Crispy Potato Latkes

Crispy Potato Latkes | #recipe #oktoberfest #hanukkah

Crispy potato pancakes weren’t something that I grew up eating, but once I found them in adulthood, I couldn’t get enough. My grandma used to make a similar potato pancake, but out of mashed potatoes instead. They were good, but there’s something totally blissful about being able to eat the equivalent of hash browns for dinner. Quite a few years ago, my Chief Culinary Consultant and I went out to dinner with his friend and his friend’s wife to a local brewery in late September. The restaurant was celebrating Oktoberfest with a special menu; as a result, we ordered an array of appetizers to share and skipped entrees altogether. Latkes were one of the things we chose, and we ended up getting a second order after we realized that the first one wasn’t going to go very far. Since then, anytime I see potato latkes on a menu, I am all in.

Crispy Potato Latkes | #recipe #oktoberfest #hanukkah

I’ve had these on my list to make at home for what feels like forever, and I kept putting them off. Do you ever stare at a recipe and think it’ll take SO MUCH effort, and oh my goodness, you can’t muster the motivation to just get in the kitchen and start? That was me with latkes. Why? I have no idea. It’s not much more complicated than shredding a few potatoes and an onion, stirring in an egg, some breadcrumbs and seasonings, then pan frying. That’s IT.

I have only myself to blame for keeping these from my belly for months and months and months.

Crispy Potato Latkes | #recipe #oktoberfest #hanukkah

These are super crispy on the outside and perfectly creamy on the inside. I love having them with sour cream, although a lot of places offer applesauce on the side, which I have admittedly never understood. Applesauce on its own? Absolutely. Applesauce with fried potatoes and onion? Not my thing.

However you decide to serve these, don’t be like me. Don’t drag your feet when it comes to making something so simple and so utterly delicious!

Crispy Potato Latkes | #recipe #oktoberfest #hanukkah

One year ago: Boston Cream Cupcakes
Two years ago: DIY: Homemade Limoncello
Three years ago: Pumpkin Fudge
Five years ago: Sausage, Pepper and Mushroom Risotto
Seven years ago: All-Purpose Cornbread

Crispy Potato Latkes

Yield: About 18 latkes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Crispy potato pancakes are one of my very favorite Oktoberfest appetizers!


3 pounds russet potatoes (about 5 large)
1 large yellow onion
2 eggs
¼ cup plain breadcrumbs
3½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons vegetable oil + more as needed

For Serving:
Sour cream


1. Shred the potatoes and the onion using the large holes on a box grater. Place the shredded potatoes and onion into a large dish towel and tightly squeeze over the sink to extract as much liquid as possible.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, breadcrumbs, salt, baking powder and pepper. Add the shredded mixture and stir to evenly coat.

3. Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a 12-inch skillet. The oil will be hot enough when you drop a piece of shredded potato into the pan and it immediately sizzles. Drop large spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan, pressing lightly on the top to flatten them slightly. Cook until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a wire rack placed above a double layer of paper towels.

4. Repeat with the remaining mixture. If the mixture becomes watery between batches, stir together to incorporate. Additionally, add more oil to the pan as needed to keep a thin layer of oil covering the bottom of the pan.

5. Serve the latkes warm with sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh parsley, or applesauce.

(Recipe from Bon Appetit)


42 Responses to “Crispy Potato Latkes”

  1. Laura Waddell on September 25, 2014 at 2:09 am

    Love the blog and have gotten some terrific recipes from you, but while that may be a potato pancake, it’s definitely not a latke :). Latkes are finely grated potatoes and matzo meal is used as the binder (this Jew had the grating job as a kid every Hannukah, lol).


    • Carole Resnick on September 25th, 2014 at 7:18 am

      me, too


    • Michelle on September 25th, 2014 at 8:06 am

      I definitely don’t purport to be an expert of any sort on Jewish cooking, but I found tons of different recipes before making these, all called latkes, and none contained matzo meal.


      • Alexis on September 25th, 2014 at 8:57 am

        Some recipes online will substitute breadcrumbs or flour – but yes, matza meal is definitely traditional. No one in my family would use anything else. I’m surprised none of the recipes included it!

        Also, latkes are often served as part of a meat dinner, and traditionally, you wouldn’t serve sour cream with meat. So, brisket, latkes, and applesauce.

