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Traditional Potato Latkes

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Papa Leo’s traditional potato latkes are the perfect dish to serve for Hanukkah or any day of the year!

Traditional potato latkes.

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 for a side or main dish! We top them simply with a little sour cream, fresh parsley, and apple sauce. And that’s all you need! If you’ve ever been curious about latkes, here is your sign to give them a try!

Helpful Tips

  • Using a food processor with the grating attachment to shred the potatoes and onions will save you time and prevent knicking your fingers.
  • Squeeze out as much water as possible from the grated potatoes. Paper towel or a kitchen tower works really well. Keep squeezing until you can’t squeeze anymore. 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.
  • 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, you’ll thank yourself all week long.

How to Make Traditional Potato Latkes

Adding potato to food processor

Start your potato latkes by using either a food processor or grater to grate your potatoes and onion.

Squeezing out excess water

When you’ve finished grating your potatoes, transfer them to a large bowl and use a paper towel to squeeze as much excess water out as you can. Then add the grated onion.

Adding egg to

Into the bowl of the potato and onion, crack in your eggs.

Adding matzo meal to bowl

Then stir in your matzo meal.

Adding salt to latke

Finally, sprinkle in some salt for flavor.

Stirring potato latke

Mix well until all ingredients are combined.

Scooping latke mix into oil

Then in a large cast iron skillet or pan, heat a couple inches of oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, use a large spoon or ice cream scoop to portion your batter into the oil.

Flattening latkes in oil

Be careful not to overcrowd the pan and use a spatula to flatten your latkes. After a couple minutes, flip your latke so that it can cook on both sides.

Finished latkes cooling

Once your latkes are evenly browned, remove from the oil and plan on a pan or plate lined with paper towels to soak up any excess oil.

Stabbing traditional potato latke with a fork.

Continue working in batches until all of your potato mixture is gone, then serve your traditional potato latkes with sour cream and apple sauce and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What were original latkes made of?

Before potatoes, they were most likely made with a grain like buckwheat or rye.

What is traditionally served with potato latkes?

Sour cream and apple sauce is the traditional topping! However many also enjoy them with a horseradish sauce.

Are latkes only for Hanukkah?

While latkes are traditionally served on or around Hanukkah, you can enjoy them any time of year!

Traditional potato latkes.

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Liz enjoying traditional potato latkes.

Whether you celebrate Hanukkah or not, my family’s Traditional Potato Latkes are a delicious dish worth trying.

Your fork is waiting.

Traditional potato latkes 2

Traditional Potato Latkes

4.80 stars average
Papa Leo’s traditional potato latkes (pancakes) are the perfect dish to serve for Hanukkah or any day of the year!
PREP: 20 mins
COOK: 20 mins
TOTAL: 40 mins
Save
Servings: 4

Ingredients
 

  • 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)

Instructions
 

  • Using a food processor or cheese grater, grate the potatoes and place in a bowl using a paper towel to remove excess water. Grate the onion in with the potato.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Using an ice cream scoop or large soup spoon, drop the potato mixture into the oil being careful not to over crowd the pan. Flatten the pancakes with a metal spatula to ensure even cooking.
  • 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.
  • Lay cooked latkes on plate or baking sheet lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil.
  • Continue working in batches until all of the potato mixture is gone. Serve with sour cream, horse radish, or apple sauce.

Notes

Keep potato latkes in oven heated to warm to keep hot until dinner is served.

Nutrition

Calories: 720kcalCarbohydrates: 47.8gProtein: 7.1gFat: 57.2gSaturated Fat: 4.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 53gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 610mgFiber: 3.8gSugar: 2.8g

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Liz DellaCroce

Liz Della Croce is the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl, a healthy food blog. Since 2010, Liz has been sharing delicious recipes that just so happen to be healthy. By using real ingredients with an emphasis on seasonality, Liz has built a growing audience of loyal readers who crave good food for their families. Click Here To Subscribe to my newsletter:

49 Comments

  1. From someone who’s never made latkes…when you say 4 russet potatoes, how many pounds should I use? The sizes vary greatly! Thanks so much.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

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