Potato Cheese Pancakes with Roasted Garlic

This garlicky cheesy potato pancake is inspired by the viral TikTok potato cheese pancake that’s been on my for you page everywhere! If you haven’t seen it or tasted it yet, get ready for a tasty ride because your mind is about to be blown. 

As the name suggests, it’s a delicious snack that marries the heartiness of mashed potatoes, sweet and aromatic roasted garlic, and the melty joy of ooey gooey cheese that’s shaped and pan-fried for the ultimate treat. What you’re left with is a soft and cheesy center with a crispy exterior. It’s fun to make and just as much fun to eat!

The original viral TikTok recipe uses potato and cheese, which is already delicious on its own, but my addition of roasted garlic takes this to the next level. To accentuate the flavors of the roasted garlic, I used not one but TWO garlic bulbs. If you’re a garlic lover like me, I highly recommend it!

Why you’ll love this recipe

I don’t know about you, but I love all things potatoes and when you throw in cheese and roasted garlic, it is a combination that’s hard to resist! When crisped to golden perfection, the garlic potato cheese pancakes offer a delightful contrast against the creamy and gooey melted cheese filling.

It can be served as a hearty breakfast, quick snack, or appetizer – a dish that can be truly enjoyed any time of day. The best part is it only takes 20 minutes to prepare, so you can make this whenever you’re in the mood for a delectable treat!

Potato Cheese Pancake Ingredients & Substitutions

Russet potatoes: I like using russet potatoes for this dish because they are starchy and hold their shape better than other potato varieties. You can use other potatoes like red potatoes, yellow potatoes, and white potatoes however these waxy potato varieties have more moisture content so you may need to add a bit more cornstarch. 

Garlic bulbs: when roasted the garlic bulbs add a sweet flavor and garlicky aroma to the potato cheese pancakes. Feel free to use more garlic but not less!

Olive oil: olive oil is used to roast the garlic bulbs.

Salt: salt enhances the overall flavors of the dish. Feel free to adjust the amount according to taste.

Cornstarch: cornstarch helps bind the pancakes to hold their shape. You can substitute it with potato starch or all-purpose flour. 

Sugar: granulated sugar helps sweeten the garlic potato cheese pancakes and balance out some of the savoriness. Don’t worry – it won’t be overly sweet!

Shredded mozzarella cheese: shredded mozzarella cheese provides a deliciously gooey consistency to the dish. You can substitute or combine it with other cheeses, such as parmesan, cheddar, parmesan, or Swiss cheese.

Neutral oil: any neutral oil will work well for frying the potato cheese pancakes, including corn, canola, avocado, grapeseed, vegetable, peanut, or sunflower seed oil.

Parsley: chopped parsley adds a nice touch of color as a garnish. In a pinch, you can substitute it with dried parsley or chopped scallions. 

How do I prepare Potato Cheese Pancakes?

Follow the easy step-by-step recipe below to prepare these delicious potato cheese pancakes at home:

Step 1:  Preheat the oven

Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).

Step 2: Roast the garlic bulb

Slice 1/2 inch off the top of the garlic bulbs, making sure that the garlic cloves are slightly exposed. Transfer each bulb to a separate sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle each garlic bulb with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Cover and wrap the garlic bulbs with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and bake in the middle rack of the oven for 45 to 60 minutes or until soft and tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. 

Step 3: Prepare the potatoes

Peel the potatoes and slice them into chunks. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add 1 teaspoon of salt. Toss in the potatoes and boil for 20 minutes or they’re until chopstick tender.

Step 4: Strain and mash the potatoes

Strain the potatoes and allow them to cool down slightly so they’re easier to handle. Once slightly cooled, run the potatoes through a ricer or mash them up with a masher until smooth. I recommend using a ricer so you get silky smooth mashed potatoes. 

Step 5: Season the mashed potatoes

To the potatoes, add cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the roasted garlic. Mix until everything is well combined.

Step 6: Weigh and shape the mashed potatoes

Using a weighing scale or 1/4 cup measuring cup, divide the potato dough into 5 equal pieces, then shape them into a ball.

Step 7: Add the mozzarella and shape the potatoes into balls

Take one ball and flatten it out with your hands while making a small well in the center. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of shredded mozzarella cheese in the center. Close the seams, then roll it into a ball until smooth. Gently press the potato in between the palms of your hands to flatten it and shape the edges into a round disc. Repeat for the remaining potato dough.

Step 8: Preheat the oil and add the potatoes

In a pan over medium heat, add neutral oil about 1/4 inch up from the pan. To test if the oil is hot enough, dip a wooden chopstick into the oil or drop a small amount of batter into the pan. If it starts to sizzle, the oil is ready. Carefully add the garlic potato cheese pancakes, making sure to leave ample space in between so they don’t touch.

Step 9: Fry the potato cheese pancakes

Fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Flip and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Remove the garlic potato cheese pancakes from the heat and allow them to rest on a wire rack to slightly cool. 

Step 10: Garnish and serve

Once cool, transfer the garlic potato cheese pancakes to a plate. Garnish with parsley and serve. Enjoy!

Cooking Tips for Potato Cheese Pancake

Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind to prepare the most delicious roasted garlic potato cheese pancakes every time!

