There are some recipes that are truly a labor of love, with potato pancakes, aka latkes, being one of them. Crispy, crunchy potato and onion pancakes fried to golden perfection in hot oil dipped in sour cream (okay, fine, or apple sauce), is a classic Jewish recipe made during the holiday of Hanukkah. I'm going to show (and tell) you just how to make the best potato latke recipe ever.
This recipe is reserved typically for December as a celebration of Hanukkah, aka the festival of lights.
- Why is Hanukkah celebrated?
- Why make latkes for Hanukkah?
- What are the ingredients for this recipe?
- How do I make these latkes?
- Recipe Swaps and Substitutions
- Ways to serve these potato latkes
- How do I store these latkes? Can I freeze them?
- Hungry for More?
- Did you like this recipe? Share it!
- Best Potato Latkes Recipe
Why is Hanukkah celebrated?
Hanukkah is not a holiday about gifts, it's about celebrating the miracle oil that was only supposed to last one night, lasted for eight, hence the eight nights of Hanukkah. Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem, and the oil that lit the latern within the temple.
Why make latkes for Hanukkah?
In honor of the oil that lasted the eight nights, we use oil in plentiful amounts as a symbol of the miracle of Hanukkah. All across the world, Jewish communities rejoice during this holiday by lighting nightly candles for eight straight nights, playing dreidels to win Hanukkah gelt (chocolate coins), and of course, making and consuming recipes that are fried, such as donuts and latkes.
What are the ingredients for this recipe?
- Potatoes: We use Russet or Idaho potatoes here, as they're great for frying. Peel and grate, and let them drain.
- Yellow onion: adding onion to the potatoes is a classic mixture and gives the latke more flavor.
- Garlic powder: we add a little garlic powder to the potato and onion mixture to give flavor.
- Eggs: Eggs help to bind the mixture together.
- Flour: You can swap to gluten free flour if that's your thing, but the flour helps to bind the mixture with the egg and resemble that "pancake" vibe.
- Salt: a little salt goes a long way. We want the latkes to have a balanced taste.
- Oil: for frying, you'll need at least 1 cup
See the recipe card below for specific information about quantities.
How do I make these latkes?
Step 1: Using a box grater with the side on the larger holes, grate the potatoes into a large bowl or on a plate, then squeeze out the liquid with a cheesecloth or using paper towel. Repeat the same with the onion and add both the grated potato and onion to a large glass bowl.
Step 2: Crack two eggs in a smaller bowl and whisk. Pour the eggs into the potato and onion mixture, along with the garlic powder, salt, and flour.
Step 3: Using a spatula, mix together the grated potato, onion, flour, garlic powder, salt, and egg until the flour is fully incorporated.
Step 4: Taking a cookie scoop, scoop some of the potato pancake mixture and add to a large frying pan with oil over a medium heat. Cook until golden brown on each side, approximately 3-4 minutes. Repeat until all the potato mixture is used.
Hint: Be sure to let the potato and onions drain well after they are grated. We want as little liquid in the mixture as possible to get the latkes super crisp and crunchy.
Recipe Swaps and Substitutions
Here are some of my recommendations for making these latkes to your liking, especially if you need to accommodate you or someone you are making this for with an allergy.
- Flour - Simply swap out the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour like Primal Palate's version.
- Oil - I like to use extra virgin olive oil to fry the latkes, but you can opt for a vegetable, canola, or an avocado oil.
- Potatoes - I like to use a traditional yellow potato, but you can use a Russet potato or even a red bliss. The Red skin potatoes don't have much starch, so there may not be a lot of liquid to squeeze out.
- Eggs - You do need some sort of egg to bind the latkes together, so I would suggest keeping these in, or using an egg-replacement if you need to.
Ways to serve these potato latkes
My favorite ways to serve these is to place them on a platter, accompanied with a ramekin of sour cream and applesauce, two of the most popular condiments paired with latkes. Here are some other ways you can serve this:
- As an appetizer to a fancy dinner like making my roasted spatchcock chicken.
- Present this on a dinner board as a snack before serving up some stove top red wine short ribs.
- Eat these latkes with family and friends celebrating Hanukkah, or any holiday, right before you indulge in my brown butter pecan cookie bars.
How do I store these latkes? Can I freeze them?
To store them: Place any leftovers in an air-tight container and place in the fridge. They will stay for up to 3 to 4 days.
To reheat: Preheat the oven to 325º and place the latkes on a baking sheet. Heat the latkes for 10-12 minutes or until they begin to sizzle.
To freeze: Wrap in aluminum foil, labeling the date the latkes were made, and thaw overnight in the fridge the day before you want to make them. To reheat, follow the steps above.
Hungry for More?
Check out these other delicious recipes you can serve alongside latkes:
Did you like this recipe? Share it!
If you're just as in love with this recipe as I am, please share a comment below and rate it! Better yet, share this recipe with family and friends!! Thank you for being here!!
Best Potato Latkes Recipe
- 1 large frying pan
- 1 box grater
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 1 small mixing bowl
- 2 spatulas one for mixing; one for removing latkes from oil.
- measuring cups and spoons
- 2 medium potatoes peeled and grated
- ½ large onion peeled and grated
- 3 tablespoon flour
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 whole eggs whisked
- salt to taste
- 1 cup olive oil for frying
- Rinse and peel the potatoes.
- Using a box grater with the side on the larger holes, grate the potatoes into a large bowl or on a plate, then squeeze out the liquid with a cheesecloth or using paper towel.
- Repeat the same with the onion and add both the grated potato and onion to a large glass bowl.
- Crack two eggs in a smaller bowl and whisk.
- Pour the eggs into the potato and onion mixture, along with the garlic powder, salt, and flour.
- Using a spatula, mix together the grated potato, onion, flour, garlic powder, salt, and egg until the flour is fully incorporated.
- Taking a cookie scoop, scoop some of the potato pancake mixture and add to a large frying pan with oil over a medium heat.
- Cook until golden brown on each side, approximately 3-4 minutes. Repeat until all the potato mixture is used.