Classic Potato Pancakes

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Potato pancakes, also known as latkes, are a beloved dish in many cultures, particularly enjoyed during holiday seasons. These crispy, golden-brown pancakes are made from grated potatoes and onions, bound together with eggs and flour, then fried to perfection. Let’s dive into this simple yet delicious recipe for classic potato pancakes.


  • 2 ½ pounds Russet potatoes, or any starchy potato, peeled and grated very finely
  • 1 yellow onion, grated very finely
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • Oil for frying (vegetable, canola, or peanut oil work well)


Step 1: Prepare the Potatoes and Onions

  1. Grate Potatoes:
    • Peel the potatoes and grate them very finely using a box grater or a food processor with a grating attachment.
  2. Grate Onion:
    • Peel and grate the onion very finely.
  3. Drain Excess Liquid:
    • Place the grated potatoes and onions in a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth. Squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible. This step is crucial for achieving crispy pancakes.

Step 2: Make the Batter

  1. Combine Ingredients:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the grated potatoes and onions with the eggs, salt, and flour. Mix well until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Step 3: Fry the Pancakes

  1. Heat Oil:
    • Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. The oil is ready when a small drop of batter sizzles and bubbles upon contact.
  2. Form Pancakes:
    • Using a spoon or your hands, scoop about 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture and flatten it into a patty. Carefully place it into the hot oil. Repeat, leaving enough space between each pancake to avoid overcrowding the pan.
  3. Fry Until Golden:
    • Fry the pancakes for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and crispy. Adjust the heat as necessary to prevent burning.
  4. Drain on Paper Towels:
    • Remove the pancakes from the skillet and drain them on a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess oil.

Step 4: Serve

  1. Serve Hot:
    • Serve the potato pancakes hot, with your choice of toppings such as sour cream, applesauce, or chives.

Cooking Notes and Tips

  • Potatoes: Russet potatoes are ideal for this recipe due to their high starch content, which helps bind the pancakes together and achieve a crispy texture.
  • Draining Liquid: Thoroughly draining the liquid from the grated potatoes and onions is essential for crispy pancakes.
  • Oil Temperature: Maintain a consistent oil temperature to ensure even frying. If the oil is too hot, the pancakes will burn; if it’s too cool, they will become greasy.


Cheesy Potato Pancakes

  • Add Cheese:
    • Stir in 1/2 cup of shredded cheese (such as cheddar or Parmesan) into the potato mixture for a cheesy twist.

Herbed Potato Pancakes

  • Add Herbs:
    • Mix in 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley, dill, or chives) to add a burst of flavor.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

  • Use Sweet Potatoes:
    • Substitute sweet potatoes for a slightly sweet and nutritious alternative.

Serving Suggestions

With Sour Cream and Applesauce

  • Classic Toppings:
    • Serve the pancakes with a dollop of sour cream and a side of applesauce for a traditional pairing.

With Smoked Salmon

  • Elegant Twist:
    • Top with smoked salmon, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkle of fresh dill for a sophisticated appetizer.

With a Side Salad

  • Light Meal:
    • Serve with a fresh green salad for a light and balanced meal.


Q: Can I make the batter ahead of time? A: It’s best to prepare the batter just before frying to prevent the potatoes from turning brown. However, you can grate the potatoes and onions in advance and keep them submerged in water to prevent browning. Drain and squeeze out excess liquid before mixing with the other ingredients.

Q: How do I store leftover potato pancakes? A: Store any leftover pancakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet or oven until crispy before serving.

Q: Can I freeze potato pancakes? A: Yes, you can freeze cooked pancakes. Let them cool completely, then place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container. Reheat in the oven at 375°F (190°C) until heated through and crispy.

Q: What can I do if my pancakes are too wet and falling apart? A: If the mixture is too wet, add a bit more flour to help bind the ingredients together. Also, ensure you’ve squeezed out as much liquid as possible from the grated potatoes and onions.

Q: Can I bake potato pancakes instead of frying them? A: Yes, you can bake them. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Place the pancakes on a greased baking sheet and brush the tops with oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden and crispy.

Classic potato pancakes are a delicious and versatile dish that’s perfect for any occasion. With their crispy edges and tender centers, these pancakes are sure to be a hit with family and friends. Enjoy making and sharing this delightful recipe, and don’t forget to experiment with different variations and toppings!

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