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The Best Potato Latkes Recipe

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For me, growing up in a Jewish family meant celebrations, pride, traditions, family gatherings and lots of delicious food. I can vividly remember certain dishes and every time I am able to make them for my own children, it feels as though I’m able to pass on the best parts of my childhood to them. At Hanukkah, we often ate potato latkes. Over the years, I’ve made them for my kids, but because of the lack of time, I would buy the boxed potato pancake mix or the frozen potato pancakes. They aren’t bad, but they aren’t homemade either. This year, I finally made them homemade latkes and they are still raving about them.

I should preface this by saying that this potato latkes recipe isn’t a quick recipe. If you have limited time, you may want to save it for another day. You can save a great deal of time if you have a food processor with the shred attachment disc vs. hand grating the potatoes and onions. You will have to stand near the skillet to make sure they don’t burn. You will be flipping and removing and adding new ones at least 4 times, depending on the size of your latkes. So block out some time!

There are people that add chicken fat (also called schmaltz) for extra flavor. I’ve linked an easy recipe. But make sure you allot the time for this if you choose to include it. It does take an hour or so to make, though the flavor is well worth the time.

This potato latkes recipe is perfect not only for Hanukkah, but for any day of the year. They are crispy and packed with flavor.

Potato Latkes with side of sour cream
Print Recipe
5 from 14 votes

The Best Potato Latkes Recipe

This potato latkes recipe is perfect not only for Hanukkah, but for any day of the year. They are crispy and packed with flavor.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Jewish
Keyword: hanukkah, latkes, potato
Servings: 24 latkes
Calories: 75kcal

Equipment

  • Grater or Food Processor with shred attachment
  • Cheese cloth
  • Colander
  • Skillet

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs potatoes peeled
  • 1 onion large
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • ¾ cup matzo meal
  • 2 tbsp potato starch
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups oil for frying
  • ½ cup chicken fat (schmaltz) optional

Instructions

  • Wash and peel potatoes and cut them into large chunks. Shred potatoes with a hand grater or food processor with shred attachment.
  • Place grated potatoes into a large bowl and cover with cold water to prevent browning.
  • Grate the onion in the same way and set aside.
  • Drain the potato shreds in a colander and top with onions.
  • Put the potato and onions into a cheesecloth and squeeze to remove all excess liquid.
  • In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients (except the oil) until completely combined.
  • Pour oil in the skillet and heat on medium, until hot (it will usually start to make sounds).
  • Using a medium sized scoop, take an oversized scoop of the mixture and roll into a ball with your hands. Then, press a bit so that it's a semi-flattened potato patty. Add to oil, 5-6 at a time, with enough space so they aren't touching.
  • Cook each latke on each side for approx. 3-4 minutes. You'll see the edges turn brown and then flip it and cook again for another 3-4 minutes.
  • Remove from the skillet and place on a paper towel, on top of a plate.
  • Continue to make the rest in the same way. Serve warm.

grated potatoes and onions in a clear bowl

grated potatoes, onions and ingredients needed for latkes in a bowl

Potato Latkes with side of sour cream

You may find that potato latkes are very similar to the potato kugel recipe I shared earlier this year. The difference is, one is baked as a whole in a baking dish while the other is fried in small portions. If you haven’t had either, they also taste very similar to hash browns.

You can serve potato pancakes with either applesauce or sour cream. If you or anyone you will be serving these to are kosher, you should either leave out the chicken fat or serve without sour cream, as combining the two would make them not kosher.

I was surprised that my kids really loved the potato latkes with applesauce. It’s one of my favorite combinations, but as afraid as they usually are to try new food combinations, I was expecting them to turn me down when I offered it to them. My oldest said the flavors balance each other perfectly. Score!

Due to my crazy holiday schedule, I ran out of daylight and since I’m a natural light photographer, I was unable to shoot photos of the finished latkes, so these stunning images are stock images. Mine look very similar, just not as flat. So when making yours, you can expect them to be a little more on the plump side, unless you flatten them when you fry them. We prefer them plump and hearty on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Have you ever had potato latkes?

These potato pancakes are crispy and packed with flavor. They are perfect not only for Hanukkah, but for any day of the year

XOXO
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38 Comments
  • Ayoima
    January 7, 2020

    I never had a latke before but I need to try, looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  • Clarice
    December 25, 2019

    This looks delicious and easy to make. My kids love potatoes so, I think they would love this. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Can’t wait to try this.
    Clarice recently posted How to cope with loss of a loved one?My Profile

  • Lily
    December 23, 2019

    I never had these before. It would make for a great brunch option.

  • Amy H
    December 22, 2019

    I will have to save this recipe for the weekends! That’s when I actually do any type of cooking! This looks so good
    Amy H recently posted Adobe Photoshop Elements 2020My Profile

  • Elicitfolio
    December 22, 2019

    5 stars
    Made this for my family today and it was a hit! Saving this recipe again for sure!

  • Tisha
    December 21, 2019

    5 stars
    I remember making latkes in my high school German class! I need to make them again, they are so great!

