Easy Vegan Boxty (Irish Potato Pancakes)

This easy vegan boxty recipe requires just six ingredients (including salt and plant-based spread to fry the potato cakes in) and fries up in minutes. It is also the PERFECT recipe to use up leftover mashed potatoes.

Nothing like some beautiful boxty, with a light crispy outer layer and soft pillowy almost gnocchi-like interior, as part of a big slap-up Irish breakfast after a night out on the town in Dublin during my college years.

Boxty with vegan sour cream and scallions

Like Irish recipes? Then try these other veganized ones, or check out my authentic veganized Irish St. Patrick’s day recipes post:

What is boxty?

Boxty is an Irish potato pancake. It normally differs from potato pancakes found in other cultures in that there is more potato in it.

It can be made two ways, either shaped into a dough with plenty of flour and divided up into farls and baked (I never knew this was boxty, we always just called them potato farls).

A full Irish breakfast with potato pancakes, beans and mushrooms

Or, enough liquid is added to achieve a more batter-like consistency, which is then fried up in little dumpling-like cakes. The latter is the style of this recipe (yay!).

What to serve it with

Back home I’ve only ever had boxty warm and buttered with Kerrygold (substitute a good quality plant-based spread) and with sour cream and chopped scallions, although I now have them with some vegan sour cream.

They are also AWESOME with some decadent homemade mushroom gravy.

A vegan version of a full Irish breakfast (tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, tomatoes and boxty)

It also was NOT a full Irish breakfast without either boxty or hash browns. Plus grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, baked beans, vegan black and white pudding, vegan sausages, toasted soda bread…Drool!

But boxty is really versatile and you don’t need to stick with the more traditional ways to serve it if you don’t want to.

You can spread out the batter or add a little milk to make a thin pancake if you wish, and roll it up around some savoury ingredients to make a savoury crepe. Some great ideas for fillings (or toppings for regular boxty) include:

  1. Vegan cheese (like maybe this awesome 1-hour goat cheese), spinach, pinenuts and raisins.
  2. Creamy mushrooms.
  3. Pinto beans, onions, salsa and guacamole.
  4. Garlic, spinach, mushrooms and coconut cream.
  5. Vegan potato salad, tomatoes, scallions (spring onions) and grated vegan cheddar.
A broken potato pancake held in a hand

Or you can make the boxty really small and add toppings for some blini with a twist! The only limit is your imagination!

Boxty is usually eaten for breakfast or brunch, but you do you and eat it whenever you want, especially as it gets even tastier after being in the fridge.

How to make it

Boxty is pretty easy to make and this recipe also doubles up beautifully. You will need:

  • Potatoes (both mashed and grated)
  • All-purpose (plain) flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Plain plant-based milk (any kind)
  • A high-quality plant-based spread such as Earth Balance or Flora

First things first, if you don’t have any mashed potatoes on hand then you’ll need to make some. Just peel potatoes, chop them into walnut-sized chunks and bring to the boil in a pot of cold salted water.

Once it’s boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for ten minutes. Test with a fork to make sure the potato chunks are soft all the way through, drain and mash with a fork or potato masher.

Usually, you need to wait for the mashed potato to cool but for this recipe, as it’s vegan and contains no egg which could scramble, there’s no need.

Flour and mashed potatoes

Mix together the salt, flour, and baking powder. Add the mashed potato and plant-based milk and whisk until fairly smooth.

A pale yellow batter

Next, add in the grated potato and mix again. A lot of recipes for boxty call for wrapping the grated potato in a tea towel and wringing out the moisture, but I’ve never seen it make much of a difference and the extra starch actually helps bind vegan boxty.

Leave to stand for five minutes (this will help the batter thicken a little). You can use this time to prep any toppings you wish and heat up a large frying pan over low-medium heat.

A lumpy pale yellow batter

Plenty of people fry boxty in oil but I’m not a fan and prefer a tasty plant-based spread (in Ireland it’s usually fried in butter).

Add a knob of your spread to the pan and swirl until melted. Dollop about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of boxty batter around the pan, depending on how big you want your boxty cakes.

Three dollops of lumpy pale yellow batter in a frying pan

Whichever amount you choose don’t pile up the batter, remember that it will rise because of the baking powder and you need it thin enough that the potato cooks through. I normally just flatten the dollops a little and neaten the edges when they first go into the pan.

I can normally fit up to four in a medium-sized pan (I still haven’t replaced my large pan after moving back to Madrid from India!).

Fru for about four minutes on one side, until the boxty looks like the picture below, then flip over and fry another four minutes on the other side. If you have time, I recommend doing one little test boxty to check the pan is at the correct temperature.

Three potato cakes half-cooked through in a black frying pan

When all the batter is used up you can serve the boxty. Boxty is one of those recipes that really improve overnight, so feel free to make ahead and then heat back up in the pan with a little margarine or oil.

When freshly made boxty is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, like gnocchi. A night (or a few hours) in the fridge transforms the potato component and make them a little more like hash browns.

Boxty and mushrooms and beans and potatoes

Enjoy!


Did you make this recipe? Let me know how much you loved it with a star rating in the recipe box, review, or comment below.

Or take a picture and tag me on Instagram (@the_fiery_vegetarian), I love seeing all your creations!

Yield: 12 boxty

Easy Vegan Boxty (Irish Potato Pancakes)

Boxty and mushrooms and beans and potatoes

Beautifully crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside and even better when cold, make this delicious vegan boxty for St. Patrick's day or any day!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 21 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 41 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mashed potato (230g)
  • 1 cup flour (140g)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups grated potato (225g)
  • 1 cup plain sugar-free plant-based milk
  • Up to ¼ cup plant-based spread (for frying)2

Instructions

  1. If you don't have any mashed potatoes to hand, boil potato chunks for ten minutes in salted water until tender and mash.
  2. Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder.
  3. Add the mashed potato and milk and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the grated potato, mix, and let the batter rest five minutes.
  5. Heat a large frying pan on low-medium heat (I have an induction hob and set it to mark 5) and swirl a knob of the spread in it until melted.
  6. Place dollops of 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the batter in the pan with a little space between as they will spread slightly.
  7. Cook four minutes on one side and four on the other.
  8. Serve or allow to cool and store in the fridge, and warm up in the pan again to serve later.

Notes

Cooking time takes into account making the mashed potatoes and frying the boxty in three batches (otherwise it will be much quicker)

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

3 boxty

Amount Per Serving Calories 457Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 5mgSodium 1039mgCarbohydrates 100gFiber 3gSugar 51gProtein 8g

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