How to Make Latkes and New Ways to Top Them

Add a fun touch to your yearly latkes with these colorful toppings.

Whether you've made latkes from scratch before, or this year marks your very first time putting them together, the beautiful and golden potato pancakes are a must-have for any Hanukkah celebration. Made from a lovely mixture of grated potatoes, egg and flour (or matzo meal), latkes are pretty easy to put together. Eating just one — now that's a whole other story. If you're looking for a fun way to upgrade traditional latkes this holiday season, give one or all of these delicious topping suggestions from Food Network Kitchen's very own Steve Jackson a try. Comforting and unique, you'll want them on your table for all of Hanukkah's eight nights.

How to Make Latkes:

1: Peel 2 large russet potatoes; grate the potatoes and 1 small onion on the large holes of a box grater. Transfer to a large colander set over a bowl. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Using your hands, firmly squeeze the mixture to remove as much liquid as possible. Blot dry with paper towels.

2: In a large bowl, stir together the grated potato mixture, 1 beaten egg and 1/3 cup matzo meal or flour; stir until combined. Form into tightly packed 2-inch pancakes and place on a paper towel–lined baking sheet.

3: Heat 1/4 inch rendered chicken fat or vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Working in batches, fry the latkes until golden brown and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove to a rack set on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Keep warm in a 250˚ F oven.

Chose Your Favorite Topping Combination:

Fennel-Apple (pictured above, starting from the far left): toss thinly sliced fennel and julienned apple with lemon juice and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Pile on the latkes and top with fennel fronds.

Spicy Ricotta: Heat honey with a pinch of red pepper flakes. Top the latkes with a spoonful of ricotta and drizzle with the spicy honey.

Giardiniera: Pile chopped drained giardiniera on the latkes and top with small slices of beef salami.

Hummus-Olive: Spread hummus on the latkes. Top with chopped pitted kalamata olives and chopped parsley. Sprinkle with paprika and drizzle with olive oil.

Egg Salad: Spoon egg salad onto the latkes, then top with chopped chives, dill and salmon roe.

Pastrami: Top the latkes with a small slice of pastrami, warmed sauerkraut and a dot of spicy brown mustard.

Cucumber-Yogurt: Mix plain yogurt with a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Spoon onto the latkes. Top with za’atar, chopped cilantro and thinly sliced Persian cucumber.

Gravlax and Creme Fraiche: Top the latkes with a slice of gravlax, creme fraiche, beet horseradish and thinly sliced scallions.

Nacho: Top the latkes with warmed refried beans, shredded cheddar, sliced pickled jalapenos, sour cream and thinly sliced scallions.

For even more latke fun, try these Root Vegetable Latkes and these Sweet Potato and Carrot Latkes from Stephanie Alleyne.

Credits:

Introduction written by Michelle Baricevic for FoodNetwork.com.

Recipes developed for Food Network Magazine by Steve Jackson.

Photograph by Ralph Smith.

Related Links:

Next Up

6 Ways to Save Money at the Supermarket This Holiday Season

Hear from Melissa as she explains how to stretch your dollars while shopping for your holiday meal.

How to Make a String of Edible Christmas Lights

This colorful treat gives new meaning to "eating light."

11 Black-Owned Brands to Shop for Kwanzaa

Although gifts aren’t the focus of the holiday, buying from Black-owned businesses is a great way to honor the Kwanzaa principle of cooperative economics.

Inventive New Ways to Use All Your Cookie Cutters This Christmas

Because ghost and pumpkin cutters aren't just for Halloween!

The Best Food-Themed Christmas Gift Wrap, Cards, Bags and Tags

Here's how to make what's outside your gift box just as pretty as what's inside!

8 Latke-Making Problems and How to Fix Them

#6: Your latkes aren’t crispy enough.

Every Tool You Need to Make Christmas Cookies

This is everything you need to win this year's Christmas cookie contest!

This Giant Latke is Perfect for a Crowd

Get all of the crispiness in a fraction of the time!

Best 5 Hanukkah Recipes

No Menorah lighting is complete without a few snacks to mark the occasion. This year, switch up tradition and serve a few of our top five Hanukkah recipes.

Latest Stories