Traditional Potato Latkes

Traditional potato latkes (pancakes) are the perfect dish to serve for Hanukkah or any day of the year!

When Hanukkah rolls around every year, I have a hard time straying away from the traditional potato latke recipe passed down from my Papa Leo.  Crispy, salty, savory potato pancakes in all their glory – it doesn’t get any better than this, folks.

We top them simply with a little sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and apple sauce. That’s it. End of story.  There is nothing else needed – this is your one way ticket to latke perfection.

A few tips I’ve learned over the years:

  1. Using a food processor with the grading attachment to shred the potatoes and onions will save you time and prevent bloody knuckles. Trust me on this one.
  2. Squeeze out as much water as possible from the grated onions. Paper towel or a kitchen tower work really well. Keep squeezing until you can’t squeeze any more. Note: If using a food processor, do the potatoes separately from the onions so you can squeeze them. Onion juice = flavor. Potato water = soggy sadness.
  3. Make more than you think you’ll need. More than likely, you’ll only make these once a year. Go crazy and make a double batch.  Your family will thank you.
5.0 from 4 reviews
Traditional Potato Latkes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Traditional potato latkes (pancakes) are the perfect dish to serve for Hanukkah or any day of the year!
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
  • 4 russet potatoes - peeled and grated finely (water squeezed out)
  • 1 medium onion - grated finely
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup matzo meal or more if needed
  • canola oil for frying
  • sour cream and apple sauce for serving
  1. Using a food processor or cheese grader, grate the potatoes and place in a bowl using a paper towel to remove excess water.
  2. Grate the onions then add to the potatoes.
  3. Add egg, salt and matzo meal to the potato/onion mixture and mix well with a fork. If mixture seems too watery, add more matzo meal.
  4. Heat 2-3 inches of oil over medium-high heat In a deep pan (or cast iron skillet). Add a drop of the potato mixture to test the heat of the oil. If it bubbles, it's ready!
  5. Using an ice cream scoop or large soup spoon, drop potato mixture in to the oil being careful not to over crowd the pan. Flatten the pancakes with a metal spatula to ensure even cooking.
  6. After 3-4 minutes, check for color and flip once browned on one side. Flatten again with the spatula and cook until browned on both sides.
  7. Lay cooked latkes on plate or baking sheet lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil.
  8. Continue working in batches until all of the potato mixture is gone.
  9. Serve with sour cream and apple sauce.
Keep potato latkes in oven heated to warm to keep hot until dinner is served.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4-5 Pancakes Calories: 720 Fat: 57.2g Saturated fat: 4.2g Unsaturated fat: 53g Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 47.8g Sugar: 2.8g Sodium: 610mg Fiber: 3.8g Protein: 7.1g Cholesterol: 45mg

Stop by the other blogs and check out these Chanukah Themed Recipes:


Jamie from Joy of Kosher made Zucchini Latkes with Tzatziki

Daniel from Peikes Cookbook made Potato and Fennel Latkes Fried in Duck Fat With Chinese Five Spice Apple Sauce

Susan from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen made Squash and Potato Latkes

Samantha from The Little Ferraro Kitchen made Ruby Red Beet Latkes with Cumin

Nechamah from TIforOA Food Ideas made Healthy Oatmeal Latkes

Liz from The Lemon Bowl made Traditional Potato Latkes

Melanie from From Fast Food to Fresh Food made (I Can’t Believe They’re Crispy!) Baked Latkes

Laura from Mother Would Know made Three Variations of Sweet and Savory Latkes

Sarah from Crispy Bits and Burnt Ends made Kimchee Latkes

Shulie from Food Wanderings made Baked Panko Sweet Potato Leek Latkes

Donuts and Desserts:

Miriam from Overtime Cook made Shortcut Cannoli with Chocolate Mousse Filling

Leah from Cook Kosher made 5 Minute Donuts

Estee from The Kosher Scoop made Tropical Fruit Fritters

Melinda from Kitchen-Tested made Sweet Steamed Buns

Amy from What Jew Wanna Eat made Homemade Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Gelt

