Crispy and Delicious: A Guide to Making Perfect Latkes

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Latkes, also known as potato pancakes, are a beloved dish that brings comfort and delight to many. Whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah or simply craving a tasty treat, learning how to make latkes from scratch is a skill worth mastering.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions, answer common questions, suggest serving ideas, and explore popular recipe variations. Get ready to savor the crispy and irresistible goodness of homemade latkes

crispy potato latkes served with sour cream and chives

What are Latkes? A Brief Introduction

The origins of latkes can be traced back to Eastern Europe, where potatoes were introduced in the 16th century. However, it wasn’t until the 18th century that potatoes gained popularity as a staple food among the Jewish communities in the region. Potatoes were affordable, readily available, and provided a substantial source of sustenance, making them a practical choice for everyday meals.

During Hanukkah, latkes became a prominent dish in Jewish households. Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and the miracle of the oil that lasted for eight days. The connection between latkes and Hanukkah lies in the symbolic use of oil, which represents the oil that miraculously burned for eight days.

Traditionally, latkes were fried in oil to symbolize the miracle of the oil. The combination of potatoes, onions, and oil resulted in a dish that was not only delicious but also deeply meaningful.

traditional latkes topped with sour cream or apple sauce

Ingredients for Perfect Latkes

Gather the essential ingredients to create crispy and flavorful latkes.

  • Russet potatoes: peeled and grated
  • Yellow onion: peeled and grated
  • Flour: Ideally, potato flour (aka potato starch) or matzo meal is used to make latkes.
  • Eggs
  • Kosher salt (affiliate link)
  • Avocado oil: (affiliate link) for frying

Step-by-Step Instructions: How to Make Latkes

Follow our detailed instructions to create latkes that are golden and crispy on the outside, with a tender and flavorful interior. From grating the potatoes to achieving the ideal frying temperature, we’ll guide you through each step to ensure your success.

  1. Peel and grate the potatoes. Place them in a bowl of cold salted water to prevent them from oxidizing. 
  2. Peel and grate the onion and place them into a large bowl. 
  3. Add the flour and salt to the eggs. 
  4. Drain the potatoes and then squeeze them dry using a clean kitchen towel. Try to remove as much water as possible.
  5. Add the potatoes to the egg mixture. 
  6. Mix the potato mixture well using a fork. 
  7. Add the oil to a large skillet and heat to 360℉-375℉
  8. Form the mixture into palm-sized patties and place in the oil. Leave a good amount of room around each latke so that they can brown. 
  9. Fry for about 4 minutes, then flip them to brown the other side. You want them to be golden brown.
  10. Remove the cooked latkes and place on a plate lined with paper towels. 
  11. Serve with sour cream and apple sauce. 
latkes draining on a paper towel

Answering Common Questions about Latkes

Explore the most frequently asked questions about making latkes and find helpful answers and tips. From techniques to prevent soggy latkes to alternatives for gluten-free or vegan options, we’ve got you covered with expert advice.

What is the best potato for latkes?

Russet potatoes are the perfect potato for making latkes.

What other vegetables can be used for latkes?

Root vegetables such as beets, carrots, ans sweet potatoes can be used to make root vegetable latkes. Zucchini, cauliflower, and spaghetti squash work well for making lower car latkes.

How to make gluten free latkes?

To make latkes gluten free use potato flour or a gluten free flour blend.

What to Serve with Latkes: Delicious Pairings

Choose from a variety of mouthwatering accompaniments to serve alongside your latkes. From traditional options like sour cream and applesauce to creative twists like smoked salmon or a refreshing cucumber-dill yogurt sauce.

latkes served with apple sauce and sour cream

Popular Recipe Variations for Latkes

Latkes can be made with any root vegetable or summer squash. For low-carb latkes, substitute almond or coconut flour for potato flour in this recipe.

From zucchini latkes to sweet potato latkes or even cauliflower latkes, try one of these creative twists that cater to various dietary preferences and offer new taste sensations.

  • carrots
  • beets
  • zucchini
  • spaghetti squash
  • cauliflower

Now that you have a comprehensive guide on how to make delicious latkes, it’s time to put your newfound skills to the test. Embrace the joy of creating crispy and flavorful potato pancakes that are perfect for any occasion.

From serving them with classic accompaniments to experimenting with exciting variations, the world of latkes is yours to explore. Get ready to enjoy the irresistible crunch and comforting flavors of homemade latkes that will surely leave a lasting impression.

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traditional latkes recipe with sour cream

Latkes Recipe

Crispy and flavorful latkes recipe for Hanukkah and beyond. Enjoy the delicious tradition of homemade potato pancakes. Perfectly golden and satisfying.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Holiday, Jewish
Servings 16 Latkes
Calories 127 kcal


  • 5 large Russet potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 1 large Yellow onion, peeled and grated
  • cup Flour, see notes for substitutions
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 1-2 teaspoons Kosher salt (affiliate link)
  • 1-2 cups Avocado oil, for frying

For Serving

  • Sour cream
  • Apple sauce


  • Peel and grate the potatoes. Place them in a bowl of cold salted water to prevent them from oxidizing. 
    5 large Russet potatoes
  • Peel and grate the onion. Add to a large bowl. 
    1 large Yellow onion
  • Add flour, salt and eggs to the onions. whisk to combine.
    ⅓ cup Flour, 3 large Eggs, 1-2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • Strain the potatoes and then squeeze them dry using a clean kitchen towel. (remove as much water as possible.)
  • Add the potatoes to the egg mixture. Mix well using a fork. 
  • Add the oil to a large skillet and heat to 360℉-375℉. Monitor the oil temperature with a candy thermometer.
    1-2 cups Avocado oil
  • Form the potato mixture into palm-sized patties and place in the oil. Leave a good amount of room around each latke so that they can brown. 
  • Fry for about 4 minutes and then flip them to brown the other side. 
  • Remove and place on a plate lined with paper towels. 
  • Serve with sour cream and apple sauce. 

Laura’s Tips + Notes

  1. Low-carb substitutions: Use zucchini, or cauliflower instead of potatoes. Replace the flour with almond flour or coconut flour. 
  2. Oil: Any oil with a neutral flavor profile can be used. Such as extra light extra virgin olive oil, grape seed oil, or MCT oil. 


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Serving: 1 latkeCalories: 127kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 4gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 163mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gCalcium: 23mgIron: 1.2mg
Keyword appetizers, gluten free, latkes, Paleo, potatoes, vegan
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