  • Amanda
    December 21, 2019

    My hubby is Jewish and I love being able to celebrate Hannukah with his family because of the latkes. Will share your recipe with my MIL.
    Amanda recently posted Sweet & Salty Christmas Charcuterie PlatterMy Profile

  • Erin
    December 21, 2019

    This looks delish! Need to make this for the fam soon!! 🙂

  • Yeah Lifestyle
    December 21, 2019

    5 stars
    These look so lovely and crispy as well, would love to make this for my family who love all things made with potato

  • Amber
    December 20, 2019

    5 stars
    Potatoes are a family favorite in any form. This will be a hit for sure. 🙂

  • Brianna S
    December 20, 2019

    These look absolutely amazing, Heather!! Can I come over and you cook for me? 😉

  • Kristine Nicole Alessandra
    December 20, 2019

    I will make these for my husband. He loves anything potatoes and I am sure this will be another of his potato favorites. I like that it is simple and easy to make too.

  • Toni
    December 20, 2019

    5 stars
    It looks really tasty!! I love it!

  • Catherine Santiago Jose
    December 20, 2019

    5 stars
    Oh my goodness, this looks really delicious and I am so excited to make this recipe for the whole family. YUM!

  • Ashley
    December 20, 2019

    5 stars
    I had never heard of a potato pancake before. We have the hash browns but never this. I cant wait to try it out.

  • Sheryl / A Chronic Voice
    December 20, 2019

    I love potatoes anything and this just looks so delicious! Never tried latkes, now I need to!

  • Lisa Joy Thompson
    December 20, 2019

    I love potato latkes but haven’t made them in years since my husband is allergic to potatoes. I need to make some for me and the kids the next time he’s out of town. Your recipe look delicious!!!
    Lisa Joy Thompson recently posted Salted Caramel DIY Body ScrubMy Profile

  • AscendingButterfly
    December 20, 2019

    I love eating them, but have never tried making them. I have always wondered if they can be made in the Air Fryer? As a single, I cook in super small batches.
    AscendingButterfly recently posted Since The New York Times Travel Show 2020 is nearly upon us, here is a #TravelThursday recap of the 2019 @NYTTravelShow and @NYBoatShow #NYTTravelShow #NYBoatShowMy Profile

    • Heather
      December 20, 2019

      I think anything can be made in an air fryer, though I’m not sure they would hold together. The oil is what does that. I also find everything in the air fryer is more on the dry side. If you do try it, I’d love to hear how they turn out!

  • Rosey
    December 20, 2019

    Isn’t it nice when you can pass on parts of your childhood to your own brood? I love that here too. These sound delish.

  • Catalina
    December 20, 2019

    5 stars
    My mother used to make these potatoes latkes when I was a kid. I will try your recipe!

  • Celebrate Woman Today
    December 20, 2019

    I love potato latkes, and this post is a good reminder to make them! I do not put any matzo meal into my recipe, just a bit of flour.

  • Sherry
    December 20, 2019

    I have never had potato latkes before. I am sure this is a recipe my whole family will like.

  • Catherine
    December 19, 2019

    5 stars
    Heather, your latkes look delicious! What a wonderful recipe for the holiday season.
    Catherine recently posted Dried Fruit Bundt Cake #BundtBakersMy Profile

  • Bellab
    December 19, 2019

    yumm these look to die for! I need to try making these one day

  • Kathy
    December 19, 2019

    I have always wanted to try these. They look so amazing! I know I would love them too. I’m going to have to save this so I can try it out later.

  • Melanie
    December 19, 2019

    It’s so lovely how food can connect us to our childhood memories. They look delicious! xx

  • Chad
    December 19, 2019

    I am saving this because i am so gonna make it soon, LOOKS SO DELICIOUS…

  • Liz Mays
    December 19, 2019

    Oh these are looking really tasty! I’d definitely enjoy making some latkes for my family. Great idea!

  • Tara Pittman
    December 19, 2019

    I need to make these for Christmas breakfast. They sound so delicious.

  • Colleen
    December 19, 2019

    5 stars
    Those look delicious. I love potato latkes. I have some purist friends who are disgusted by it, but I love to put ketchup on mine.
    Colleen recently posted Best Hotels for Families in San Diego County, CaliforniaMy Profile

  • Matt Taylor
    December 19, 2019

    5 stars
    I love potato Latkes! This recipe looks amazing. I just had some Monday evening. haha will definitely try this one out.

  • Stephanie S.
    December 19, 2019

    This recipe sounds amazing! I love exploring new recipes, and this sounds like a recipe I’ll have to give a try. Thanks for sharing.

  • Bill Sweeney
    December 19, 2019

    5 stars
    I want to try these! They look simple to make and so delicious! I am saving this potato latkes recipe!
    Bill Sweeney recently posted Best Family Time Video Game EverMy Profile

  • Audrey McClelland
    December 19, 2019

    5 stars
    I have never tried these before, and now I want to! They look easy to make and delicious.

  • Stacie
    December 19, 2019

    5 stars
    This definitely gets five stars. I love potato latkes, so I can’t wait to try this. They look delicious!
    Stacie recently posted FROZEN II Printables Recipes Activity Sheets and Games #DisneyFrozenMy Profile

  • jk
    December 19, 2019

    There latkas look so yummy. I will have to make some soon for the kids.

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