Yummy Recipes for Ham and Cheese Mashed Potato Balls in Air Fryer: Comfort Food Delight

There is nothing like the comfort of biting into a crispy, golden-brown ball filled with creamy mashed potatoes, savory ham, and gooey cheese. Mashed potato balls with ham and cheese are a favorite for every occasion because they have the ideal balance of tastes and textures. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know to make these delightful treats using an air fryer, ensuring they’re as delicious as they are easy to prepare.

What Makes Ham and Cheese Mashed Potato Balls a Comfort Food Delight?

Ham and cheese mashed potato balls are a quintessential comfort food, and for good reason. They create a delectably decadent meal by combining the savory flavors of melted cheese and ham with mashed potatoes’ creamy, rich texture. Here are a few reasons why this dish is such a beloved comfort food:

Nostalgic Flavors

Mashed potato balls with ham and cheese are a common way for people to remember family get-togethers and home-cooked dinners. The taste combination is well-known and cozy, returning to happier, more carefree times around the dinner table.

Perfect Texture Combination

The beauty of ham and cheese mashed potato balls lies in their texture. The crispy exterior, achieved through air frying, contrasts perfectly with the soft, creamy interior. The melted cheese adds a gooey, satisfying element, while the bits of ham provide a pleasant chewiness.


This dish is incredibly versatile, making it a favorite for various occasions. Whether served as an appetizer, a side dish, or a main course, ham and cheese mashed potato balls fit seamlessly into any meal. They can be dressed up for a formal meal or kept low-key for a laid-back family get-together.

Easy to Make

Despite their gourmet appearance and taste, ham and cheese mashed potato balls are surprisingly easy to make. Cooking is easier with an air fryer, which uses less oil and requires less cleanup. This ease of preparation makes them an ideal comfort food for busy weeknights or last-minute gatherings.


Another reason these potato balls are a comfort food delight is their customizability. To fit your tastes, try experimenting with other cheese, such as mozzarella, Swiss, or even a hot pepper jack. Adding herbs, spices, or other ingredients like green onions or bacon can elevate the flavor profile and make the dish uniquely yours.

Filling and Satisfying

Ham and cheese mashed potato balls are incredibly filling, making them a satisfying choice for a meal or snack. The combination of protein from the ham, fat from the cheese, and carbohydrates from the potatoes provides a well-rounded, hearty bite that leaves you feeling satisfied and comforted.

Universal Appeal

The flavors and textures in ham and cheese mashed potato balls have universal appeal. They are crowd-pleasers, making them an excellent choice for parties, potlucks, or family dinners. Their bite-sized nature makes them fun and easy to eat, especially for kids.

In summary, ham and cheese mashed potato balls are a comfort food delight because they offer nostalgic flavors, perfect texture combinations, and versatility. They are easy to make, customizable, filling, and have universal appeal, making them a beloved dish for any occasion.

Ingredients and Preparation: Getting Ready to Cook

Before you start making your delicious ham and cheese mashed potato balls, gathering all the necessary ingredients and preparing them properly is essential. Here’s what you’ll need:


Ingredient Quantity Notes
Potatoes Four large Russet or Yukon Gold, peeled and cubed
Cooked ham 1 cup Diced into small pieces
Cheese 1 cup Shredded (Cheddar, Mozzarella, or your choice)
Egg 1 Beaten
All-purpose flour 1/2 cup For coating
Bread crumbs 1 cup Panko or regular
Salt 1 tsp Adjust to taste
Black pepper 1/2 tsp Adjust to taste
Garlic powder 1/2 tsp Optional, for extra flavor
Olive oil spray As needed For air frying

Preparation Steps

  1. Boil the Potatoes:
    • Put the potatoes in a big saucepan of salted water
    •  once they have been peeled and cubed.
    • Boil for 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
    • After draining, put the potatoes back in the pot.
  1. Mash the Potatoes:
    • Mash the potatoes until smooth and creamy. You can use a potato masher or a hand mixer for this.
    • To taste, add a little of salt and pepper.
  2. Prepare the Filling:
    • Mix the diced ham and shredded cheese into the mashed potatoes. Make sure they are evenly distributed.
  3. Form the Balls:
    • Roll a tiny portion of the mashed potato mixture into a ball roughly the size of a golf ball.
    • Repeat until the mixture is used up completely.
  4. Coat the Balls:
    • To set up a breading station, three shallow bowls should be used: one for flour, one for the beaten egg, and one for bread crumbs.
    • Every potato ball should be rolled in flour, dipped in a whisked egg, and then covered in bread crumbs.
  5. Preheat the Air Fryer:
    • Set your air fryer’s temperature for a few minutes at 375°F (190°C).
  6. Air Fry the Balls:
    • Olive oil spray should be used sparingly on the air fryer basket.
    • Place the coated potato balls in the basket, ensuring they do not touch each other.
    • Apply a thin layer of olive oil spray to the balls’ tops.
    • To get the balls
    • crispy and golden brown, air fry them for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating them halfway through.
  7. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Once cooked, remove the potato balls from the air fryer and let them cool slightly.
    • Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce.

