How to make potato latkes just like grandma used to make

Nosh on this classic and crispy Hanukkah dish.

Potato Latkes on a wooden block
(Image credit: Getty)

In my house, it's not Hanukkah without a heaping platter of latkes (pronounced laat·kuhz) on the table. After we light the menorah candles, we celebrate the holiday with the long awaited potato pancakes as our main course. Served with applesauce or sour cream, or both if you're feeling adventurous, crispy potato latkes are a staple when it comes to celebrating the holiday season.  

During Hanukkah, it's tradition to eat latkes to remind the Jewish people of the miracle of Hanukkah. The story goes that after the Maccabees persevered in the fight over religious persecution and reclaimed the Jewish Temple, they were left with just enough oil for their menorah to stay lit for one night. Instead, it stayed lit for eight nights, a true miracle, which signifies the eight night celebration of Hanukkah—and the propensity to eat lot of oil soaked foods. Namely, delicious potato latkes. 

While you can find potato pancakes in the freezer aisles of your favorite local grocery store this time of year, latkes made from scratch are just so much better. Though they take more effort than just popping them in the oven, we at Real Homes found the perfect recipe that will make it all worth it. In fact, it reminds us of  just how grandma used to make 'em.  

Looking for more potato recipes? We have plenty of those so you can diversify the many ways to cook with potatoes. 

Ama's Latkes

A special thanks to Kroger for supplying this quintesstial holiday recipe with us.

Note: Ama is a reference to the Hebrew word for mother, pronounced Ee·mah

Serves: 24

Total Time: 45 minutes 

Serve immediately or prep ahead of time and simply heat up in a hot oven 10 minutes before serving as a side dish or as the main course.

Ingredients: 

  • 6 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1⁄2 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil

Equipment:

  • Baking Sheet
  • Frying Pan
  • Food Processor
  • Spoon or Scooper
  • Turner
  • Peeler

Method:

1. Working in batches, place the potatoes in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the potato pieces are about the size of a grain of rice. Move to a large bowl and repeat with the remaining potato.

2. Take a large handful of the potato mixture and move to a clean kitchen towel. Squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the potatoes, then move to another mixing bowl. Repeat the process with the remaining potato mixture. Once the potatoes are squeezed, add the onion to the food processor and pulse until the onion is finely chopped. Add the onions, flour, eggs, and 1 1⁄2 teaspoon salt to the potatoes. Stir to combine.

3. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with several layers of paper towels. Heat several tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan set over medium heat.

4. Use a spoon or small scooper to make mounds of latke mix in the hot pan, about 2 tablespoons per mound. Use the back of a fork to flatten the mounds into pancakes. Cook for 5 minutes on the first side, or until golden brown and crispy. Carefully turn the latkes over and fry for another 5 minutes on the second side, until brown and crispy.

5. Move to paper-towel lined baking sheet to drain. Keep the baking sheet in the oven while you fry the remaining latkes. Repeat the frying process until all the potato pancakes are fried, adding additional oil as needed. Sprinkle the latkes with remaining salt and serve hot.