Potato Pancakes: the easy recipe for a crispy, potato comfort food dish

Total time: 25 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
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By Cookist

If you're a fan of hash browns, you'll love these easy potato pancakes. Made from potato, onion, flour, and egg and pan-fried to gorgeous golden brown perfection, potato pancakes are a fantastic appetizer or side dish to serve with just about anything. They're similar to hash browns, but are less loose; the egg and flour bind the ingredients together like a pancake, hence the name.

Whether you enjoy them as a side dish with roasts or stews, as a substitute for hash browns at breakfast, or as a delicious snack with a spoonful of sour cream or applesauce, potato pancakes are sure to be a hit in your home.

Potato Pancakes vs. Latkes

Potato pancakes are very similar to latkes, but there are a few key differences. Latkes are made with matzo meal, baking powder, and occasionally milk. This gives latkes a richer flavor and a fluffier, crispier texture.

Like latkes, potato pancakes are made with potatoes, onions, egg, salt, and pepper, but use flour instead of matzo meal.

What are the Best Potatoes for Making Potato Pancakes?

Starchy, floury potatoes (rather than waxy) make the best potato pancakes. Look for Russet or Idaho potatoes. If you're in the U.K., Maris Piper and King Edward are the best choices.

How to Make Potato Pancakes

Your first step to making the perfectly crispy potato pancakes is to grate the onions and potatoes. Once grated, transfer both the potatoes and onions to a strainer and squeeze out as much liquid as possible into a bowl. Get rid of the liquid, but keep the potato starch that gathers at the bottom of the bowl – this will make your pancakes extra crispy. Combine potato-onion mixture, potato starch, eggs, flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

Heat some oil in a pan over medium heat. Scoop a spoonful of the pancake mixture into the pan and gently spread it so it isn't all clumped together. Fry the potato pancakes for 2 to 3 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy. Pop them on a paper towel to drain, then serve immediately.


Can You Make Potato Pancakes Ahead of Time?

You can definitely make potato pancakes in advance and freeze them to enjoy down the line. Once they've cooled, pop the potato pancakes onto a tray and leave them to freeze for about 2 hours. Once frozen, put them into a freezer-safe bag or container. When you'd like to reheat them, bake them at 450F for 15 minutes.

Tips for Making Easy Potato Pancakes

You can use a food processor to grate the onions and potatoes instead of grating them by hand. Process the potatoes and onions for about two minutes or until they take on a grated appearance.

Don't throw away the potato starch that sinks to the bottom. Add it back to the potato mixture for ultra-crispy potato pancakes.

You can cook potato pancakes in your air fryer. Cook them at 380F for 10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Have leftover mashed potatoes? You can use them to make your potato pancakes.

Add other ingredients to your potato pancakes to make them even more delicious. Mix in spices like paprika or cayenne pepper, and add chopped spring onions or crispy bacon.

To ramp up the flavor, fry the potato pancakes in bacon fat, duck fat, or goose fat.

What to Serve with Potato Pancakes

Typically, potato pancakes are served with a generous dollop of sour cream, Greek yogurt, or applesauce. Other great toppings are grilled onions, sauerkraut, and savory jams.

You can also serve them as a side dish with eggs as a part of a hearty breakfast, or use them as a base for cream cheese and smoked fish. They're a tasty substitute for hash browns, too.

How to Store Potato Pancakes

Keep leftover potato pancakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

More Potato Recipes You'll Like

large russet potatoes, peeled
medium yellow onion
Large eggs
All-purpose flour
1/4 cup
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
oil, for frying


Grate the onions and potatoes. Put the mixture into a strainer and squeeze out as much liquid as possible into a bowl. Reserve the potato starch at the bottom of the bowl and discard the liquid.

Combine potato mixture, flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

Add eggs.


Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Place a heaping spoonful of the mixture into the pan. Spread it out slightly, and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown and crispy on one side.

Flip the potato pancakes over.

Set on a paper towel to drain oil.

Serve and enjoy!


Any type of neutral oil works for frying your potato pancakes. Use vegetable, canola, sunflower, or avocado oil. Extra virgin olive oil works great, too.

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