What To Do With Leftover Potato Salad? | Roast It, Bake It, Make A Delicious Sandwich With It

After your cookout is over and the guests have departed, you’re left with a mountain of dishes and, of course, mounds of leftover potato salad. If you and your family cannot fathom getting through the leftovers, it may seem wasteful to scrape it all into the trash bin. So what on earth do you do? Don’t worry. All is not lost. 

It turns out there are several delicious ways to use up your leftover potato salad that won’t leave you turning up your nose. The options include roasting it, baking it into a casserole, frying it up into potato patties, making a sandwich, or even serving it up the next day for breakfast! So read on to discover ways to give new life to your potato salad leftovers. 

Potato salad is a summer classic that everyone loves, including Grandma and the youngins. The mixture of salty potatoes, mayo, eggs, and crunchy celery, pickles, and spices is enough to make your mouth water. It’s a great side item to any outdoor get-together and compliments just about any main dish, from ribs to chicken to hot dogs.

But, after the picnic is over and you’ve had your fair share, it might be time to mix it up a bit. So, try the below ideas for giving your leftover potato salad some new flare. Of course, these ideas work great for mustard potato salad as well.

Roasted Potato Salad

When you first think of roasted potato salad, it might not sound like it makes much sense. However, if you give it a chance, it can be pretty tasty. We know that roasting potatoes in oil makes sense, and mayo isn’t too far off from that general idea. After all, you need some fat on the potatoes to make sure they get nice and crispy while they bake. 

Follow the below directions for the perfect roasted potato salad: 

Step 1.   Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

Step 2.   Spread the leftover potato salad onto a baking sheet

Step 3.   Cook for 30 minutes. Make sure to remove the pan and toss the potatoes every 10 minutes or so for even cooking. 

Once they are crisped up to your liking, remove from the oven, let them cool, and enjoy them as a side dish to your next weeknight dinner. If you like your roasted potatoes a little bit cheesy, consider sprinkling some parmesan cheese over the top before baking. The cheese topping adds an excellent crispy layer that is sure to be a hit. Even the kids are sure to love it. 

Bake Your Leftovers Into A Casserole 

If you’re a true comfort food lover, then you may want to try making your leftover potato salad into a casserole. Here is how: 

Step 1.  Preheat your oven to 325 degrees

Step 2.  Consider add-ins! If you happen to have bacon or ham in your fridge, go ahead and fry it up in a pan, cut it into pieces and stir into your salad mixture. Ensure that you don’t cook it until it’s too crispy, as it will cook further in the oven.

Step 3.  Spread the leftover potato salad into a casserole dish. The size of the dish will generally depend on how much potato salad you have remaining, but you will want to spread to about 1 ½ inches in depth  

Step 4. Sprinkle shredded cheese of your choice on top (cheddar or Monterey jack are excellent choices!) and pop into the oven for 45-55 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Step 5.  Cool for 10 minutes and enjoy immediately.

Fry Leftovers Into Croquettes (Potato Patties)

Who doesn’t love croquettes? If you haven’t tried them or are unfamiliar, croquettes are breaded or deep-fried patties bound together with a starchy substance such as potatoes or wheat flour and a liquid substance such as eggs or bechamel. In this case, the potato salad acts as an excellent binding mixture. All you need is panko seasoning, all-purpose flour, and two to three eggs. 

To make:

Step 1.   Mash your potato salad into a creamy consistency

Step 2.   Scoop about two tablespoons of your leftover potato salad onto a flat surface and form it into a flattened circle

Step 3.   Repeat with the remainder of your potato salad.

Step 4.   Place them on a sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Step 5.   Meanwhile, mix the eggs in a bowl and sprinkle the flour in one bowl and the panko seasoning in another.  

Step 6.   Once the balls are cold, dredge them in the eggs, then the flour, and finally the panko.

Step 7.   Heat 1/2 inch of oil on high heat in a pan. Once the pan is hot, reduce the heat to medium, and fry the croquettes on each side for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. 

Step 8.   Remove from pan, place on a paper towel-lined plate, soak up the excess oil, cool, and enjoy!

Another option if you prefer not to fry the croquettes is to bake them. Follow steps 1-5 above, and instead of frying them on your stovetop, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until the outside is crispy and golden brown. You may want to turn them over about halfway through to ensure even crispiness on both sides. 

Make It For Breakfast

Potatoes are already a breakfast staple, so who says your leftover potato salad can’t make an appearance at the breakfast table?

This savory breakfast is delicious if you prepare the potato patties or croquettes above. However, you can also opt to simplify it (and save some dishes in the process) by mixing the egg and panko directly into the potato salad, drizzle oil onto a heated pan, and flatten the mixture into the pan. Then, pan-fry each side until you have a crispy potato pancake. 

