It’s the day after Thanksgiving and you’ve got a fridge full of leftover turkey, potatoes and gravy! What can you do to use everything so there’s no waste and change it up a bit at the same time? Make Potato Turkey Balls!

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Thanksgiving leftovers are unavoidable it seems. I get so excited to make our meal every year that I can’t help but make way too much food, especially turkey and mashed potatoes. Over the years I’ve come up with creative ways to make Thanksgiving leftovers into new exciting recipes, but I think these Potato Turkey Balls might be my favorite! They’re crispy on the outside with pillowy soft mashed potatoes on the inside.

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How to Make Potato Turkey Balls

  1. Prepare the Mashed Potatoes: Whisk one egg and add it to your mashed potatoes. Stir to combine. Adding the egg helps the potatoes keep their shape when they’re cooked later.
  2. Prepare the Turkey and Cheese Mixture: Chop your leftover turkey into small pieces and combine with the shredded cheese. Use whatever cheese you like best. We love sharp cheddar for this recipe, but mozzarella or a blend work great too!
  3. Form the Potato Turkey Balls: Take 2 teaspoons of the turkey cheese mixture and form into 1 inch balls. You want to roll them tight so the turkey and cheese bind together. Next, take 2 tablespoons of the potato egg mixture and form a patty in the palm of your hand, place the turkey cheese ball in the center and carefully fold the potato mixture around the turkey cheese ball to make a larger ball.
  4. Bread the Potato Turkey Balls: Place a whisked egg in one bowl and breadcrumbs in a separate bowl. Roll each potato ball gently into the egg and then into the breadcrumbs covering the balls completely.
  5. Fry the Potato Turkey Balls: Add oil to cover the bottom of a stock pot. Heat the oil until it reaches about 360 degrees F. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test the oil by throwing a few breadcrumbs in. If they sizzle immediately, most likely, your oil is hot enough. Carefully place the Potato Turkey Balls in the oil and fry for 60 seconds, turning occasionally, until the outside of the ball is brown and crispy.
  6. Serve: Using a slotted spoon, transfer the balls to a paper towel lined plate and salt immediately. Serve with leftover gravy or cranberry sauce.

More Recipes Using Leftovers

Limiting food waste, whether it’s the holidays or just a weeknight dinner, has become a passion of mine. There are tons of creative ways to use your leftovers to create new and exciting dishes. Here are some of my favorites that cover Thanksgiving leftovers and beyond!

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Let me know what you’re making with your Thanksgiving leftovers in the comments! And tag me on Instagram if you make these Potato Turkey Balls!


Potato Turkey Balls

Thanksgiving leftover won't be leftovers for long once you make these Potato Turkey Balls!
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Servings: 4
Author: Catherine McCord
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 2 1/2 Cups mashed potatoes
  • 2 large eggs, whisked in seperate bowls
  • 1 cup roast turkey, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (Monterrey jack, mozzarella, or cheddar)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (white or whole wheat)
  • olive, vegetable or canola oil (for cooking)


  • Stir the mashed potatoes and 1 whisked egg in a bowl until combined and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the chopped turkey and shredded cheese stirring to combine.
  • Take 2 teaspoons of the turkey cheese mixture and form into 1 inch balls (you want to roll them tight so the turkey and cheese bind together).
  • Take 2 tablespoons of the potato egg mixture and form a patty in the palm of your hand, place a turkey cheese ball in the center and fold the potato mixture around the turkey cheese ball to make a larger ball.
  • Place the second whisked egg in a bowl and the breadcrumbs in a seperate bowl.
  • Roll each potato ball gently into the egg and then into the breadcrumbs covering the balls completely.
  • Add the oil to a heavy bottomed pot over medium/high heat. The oil is hot enough if you put a few leftover breadcrumbs in and they sizzle immediately.
  • Add the potato balls to oil and fry for about 60 seconds, turning occasionally, until the outside is crispy. Alternately, you can bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mashed potato balls to the paper towel-lined plate and immediately season them with salt. 
  • Serve with gravy.


