Potato Latkes are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. These delicious potato pancakes are traditionally made for the Jewish holidays, but can be enjoyed anytime!
Our potato latkes recipe is so good I bet you can’t eat just one! Whether you like your potato latkes with applesauce, sour cream, or even ketchup, you’re going to love our latke recipe.
What are potato latkes?
Potato Latkes, or potato pancakes, are shallow-fried pancakes. They consist of simple ingredients like grated potatoes, grated onions, eggs, salt, matzo meal, or flour.
Some may think that potato latkes and hash browns are the same things, but they’re not. Hash browns do not use a binder like flour and often do not use eggs either.
And then home fries are a whole other recipe, they are crispy potatoes that are chopped or cubed. You can even make roasted breakfast potatoes as well.
Potato Latke ingredients you’ll need:
- Russet Potatoes – Russet potatoes have a high starch content so they are the best for crispy latkes on the outside and tender and soft on the inside.
- Onion – We’re all about flavor and the onion is a simple way to add lots of flavor to potatoes.
- Matzo Meal – To keep it kosher for Passover use matzo meal, that being said we always use matzo meal. Some use all-purpose flour.
- Avocado Oil – We use avocado oil since it’s a good high point smoke oil. Growing up my mother and grandma used schmaltz (chicken fat).
- Eggs or Aquafaba – eggs help bind the potato pancakes, but those who are vegan use chickpea water, the bean water after cooking chickpeas, or the liquid in canned chickpeas.
- Kosher Salt – To be used in the mix and sprinkled after, it brings all the flavors together.
- Ketchup – although my grandma kvetches, I grew up loving ketchup and still love them with ketchup.
- Applesauce – homemade unsweetened applesauce is best.
- Sour Cream – this is a rich and creamy topping option.
How to make Latkes
Scrub the potatoes to clean and then carefully shred the potatoes using a medium-size grater on box grater or food processor. (optional) To prevent the potatoes from browning place the shredded potatoes as you grate them into a bowl filled with cold water.
After grating the potatoes, grate the onion.
Place the potatoes in the cheesecloth as well as the grated onion and squeeze out all of the excess water.
Place the grated potatoes and onion into a bowl and add in the matzo meal, eggs or aquafaba, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
You’ll then scoop the mixture and flatten it with your hands to form a latke, like a patty, but ensure it’s flat so it gets crispy. Place the latke into a prepared pan with oil.
Once it’s in the oil you’ll pan-fry it for about 4-5 minutes per side.
Then you’ll remove it from the oil and place it onto a paper towel-lined plate.
Then you can sprinkle it with salt if desired.
Recipe Tips and Alterations:
- To prevent browning you can place the shredded potatoes into a bowl of ice water if you’re making larger batches.
- Latkes are best served fresh, to keep them nice and crispy while cooking you can keep them warm in a 200-degree F oven. Using an oven-safe cooling rack stacked on top of a baking sheet or an air fryer oven with a rack works nicely as well to prevent condensation and moisture.
- Squeeze out all of the moisture from the potatoes before mixing with the other ingredients.
- Don’t overcook your latkes. If the oil is too hot it will cause them to brown too quickly before the center can be fully cooked, the same goes for the oil being too cool, it will cause a soggy potato pancake. Aim for about 370 to 375 degrees F.
- Use a food processor to save yourself from hand shredding the potatoes. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise to prevent long strands of potatoes.
How to serve potato latkes:
Serve them as a side dish with breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They also make a great snack or appetizer as everyone is gathering and getting ready for dinner. We serve with applesauce, sour cream, and ‘gasp!’ ketchup.
How to store and reheat latkes
If you make enough latkes to have leftovers you’re in luck, you can easily save them for another day!
- How to store potato latkes in the refrigerator – Store any leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days.
- How to freeze potato latkes – Store any leftover potato latkes in a freezer-safe container. We like to use some unbleached parchment to create layers between the latkes so they don’t stick together or you can freeze them individually on a parchment-lined baking sheet and then freeze together after they’re frozen solid.
- How to reheat potato latkes – To reheat potato latkes you can use an air fryer, frying pan, or oven. We don’t recommend a microwave as it won’t get crispy. To reheat potato latkes in the air fryer you’ll want to cook at 375 degrees F for 6-8 minutes or until warm and crispy. To reheat potato latkes in the oven you’ll want to do them at 400 degrees F for around 10-15 minutes or until warm and crispy.
Store any leftover potato latkes in an air-tight container for 1-2 days in the refrigerator.
Place the potato latkes in a freezer-safe container using parchment paper for each layer to prevent them from sticking to each other. You can freeze potato latkes for up to 4 months.
To reheat potato latkes you can use your oven or an air fryer at 375 degrees F for 6-8 minutes in the air fryer or 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees F in your oven. You’ll want to reheat until the potato latkes are warm throughout and crispy on the outside.
Due to the potatoes browning so quickly we do not recommend making potato latkes ahead of time. You can fry them and store them in the refrigerator and then use an air fryer to crisp them up before serving.
Almost all stores carry matzo meal in the kosher section. We always make homemade matzo meal in our blender using matzo.
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- 4 medium russet potatoes
- 1/2 cup onion
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup matzo meal or all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- avocado oil for frying
- Clean the potatoes and then carefully shred the potatoes using a medium-size grater on a box grater or food processor. After grating the potatoes, grate the onion.
- Place the shredded potatoes in the cheesecloth and squeeze out all of the excess water.
- Place the grated potatoes and onion into a bowl and add in the matzo meal, eggs, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
- Heat a skillet on medium-high heat with avocado oil that is deep enough to shallow pan fry the latkes. The temperature of the oil should be around 370-375 degrees F. To test the oil use a little bit of the latke mixture to see if it sizzles when you put it in then it’s ready.
- Scoop about 1/4 cup of latke mixture and flatten in your hands to make a latke patty. Carefully place the latke into the pan and repeat with more latkes until the pan is full without overcrowding, usually about 5 latkes if you have a 10 inch skillet.
- Fry the potato latkes for about 4-5 minutes per side.
- Once the latkes are done transfer them to a plate lined with a paper towel or cooling rack to drain. Sprinkle immediately with a little more kosher salt if you like them salted.
- Serve as desired.
The nutritional information is automatically calculated and can vary based ingredients and products used. If the nutrition numbers are important for you we recommend calculating them yourself.
Oh yum! I’ve never had potato cakes but those sure sound good.