        Another trick, and I can’t remember if it’s Mimi Sheraton or Ruth Reichl: Many recipes have you grate the potatoes into cold water, to keep them from turning black. That washes off the starch, though. So she has you drain the potatoes, saving the water, and squeeze. Then let it sit for a minute while you mix the potatoes with egg, onions, and matza meal. It will separate. Tip off the water on top and scrape the starch (the glue at the bottom of the bowl) back in. This works even better than just squeezing the raw potatoes.


    • nancy k on September 25th, 2014 at 8:12 am

      My sister-in law is Jewish and her mom makes possibly the best latkes on the planet. The texture is so light and very different than the potato pancakes I make. It has to be the grating process and the matzo meal. In any case, she always makes me a big batch for my freezer when everyone comes my annual Christmas dinner. It is my favorite gift!


    • Z on September 25th, 2014 at 10:05 am

      This is her blog and her take on a recipe and honestly she can call it whatever she wants. It looks delicious!


    • Debbie on September 25th, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      I am Jewish too and frequently have latkes during the holidays – and I have seen them made like this before. It’s the idea of it! And I’m all for using more common ingredients. It’s okay to deviate a little from “traditional” – still a latke in my book!


  2. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar on September 25, 2014 at 2:53 am

    Totally crushing on these. Latkes are such a comfort food!


  3. Laura on September 25, 2014 at 7:06 am

    I like crispy potatoes any way you make em!! Or should I say fried? Looks delicious. Breakfast or an early snack before dinner. Great alone or a side dish.


  4. Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures on September 25, 2014 at 7:57 am

    The texture of these latkes looks amazing! So crunchy!


  5. Lauren on September 25, 2014 at 8:35 am

    I love latkes! Recipe is being saved since I don’t like my moms recipe! 😀


  6. Morgan on September 25, 2014 at 8:47 am

    When I was little I remember the potato pancakes out of mashed potatoes too…soo good! Have you thought about trying to recreate your grandma’s recipe for those, I’d love to see it on your blog!


    • Michelle on September 25th, 2014 at 9:01 am

      Hi Morgan, I have! I’m pretty sure my mom has a cliff notes version written down somewhere, I need to get it from her 🙂


  7. Mary+Anne on September 25, 2014 at 9:39 am

    How did you know? I just made these last night to use up some potatoes! I procrastinate making these but you’re absolutely correct, they are so simple to make. AND worth every bit of effort!


  8. Kelly P. on September 25, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I also grew up eating fried mashed potato patties. My Mom made them with left over mashed potatoes. I have not eaten any since childhood. I love latkes, but I wish that I had a Jewish Grandmother to teach me how to cook them and some other recipes. Can’t wait to eat some!


  9. Tamika on September 25, 2014 at 10:26 am

    I know it’s not the same but my stepmom always gave my little brother mashed potatoes and applesauce, I will definitely try making these.


  10. SUE on September 25, 2014 at 11:26 am

    I’m not Jewish, but coming from a German family we made potato pancakes like these, but using flour in place of the breadcrumbs. And they were always top with sliced peaches! I still make them for my family when we get together for Sunday breakfast.


    • Kim on September 25th, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      Yes to the German variations :). My Mom taught me to make them with flour and definitely with sliced peaches over top! The first time I had them in a restaurant, I couldn’t understand why the peaches were missing, lol. My Mom liked to slather hers with grape jelly, but I still go peaches all the way!


    • Klara on September 26th, 2014 at 4:00 am

      Really, sliced peaches? I have never come across that before, maybe it’s a regional thing. It’s Apfelbrei in Frankonia or a salad made with lambs lettuce in my family for the ones who don’t like them with something sweet.


  11. Char+R on September 25, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    I grew up eating my mom’s potato pancakes and I’ve fixed them from time to time, but these sounds and look SO yummy! I am definitely trying this recipe!


  12. Deirdre on September 25, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    I too grew up on fried Potato cakes but these Latkes are different. I am going to try them but shall have to leave out the onion as most in my family do not like cooked onions. Shall substitute with onion salt. Thank you for lovely recipie.


  13. Fiona+@+Get+Fit+Fiona on September 25, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    These look absolutely delicious!


  14. Honey What's Cooking? on September 25, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Looks so delicious. I never knew eggs were added to this dish, I suppose that is what binds the dish together.


  15. marcie on September 25, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Anything that has to do with crispy, golden potatoes, and I’m there. These look so delicious!


