Classic Latkes Recipe

Latkes are grated potato fritters traditionally prepared in Ashkenazi cuisine to celebrate Hanukkah, perhaps the most well-known of the Jewish holidays. They're crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, deliciously savory, and absolutely irresistible.

This centuries-old recipe is made with very simple ingredients — potatoes, eggs, and flour — which you likely already have at home as we speak. And thankfully, you don't have to be Jewish or wait for Hunukkah to indulge in some homemade latkes. They make a great side dish, as well as popular party snack or brunch item.

Classic latkes are not difficult to make, but there are a few key steps and techniques that you should pay careful attention to for the best results. Read on for can't-miss recipe tips from Alex Shytsman of The New Baguette and master the recipe just in time for the holidays.

Gather the ingredients for these classic latkes

To make latkes, you'll need russet potatoes, onion, an egg, all-purpose flour, salt, pepper, and frying oil; we recommend peanut oil or refined coconut oil.

Grate the potatoes and onion

Using a food processor fitted with the shredding attachment, grate the potatoes and onion. Be sure to work quickly to prevent the potatoes from oxidizing, or they'll turn beige. If you don't have a food processor, use the large holes on a box grater instead.

Wring out the vegetables

Transfer the vegetables to a clean kitchen towel, gather the ends, twist into a ball, and squeeze as hard as you can to wring out as much liquid as possible. This crucial step will ensure you'll have the crispiest possible latkes. (Discard the liquid.)

Make the latke batter

Put the shredded vegetables in a large bowl and stir in the flour, beaten egg, salt, and pepper.

Fry the latkes

In a large high-sided pan, heat a generous amount of oil over medium heat. Before adding whole dollops of batter, test the temperature of the oil by dropping in one shred of potato. If it starts sizzling right away, the oil is hot enough; if it sinks, continue heating the oil for another minute and repeat the test. Increase the heat if needed.

Using a tablespoon, scoop the batter into the oil — be careful to avoid any splatters. Cook until the undersides are golden, about 3 minutes, then flip and brown the other side. (Avoid flipping the latkes more than once.) After frying, transfer to a paper towel-lined tray to drain excess oil. If you don't plan on eating them right away, transfer to a wire rack and keep in a low temperature oven (200 F) until ready to serve.

Serve the latkes

Latkes are a great side dish to almost any main course. And, because of their similar nature to potato pancakes, they work wonderfully as a savory breakfast. They're also delicious by themselves, with sour cream, and/or with applesauce.

Classic Latkes Recipe
5 from 23 ratings
These classic latkes are savory and crispy, and they make for the perfect snack or breakfast.
Prep Time
Cook Time
latkes on a plate with sour cream
Total time: 35 minutes
  • 1 ½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup peanut oil (or any kind of frying oil)
Optional Ingredients
  • Sour cream, for serving
  • Applesauce, for serving
  1. Using a food processor fitted with the shredding attachment (or the large holes of a box grater), shred the potatoes and onion. Work quickly to prevent the potatoes from oxidizing.
  2. Immediately transfer vegetables to a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  3. Transfer the potatoes and onion to a large bowl and add the flour, egg, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Before adding the batter, test the temperature by dropping one piece of potato in the oil. If it floats and starts sizzling, the oil is hot enough; if it sinks, continue heating the oil and increase the heat if needed.
  5. Scoop the batter with a tablespoon and gently push off with your finger into the saucepan. Cook the latkes in a single layer until golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes, then flip and brown the other side. Transfer the finished latkes to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain excess oil. Continue cooking the rest of the batter.
  6. Serve immediately, optionally with sour cream or applesauce.
Calories per Serving 103
Total Fat 7.1 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 11.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.9 g
Dietary Fiber 0.7 g
Total Sugars 0.5 g
Sodium 79.4 mg
Protein 1.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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