Avidan from Baking It Up As I Go Along made Orange Olive Oil Cake

Tali from More Quiche Please made Glazed Chocolate Donut Holes

Amital from Organized Jewish Home made Mom’s Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Princess Lea from The Frumanista made Túrógombóc

Stephanie and Jessica from The Kosher Foodies made Beignets

Gigi from Gigi’s Kitchen made Bunuelos: Mini Powdered Cheese Donuts 

Esther from Esther O Designs made Edible Menorahs

Patti from No Bacon Here made Hanukkah Oreo Balls

Shoshana from Couldn’t Be Parve made Churros con Chocolate

Shaindy from My Happily Hectic Life made Inside Out Apple Crisp

Eve from Gluten Free Nosh made Gluten-Free Hanukkah Sugar Cookies

Amy from Baking and Mistaking made Mini Cream-Filled French Beignets

Sarah from Food, Words, Photos made Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Victoria from Itsy Bitsy Balebusta made Pure Vanilla Donuts

Vicky and Ruth from May I Have That Recipe made Dulce de Leche and Eggnog cream filled mini sufganiot

Dena from Oh You Cook made Poached Pears in Pomegranate Sauce

Michele from Kosher Treif Cooking made Tiramisu Cheessecake

Sharon from FashionIsha made Sparkly Chanukah Cookies

Yosef from This American Bite made Garlic, Zaatar and Olive Oil Popcorn

Appetizers, Soups, Sauces, Drinks and other Hanukkah Food:

Laura from Pragmatic Attic made Caramel Spice Applesauce

Jessie from Bread and Butter made Honey Spiced Hanukkah Martini

G6 from Guess Who’s Coming 2 Dinner made Sweet Potato Leek Soup

Claire from I Love Soup made Sweet Potato, Coconut & Lemongrass Soup

Jennifer from Juanita’s Cocina made Kugel

Liz from Kosher Like Me made Ready, Stuff Roll!

Shelley from The Kosher Home made Hanukkah Crafts and Printables

Happy Hanukkah Everyone!

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  1. says

    Thats exactly the ratios I use when I make my potato latkes, except I don’t use any matzah meal. Russet potatoes are the best when making latkes!

  2. says

    These latkes look amazing!

    I wish donuts had no calories. Specifically caramel donuts with chocolate glaze. Or maybe custard donuts. Or cinnamon twist donuts. Ok, skip that. Any donut. All donuts. Just donuts!

    Can you tell I hate dieting on Hanukkah??

  3. Rochel S says

    Donuts. definitely donuts. :) Just got a mini deep fryer and it was so easy to make fresh donuts and even easier to eat them up!

  4. jacquie says

    latkes would be right up there – any kind of veggie fried up latke style actually …. the possibilites are really endless.

  5. Helen says

    This is tough, because I love fried foods! Probably Krispy Kreme raised glazed. These don’t present a problem to me now because there aren’t any in the state I live in, but if I come across one……

  6. faigy says

    I don’t eat too many fried food, but topping the list are latkas and doughnuts – so if I could have them without the calories? Yum!

  7. says

    These are basically the latkes we made, although I made a quadruple batch. I freeze them and then serve them throughout the year.

    And although I don’t really like fried foods, I would be OK with these having no calories for my once a year dinner.

  8. Fonda says

    Potato latkes and sufganiot… but the smell of fried food is permeating in our apartment. Aside from opening all the windows while frying, any other ideas to clear the air, lest the odor/aroma will linger long after Chanukah is gone… when I’ll need to start my diet!

  9. CindyZS says

    i just love latkes! great recipe. if u dont have a food processor, u can use a blender. growing up in a household of 9 many hands to help. in my late 20s my kids helped, then i got carpel tunnel in both hands and by 30 & 40’s just couldnt grate it anymore. plus my mom who is 25 years older than me, neither one of us good grate anymore :( well i didnt want to give up on this great food so i came up with a blender and tadah!! problem solved. home it helps for others.


  1. [...] Cumin Nechamah from TIforOA Food Ideas made Healthy Oatmeal Latkes Liz from The Lemon Bowl made Traditional Potato Latkes Melanie from From Fast Food to Fresh Food made (I Can’t Believe They’re Crispy!) Baked [...]

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