Lastly, top it off with a fried egg, add some bacon on the side, and you have yourself a delicious and savory breakfast that the family will love. 

What To Do With Leftover Potato Salad

Make a Sandwich

I know that a sandwich might sound like the last thing you want to make with leftover potato salad; however, some Southerners promise it makes for a delicious lunch. 

Take your bread of choice (some swear by two simple slices of Wonder Bread) and spread on the potato salad. Some would suggest adding extra mayo to the slices, but that might be overkill (in my opinion). 

Add a layer of extra pickle slices and a couple of pieces of bacon, and you have lunch! 

If sandwiches aren’t your thing, try using King’s Hawaiian rolls and make them into sliders instead. The sweetness of the bread adds a nice touch. 

Tricks To Make Potato Salad Last Longer (And Taste Better)

Have you ever noticed that your potato salad gets mushy after a day or two or just doesn’t have the same quality flavor as the day you made it? Below are some tips to help your potato salad last: 

Add Vinegar To Warm Potatoes

Vinegar adds excellent flavor to the potatoes, especially if you give it time to soak in. White vinegar or apple cider vinegar are both great options. 

Use Yukon Gold Potatoes

Skip the traditional russet potatoes and opt for Yukon gold potatoes instead. They are more firm and won’t fall apart or get mushy when cooked, making for a longer-lasting and superior-tasting potato salad.

Steam Instead Of Boil

Steaming your potatoes instead of boiling them will prevent them from getting waterlogged, so switch up your method and grab a steamer basket instead.

Don’t Overcook

Keep a close eye on your potatoes when cooking them. You want them just the right firmness for the salad. 

Let Potatoes Cool 

Let your potatoes cool entirely before mixing in the ingredients. After cooking, the potatoes will sweat moisture, so you want to ensure that moisture evaporates before mixing in the ingredients. This method is an excellent way to prevent your salad from turning to mush. 

Can You Freeze Potato Salad?

You may be wondering if it’s worth freezing your leftover potato salad. While many people do freeze potato salad, unfortunately, you probably shouldn’t. 

The ingredients used to make potato salad don’t generally freeze well. Mayonnaise tends to separate and can be less than appetizing once thawed, and eggs and celery can get mushy in the freezer. 

Your best bet is to eat the leftovers 1-2 days after making or try one of the delicious recipes above. 

How Can I Make My Potato Salad More Exciting?

If all this talk about potato salad has you wondering if there are ways to jazz up your go-to side. The answer is yes! If you find yourself getting bored with the all-American potato salad, try these variations on the traditional picnic classic. After all, change is good sometimes. 

Go Vegan

Instead of the usual mayonnaise base for your potato salad, try mixing it up with oil, white vinegar, and fresh herbs for a vegan, plant-based take on the side dish. 

This more sophisticated take on potato salad pairs well with a vegetarian meal or serve it as a side if you plan to do tri-tip or salmon for your guests. It’s sure to impress your guests. 

Make It Japanese Inspired

If you haven’t tried Japanese potato salad, now is the time. Did you know that potato salad has been enjoyed in Japan for over 125 years? Talk about a classic. 

In this version of potato salad, fresh vegetables such as carrots, corn, and cucumbers are incorporated with flavorful ham and hard-boiled eggs to create an irresistible flavor combination. Swap rice vinegar instead of white vinegar, and in place of standard mayo, try Kewpie mayonnaise. Kewpie is a Japanese mayonnaise that is creamier in consistency than the kind you’ll find in American supermarkets. Give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.

Mix It With Pesto 

If you want to switch things up completely, consider pesto as your next potato salad base. Mix in toasted walnuts, parmesan, lemon, and garlic to create a unique culinary experience at your next cookout. 

Give It A French Twist

French potato salad is a refreshing side dish for your next get-together. For this salad, mix green onions and apple cider vinegar with red and yellow potatoes. The dressing is made with a delicious blend of brown or dijon mustard, garlic, fresh dill, apple cider, and red wine vinegar. 

Add Bacon

My family is a big fan of bacon, so adding this to your classic potato salad is always a big win. The crispness and saltiness of the bacon compliment the potatoes and crunch of the salad nicely. 

Add Chicken 

For a dose of lean protein to your potato salad consider adding chicken breast. Simply chop up two cooked breasts and mix in. 

Salsa Potato Salad

For a South of the border kick, add sour cream, cheddar cheese, and pico de gallo or fresh salsa to your potato salad. Anyone who likes some spice will love this version. 

Final Thoughts

Nobody likes to waste food. By now, hopefully, you feel that there are plenty of great options to turn that leftover potato salad into something more interesting to your palette. So go ahead and give one of these leftover recipe ideas a try!

Sometimes we all need some inspiration, so hopefully, you feel inspired to try some new ways to mix up your potato salad for your next BBQ or summer potluck. 

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