Potato Pancakes (Latkes)

Potato Pancakes (Latkes)

A crispy and delicious seasonal dish the whole family will love.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4-6 (10-12 pancakes)


1 ½ lbs. Russet potatoes (3 or 4 potatoes)
1 medium yellow onion
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp. unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 can applesauce (for serving)
1 cup canola oil
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (to taste)


  1. Wash the potatoes well but do not peel them. Cut each potato in half crosswise. Remove the outer skin from the onion and cut the onion in quarters, saving two quarters for another recipe.
  2. Using a food processor, hand grater, or box grater, grate the potatoes and onion into a large bowl.
  3. Lay a clean thin dishtowel or piece of cheesecloth on a plate, and place the grated vegetables in the center. Pull the towel edges into the center, and twist the cloth tight around the vegetables. Hold the bundle over a large bowl, then twist and squeeze the bundle as hard as you can until no more liquid comes out.
  4. Give the liquid a few minutes to rest. The starch from the potatoes will settle to the bottom of the bowl. Gently pour or skim off water from the top, but leave the thicker potato starch in the bowl.
  5. Add the potatoes and onion to the separated starch. Add eggs, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper to the bowl. Mix well with your fingers, making sure that the potato starch is evenly mixed with the rest of the ingredients. Set the mixture aside for 10 minutes.
  6. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet at a depth of ¼ inch (for a 10-inch skillet, 1 cup of oil). If a bit of the mixture sizzles when added to the oil, you’re ready to make the pancakes.
  7. Use your fingers to flatten the mixture into 4-inch patties about a ¼ inch thick, or as thin as possible while still holding their shape. The thinner the pancake, the crispier it will be.
  8. Place the patty on your metal spatula and carefully ease it into the heated oil. Repeat until pan is full but pancakes aren’t crowded, leaving an inch or so around each one. You’ll need to flip these, so make sure you can slide the spatula between the pancakes.
  9. Cook until deeply golden-brown, 4-5 minutes per side, adjusting the heat if necessary.
  10. Transfer the fried pancakes to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Serve with applesauce and sour cream.


  • Make-ahead: Keep latkes warm by placing them on a baking sheet in the oven at 200 degrees.
  • Storing: To keep them on hand for 2-3 days, store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Doubling: You will need an extra thin towel or piece of cheesecloth to squeeze the extra potato and onion shreds. The oil will also need to be replaced halfway through frying. Pour the used oil into a heatproof bowl, wipe out the skillet, then heat fresh oil and continue frying.
  • Change it up: Try using other produce in your fried pancakes, like sweet potato, apple, jicama, squash, or carrots! You could also add some of your favorite dried herbs to add extra flavor to your pancakes. No breadcrumbs? You can crush up some crackers or toast some stale bread, or even try a couple tablespoons of flour instead.