By following these steps and using the provided ingredient list, you’ll be well on making delicious ham and cheese mashed potato balls in your air fryer. Enjoy the process and the tasty results!

Step-by-Step Recipe for Perfect Ham and Cheese Mashed Potato Balls in an Air Fryer

Follow a detailed, step-by-step guide to making these delicious mashed potato balls in an air fryer.

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

Ensure you have ready all the ingredients listed in the previous section. This will facilitate easy and effective cooking.

Step 2: Boil and Mash the Potatoes

  1. Peel and Cube the Potatoes: Start by peeling four large Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes and cutting them into cubes. This facilitates quicker and more even cooking.
  2. Boil the Potatoes: Put the diced potatoes in a big pot and add enough water to cover them. The water should be salted and brought to a boil. Simmer the potatoes until they are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. To test if a potato cube is done, pierce it with a fork; it should go in easily.
  3. Drain and Mash: Return the cooked potatoes to the pot. Mash them smooth with a potato masher or hand mixer, then season with salt and pepper.

Step 3: Prepare the Filling

  1. Add Ham and Cheese: Add one cup of diced cooked ham and one cup of shredded cheese (you can use cheddar, mozzarella, or any other cheese) to the mashed potatoes. Mix well to ensure the ham and cheese are evenly distributed throughout the mashed potatoes.

Step 4: Form the Potato Balls

  1. Shape the Balls: Roll a tiny bit of the mashed potato mixture into a ball roughly the size of a golf ball. Repeat this process until the mixture is used up completely. You should have approximately 12-16 balls, depending on the size.

Step 5: Coat the Potato Balls

  1. Set Up a Breading Station: Prepare three shallow bowls: one with 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, one with a beaten egg, and one with 1 cup of bread crumbs (Panko or regular).
  2. Coat the Balls: To coat every potato ball completely, roll it in flour, dip it in a whisked egg, and finally roll it in bread crumbs. Place the coated balls on a plate or baking sheet.

Step 6: Preheat the Air Fryer

  1. Set your air fryer’s temperature for a few minutes at 375°F (190°C).
  2.  Preheating ensures the potato balls cook evenly and become crispy.

Step 7: Air Fry the Potato Balls

  1. Prepare the Air Fryer Basket: To prevent the basket from sticking, lightly spray it with olive oil.
  2. Arrange the Potato Balls: Make sure the coated potato balls are not in contact with one another when you arrange them in the air fryer basket in a single layer. The number of batches you need to cook them in will depend on how big your air fryer is.
  3. Cook: Lightly spray the tops of the potato balls with olive oil. Air fry for 10-12 minutes, turning them halfway through to ensure even browning. The balls should be golden brown and crispy on the outside.

Step 8: Serve and Enjoy

  1. Cool Slightly: Once the potato balls are cooked, remove them from the air fryer and let them cool slightly.
  2. Warm mashed potato balls with cheese and ham can be served with your preferred dipping sauces, like ranch, marinara, or honey mustard.

 Enjoy your delicious, crispy, cheesy ham and cheese mashed potato balls straight from the air fryer. Perfect for appetizers, snacks, or a delightful side dish!

Tips and Tricks for the Best Results

Making perfect ham and cheese mashed potato balls in an air fryer can be easy and rewarding with a few expert tips and tricks. Follow these suggestions to ensure your potato balls turn out crispy, flavorful, and delightful every time.

