How to Make Potato Pancakes

Karen Frazier
Potato Pancakes

Potato pancakes are classically simple and delicious. The traditional recipe uses grated fresh potatoes (Russets work best because of their starch content), but there are also variations for using up mashed potatoes.

Classic Potato Pancakes

This recipe makes about two dozen pancakes. Cook in batches of four, keeping the cooked pancakes in a 200 degree oven to stay warm while you prepare the rest.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 1 red onion, peeled and grated
  • 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, flour, salt, and pepper.
  3. Roll the grated potatoes and onions in a tea towel and wring out over the sink to remove as much of the moisture as possible. Put them in the bowl with the flour mixture. Fold until blended.
  4. Preheat a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and allow it to melt and bubble.
  5. When the butter bubbles, drop 1/4 cups of the mixture into four mounds in the hot butter and flatten with a spatula. Cook until golden on both sides, four to five minutes per side. Drain on a paper towel and then put in the oven on the prepared baking sheet to keep warm.
  6. Complete six more batches of the pancakes, adding more butter to the skillet as needed.
  7. Serve warm.

Potato Pancakes From Leftover Mashed Potatoes

This recipe will have a different texture but still cooks the same way as potato pancakes - but it uses up leftover mashed potatoes if you have a substantial amount. It makes 24 pancakes.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 3 cups cold mashed potatoes
  • 8 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, eggs, salt, and pepper.
  3. In a tea towel, squeeze out the moisture from the onion. Add to the bowl along with the potatoes. Fold until just combined.
  4. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter on medium-high until it melts and bubbles.
  5. Drop 1/4 cup of the mixture into the hot oil and flatten with a spatula. Cook until golden on both sides, about five minutes per side.
  6. Continue with each batch following steps four and five.
  7. Keep warm on the prepared baking sheet in the preheated oven as you work each batch.

Additional Variations

For either recipe, consider the following variations:

  • Add 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh tarragon to the pancakes.
  • When you add the salt and pepper, also add a teaspoon of garlic powder.
  • Add a pinch of cayenne or a teaspoon of smoked paprika when you add the salt and pepper.
  • Add a teaspoon of Dijon mustard or prepared horseradish when you whisk together the eggs and flour.
  • Add a finely chopped jalapeno to the onions and potatoes.
  • Replace half of the grated potatoes with an equal amount of a different grated root vegetable, such as sweet potatoes, beets, or daikon radish.
  • Replace one of the potatoes with two grated apples.

Toppings

Classic toppings for potato pancakes include applesauce or sour cream and chopped chives. You can also try the following.

Beyond Hash Browns

Potato pancakes are an interesting twist on hash browns and make a delicious breakfast food. With a little creativity in toppings, you can create endless variations for this versatile pancake.

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How to Make Potato Pancakes