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Potato Pancakes Recipe

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Potato Pancakes

Potato pancakes are a delightful dish you can make with ingredients you likely already have at home. They are made with potatoes, onions, eggs, flour, and simple seasonings. You can serve them with sour cream, applesauce, or even roast chicken for a hearty meal.

What’s great about potato pancakes is their crispy outside and tender inside. They are quite easy and affordable to make from scratch. Whether you serve them as a main dish or a side, they are bound to be a hit with everyone at the table.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Potatoes: The star ingredient. Use starchy potatoes like Russets as they hold together well when cooked.

Substitute: Sweet potatoes or Yukon Gold work fine too.

Onion: Adds flavor and a bit of texture.

Substitute: Shallots or green onions if you prefer a milder taste.

Eggs: Help bind the mixture.

Substitute: Flaxseeds mixed with water for a vegan option.

Flour: For that perfect crisp.

Substitute: You can use almond flour or gluten-free flour.

Salt and Pepper: Essential for seasoning.

Substitute: Sea salt or kosher salt, and fresh cracked pepper.

Oil: For frying. Olive oil or vegetable oil work well.

Substitute: Canola oil or avocado oil.

Optional add-ins:

  • Parmesan Cheese: Adds a savory taste.
  • Herbs (like chives or parsley): For a fresh flavor.

When preparing your potato pancakes, keep these substitutes in mind. Happy cooking!


1. Prepare Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds medium russet potatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Oil for frying

2. Grate Vegetables:
Grate the potatoes and onion using a box grater or food processor. Place the grated onion in a colander to drain.

3. Mix Ingredients:
In a large bowl, combine the grated potatoes and onion. Add the eggs, flour, salt, and pepper. Mix well until everything is evenly combined.

4. Heat the Oil:
Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

5. Fry Pancakes:
Scoop 1/4 cup of the potato mixture for each pancake and drop it into the hot oil. Flatten the mounds with the back of a spatula to about 1/2-inch thickness.

6. Cook Until Golden:
Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Use a spatula to flip and ensure even cooking.

7. Drain and Keep Warm:
Transfer the cooked pancakes to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil. Keep them warm in a 200°F oven until all pancakes are finished.

8. Serve:
Serve the potato pancakes hot, optionally with sour cream or applesauce. Enjoy!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Making potato pancakes can be easy and fun. Here are some tips to help you get the best results.

  • Use Starchy Potatoes: Russet potatoes are ideal because they fry up crispy.
  • Drain Excess Moisture: After grating the potatoes, squeeze out as much water as you can. This helps the pancakes stay crispy.
  • Proper Seasoning: Don’t forget to add salt and pepper to taste. Fresh herbs like chives or parsley can add extra flavor.

When it comes to storing your potato pancakes, there are a few key steps to keep them tasty:

  1. Cool Completely: Let the pancakes cool fully to avoid condensation that makes them soggy.
  2. Wrap Individually: Use plastic wrap or aluminum foil to wrap each pancake. This keeps them from sticking together.
  3. Airtight Container: Place the wrapped pancakes in an airtight container or resealable bag. Use parchment paper between layers if you stack them.
  4. Refrigerate or Freeze:
    • Refrigerate: Store in the fridge for up to 2 days.
    • Freeze: To freeze, first flash-freeze on a baking sheet for 1-2 hours, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag. Pancakes can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

For reheating:

  • Oven: Heat at 350°F for 10-15 minutes.
  • Stovetop: Warm on medium heat in a pan, flipping once.
  • Microwave: Not recommended as it can make the pancakes soggy.

These steps will help you enjoy your potato pancakes anytime without losing their deliciousness.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Classic Style: Grate potatoes and onions, mix with breadcrumbs, baking powder, salt, pepper, and eggs. Fry in a skillet with oil or schmaltz until golden brown on both sides.

Cheesy Twist: Add shredded cheese like cheddar or Parmesan to the potato mix for a gooey and savory flavor.

Spicy Kick: Add diced jalapenos or a pinch of cayenne pepper to your batter for extra heat.

Vegetarian Option: Try incorporating grated zucchini or carrots along with the potatoes to add more vegetables and flavor.

Gluten-Free: Replace breadcrumbs with gluten-free alternatives or crushed cornflakes for a different texture.

Serving Suggestions

  • Greek Yogurt: Use as a topping or dip for a creamy and tangy contrast.
  • Apple Sauce: Traditional and sweet, it pairs wonderfully with the savory pancakes.
  • Smoked Salmon: Add a slice on top with a dollop of sour cream for a gourmet touch.

More Ideas

  • Avocado Salsa: Combine avocado, tomatoes, onions, and lime juice for a fresh and vibrant side.
  • Side Salad: A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette can balance the richness of the pancakes.
  • Fruit Compote: Serve warm with a fruit sauce made from berries or apples for a sweet addition.

Feel free to get creative with your toppings and sides!

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.