Classic Potato Latkes


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Hanukkah is coming and you need to be armed with a potato latke recipe to get you through these eight crazy nights! While we won’t tackle the great debate of applesauce or sour cream, we will discuss how to achieve perfectly golden potato pancakes to put even your bubbe to shame. You only need a few ingredients, a little elbow grease and a lot of oil to achieve crispy potato heaven!

The secret really is squeezing out your potatoes and reserving the potato starch. By getting rid of all that liquid, you don’t need to add a bucket of matzo meal, so your latkes won’t be dense and cakey, but light and crisp. It’s all about visual cues though! As the batter sits, it will get looser, so feel free to add a tablespoon of matzo meal if you see it not holding together when you scoop (Gluten-free? No worries! Swap with gluten-free matzo meal!) Same goes with the oil. The latkes will soak it up, so instead of trying to make it last, don’t be a hero and add in another splash of oil. 

Get ready to turn your Festival of Lights into a Festival of Bites!

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  • Recipe Card
Prep time 15mins
Cook time 15mins
Serves or Makes: 10

Recipe Card


  • 1 pound peeled russet potatoes
  • 1/4 yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup matzo meal, plus more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Apple sauce, for serving
  • Sour cream, for serving


  • Step 1

    Using a box grater, coarsely grate the potatoes and onion. Transfer to a bowl lined with cheesecloth or a thin dish towel and wring the cloth to squeeze out any liquid into the bowl. Set this bowl aside to sit for 5 minutes, then discard the liquid, revealing a layer of white potato starch that will be stuck to the bottom of the bowl.

  • Step 2

    To this bowl, add the squeezed potatoes and onion, matzo meal, salt and eggs, then mix to combine.

  • Step 3

    Heat ¼ inch of vegetable oil in a cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, scoop ⅓ cup balls of the mixture and drop in the pan. Using a spatula, smash the latkes to flatten. Cook, flipping once, until golden, 2-3 minutes per side, then transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat until all the latkes are fried, adding more oil as needed.

  • Step 4

    Transfer latkes to a platter and serve with applesauce and sour cream.