  1. Use the Right Potatoes
  • Potato Choice: Yukon Gold or russet potatoes work best in this dish.
  • Russet potatoes are starchy and fluffy, while Yukon Gold potatoes are creamy.
  • Avoid Waxy Potatoes: Avoid waxy potatoes, such as red or new potatoes, as they can become gummy when mashed.
  1. Proper Mashed Potato Texture
  • Avoid Over-mixing: When mashing the potatoes, be careful not to over-mix, as this can make them gluey. Aim for a smooth but not overly processed texture.
  • Dry Potatoes: After boiling, let the drained potatoes sit for a minute or two to steam off excess moisture before mashing. This helps prevent a watery mixture.
  1. Enhancing Flavor
  • Season Generously: Don’t skimp on seasoning the mashed potatoes. Add salt, pepper, and optional garlic powder or other spices to enhance the flavor.
  • Add-ons: Mix finely chopped green onions, chives, or parsley for added flavor and color.
  1. Perfecting the Coating
  • Uniform Size: Make the potato balls uniform to ensure even cooking. Using a cookie scoop can help achieve consistent portions.
  • Breading Station Setup: For efficiency, set up your breading station in an assembly line fashion: flour, egg, and bread crumbs.
  • Firm Coating: Press the bread crumbs onto the balls to make a covering that sticks to the potato balls and crisps up well in the air fryer.
  1. Air Fryer Tips
  • Preheat the Air Fryer: Always preheat your air fryer to guarantee uniform cooking and a crispy outside.
  • Single-Layer Cooking: Arrange the potato balls in a single layer in the air fryer basket without overcrowding. Overcrowding can prevent even browning and crisping.
  • Oil Spray: Lightly spray the potato balls with olive oil or cooking spray to promote even browning and a crispy texture.
  1. Adjusting Cooking Times
  • Check for Doneness: Air fryer models can vary, so check the potato balls a few minutes before the recommended cooking time is up. They should be golden brown and crispy.
  • Batch Cooking: If you have a smaller air fryer, cook the potato balls in batches to ensure they cook evenly. Keep cooked batches in an oven to low heat while you finish the rest.
  1. Creative Variations
  • Cheese Choices: Experiment with cheeses such as mozzarella for a gooey center, Swiss for a mild flavor, or pepper jack for a spicy kick.
  • Additional Ingredients: Add finely chopped vegetables like bell peppers or jalapeños or mix in cooked bacon bits for extra flavor.
  • Spice It Up: To make it spicier, mix in more paprika, chili flakes, or cayenne pepper to the bread crumbs.
  1. Serving and Storing
  • Dipping Sauces: Serve the potato balls with dipping sauces like ranch, marinara, honey mustard, or Sriracha mayo to enhance their flavor.
  • Leftovers: Keep any remaining food refrigerated in an airtight container. To keep them crisp, reheat them for a few minutes at 350°F (175°C) in the air fryer.
  • Freezing: Before putting the frozen potato balls in a freezer bag, they should be frozen on a baking sheet. Cooking from frozen extends the air fryer’s cooking time by a few minutes.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll achieve the best results with your ham and cheese mashed potato balls, making them a delicious and satisfying treat every time you make them.

Serving Suggestions and Variations

Mashed potato balls with ham and cheese are versatile dishes that are easy to modify and serve in multiple ways to suit different occasions and palates.

Additionally, you can try many creative variations to keep this dish exciting and new. Here are some ideas to help you make the most of this delightful recipe.

Serving Suggestions

  1. Appetizers and Party Snacks:
    • Dipping Sauces: Serve with dipping sauces such as ranch, honey mustard, marinara, sour cream, sriracha mayo, or barbecue sauce. Arrange the sauces in small bowls around the platter for a visually appealing presentation.
    • Garnish: For color and taste, add fresh herbs such as cilantro, parsley, or chives to the dish.
    • Serving Skewers: Insert decorative skewers or toothpicks into each ball for easy party handling.
  2. Side Dish:
    • Main Courses: Serve as a side dish with grilled meats, roasted chicken, or fish—their rich and creamy texture pairs well with various proteins.
    • Vegetable Sides: For a balanced meal, complemented with a fresh salad, steamed vegetables, or roasted asparagus.
  3. Main Course:
    • Salad: Serve with a hearty salad, such as a mixed green salad with a spicy vinaigrette or a Caesar salad.
    • Soup: For a comforting and satisfying meal, serve with a warm soup bowl, like tomato basil or creamy broccoli.
  4. Brunch:
    • Eggs: Serve with scrambled or poached eggs for a delicious, filling brunch.
    • Fruit Salad: Balance the richness of the potato balls with a fresh fruit salad.


  1. Cheese Variations:
    • Mozzarella: Use mozzarella cheese for a gooey, melty center.
    • Swiss: Swiss cheese offers a milder flavor that pairs well with ham.
    • Pepper Jack: Add a spicy kick with pepper jack cheese.
  2. Additional Fillings:
    • Vegetables: Incorporate finely chopped vegetables such as bell peppers, jalapeños, spinach, or green onions into the potato mixture.
    • Bacon: Add cooked, crumbled bacon for an extra layer of flavor and texture.
    • Herbs and Spices: Add fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, or thyme, and spices, like paprika, cayenne pepper, or garlic powder, to improve the flavor.
  3. Bread Crumb Coatings:
    • Seasoned Bread Crumbs: Use Italian-seasoned bread crumbs for added flavor.
    • Panko: Opt for panko bread crumbs for an extra crispy coating.
    • Crushed Crackers: Experiment with crushed crackers or pretzels for a unique twist.
  4. Healthier Options:
    • Sweet Potatoes: Substitute regular and sweet potatoes for a different flavor profile and added nutrients.
    • Whole Wheat Flour: For a healthier option, cover the food with whole wheat flour rather than all-purpose flour.
  5. Stuffed Potato Balls:
    • Cheese Center: Place a small cube of cheese in the center of each potato ball for a cheesy surprise when bitten into.
    • Meat Fillings: For a heartier variation, add small pieces of cooked sausage, ground beef, or pulled pork to the center of the balls.
  6. Global Flavors:
    • Mexican: Add cumin, chili powder, and chopped cilantro to the mashed potato mixture. Serve with salsa and guacamole.
    • Italian: Mix in some grated Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.
    • Asian: Add soy sauce, chopped green onions, and a dash of sesame oil to the potato mixture. Serve with a sweet chili dipping sauce.