  16. Sue+Q on September 25, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    I am German and my grandma made potato pancakes, which the recipe was pretty much just like this one! They are awesome! In fact I just got my grandma’s recipe from my mom and am going to make them. It was really fun to see your recipe & pics on here…reminded me of when I was a kid! Thanks for the memories 🙂


  17. Annamaria+@+Bakewell+Junction on September 25, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    I’m not Jewish, I’m Italian and I think your latkes look delicious. I’ve pinned and can’t wait to try the recipe.


  18. on September 25, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Oh yum, latkes! My family and I were just having Rosh Hashanah dinner last night and talking about how we can’t wait until Chanukah to make latkes. We usually put it off until the holiday because it SEEMS like a lot of work, but you are right, it’s actually not all that complicated. I might not have to wait until December 🙂


  19. Jaclyn on September 25, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    These look totally perfect! That beautiful golden brown color and I can almost feel the crisp edges through the screen!


  20. Catherine+McCord on September 26, 2014 at 12:49 am

    Nothing makes me happier then a good ole crispy latke!!


  21. Lori on September 26, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Michelle, I made a 1/2 batch last night because it was just my husband and I. Amazing and not too much extra work.
    Envision making these for breakfast to round out the eggs and bacon.


  22. Barbara Dougherty on September 26, 2014 at 10:16 am

    The problem with this is that i would every. Single. One. Lolololol


  23. Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat on September 26, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    These look like latkes to me! And delicious too.


  24. Maxine on September 26, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    These look so delicious and I am making them this weekend. Always love your posts, Michelle!


  25. Heather+@+My+Overflowing+Cup on September 27, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe! Not only does it look delicious, but I just bought a huge bag of russets at Costco and I am always looking for new ways to serve them. Thanks, again! Pinning.


  26. Sora on September 28, 2014 at 9:33 am

    A little early for a latke recipe, but it can’t hurt. 😀 I’ve always liked latkes both with sour cream and applesauce, I can’t decide which is better!


  27. Rosemary on September 28, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Sounds similar to my recipe but I add some garlic to mine. Delicious. Really enjoy ur recipes. Keep them coming. Thnx


  28. Louise van der Marel on September 29, 2014 at 5:11 am

    Hello B.E.B.,
    What about buying ready made hash brown, put onion eggs etc. with it.
    These I have always in the freezer,because the potatoes here (we live in Thailand) are sort of sweet
    You can serve latkes 24/7 to my opinion.
    Put some wasabi (powder) thru the sour cream. Me drooling again.
    I made potato things (different names)for many years and it’s the most easy dish you can change or add almost anything.
    Some mayonaise thru rucola (rocket) salad and between 2 or 3 latkes???

    Louise van der Marel-Thailand


  29. Navar Steed on September 29, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    I love potato latkes and I cannot find good ones in Atlanta. The applesauce potato and onion thing never appealed to me either until I tried it. If you have not tried you need to because it is delicious!


  30. Michelle on September 30, 2014 at 5:19 am

    Hi Michelle,
    I´m from Czech republic :-), this potato latkes is quite traditional in our country – we call it “bramborák”. But it´s more spicy, so maybe you want to try our recipe.

    Our basic latkes recipe is:
    80 g flour, 1 egg, 800 g potatoes, 2-3 cloves of garlic, dried marjoram, salt, pepper.

    Then, if you want you can add some diced bacon or ham, half and half potatoes and zucchini.

    Thank you for your website, you are my treasury of recipes. Sometimes is a little bit hard to get all the ingredients here, but I´m not giving up. And my boyfriend and friends from work are happy too ;-).


  31. auntie on October 12, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    I make latkes for my Jewish friends and I NEVER bother with peeling, and grating, and squeeeeezing all those potatoes, not to mention the clean up afterwards anymore. I just use the bagged, refrigerated hash browns and it saves a ton of time and energy. My friends can’t tell the difference and they think I’m a genius. LOL . Trust me on this…You’ll never go back to doing all the potato prep work after using the bagged hash browns. I also use potato starch rather than flour, matzo meal or breadcrumbs.


    • robyn on December 2nd, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      are they in the refrigerator or frozen section? your a genius!!!!


  32. Karen Moran on November 24, 2014 at 9:27 am

    “Latke” or not – a picture is worth a thousands words and this screams yummy! Will most certainly be trying!


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