  • For the smoothest mashed potato texture, I highly recommend running the cooked potatoes through a ricer. If you mash the potatoes with a fork or potato masher, there may be lumps. 
  • You can also add herbs, like parsley, thyme, or chives, into the batter to elevate the flavors of the filling.
  • Pour the remaining olive oil from the aluminum foil after roasting the garlic into the potato batter. You don’t want this delicious infused garlic oil to go to waste. 
  • It’s important to ensure that the oil is hot before frying to ensure that the potato cheese pancakes turn out crispy. You can test the oil by dropping a small amount of batter into the pan or dipping a wooden chopstick into the oil. You’ll know the oil is ready when it sizzles.
  • Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to fry the potato cheese pancakes in batches to prevent overcrowding. It’s important that each pancake has enough space on all sides so it evenly browns. 
  • These pancakes can be made in advance and stored in the freezer to enjoy whenever you want. After assembling, arrange them on a lined sheet tray and transfer to the freezer for a few hours until completely frozen. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What does roasting the garlic bulbs do?

Roasting the garlic bulbs gives them more depth of flavor. It brings out their sweetness while mellowing out the garlic’s potent bite. It also doesn’t hurt that roasting brings out the aroma of the garlic bulbs, making the garlic potato cheese pancakes more appetizing.

Can I use different types of potatoes for this recipe?

Russet potatoes are ideal for this recipe because it is starchy, which means they will hold their shape better. With that being said, you can definitely use other types of potatoes including red potatoes, yellow potatoes, and white potatoes. These are waxy varieties and they have more moisture content so you may need to add a bit more cornstarch. 

Can I make potato cheese pancakes ahead of time?

These pancakes are best enjoyed fresh however, you can prepare and assemble the pancakes ahead of time. If not used right away, store them in the freezer and fry them up when you’re ready to serve. If you are planning to use them the same day or even the day after, transfer the assembled potato cheese pancakes to an airtight container then fry them right before serving. 

Can I store these potato cheese pancakes in the freezer?

Yes! These pancakes can be made in advance and stored in the freezer to enjoy whenever you want. Once they’ve been assembled, transfer them to a lined sheet tray and place them in the freezer for a few hours until frozen. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Can I store leftover potato cheese pancakes?

For any leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. They can be reheated over the stove top with some oil or in the oven at 350F (175C) for 5 to 10 minutes until warmed through and crispy. While you can reheat them in the microwave, they will be soggy. 

Looking for more easy & delicious appetizer recipes?

1. Korean Vegetable Pancakesif you can’t get enough savory pancakes, you have to try this Korean pancake recipe. Made with potatoes, zucchini, and a variety of vegetables, you get a super crunchy exterior coupled with a soft and tender interior. It’s like the perfect bite!

2. Mushroom Baoeach bite of this mushroom bao will take you on a journey of taste and texture. It’s filled with shredded oyster mushrooms, pickled cucumbers, and Thai chili peppers served in a soft pillowy bao bun. 

3. Korean Silken Tofuthis is the easiest Korean ‘banchan’ or side dish recipe you’ll ever make. It only takes 5 minutes, making it the perfect quick and easy side dish to put together on a busy or lazy weeknight. It’s served cold so all you need to do is assemble the sauce and pour it on top!

4. Spicy Asian Cucumber Saladif you’re looking for a light and refreshing dish that you can serve with any meal, this recipe is for you! It’s marinated in a sauce made up of a combination of spicy, sweet, salty, and tangy flavors!

5. Chinese Tea Eggs these jammy tea eggs are marinated in a flavorful soy sauce-based mixture that is great with your ramen, over rice, or as a snack on its own! So incredibly delicious and perfect to have stored in your fridge for a quick snack. 

Roasted Garlic Potato Cheese Pancake

Servings 5 pancakes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-sized russet potatoes about 400g, substitute with other potato varities
  • 2 whole garlic bulbs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt divided
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch substitute with potato starch or all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • neutral oil for shallow frying
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish, substitute with dried parsley or fresh scallions

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400F (205C).
  • Slice 1/2 inch off the top of the garlic bulbs. Transfer each bulb to a separate sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle each garlic with 1/2 tablespoon and a pinch of salt. Cover and wrap the garlic with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and bake for 45 to 60 minutes.
  • While the garlic is roasting, peel the potatoes and slice them into chunks. Bring a pot of water to a boil then add 1 teaspoon of salt. Toss in the potatoes and boil for 20 minutes or until chopstick tender.
  • Strain the potatoes and allow them to slightly cool down so they're easier to handle. Once slightly cooled, run the potatoes through a ricer or mash them up until smooth with a masher.
  • To the potatoes, add cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the roasted garlic. Mix until everything is well combined.
  • Using a weight scale or 1/4 cup measuring cup, divide the potato dough into 5 equal pieces, then shape them into a ball.
  • Take one ball and flatten it out with your hands while making a small well in the center. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of shredded mozzarella cheese in the center. Close the seams then roll it into a ball until smooth. Gently press the potato in between the palm of your hands to flatten it and shape the edges into a round disc. Repeat for the remaining potato dough.
  • In a pan over medium heat, add neutral oil, about 1/4 inch up from the pan. Carefully add the potato pancakes, making sure to leave ample space in between so they don't touch.
  • Fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Flip and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Remove and rest on a wire rack to slightly cool.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve!
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Korean

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