Pan-fried Potato Latkes use mashed potatoes instead of grated potatoes for the perfect crispy-outside soft-inside Chanukah treat.
Why You Should Make this Recipe
Tradition - Latkes have an Eastern European origin, and are enjoyed by Ashkenazi Jews over Chanukah. I am lucky to be both Ashkenazi and Sepharadic, and get to enjoy the best both sides have to offer!
You can make this recipe with mashed potatoes.
This recipe gets me even more excited about cooking every Chanukah! It’s my favorite way to make traditional potato latkes, using mashed potato instead of grated potato and pan-frying them. This is ideal if you like a crispy-crunchy outside but soft potato insides.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Russet potatoes - you do not want to use other potatoes because the starchiness of Russet potatoes is what gets the texture of these latkes just right. Sweet potatoes end up too liquidy for the latkes to hold shape.
Matzo meal - is just ground up matzah. You can pulse the matzah in a food processor, or you can substitute breadcrumbs or panko.
Eggs - are what bind the latkes together. You can also use a smashed up banana. Other substitutions I have tried don't work as well.
Oil - Use any flavorless oil that you fry things with. My two go-to oils for this recipe are vegetable and canola. They are flavorless and inexpensive.
Note: Use the grater plate of your food processor (link opens in new tab) to grate the onion and apple quickly.
Step by Step Recipe
Preheat the oven to 425F and prepare your potatoes.
Poke holes in the potatoes with a fork. Lightly oil them, and season generously with sea salt. Bake for 1 hour.
Once the potatoes are cooked, peel them, then mash or mill the potatoes. I prefer using a food mill, but a potato masher or fork works great, too.
Note: I like to use a food mill (link opens in new tab) to mill the potatoes, but you can also use a potato masher or fork.
Note: Yes, you can use leftover mashed potatoes in this recipe.
In a medium-sized bowl combine the potatoes, grated onion, grated apple, eggs, matzo meal, and salt.
Note: If it is your first time making this recipe, do not add the eggs until after you taste the mixture to see if it has enough salt.
Heat ½" of canola oil in a non-stick pan or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Smush ⅓ cup of the mixture in your hands to form a 3-inch diameter patty.
Smush ⅓ cup of the mixture in your hands to form a 3-inch diameter patty.
Then place in the hot pan. Fry for 3-5 minutes per side until the Latke is golden. Place them briefly on a wire rack in a 170 degree oven until ready to serve.
Serve immediately while hot with applesauce, sour cream, fruit compote, herbed yogurt, or creme fraiche.
Note: The latkes don't taste as good the next day or even after they have cooled. Serve these treats immediately for the best experience.
Chanukah is a Jewish holiday where we celebrate the Maccabean revolt against Syrian-Greek oppressors in the second century B.C. The holiday is called the "festival of lights" celebrating how the Jews only had enough oil to burn one night, and instead it burned for eight nights. To celebrate, we enjoy frying all kinds of delicious food in oil. These latkes are the most popular, along with Sufganiyot, Jewish filled doughnuts.
Latkes mean "small pancakes" and is derived from Yiddish. However, they are commonly referred to as "fried potato pancakes."
There is a ton of debate over what is the best thing to serve with latkes, and the battle is usually between sour cream & apple sauce. I am an apple sauce fan, but you can also dress these latkes up with: sour cream, apple sauce, cream cheese (with chives and herbs), fruit compote, creme fraiche or Mascarpone (with chives and herbs), herbed greek yogurt.
I choose Chanukah as my preferred spelling, but you will also see it spelled Hannukah, Hanukah, and Channukah. It comes from a Hebrew word, and the variation comes from the different transliterations.
Other Chanukah Foods
Anything fried is fair game during Chanukah. Here are some of my favorite Chanukah treats other than these latkes.
And be sure to check out all my Jewish recipes here.
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Mashed Potato Latkes
- 2.5 lbs. Russet potatoes
- 1 yellow onion grated
- 1 Apple grated
- ⅓ cup matzo meal
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 eggs
- canola oil for frying
- Preheat to 425F.
- Poke holes in the potatoes with a fork. Lightly oil. Season generously with salt. Bake for 1 hour.
- Peel, then mash or mill the potatoes.
- In a medium-sized bowl combine the potatoes, grated onion, grated apple, eggs, matzo meal, and salt.
- Heat ½" of canola oil in a non-stick pan or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Smush ⅓ cup of the mixture in your hands to form a 3-inch diameter patty. Then place in the hot pan. Fry for 3-5 minutes per side until the Latke is golden. Place them briefly on a wire rack in a 170 degree oven until ready to serve.
- Serve immediately while hot with applesauce, sour cream, fruit compote, herbed yogurt, or creme fraiche.