Calories: 90kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 230mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g
Did you make this recipe?Mention @Weelicious or tag #weelicious!

About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.


  1. Another recipie that is a success with my 2 years old daughter!. I cooked them with the veggie nuggets mix and she loved them! Thanks again!

  2. I would love to try this, but I’m wondering if I can do it with ground turkey or even turkey breast? I don’t have the space to do your brine recipe (which sounds delicious), but Im hoping to add all the ingredient to the ground or breast meat. Any suggestions?

  3. I probably solhudn’t admit how it takes me back to childhood Christmases, but I do love this stuff. I am still looking for those Christmas decorations (large, about 18 tall) that were made out of melted together plastic chips into shapes like a big Santa, reindeers, bells, etc . inspired to check again on ebay.

  4. I tried this for lunch today. But the mashed potato/egg mixture was very soft and fell off. It was a terrible gooey mess. Have I done something wrong? Did anyone else have this problem? I even used day old mashed potatoes.

  5. Hi there, simply become aware of your weblog via Google, and located that it is really informative. I?m gonna be careful for brussels. I?ll be grateful in case you continue this in future. A lot of folks will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  6. I just reread the instructions & it dawned on me that I forgot the second egg. That is probably why the potatoes fell off when frying – whoops!

  7. These were really good, but the frying didn’t work out for us. My husband tried to fry half of them & the potatoes fell off. 🙂 That’s all right since I prefer not to fry foods anyway. I’m not sure if it was because I assembled them one night & cooked them for lunch the next day, but whatever – I baked the other half & they turned out great.

  8. Another great recipe! Both my toddlers loved these. My husband asked, you’re not going to save these just for holidays are you?? I added some shredded carrots to the potatoes, which gave them a little hint of sweetness (and a fun color!). This recipe is a keeper!

  9. Thanks for suggesting the broccoli! I added some and they came out great – my son loved them! I think they would taste better fried (I baked) but I was trying to keep it healthy for my toddler. Luckily he loves them.

  10. My 16 month daughter normally will not eat mashed potatoes, unless they are sweet potatoes and she loved these!! I added cooked chopped broccoli in the turkey mixture, it worked really well. She ate it all, so it was an added bonus!

  11. I don’t suggest using freshly made mashed potatoes for this. They were simply way too soft to form into patties. Next time I make mashed potatoes, I’ll make an extra large batch and refrigerate the leftovers for use in this recipe.

  12. […] Roast Potatoes (great for a holiday dinner), Holiday Almond Bars (YUMMY!) and a very interesting Potato Turky Ball […]

  13. Just made them and they were de-lish! My very picky little guy doesn’t like the consistency of mashed potatoes so I made a few without (just the turkey and cheese). He gobbled them up! Thanks for the great ideas!

  14. Is wheat germ gluten free? I rolled these in wheat germ instead of bread crumbs – they turned out great! (I baked instead of fried)

  15. Sounds good. We have recently gone on a gluten free diet 🙁 Any way to make these without it?

  16. Excellent! I’ll definitely try this recipe … congratulations for the blog. If I may I point out a blog where there are Italian Genovese specialties …

  17. You can try it. I think they’re better with mashed potatoes b/c they have a lot more starch, so they’re easier to roll into balls.

  18. These look delicious and like something my picky 2 year old would actually eat! I have a lot of leftover mashed sweet potatoes, do you think that would be an easy substitute for regular mashed potatoes?

  19. I heard they wanted to inldcue it in the EU, but I also know that they suffer a lot of European xenophobia, largely in Germany. When I was in Germany in Kassel I have not seen many non-European, some blacks only. But Berlin is Turkey itself! It is the largest Turkish community outside Turkey, men are recognizable by appearance, and women by use of the Hijab (Muslim women’s Clothing). If Turkey is truly first world country, why so much immigration?

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