And this means latkes, aka potato pancakes, and lots of them. Even though I grew up in a Roman Catholic household, my grandma needed no excuse—or holiday—to whip up a batch of her famous potato pancakes. I’d watch as she’d peel and grate the potatoes and heat up the oil in the pan just right so that each pancake was fried just long enough to be crispy. Mmm. Hungry yet?
You may remember this latke hack we wrote about last year. Hint: Use a Vitamix blender to save your poor hands from peeling all those potatoes. I know, I know, I was a naysayer too, but once I tried it, I haven’t looked back.
Hanukkah latkes should contain these essential ingredients: grated potatoes, onion, egg and flour, matzah or breadcrumbs. According to About.com, some Jewish people also put sugar or sesame seeds into the batter. The potato pancakes are then fried in oil to symbolize the ancient lamps that held oil for one day, yet amazingly burned for eight. Aside from sour cream and/or apple sauce, some people get creative with their latke toppings, which you’ll see below. They also get creative with the ingredients, substituting potatoes with things like zucchini or beets.
Ready to get cooking? Here are eight delicious latke recipes you and your holiday guests will love.
1. Traditional Latkes
If you’re a purist, you’ll want to start with this traditional latke recipe. “One way to tell that your latkes are done is by sound: when it stops sizzling it’s time to flip it over,” Ariela Pelaia, Judaism Expert, wrote for About.com. “Allowing a latke to remain in the oil after the sizzling has stopped will result in greasy, oil-logged latkes (which is not what you want).”
2. Authentic Polish Potato Pancakes
Like I said earlier, I was raised on my grandma’s homemade potato pancakes, and this recipe tastes like hers. So if you want authentic Polish latkes, look no further.
3. Potato Latke Muffins
These latke muffins are such a great idea! The pictured version is a breakfast-laden hash-brown muffin (in other words, seriously amped-up latkes), but you get the idea. Substitute the slice of ham for turkey and you’re ready to go! Warning: There is NO way you’ll be able to eat just one.
4. Sweet Potato Latkes
Though I have never tried these, I now know what I am having for dinner tonight. Change up your latkes by subbing traditional white potatoes with the sweet ones. Get the recipe here.
5. Zucchini Latkes
You probably already know that zucchini is the new pasta, so to speak, with more and more people using a spiralizer to create pasta-looking “noodles” out of zucchini—thereby reducing their carb and calorie intake. And now, yes, people are making zucchini-based latkes. Yum. This version is so good, you won’t even realize you’re being healthy.
6. Carrot-And-Beet Latkes
Martha Stewart has a fantastic recipe for these carrot-and-beet latkes. Not only do they taste goooood, but they’re also colorful and packed with healthy veggies. You could also try combining carrot and/or beets with potatoes, as in the pictured version, a beet-and-potato latke combo topped with lemon basil goat cheese.
7. Gingered Carrot Latkes
With the winning combination of carrots and ginger, you can’t go wrong with this recipe, which calls for topping them with a punchy apple, green onion and jalapeño salsa.
8. Gluten-Free Latkes
Sad that everyone’s eating potato-based latkes and you can’t because you’re gluten-free? Well, you can—as long as you eliminate the flour and make them with gluten-free rice flour or potato starch as in this recipe.