These crispy vegan latkes, Jewish potato pancakes, are gorgeously simple but full of flavor. And they are ready in minutes!
I am always trying my hand at making vegan latkes or potato pancakes with different ingredient combinations, and some of my favorites on the blog are these vegan apple potato pancakes and these vegan sauerkraut potato pancakes. Today, however, I am going back to the basics with a simple but classic vegan potato latke recipe.
It has all the yumminess of a traditional potato latke, minus the eggs. And you won't be able to stop eating them!
This is an utterly simple recipe with just five ingredients. You can flavor it up with other additions (more on that later) or eat the pancakes plain. They are great either way.
Table of Contents
Why you will love this recipe
- These vegan potato latkes are packed with authentic, delicious flavor. They are eggless, but that doesn't mean you lose out on any of the great flavor or texture of a classic latke.
- They are quick and easy to make. You need minutes to put the latke batter together and a few more minutes to fry them up.
- You don't need fancy egg replacers. We'll harness the natural moisture and starch in the potatoes and simple pantry ingredients like rice flour and breadcrumbs to help hold these easy vegan latkes together.
- They are everyone friendly. The panko breadcrumbs in the recipe can be replaced with gluten-free crumbs for a gf diet. The recipe is vegan, soy-free and nut-free, and everyone is guaranteed to love it.
You need a starchy potato for latkes, like russet potato or piper maris potato. This is because the starch will help create crispy latkes, exactly as you want them to be. Try not to use less starchy potatoes, like red or yellow potatoes.
Most cooks peel potatoes before making latkes, but I don't always do that, and the latkes don't suffer for it. Not peeling the potatoes also keeps important nutrients in the potato. However, potatoes are in the Environmental Working Group's "dirty dozen" vegetables because they can absorb high levels of pesticides. The rule of thumb I follow is to peel the potatoes if they are not organic and leave the skin on if they are.
Rice flour and breadcrumbs along with the natural moisture in the potatoes will help bind these easy vegan potato pancakes. You don't need eggs for the job!
To bake the latkes preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit/220 degrees Celsius. Spray the baking sheet with cooking spray and place the latkes on it, two inches apart. Bake for 20-25 minutes, then flip and continue to bake until both sides are crispy.
- Russet potatoes. You need a starchy potato for latkes, so be sure to use a russet or any other starchy potato. You can leave the skin on if you're using organic potatoes.
- Rice flour. Rice flour helps add some more starch to the recipe to help bind the potatoes in the absence of eggs. You can use all purpose flour or any gluten-free flour. I wouldn't recommend chickpea flour because it will change the flavor of the latkes, but if you don't mind it, it will work nicely as a binder.
- Panko breadcrumbs. These will add an extra bit of crispness to the latkes. You can use regular breadcrumbs or gluten-free breadcrumbs.
- Herbs. I used fresh chives and sage. You can add any herbs of your choice. Rosemary is great with potatoes, as is cilantro. If you don't have fresh herbs, you can use dried.
- Garlic powder. You can also use fresh garlic. Grate or crush into a paste before using.
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Oil for frying. I use avocado oil, which can withstand high temperatures. You can use any neutral oil with a high smoke point.
Pick one of these to add even more delicious health and flavor to the vegan latkes:
- Four finely chopped scallions for fresh, oniony flavor.
- Half a finely chopped onion.
- ½ cup sauerkraut
- 1 grated apple
How to make vegan latkes
1. Peel potatoes. If using organic potatoes you can leave the skins on.
2. Grate the potatoes using the large holes on a box grater or a food processor attachment. Place in a dishtowel and wring out as much liquid as you can. Collect the liquid in a large bowl.
3. Let the potato liquid stand in a bowl for five minutes. Then drain out the water that has collected on top....
4. ...leaving a layer of potato starch underneath. This is amazing for the latkes and will help them crisp up as well as bind them, so don't discard it.
5. Add the potatoes to the bowl with the starch in it.
6. Add remaining ingredients--herbs, breadcrumbs, rice flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
7. Mix and set aside for five minutes. The salt will help express some more liquid from the potatoes, which in turn will help bind the pancakes. After the batter has rested for five minutes, mix again. The potatoes should feel moist. Form a two-inch ball of the potato mixture and pat into a pancake in your hands to make sure it holds together.
8. Heat a griddle over medium-high heat and coat the bottom with oil. Place the latkes on the griddle and fry until the bottom is golden-brown and crispy. Lower the heat if the potatoes brown too quickly--you want the latkes to cook through.
9. Flip carefully and continue to cook until the other side is golden-brown. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Serve immediately.
- Latkes are usually served with applesauce and the sweet and savory combination is quite fantastic. You can also serve the latkes with vegan sour cream or with a hot sauce.
- Top the vegan latkes with fresh herbs like chives or with scallions for an extra pop of fresh flavor.
- Refrigerate: Latkes are best eaten fresh. But if you have leftovers, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days. You can also refrigerate the batter for two days.
- Freeze: Freeze the latkes in an airtight container or freezer-safe container for up to four months. Thaw and reheat.
- Reheat: Warm the latkes on a non-stick griddle or cast-iron griddle sprayed with oil or cooking spray, or in an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
More vegan fritter recipes
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- 2 Bowls
- Cast iron griddle or non-stick griddle
- 2 pounds russet potatoes (peeled if using potatoes that are not organic, then grated using the large holes on a box grater or a food processor attachment.)
- 2 tablespoons fresh herbs (chopped. I used sage and chives. You can use other herbs of your choice, including rosemary, oregano, thyme, cilantro and parsley. If using dried herbs, use two teaspoons total.)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (use two to four crushed or grated garlic cloves if using fresh)
- ½ cup rice flour
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup neutral oil (like avocado oil, canola oil, peanut oil or sunflower oil)
- Place the grated potatoes in a dishtowel and wring out as much liquid as you can. Collect the liquid in a bowl.
- Let the potato liquid stand in a bowl for five minutes. Then drain out the water that has collected on top, leaving a layer of starch underneath. This is amazing for the latkes and will help them crisp up, so don't discard it.
- Add the potatoes to the bowl with the starch in it. Add remaining ingredients--herbs, breadcrumbs, rice flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Mix well and set aside for five minutes. The salt will help express some more liquid from the potatoes, which in turn will help bind the pancakes. After the batter has rested for five minutes, mix again. The potatoes should feel moist. Form a two-inch ball of the potato mixture and pat into a pancake in your hands to make sure it holds together.
- Heat a griddle over medium-high heat and coat the bottom generously with oil. Place the latkes on the griddle and fry until the bottom is golden-brown and crispy.
- Flip carefully and continue to cook until the other side is golden-brown. Serve immediately.