These shallow-fried pancakes of grated potatoes and onion make classic potato latkes the perfect side dish for a variety of meals. They’re great on their own as well if you love potatoes.
Potato latkes are often associated with Hanukkah these days, but actually originally originated in the eastern European countries of Austria, Germany, Poland and Russia as a peasant food. As potatoes were cheap and plentiful while also easy to store, these became a stable of families across the area. Luckily their popularity has carried over here as there really isn’t much better than a crispy potato latkes.
When scouring the internet for recipes, you’ll see a variety of classic potato latkes but there is usually one ingredient that separates them. Either matzo meal or flour are used to help bind the pancakes. As I don’t really use matzo meal for anything else and always have flour on hand, I make these classic potato latkes with flour. But be my guest and use matzo meal if you prefer. If you want it gluten-free, you could actually use corn starch.
So if you feel like some good old eastern European comfort food, these could be the perfect side to compliment some bratwurst or even schnitzel. (Hint, hint…) Hope you enjoy!
What Ingredients are in these this Potato Latkes Recipe?
- Produce – russet potatoes, sweet onion
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Black pepper
- Vegetable oil
- Sour cream
Best Potatoes for Latkes
In general, russet potatoes are best for latkes. If you follow this blog at all, you know I love sweet potatoes. You can easily replace russet potatoes with sweet potatoes or if you’re really feeling creative, you can use butternut squash instead. The ratios stay the same, but the flavor will be different. I’ll let you decide which you like best. However if you are sticking with traditional latkes, I’d stay with russet potatoes as opposed to something like Yukon Golds as they have a higher starch content which means they are less likely to fall apart and yield a crispy consistency.
What is Traditionally Served with Latkes?
Potato latkes are usually served with some sour cream and applesauce on the side.
Hot to Make Potato Latkes
- Peel potatoes and place in large bowl of water for 5 minutes so they won’t brown. Drain in a colander.
- Using a grating disc on a food processor, grate the potatoes and onions
- Place potato/onion mixture in dish towel and squeeze tight to remove the liquid.
- Transfer potato mixture to large bowl. Stir in eggs, flour, baking powder, salt and black pepper and mix until flour is absorbed.
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Scoop 3 tbsp potato mixture and drop into skillet. Cook for 5 minutes and then flip and cook for another 5 minutes or until golden brown.
- Transfer latkes to a towel-lined rack to drain and repeat cooking remaining latkes.
Other Side Dish Recipes
- 1 lb russet potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
- 1 medium sweet onion, peeled and cut into quarters
- 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- vegetable oil
- applesauce or sour cream for serving
- Peel the potatoes and place in a bowl with enough water to cover them so they won't brown. Let sit in water for 5 minutes. When ready to prepare, drain the potatoes in a colander.
- Using a food processor with a grating disc, grate the potatoes and onions. Place potato and onion mixture in a clean dish towel, wrap tightly and squeeze hard to remove the liquid. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the eggs, flour, baking powder, salt and black pepper to potato mixture and mix until flour is absorbed.
- Preheat oven to 250F and place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Pour in about 1/4 inch of oil into a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Scoop up 3 tbsp of the potato mixture per latke and drop into skillet. Use a spatula to flatten into discs. When the edges of the latkes are brown and crispy, about 5 minutes, flip. Cook for another 5 minutes or until browned.
- Transfer cooked latkes to a paper towel-lined rack to drain and then put on wire rack in oven to keep warm while you cook the remaining latkes. Serve with some applesauce or sour cream.