Potato Pancakes

In my kitchen, the quest for cozy, comforting meals often leads me back to the classics. Potato pancakes, with their crispy edges, tender centers, and heartwarming simplicity, are a perfect example. This recipe has become a cherished go-to, especially on chilly evenings or lazy weekend mornings. The first time I prepared these pancakes for my family, the delightful combination of golden-brown crispiness and the subtle sweetness of potatoes was an instant hit. Served with a dollop of sour cream or a side of applesauce, these pancakes transform a few humble ingredients into a dish that’s both satisfying and versatile.


  • 4 large potatoes, grated
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Optional: Fresh herbs like parsley for added flavor
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Optional: Serve with sour cream or applesauce for topping


  1. Start by draining the grated potatoes. Wrap them in a dish towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. This step is crucial for achieving the desired crispiness.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the drained potatoes with the chopped onion, eggs, flour, salt, and black pepper. If you’re using any fresh herbs like parsley, add them now for an extra burst of flavor.
  3. Heat a good amount of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. You’ll want enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet, ensuring your pancakes can fry to golden perfection.
  4. Once the oil is hot, spoon the potato mixture into the skillet, flattening each spoonful to form pancakes. Fry until each side is golden brown and crispy, then transfer the pancakes to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.
  5. Serve the potato pancakes hot, accompanied by sour cream or applesauce if desired.

Nutrition Facts

  • Servings: This recipe yields approximately 4 servings.
  • Calories per Serving: Not specified due to variations in frying oil absorption and optional ingredients.

Preparation Time

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 10 minutes per batch
  • Total Time: Approximately 25 minutes, depending on the number of batches.

Additional Tips

  1. Choosing the Right Potatoes: For the best texture, use starchy potatoes like Russets, which help the pancakes hold together and crisp up nicely.
  2. Ensuring Crispiness: Make sure to remove as much moisture as possible from the grated potatoes. The dryer the potato mixture, the crispier your pancakes will be.
  3. Flavor Variations: Feel free to experiment with additional ingredients like grated cheese, diced ham, or different herbs to customize your potato pancakes.
  4. Reheating: If you have leftovers, reheat them in a toaster oven or on a skillet to maintain their crispiness. Microwaving can make them soggy.
  5. Serving Suggestions: Beyond sour cream and applesauce, these pancakes can be topped with smoked salmon, a poached egg, or even caviar for a luxurious twist.

FAQ Section

  1. Can I use a food processor to grate the potatoes? Yes, a food processor can save time, but make sure to drain the potatoes well after grating.
  2. How can I prevent the potato mixture from turning brown? Work quickly after grating the potatoes, and keep the mixture coated with the egg and flour, which helps prevent oxidation.
  3. Can I make these pancakes gluten-free? Absolutely. Substitute the flour with a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend.
  4. How do I know when the oil is hot enough for frying? Drop a small amount of the potato mixture into the oil; if it sizzles immediately, the oil is ready.
  5. Can potato pancakes be frozen? Yes, cool them completely on a wire rack, then freeze between layers of parchment paper. Reheat in an oven for best results.
  6. What’s the best way to serve potato pancakes? Serve them hot for breakfast, as a side dish for dinner, or even as a base for a savory topping as an appetizer.
  7. Can I add meat to the mixture? Yes, adding cooked, diced bacon or ham can create a heartier pancake.
  8. Is there a vegan version of this recipe? For a vegan version, substitute eggs with a flaxseed or chia seed mixture.
  9. How can I make the edges extra crispy? Ensure your oil is hot enough and don’t overcrowd the skillet, allowing the edges to fry up crisply.
  10. Can I make these pancakes ahead of time? While best served fresh, you can prepare the mixture a few hours in advance and refrigerate until ready to fry.

Homemade potato pancakes epitomize the beauty of simple, comforting food. They remind us that sometimes, the most satisfying meals are born from the simplest ingredients. Whether you’re making them for a special breakfast, a cozy dinner side, or a unique appetizer, these pancakes are sure to bring warmth and joy to your table.