These golden crispy potato pancakes will become a household staple! They have the crispy texture of a hash brown. Inside, they are soft and fluffy. They are lightly pan fried until golden brown. These pancake potatoes are great served with breakfast, brunch, dinner, or as a snack. Kids and adults love this recipe. They are melt-in-your-mouth comforting and delicious!
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For other delicious potato recipes, take a look at this southern potato salad recipe and these sweet potato zucchini pancakes.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Potato pancakes are super versatile.
- They are great as a vegetarian main dish, a side dish to chicken thighs, or even as a snack.
- They work well at breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner time!
- They have a warm and comforting feeling to them.
- They are great for family gatherings and festive occasions.
- Their crispy exterior and tender centers are satisfying. It does not get cozier than this recipe!
- The natural sweetness from the potatoes combined with the onions and seasonings are dreamy.
- The crispy texture is an experience all on its own.
- Potato pancakes are easy to make.
- With just a few humble ingredients and a grater, a tasty batch is ready quickly.
- They need minimal cooking skills and can be enjoyed whether you are a novice or a seasoned pro in the kitchen.
- They provide lots of room for creativity. The topping opportunities are endless.
- This potato pancake recipe is made with cost-effective ingredients.
- This recipe is made with real food ingredients. It is naturally vegetarian and made without meat.
- Check out these Potato Skins or these Roasted Red Potatoes for another appetizer or side dish!
Ingredients & Substitutes
Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.
Choose large potatoes for this recipe. Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes work well because they have a high starch content. This helps bind the pancake mixture together.
Onions add sweetness to the pancakes. Use a small-sized onion, preferably a yellow, as they are mild and sweet.
Eggs act as a binder in the pancake mixture and hold the ingredients together. Do not replace the eggs.
Whole wheat flour is used to add structure and help bind the pancake mixture.
Avocado oil is used for frying these pancakes. Its high smoke point makes it suitable for frying at higher temperatures. Use olive oil if needed.
Top with sour cream or applesauce!
Chopped fresh chives or parsley can be used as a garnish for the potato pancakes. They add a pop of color and a little extra flavor.
Taste & Texture
Potato pancakes have a delicious savory flavor. The hero flavor comes from the potatoes themselves. The onions provide a subtle tang and enhance the overall taste.
The pancakes are often seasoned with salt and pepper, which adds a savory and well-rounded taste.
The texture of potato pancakes is crispy and tender. The outside of the pancake is typically crispy and golden brown.
This crispy exterior contrasts with the interior, which is soft and tender. The grated potatoes create a slightly fluffy texture.
How to Make
First, peel the potatoes. Grate them using a box grater or food processor.
Place the grated potatoes in a clean kitchen towel or a cheesecloth. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Next, transfer the potatoes to a large mixing bowl.
Finely grate the onion. Add it to the mixing bowl with the potatoes.
Add the lightly beaten eggs, whole wheat flour, salt, and pepper to the bowl. Mix until well combined.
Add enough oil to coat the bottom of a large skillet over medium heat.
Once the oil is hot, drop the potato mixture by the spoonful into the hot oil. Flatten them slightly with the back of a spatula or spoon.
Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until golden and crispy.
Finally, once cooked, transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil. Garnish with sour cream and fresh herbs if desired.
Expert Tips for Success
Choose the right potatoes. Choose starchy potatoes like Russet or Yukon Gold, as they have a higher starch content. This helps create a better texture and binding in the pancake mixture.
Grate the potatoes using the fine side of a box grater or a food processor. This helps with a consistent texture.
Remove the excess moisture. After grating the potatoes, place them in a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. This helps with crispy pancakes.
Prepare the onions. Grate or finely chop the onion and squeeze out any excess moisture. This helps with the overall texture and “crispness.”
Season well. Season the potato pancake mixture generously with salt and pepper. Remember that potatoes can absorb a fair amount of seasoning, so do not be afraid to season well.
Heat the frying oil in the pan over medium-high heat until it reaches the right temperature. Too low, and the pancakes will absorb too much oil; too high, and they may burn on the outside while remaining raw on the inside.
For uniform potato pancakes, use a measuring cup or an ice cream scoop. Portion out the pancake mixture with these scoops. This ensures uniform pancake sizes, leading to even cooking times.
Drain the excess oil. After frying, pop the cooked pancakes onto a plate lined with paper towels. This helps soak up any extra oil and keeps the pancakes crisp.
Flavor Variations & Add-Ins
Here are a couple of different ways potato pancakes are enjoyed around the world:
German potato pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer): In Germany, potato pancakes are called Kartoffelpuffer. They are usually made with grated potatoes, onions, eggs, and flour. The mixture is seasoned with salt, pepper, and sometimes nutmeg. Kartoffelpuffer is often served with applesauce or sour cream. They are popular street food, especially during Christmas markets and festivals.
Swiss rösti: Switzerland is famous for its rösti, which is similar to a potato pancake. Rösti is made by parboiling potatoes, allowing them to cool, and then grating them. The potatoes are then seasoned with salt, pepper, and sometimes herbs and shaped into a giant pancake. The pancake is fried in a skillet until golden brown and crispy on both sides. Rösti is served as a side dish with meats or as a breakfast item.
Irish boxty: In Ireland, potato pancakes are known as boxty. Traditional boxty is made with raw grated potatoes, mashed potatoes, flour, and buttermilk. The mixture is formed into round cakes and cooked on a grill or in a pan. Boxty can be served as a side dish or as a main course with various toppings or fillings, such as bacon, cheese, or vegetables. The Irish adore their traditional potato cake.
British potato cakes: In the United Kingdom, potato pancakes are called potato cakes. They are made with grated or mashed potatoes, flour, and sometimes baking powder. The mixture is shaped into small patties and cooked in a pan until golden brown. Potato cakes are enjoyed as a breakfast item alongside eggs and bacon or as a side dish.
How to Serve & Store
Or, serve them with almond flour pancakes for breakfast or brunch!
To store them, cool the golden brown potato pancakes entirely to room temperature. Store them in an airtight container or zip-top bag in the refrigerator. Layer the pancakes with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
The potato pancakes can be frozen for longer-term storage for around 2 months.
To freeze them, cool the pancakes completely, as mentioned above. Next, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the baking sheet in the freezer. Let the pancakes freeze until solid. This helps prevent them from sticking together. Once frozen, transfer the pancakes to airtight freezer bags or containers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Potato pancakes have a thinner exterior layer with a fluffy inside. Latkes have a much thicker crust.
Potato pancakes supposedly originated from Europe.
For this recipe, avocado oil is a great choice. Feel free to use olive oil as well.
Potato pancakes container a binder, like eggs. Hash browns are typically made from only potatoes.
Use Russet or Yukon gold potatoes for the best result.
Use gluten-free 1 to 1 flour to make these gluten-free. Whole wheat flour is not gluten-free.
Box Grater: Use this grater to grate the potatoes and onion.
Cheesecloth: Use this cheesecloth to remove the excess moisture from the potatoes.
Large Nonstick Skillet: This large skillet is great for cooking!
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