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Potato Pancakes are savory crispy little cakes of goodness. You are going to love this fun way to prepare potatoes!

These incredible pancakes go with so many things. Make these potato pancakes as a side dish to remember and serve with Chicken, Salmon or Steak, delicious!

Crispy savory potato pancakes on a plate.

Potato Pancake Recipe

Potato pancakes come by many names. They are also known as German kartoffelpuffer, and Latkes. These are a cross between a french fry and mashed potato. The potato is processed with the onion so you get incredible flavor throughout the entire pancake. Frying it in pancake shape also gives you more surface area to create that crisp golden crust we all love to bite into.

Seasoned with just a bit of salt and pepper really lets these potato pancakes shine. The inside is super tender and perfectly cooked, and the outside crunchy and golden. Using a food processor makes these super easy to whip together. It creates a smooth even texture throughout the pancake that you will absolutely love. You have to try these, they are so scrumptious!

Ingredients for Savory Potato Pancakes

Look for firm potatoes free from any root shoots, cuts, bruises  or dark spots. I used a yellow onion but for a mellower taste you can use a sweet onion too.

  • Potatoes: I used russets, they have less starch so won’t be gummy
  • Onion: Coarsely chopped.
  • Eggs: Use large eggs at room temperature.
  • Flour: All purpose or unbleached will work good.
  • Salt and Pepper: Add more or less to taste.
  • Oil: Use a good frying oil, canola or peanut.

How to Make Mashed Potato Pancakes

Using a food processor makes creating these potato pancakes a breeze. And only using enough oil to fry them in, and not submerge them, keeps them from being too oily.

  1. Potatoes: Start by peeling and grating your potatoes
  2. Processor: In a food processor add the potatoes and onion. Pulse until desired consistency.
  3. Drain: Remove from food processor and drain out excess liquid in a strainer.
  4. Combine: Add back to the processor along with the eggs, flour, salt and pepper until combined.
  5. Fry: heat a skillet to medium high heat with about 2-3 Tablespoons of oil. Drop 1/4 cup of the pancakes into the hot oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Grating potatoes, adding onions and processing to make pancakes.

Tips for the Best Potato Pancakes

The hardest part is making sure the potato mixture is good and drained. You don’t want mushy potato pancakes. The drier the mixture the crispier the potato pancakes will be. And trying to overcompensate moisture with too much flour, make them taste like flour, could make them gummy and are not what you want.

  • Strainer: Use a fine mesh strainer. Use a wide spatula to gently push on the potato mixture to push out the liquid.
  • Dish Towel/ Cheesecloth: Transfer the potato and onion mixture to a dish towel or cheesecloth and squeeze the rest of the water out. You won’t regret the extra work.
  • Get the Pan Hot: Before you fry the potato pancakes, make sure your oil and pan are good and hot. Use a high smoke oil such as vegetable oil, canola and avocado oil. You can add some butter to the oil for flavor if you want.
  • Russets Are Best:  You don’t potatoes with a high starch content. This makes russets the most ideal for this recipe.
  • It’s Turning Brown: Don’t worry if they turn a bit brown as you are working with them. Similar to apples as soon as the flesh is oxidized it will begin to turn. It will not affect the taste, but don’t let it sit too long. Work quickly having everything ready before you start to grate.

Potato pancakes with some garnish on a plate.

Variations for Classic Potato Pancakes

The classic potato and onion flavor is delicate and well balanced. You can certainly play with the flavors adding spices and herbs.

  • Spices: If you want to put a spin on the potato pancakes add different spices according to your taste. Try chili powder, garlic powder, turmeric, basil, oregano, parsley, chives or Italian Seasoning. 
  • Top it: Skip the extras in the pancakes and add flavor to the top. Traditional toppings include sour cream or applesauce. You can top them ketchup, fry sauce, BBQ sauce, Yum Yum Sauce, Ranch or leave them plain.
  • When to Have Them: These potato pancakes make a great appetizer, side dish or even breakfast side dish. I say make them whenever the craving strikes.

How to Serve Perfect Potato Pancakes

Besides having them as a side or appetizer you can use these tasty pancakes to sandwich incredible fillings. Think eggs, bacon, sausage, hamburger or chicken. It would be a fun spin on these yummy pancakes.

How to Store Pancakes with Potatoes

  • Storage: Potato pancakes will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week. If you can keep them single file. Cover tightly. These can also be frozen. Once they have cooled completely flash freeze on a sheet pan loosely covered with plastic wrap for about 3 hours. Remove and place in a freezer safe container or freezer bag. They can be kept for up to 3 months.
  • Reheat: Thaw overnight or on the counter the same day you’ll be using them. Place them on a sheet pan and crisp and warm them in a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes. As always these taste best fresh from the pan!

Potato pancakes stacked with a dollop of sour cream.

More Potato Recipes

Potatoes are one of the best comfort foods. Rich in nutrition and so versatile, potatoes are absolutely scrumptious. They can be baked, mashed, boiled, grilled and fried. Add them to soups, casseroles, side dishes and appetizers. Potato starch is used in breads to make them moist and flavorful, and can even be used in desserts with success.  Potatoes come in all sorts of colors and varieties. They can be the main attraction on the table or nice side, either way they should grace our tables regularly. Here are a few favorites to try!

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Potato Pancakes

By: Alyssa Rivers
Potato Pancakes are savory crispy little cakes of goodness. You are going to love this fun way to prepare potatoes!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 Pancakes



  • Start by peeling and grated your potatoes.
  • In a food processor add the potatoes and onion. Pulse until desired consistency.
  • Remove from food processor and drain out excess liquid in a strainer.
  • Add back to processor with eggs, flour, salt and pepper until combined.
  • Heat a skillet to medium high heat with about 2-3 tablespoons of oil. Drop 1/4 cup of the pancakes into the hot oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.


Calories: 363kcalCarbohydrates: 75gProtein: 12gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 51mgPotassium: 1619mgFiber: 6gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 124IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 68mgIron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

About Alyssa Rivers

Alyssa Rivers is the author of 'The Tried and True Cookbook', a professional food photographer and experienced recipe-developer. Having a passion for cooking, her tried and true recipes have been featured on Good Morning America, Today Food, Buzzfeed and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. best to fold potato in with other ingredient’s no need to use food processor
    Add baking powder as it helps brown the pancakes faster
    Use a potato masher to flatten to desired consistency

  2. Try it just grating the potatoes and the onions. Different texture and way more flavorful, IMHO. Serve with applesauce or sour cream.