These Classic Potato Latkes are so crisp on the edges with a tender center. Sprinkled with salt as they come off the stove and served with sour cream and chives – these are total comfort food. This latke recipe is perfect for breakfast – try them instead of your usual Breakfast Potatoes.
Latkes are like mini potato Hash Browns. They’re a fun serving size, and easier to flip with the little bit of egg and flour that binds them together. You can make larger or smaller latke if you prefer. Watch the video tutorial and see how to make these tasty alternatives for breakfast.
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We love potatoes for any meal, from Au Gratin Potatoes to Creamy Mashed Potatoes and of course Roasted Potatoes. If you love potatoes as much as we do, this latke recipe is a must-try!
Potato Latke Video
Watch Natasha make these potato latkes. You will be surprised at how easy this latke recipe makes it to crisp up tasty potato pancakes on the stovetop. You will love trying them with toppings both sweet and savory, so, grab your grater and grate, grate, grate (or use a food processor, which makes it even easier and faster).
What are Latkes?
Latke, (pronounced “lot-kee”) is a Yiddish word for “pancake”. Latkes are small, shredded potato pancakes, fried in oil to create a crisp, hash brown of sorts, often served with sour cream and chives. They are similar in flavor to our Ukrainian Deruny except we grate those on the star grater which creates more of a potato puree than a grated potato.
The Jewish people traditionally serve latkes and other foods fried in oil during Hanukkah to symbolize and celebrate the miracle of Hanukkah where the menorah oil lasted for 8 nights instead of only one. Latke can be made with zucchini, carrots, beets, cheese, or anything that can be grated and fried, but we prefer the potato version.
While latkes are a traditional Hanukkah dish, they are so delicious that you will want to make them all year long.
This latke recipe is so simple to pull together and you probably already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen and pantry.
- Potatoes – you’ll need 1 lb. or 2 large peeled russet potatoes
- Onion – Halved and peeled
- Flour – Binds the batter and adds structure and stability to the pancakes for frying
- Baking powder – leavening agent to add some fluff and better texture to your potato latkes
- Salt and pepper – for seasoning
- Egg – Help bind the potatoes and onion together during frying
- Kosher salt – To sprinkle on top after frying
- Oil – Vegetable oil or extra light olive oil for frying
Once the potatoes are grated, they will quickly start to look discolored. This is normal and expected. This oxidation process will not affect the final outcome of the latkes.
How to Make Potato Latkes
- Grate – Grate the potatoes and half of an onion using the large holes on a box grater or in a food processor. Use a dishtowel or cheesecloth to squeeze out excess liquid.
- Prepare batter – In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper, and then whisk in the egg. Add in the squeezed dried grated potatoes and stir until the potatoes are evenly coated in the batter.
- Fry – Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and generously coat the bottom of the pan (about 1/4” of oil). Once the oil shimmers, add the batter to the pan 1 heaping tablespoon at a time. Immediately press with a spatula to form disks. Fry until the edges are browned, 4-5 minutes. Flip and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes more or until the second side is brown.
- Remove – Transfer the latkes in a single layer to a paper-towel-lined plate to absorb the excess oil on the latkes, and sprinkle with kosher salt.
- Continue – Repeat the frying process with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the skillet as needed. Serve warm latkes with sour cream garnished with chives or see additional ideas below.
Draining potatoes can stain your towel so don’t use your prized kitchen towels for this. You can also use a cheesecloth to squeeze out the excess liquid.
Pressing the latke down in the pan fans out the edges creating those irresistibly crisp lacy edges. How much you should press the latke down depends on the thickness you prefer. They can be flat and crispy or thicker and softer. Flatter latkes cook through faster while thicker ones take longer.
Use a trigger release scoop to portion your latke batter to create evenly-sized patties.
Simple russet potatoes (also known as Idaho Potatoes) are the best potatoes for latkes. They have a high starch content so they crisp up the best and maintain a tender interior.
Traditionally, matzo meal is used instead of flour. Substitute the flour with 2 Tbsp of matzo meal or unseasoned bread crumbs.
They are very similar, however, hash browns typically only require potatoes, onion, and salt. Latkes are made from a batter with flour, egg, etc. making them more pancake or fritter-like.
A high-heat oil like extra light olive oil, vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, and canola oil are all good options. Additionally, you could use schmaltz (rendered poultry fat) for additional flavor.
What to Serve With Latkes
My favorite topping for latkes is a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chives. You could also serve latkes sweet with Applesauce.
Latkes are so tasty, that I could seriously eat six or seven as an entire meal, but they are meant to be a side. They are great to serve for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Here are a few of our favorite dishes to pair with latke:
How to Store and Reheat Latkes
Latkes really taste best when they are still warm and crisp from the pan. Set your fried latkes on a baking sheet and place them in a 200°F oven to keep them warm as you continue to fry the rest of the batter. They will be warm and crisp when you are ready to serve.
- Prep Ahead: If you need to prepare these ahead of time, you can shred your potatoes ahead of time. Store them submerged in a bowl of water in the refrigerator to prevent browning. When you are ready to prepare your latkes, drain the potatoes and squeeze them dry with a towel, as mentioned in the recipe.
- To Refrigerate: Transfer cooled latkes to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days.
- To Freeze: Arrange your fried and cooled latkes in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze overnight. Take the frozen patties, place them into a freezer Ziploc bag, and freeze them for up to 2 weeks. Reheat in the oven or air fryer as described below.
- Reheating: You can quickly reheat leftover refrigerated latkes in a skillet, air fryer, or in the oven at 300°F until crisped and warmed through.
More Fritter Recipes to Try
If you love this potato Latke recipe, then you won’t want to miss these other sweet and savory pancakes and fritters.
Potato Latkes Recipe (VIDEO)
These Potato Latkes are so crisp on the edges with a hash brown center. Sprinkled with salt and dolloped with sour cream, these are total comfort food.
Servings: 10 latkes (3-inches each)
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper then whisk in the egg. Add in the squeezed dry potatoes and stir until the potatoes are evenly coated in the batter.
Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and add about 1/4” of oil (enough to generously coat the bottom of the pan). Once the oil shimmers, add the batter to the pan 1 heaping tablespoon at a time (or use a trigger-release ice cream scoop) and immediately press with a spatula to form disks. Fry until the edges are browned, 4-5 minutes. Flip and cook until the second side is golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes more.
Transfer latkes to a paper-towel-lined plate and immediately sprinkle lightly with kosher salt.
Repeat with the remaining potato mixture adding more oil to the skillet as needed. Serve warm latke with sour cream garnished with chives.
163kcal Calories3g Carbs1g Protein17g Fat