into the breadcrumbs.
- Use the trigger release scoop to form potato balls. Place a cube of mozzarella in the center of each potato ball (optional – this makes the potatoes very cheesy).
- Roll the balls in the egg wash, then in the breadcrumb mixture. Set aside on a tray and cool in the refridgerator again (30 minutes -or overnight) *IMPORTANT – The potato balls need to be cold prior to frying. If not the cheese can explode from the inside and ruin the structure of the ball*
- Preheat the air fryer to 375F. Spray the air fryer basket and the potato bites with cooking spray, then Air fry for 5 – 7 minutes or until golden.
- Remove the potato bites from the air fryer – they should be golden and ready to serve.
Check out the ideas that our readers have suggested for switching up these tasty cheesy potatoes:
- Spicy – add jalapeño or red pepper flakes to the mixture
- Vegetarian – switch up the flavor profile, leave out the butter, bacon and cheese – add olive oil and rosemary instead.
- Make it Fun – roll in crushed cheetos rather than breadcrumbs!
What Equipment Will I Need for This Recipe?
Below, I have listed all of the equipment you will need to make this recipe at home:
- Peeler (For peeling the potatoes)
- Colander (Rinsing the starch from the potatoes & draining water from the cooked potatoes)
- Pot (Used for boiling the water and potatoes)
- Frying Pan (To fry the bacon slices)
- *Food Processor with shredder plate (Optional)* Alternatively, use a cheese grater. (To shred the cheese)
- Knife & Cutting Board(For cutting the onions, garlic, and ginger)
- *Stand Mixer (Optional)* Alternatively, you can use a potato masher. (To combine the ingredient for the potato balls)
- *Trigger Release Scoop* (Optional) You could also eyeball the amount and roll with your hands! (Used to get even potato balls)
- *Whisk* (Optional) You can also use a fork! (To scramble the eggs for the dipping station)
- Small bowls (Used for the egg and bread crumbs dipping station)
- Large tray (Place your loaded mashed potato balls on the tray once they fully coated from the dipping station)
- Air Fryer (Used to cook the air fried potato balls)
Can They Be Frozen?
Yes, potato balls freeze beautifully. Once prepared, rather than air frying them, allow them to cool then place them in a ziploc bag and pop them in your freezer.
Tips for Air Frying Mashed Potato Balls
It can always be fun to change up a recipe and see what happens, however I do recommend to follow the tips below in order to ensure that your potato balls keep their shape and turn golden.
- Make sure the potatoes are cold before you begin to roll them. It is difficult to roll the potatoes when they are hot or warm. Ensuring the potatoes are cold before frying will also help them keep their shape in the air fryer. You can cool these overnight in your fridge.
- Do not skip rolling the potatoes in the egg wash. Eggs act as a binder and will also help the potatoes keep their shape. They will help to hold in the cheese and not let it melt out through the breadcrumbs! If you would like an extra coating you can double this step, therefore dip the cheesy mashed potato ball into the egg wash and breadcrumb mixture twice!
- Make sure to use cooking spray before frying. Spray the tray in your air fryer AND spray the entire potato ball. This will ensure you get that your potatoes do not stick to the tray and they will have golden crispy outer shell.
- Placing a cube of mozzarella in the center of each potato balls makes them extremely cheesy, and sometimes they can explode. This ingredient can be omitted if you do not care for extra cheese.