Parmesan Potato Puffs

Parmesan Potato Puffs

Pan-fried potato puffs with my secret fry sauce for dipping. They have lightly crisp outsides that give way to soft middles that melt in your mouth. Along with Parmesan cheese, they’re lightly seasoned with paprika, garlic and onion powder.

Pan-frying is a must. See those pale, insipid looking things in the back? I baked them, because inevitably, I knew you’d ask. They came out flat, dense and unappetizing. It was hard to believe they were even made from the same mixture, so different they were from the fried ones.

Frying magically poufs them up and out giving them light and creamy interiors with beautiful browned outsides, exactly how I imagine something called a “puff” ought to be like. The insides remind me a little of tater tots, but the outsides don’t have quite the same crunch. They’re crunchy enough, just not tater tot crunchy.

Now for my favorite fry dip, my go-to that I’ve been making forever. Barbecue sauce and mayonnaise, equal parts mixed together. Nothing fancy. It’s creamy, tangy, rich and addictive. Good on fries, onion rings, crispy chicken of any kind, and burgers.

You can serve these as a side or appetizer. For appetizers make them a little ahead of time and keep them warm in a low oven.

Potato Puffs with Parmesan

Parmesan Potato Puffs

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Yield: serves 4 as a side

Parmesan Potato Puffs

Pan-fried potato puffs with my secret fry sauce for dipping. They have lightly crisp outsides that give way to soft middles that melt in your mouth. Along with Parmesan cheese, they're lightly seasoned with paprika, garlic and onion powder.


2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
coarse salt
vegetable oil, for frying
dipping sauce:
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise


  1. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and maintain a simmer until they are fork tender.
  2. Drain them and put them back in the pan, set it over the heat, cook for a minute or two to dry up the excess water on them.
  3. Mash them with a potato masher or pass them through a ricer into a large bowl. Stir in the egg, butter, Parmesan, flour, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder. Season well with salt - about a heaping teaspoon.
  4. Lightly flour your hands and roll into 1 to 1 + 1/2-inch sized balls.
  5. Heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Once it starts to shimmer add one of the potato puffs - the oil should bubble and sizzle immediately, if it doesn't let it heat up a little longer. Cook the puffs in batches, don't crowd them because they will pouf up a little as they cook.
  6. Cook about 2 minutes a side or until golden brown, then turn and repeat, then turn and repeat again if needed so you can get all sides of the puffs nice and golden brown. Add more oil to the pan as needed.
  7. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
  8. Serve hot or at room temperature with fry dip (just whisk equal parts barbecue sauce and mayonnaise together) or ketchup.


Adapted from Food & Wine

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved


  1. Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies says

    I don’t do a lot of pan frying because it makes my house smell like deep fry for a week, but these sound totally worth it! I’m on board with any creamy, puffy, crispy-outside potato goodness. I normally mix BBQ sauce with fat free sour cream (as a chip dip), but I’m going to have to give mayo a try next time I have fries (or these puffs!!).
    Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies recently posted..MoussakaMy Profile

    • Reeni says

      They are totally worth it Kelly! I hope you have a chance to try them! I usually light a candle afterwards to get rid of the smell. :-)

  2. Doris says

    Hi Reeni!
    I have to say that you come up with the most scrumptious recipes for potatoes! I could most probably eat a few dozen of these little masterpieces. Good thing I just got some Russets the other day —guess I know what I will be making this weekend. Hope you had a great week and an even better weekend. Big hugs to Moon and you. XOX

    • Reeni says

      Hi Doris! Thank-you! I LOVE potatoes! There’s so many things you can do with them – they’re one of my favorite things to make – and eat. Enjoy your weekend and thanks for stopping by! xoxo

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