By exploring these serving suggestions and variations, you can keep your ham and cheese mashed potato balls exciting and cater to different tastes and occasions. Enjoy experimenting with different flavors and presentations to make this dish a standout at any meal.


Ham and cheese mashed potato balls are the ultimate comfort food, perfect for any occasion. These tasty sweets are simple to make at home with an air fryer. Make them for a fun night, party, or family meal, and they will undoubtedly become a hit. To make this recipe uniquely yours, have fun experimenting with different versions and serving suggestions.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Comfort Food Delight: Ham and cheese mashed potato balls combine creamy mashed potatoes, savory ham, and melted cheese for a nostalgic and satisfying comfort food experience.
  2. Simple Ingredients: The recipe uses simple and easily accessible ingredients like potatoes, ham, cheese, flour, egg, and bread crumbs, making it convenient to prepare.
  3. Easy Preparation: The recipe is straightforward and beginner-friendly, with clear steps from boiling and mashing the potatoes to forming and air-frying the balls.
  4. Air Fryer Benefits: Compared to typical frying methods, using an air fryer guarantees that the potato balls have a crispy exterior and a tender interior, all while using less oil and creating less mess.
  5. Versatility: The dish can be served as an appetizer, side dish, main course, or party snack, making it suitable for various occasions.
  6. Customizable: The recipe is highly customizable, with options to change the type of cheese, add different fillings, and use various coatings to suit personal preferences.
  7. Tips for Success: To get the best results, use the correct kind of potatoes, warm the air fryer, and season the mixture carefully. These are some important suggestions to remember.
  8. Creative Variations: Experiment with global flavors, healthier options, and unique fillings to keep the dish exciting and new.
  9. Serving Suggestions: For a well-rounded meal, pair the potato balls with various dipping sauces, salads, soups, and vegetable sides.
  10. Storage and Reheating: Leftover potato balls can be stored in the refrigerator, reheated in the air fryer, or frozen for later use, making them a convenient make-ahead option.


  1. Can I use leftover mashed potatoes to make ham and cheese mashed potato balls?

Yes, using leftover mashed potatoes is a great way to reduce waste and make this recipe even easier. Ensure the mashed potatoes are firm enough to hold their shape when forming the balls.

  1. What type of cheese works best for this recipe?

Cheddar cheese is popular due to its strong flavor and good melting properties. However, you can also use mozzarella, Swiss, or any cheese you prefer.

  1. How long do I cook the ham and cheese mashed potato balls in the air fryer?

Usually, the mashed potato balls are cooked in the air fryer for 10 to 12 minutes at 375°F (190°C) or until they are crispy and golden brown. Cooking times may change depending on the model of your air fryer.

  1. Can I freeze ham and cheese mashed potato balls for later use?

The formed (but raw) mashed potato balls can indeed be frozen. After freezing them on a baking sheet, place them in a freezer bag and air-fry them straight from the freezer for an extra few minutes when it’s time to cook.

  1. What can I serve with ham and cheese mashed potato balls?

These delectable nibbles may be served as a main entrée, side dish, or appetizer. They pair nicely with steamed veggies or a crisp salad and are served with a ranch, marinara, or honey mustard dipping sauce.

Additional Resources:

See these useful resources for additional tasty recipes and culinary advice:

  • Air Fryer Cooking Tips and Tricks: Learn how to get the most out of your air fryer with these expert tips and tricks.
  • Creative Air Fryer Recipes: Explore a variety of innovative and tasty recipes you can make with your air fryer.
  • Comfort Food Classics: Dive into a collection of comforting and nostalgic recipes perfect for any occasion.
  • Cheese Pairing Guide: Learn the best cheeses for your cooking and how to pair them with other ingredients.
  • Potato Lover’s Corner: Everything you need to know about potatoes, from different types to creative cooking methods.

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