These tasty Loaded Potato Poppers are deep-fried bites stuffed with mashed potatoes, corn, cheese, and bacon coated in crispy breadcrumbs!
My husband is a huge fan of mashed potatoes and corn, so we decided to make an outstanding appetizer featuring those two ingredients with the addition of cheese and bacon, of course!
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Loaded Potato Poppers Ingredients
Potato Poppers Ingredients
The inside of the poppers is a creamy combination of potatoes, corn, cheese, and bacon! You can add anything from sliced green onions to diced peppers.
- Mashed Potatoes: The main ingredient in these poppers is mashed potatoes. This is the perfect recipe for using leftover homemade mashed potatoes if you have them, but instant mashed potatoes will work as well.
- Corn: We cut the kernels off of fresh sweet corn. One medium-sized corn on the cob was enough for one cup of kernels. You could also use kernels from leftover cooked corn on the cob or canned corn too.
- Cheddar Cheese: We chose cheddar cheese for the flavor and because it is a classic pairing with potatoes, but you could substitute an equal amount of any shredded cheese.
- Bacon: The chopped bits of fried bacon add flavor and crunch to these loaded potato poppers! Our favorite hands-off way to cook bacon is in the oven.
The loaded potato popper’s exterior is a combination of bread crumbs and spices that fry to a crispy golden brown in the oil!
- Panko Bread Crumbs: These bread crumbs have larger flakes that are drier and crispier than plain bread crumbs. They add great texture to the poppers and add to the crunchiness.
- Plain Bread Crumbs: We used plain bread crumbs in addition to the panko bread crumbs because they are finer in texture and help to fully coat the loaded potato poppers.
- Spices: The garlic powder, black pepper, and salt add flavor to the coating. You can add more or less of these spices as you see fit or swap them out with your favorites.
- Eggs: The loaded potato poppers are coated with the breadcrumbs mixture first, then with the beaten eggs, and finally, they get a second coating of breadcrumbs.
How To Make Loaded Potato Poppers
Loaded potato poppers are easy to make, though they are a little messy, yet totally worth the effort!
Potato Balls: Mix the mashed potatoes, corn, shredded cheddar cheese, and chopped bacon. Form the mixture into balls and set them aside.
Coating: Put the beaten eggs in one bowl and bread crumbs and spices in the third bowl. Coat the potato balls in breadcrumbs, then the beaten eggs, and then in the breadcrumbs again.
Cooking: Deep fry the loaded potato poppers until golden brown. Serve while warm!
Helpful Kitchen Tools
Here are a few kitchen tools that we found very helpful when making these loaded potato poppers. We will also share sources as well as alternatives for these tools in case you don’t have them on hand.
- Corn Peeler: A corn peeler looks a little like other vegetable peelers, but it is made specifically for peeling sweet corn! It is a great way to quickly and easily get corn off of the cob. You can get a corn peeler here or use a sharp kitchen knife if you prefer.
- Batter Scoop: A batter scoop or dough scoop is the best way to form evenly-sized corn poppers. For this recipe, I used this #40 scoop which is just under two tablespoons; and was able to make 18 poppers. If you don’t have a dough scoop, you can use a couple of tablespoons as if making drop cookies.
- Fryer: See below for detailed information about the deep fryer.
Deep Frying Food
There are a couple of options when it comes to deep-frying food at home. You can use a large heavy-bottomed pot on the stovetop with a thermometer or use a deep fryer.
We opted to purchase a deep fryer to use when deep frying food. It can hold up to 12 cups of oil and 8 cups of food. You can find our exact deep fryer here. These are a few of the advantages of using a deep fryer:
- Temperature: The deep fryer heats the oil and maintains the temperature. You choose the temperature you would like the oil to be; a green light comes on when it is ready.
- Thermometer: The thermometer is built into the deep fryer. There is no need for an external one unless you want to double-check the temperature.
- Wire Basket: There is a wire frying basket for lowering and raising food in the fryer.
- Cover: There is a vented, removable cover with a view window.
Our deep fryer does limit the size and shape of the items we are frying. It also has a max temperature of 375˚, and we had to purchase it rather than use what we already had on hand. Always keep in mind that you need to be cautious when frying food. Keep the oil at a steady temperature and always stay close by.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, these loaded potato poppers can be made ahead of time. After adding the breading to the potato balls, store the poppers in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for 2-3 days, until ready to fry. Or store them in the freezer for up to three months, and thaw them overnight in the refrigerator.
Reheat the potato poppers in the oven at 375˚ for 5-8 minutes or warm them in the microwave on high for 15-20 seconds.
Yes, you can cook the loaded potato poppers in batches in an air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 375˚F, place several poppers in the basket, coat them with olive oil spray, and cook for 5-8 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Enjoy These Appetizer Recipes Next
- These cheesy Corn Poppers are deep-fried and crave-worthy.
- Garlic Parmesan Pretzels can be enjoyed year-round!
- These Jalapenos Poppers are the ultimate party appetizer.
- Fried Pickles are a restaurant favorite!
Loaded Potato Poppers
- 2 cups prepared mashed potatoes
- 1 cup corn
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup chopped bacon
- Mix together the mashed potatoes, corn, cheddar cheese, and chopped bacon.
- Scoop the mixture and form it into balls. Set aside.
- Put the plain bread crumbs, panko breadcrumbs, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt into a bowl and stir to combine.
- Coat the potato poppers with the breading mixture, then with the beaten eggs, and then coat with the breading a second time. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a deep fryer (or use a large pot with a thermometer) to 350˚F. Fry several bites at once for 1 1/2 -2 1/2 minutes, until golden brown.
- Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Garnish with parsley, if desired, and serve warm. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.