Kirbie's Cravings

Fried Mashed Potato Balls Stuffed with BBQ Chili

Fried mashed potato balls are stuffed with BBQ chili for a delicious appetizer perfect for your next tailgating or game day party.
photo of Fried Mashed Potato Balls Stuffed with BBQ ChiliThis post is sponsored by Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q.

I know it’s not officially fall yet for a few more weeks, but I always feel that summer ends after Labor Day weekend. So instead of ice cream, popsicles and salads, my thoughts have turned to fun appetizers and other game day eats like these mashed potato balls.

Shaped to resemble footballs, these balls are deep fried and stuffed with BBQ chili! This is my kind of game day food.
close-up photo of one Fried Mashed Potato Ball Stuffed with BBQ Chili

This recipe takes some planning ahead. But the end result is delicious! I think they’d be popular at any party. And if you plan on grilling at your tailgating party, you can easily reheat these on the grill.

I started by making an easy stovetop chili and added Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q Sauce for a nice kick of BBQ flavor.
overhead photo of a bowl of chili
I use a lot of Stubb’s products when I make BBQ related foods, but my favorite is their signature Original Bar-B-Q Sauce. It tastes of tangy tomato, vinegar, molasses and black pepper and goes well with just about any meat, including ground beef chili.
photo of a jar of Stubb's BBQ Sauce

Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q was founded by C.B. “Stubb” Stubblefield almost 50 years ago in Austin, Texas, and his picture appears on every Stubb’s sauce, marinade and rub, available in grocery stores nationwide. All Stubb’s products get their flavor from ingredients like tomatoes, peppers, spices and molasses, and never high fructose corn syrup (the first or second ingredient in most barbecue sauces!)

For the mashed potatoes, I kept it pretty simple. Just your basic mashed potatoes with a little milk and butter. You want these to be thick mashed potatoes because the thinner mash will fall apart when frying.

The potato balls are stuffed with chili, and then dipped in egg and rolled in panko crumbs. I love using panko crumbs because they have such a lightness to them. Fry the balls until golden and they are ready to eat. I served mine with some more of Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q Sauce.
overhead photo of Fried Mashed Potato Balls Stuffed with BBQ Chili

Fried Mashed Potato Balls Stuffed with BBQ Chili

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Crispy fried mashed potato balls are stuffed with chili for a fun appetizer perfect for game day.


BBQ Chili

  • ½ lb lean ground beef
  • 15.25 oz kidney beans undrained
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 15.25 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ a green bell pepper finely diced
  • ½ cup Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q Sauce
  • 2 tbsp chili powder

Mashed Potatoes

  • 4 lbs russet potatoes peeled
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tbsp all purpose flour


  • 3-4 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • Canola oil for frying


  • Prepare the chili and mashed potatoes the night before. This will give you time to refrigerate them overnight, which will make them easier to work with.
  • To make the chili, add ground beef and onion into a large pot. Saute until beef is nearly completely cooked. Drain any excess oil. Add in remaining BBQ chili ingredients. Stir until evenly mixed. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 1 hour to 1 ½ hours. Stir occasionally during cooking. When chili is finished, allow to cool and then refrigerate overnight.
  • To make mashed potatoes, add potatoes to a large pot filled with water. Boil potatoes until fork-tender (about 20-25 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes). Drain water from potatoes. Add in butter and milk. Mash potatoes, milk and butter with a potato masher. You want the mash to be quite thick as it will be easier to shape and fry later. Mix until well combined. Store mashed potatoes in fridge overnight.
  • On the day of making the potato balls, mix eggs and flour into the cold mashed potatoes. Scoop out 1 ½ tbsp of cold mashed potatoes. Place onto a piece of plastic wrap big enough to wrap around the potato ball. Press mashed potatoes into a thin pancake. Scoop slightly less than 1 tbsp of chili on top, trying to avoid using the thinner liquid from the chili. Add another 1 tbsp thin layer of mashed potatoes on top. Using the plastic wrap, seal the chili within the mashed potato and form a tight ball. If desired, you can also shape them to resemble footballs. Release ball from plastic wrap and set aside. It is okay if potato mixer seems a little sticky and loose. Once it is rolled in the panko, it will be easier to hold and shape. Repeat with remaining mashed potatoes and filling.
  • Roll potato ball gently in panko crumbs. I find it is easier to place ball into bowl with 1 cup of crumbs and then scoop and pour more crumbs over the ball. Set aside and repeat with remaining potato balls. When you run low on the panko crumbs, add another 1 cup. You don’t want to add all the crumbs at once because the crumbs don’t stick as well when they get moist.
  • Add enough oil into a large pot being used for frying to cover potato balls. Bring oil to medium heat. Add a few potato balls at a time and cook until golden, occasionally flipping balls so that they are evenly cooked.
  • Serve potato balls with Stubb’s BBQ sauce.


  • These potato balls cook best with cold leftover mashed potatoes. If it’s a hot day or you took a long time to make your potato balls, keep balls chilling in fridge until ready to fry.
  • Be careful not to fry them at too high heat. The strong bubbling of the oil can cause the potato balls to break open.

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q. All opinions are entirely my own.

Fried Mashed Potato Balls stuffed with BBQ Chili

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