Potato Pancake Recipes

Potato pancakes, or latkes, are called levivot in Hebrew. They are traditionally served with sour cream or applesauce on the side.

The classic latke is made of potatoes, but there are many other tasty versions, some that use no potato at all!

Try a potato latkes recipe for your Hanukkah celebration, or anytime throughout the year.

Classic potato pancakes
Sweet potato pancakes
Latkes with pumpkin and quinoa
Latkes with spinach, parmesan and almonds

Classic Potato Pancakes

This classic potato pancake recipe makes approximately 25 latkes (serves 4-6)

5 medium to large potatoes
1-2 onions
3 eggs
¼- 1/3 cup flour or matzah meal
1-2 teaspoons salt
¼- ½ teaspoon pepper
Olive, peanut, or canola oil for frying


  1. Peel potatoes. This can be done in advance (for a few hours) if you keep the potatoes in cold water.

  2. If using a hand grater, grate the potatoes and onion on fine side of the grater. Otherwise, cube potatoes and onion and process in a food processor or in a blender with a little bit of water. Drain excess water right away, and squeeze out any remaining liquid.

  3. Pour the potato-onion mixture into a large bowl and add the eggs, flour, and spices. Tip: add the flour a bit at a time and mix well, until the mixture thickens and sticks together.

  4. Pour oil in a large pan to a depth of ½ -1 inch, and heat on medium-high flame. Alternatively, you can use oil spray on a Teflon pan.

  5. Lower the flame once oil is sizzling hot (when bubbles form around a wooden spoon inserted into the oil) and add several tablespoons of the batter (one heaping tablespoon per latke).

  6. Fry until golden brown (approximately 5 minutes) then turn over and fry on other side until golden brown as well (another 2-3 minutes).

  7. Drain latkes on plate covered with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Continue to make latkes, using more oil as needed.

  8. Serve with sour cream or applesauce on the side. Greek-style yogurt, or labane, or gevina levana (white cheese popular in Israel) also work well!


Note: You can replace some (or all) of the potatoes with the same number of large carrots or zucchini, for carrot or zucchini potato pancakes.

Back to Top

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Translated and adapted from Derech HaOchel magazine, December 2008

Makes 8-9 servings

2.2 pounds / 1 kilo sweet potatoes, peeled
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 ¼ cups flour
Pinch of cinnamon
Salt, pepper to taste
Butter for frying

Ingredients for cream sauce:
7 ounces / 200 grams sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Salt, pepper to taste
½ - 1 green onion, chopped


  1. Cook the sweet potatoes in water until soft. Drain and mash with a fork or potato masher.

  2. In a large bowl, mix the sweet potatoes with the remaining ingredients, aside from the butter.

  3. Heat the butter in a large frying pan (being careful not to let it burn). Use a spoon to form the desired shape of the latkes.

  4. On a low flame, fry the potato pancakes on each side for 2 minutes. When golden brown, transfer the pancakes to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the extra oil.

  5. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl, and serve cold along with the potato pancakes.


Back to Top

Latkes with Pumpkin and Quinoa

Translated and adapted from Al Hashulchan magazine, December 2008

Makes 24 latkes

1 cup quinoa (uncooked), or 2 ½ cups cooked quinoa
1 pound 2 ounces (500 grams) pumpkin, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
1 chopped onion
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ bunch chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ bunch finely chopped basil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 egg
Salt, pepper, and nutmeg
3 tablespoons bread crumbs
2 tablespoons pastry flour
Oil for frying


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF / 180ºC

  2. Rinse quinoa, then place in 2 cups water, cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Strain the quinoa to remove any excess liquid.

  3. At the same time, bake the pumpkin cubes in a covered dish until tender, 15-20 minutes.

  4. Fry the onion in a Teflon pan with the sesame and canola oils for 3-5 minutes, or until golden. Put the pan aside for later use.

  5. Mix the cooked pumpkin with the fried onion, herbs, garlic and egg in a food processor, or use a hand blender, or potato masher until forms a paste –like consistency. Place mixture in a large bowl.

  6. Add the quinoa, spices to taste, breadcrumbs and flour, and mix. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.

  7. While mixture is aside, heat up a little bit of oil in a Teflon pan, or coat the pan with oil spray.

  8. Scoop a golf-ball sized amount of the mixture with your hands and form into pancake shapes. Fry on medium heat for 2-3 minutes each side, until golden brown.

  9. Remove latkes to platter lined with paper towels for absorbing the oil.


Back to Top

Latkes with Spinach, Parmesan, and Almonds

Translated and adapted from Derech HaOchel magazine, December 2008

Makes 7-8 servings

spinach latkes

2.2 pounds/1 kilo fresh spinach
2 small onions
5 ounces/150 grams Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1½ cups flour
nutmeg, salt, pepper to taste
Butter for frying
¼ cup chopped almonds

Ingredients for cream sauce:
3½ tablespoons / 50 grams butter
1 cup chopped fresh rosemary
¼ cup white wine
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¾ cup sweet heavy cream
Salt, black pepper

Directions for the latkes:

  1. Steep the spinach in a large pot filled with boiling water for 4 minutes. Transfer the spinach to a bowl with cold water for 5 minutes. (This will keep the green color when the latkes cook).

  2. Chop the spinach and place in strainer for an hour to drain all the liquid.

  3. In the meantime, finely chop and fry the onion in oil or butter until golden brown, and place aside and let cool to room temperature.

  4. Once the onion is cooled, place it in a bowl and mix in the spinach and the rest of the ingredients for the latkes, aside from the chopped almonds.

  5. Heat a little butter in the pan. Use a spoon to form the potato pancakes into desired shapes, or form them with your hands.

  6. Fry the latkes on medium flame for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown, and then transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.

  7. Place chopped almonds on a plate and then coat both sides of the latkes. Serve with sauce (recipe below) or sour cream.

Directions for the sauce:
  1. Heat the butter and rosemary in a pan. Add the wine and the lemon juice, then immediately add the heavy cream.

  2. Bring the sauce to a boil. Mix and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in small bowl alongside the latkes.


Note: I found that the almonds didn't coat the latkes well, so for the final batch I just mixed them into the batter. They gave the latkes a nice crunch.

Back to Top

Return from Potato Pancake Recipes to Hanukkah Recipes
Learn about celebrating Hanukkah
Back to Israel Food Guide

Protected by Copyscape Duplicate Content Detector