I am BEYOND excited to bring you this recipe for my favorite Jewish comfort food- Vegan Potato Latkes! Though Jewish food isn't traditionally vegan, I was able to perfect the best vegan potato pancake recipe that is perfect for Hanukkah, Rosh Hashanah, or any holiday.
My quest to veganize all my favorite Jewish food recipes started with my Vegan Matzo Ball Soup last year. Now, I'm excited to bring you a second vegan Jewish recipe with these easy vegan latkes!
How to make latkes from scratch
When making this recipe, I knew I wanted these vegan latkes to taste as close to the traditional potato pancakes I grew up eating at Hanukkah. To truly make these latkes authentic, this meant frying them!
First, Grate the Potatoes & Onion
Though some people may like the skin removed from potatoes, I keep the skin on as I think it provides more flavor AND it saves time! Win, win in my book. I also prefer to hand grate my latkes, but if that's not your style a food processor works too!
Plus this is the part where you add in 1 of 2 secret ingredients to the perfect latke. Can you guess what it is? If you guessed onions, you're right! There's something SO good about a little onion in a fried latke.
Next, Strain the Grated Potato & Onions
Once the potatoes and onions are grated and mixed together, you're going to want to strain the liquid out into a bowl. This is truly KEY to crispy latkes.
I actually use a nut milk bag for this step, but a cheesecloth also works. Make sure to strain the liquid into a bowl and set it aside as you'll want to save the starch that settles at the bottom. Aka- don't dump out this bowl of brown liquid yet!
To Finish, Add All The Ingredients to One Bowl
Take the strained grated potatoes & onions and add them to a large mixing bowl. Then, add in the rest of the ingredients including the flour, flax eggs, salt, pepper, parsley, and garlic powder.
At this point, you're also going to dump out the water that was strained from the potatoes. At the bottom of the bowl, there will be a layer of potato starch.
Scrape the starch out of the bowl and add it to your bowl with the other ingredients. This is secret ingredient number TWO to the perfect crispy vegan latke.
How to fry vegan latkes:
Once the batter is ready, the second step is frying the eggless potato pancakes. Here are a few tips for frying crispy potato latkes every time!
- First, use the right oil.
- That means soybean oil, canola oil, or any oil with a high burning point. This is definitely not the time to use olive oil. Though I almost always go for avocado oil when roasted vegetables, I use soybean oil for frying as it is a lot less expensive.
- Also, use the right pan
- For frying, I always use a cast iron skillet with higher edges to help avoid oil splattering all over the place. Plus, cast iron helps to distribute heat evenly.
- Make sure the oil is HOT before adding the latke batter in
- To test if the oil is hot, stick in a wooden utensil. If the oil is hot, it will bubble around the wood.
- Don't make latkes too thick
- Add the latke batter to the pan with hot oil and then immediately press the batter down to flatten it. If the batter is too thick, the inside won't cook enough.
- Fry the Latkes On Each Side for 2-5 minutes
- It doesn't take too much time to get a good crispy vegan latke! Each latke should be browned and crispy on the outside while cooked, but soft, in the center. The amount of time to fry each latke will depend on how hot your oil is, so make sure to watch for when the latkes get browned.
- Lastly, place immediately on a plate covered with paper towels
- The paper towels will soak up any of the excess oil making for latkes that are crispy and not soggy. Latkes are best enjoyed warm so leave them on the paper towels for just 1-2 minutes before serving!
FAQ & Expert Tips:
Since you want starchy potatoes (not waxy) I recommend using russet, Idaho, or Yukon gold potatoes. The potatoes you see pictured in my recipe are russet potatoes.
Yes! While I have not tested them myself, a 1:1 gluten-free flour mix should work well. The most important part of crispy latkes is the potatoes and potato starch which is naturally gluten-free.
The latke batter should be slightly sticky, but not too wet. It also should definitely not be dry and should stick together. If that's not the case, add in a little more almond milk (1-2 Tbsp maximum).
Unfortunately, not for this recipe. If you let the potato batter sit for too long, it will turn brown. While it is still edible, it doesn't look great so I really recommend making this latke batter when you are ready to cook the latkes.
Latkes will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days. I like to store them in a closed container between paper towels so they don't get too soft in the fridge. Make sure to store any toppings in a separate container as well.
To reheat, either microwave for 30 seconds-1 minute or reheat in a pan (without oil) for 2-3 minutes on each side.
I love to top mine with organic applesauce and sliced green onions (scallions). It's also traditional to put sour cream on potato pancakes. There are a ton of plant-based sour creams popping up in stores, but if you can't find any this vegan sour cream recipe is a good one. If you want to do something different, a few of my friends love them with tzatziki which also sounds fabulous!
These Vegan Potato Latkes make the BEST addition to any Hanukkah party (vegan or not!). I swear these eggless latkes taste just like the traditional ones I grew up eating. Enjoy!
More Vegan & Vegetarian Side Dishes you will love:
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Vegan Potato Latkes
- 4 medium russet potatoes about 3.5-4 cups grated
- 1 onion about 1 cup grated
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- Potato starch from potatoes- see instructions
- 1 flax egg 1 Tbsp (8 grams) ground flax seed mixed with 3 Tbsp almond milk left to sit for 5 minutes
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- salt & pepper to taste I recommend at least 1 tsp salt
- Vegetable or Soybean oil for frying actual amount depends on size of pan
- First, make the flax egg and set aside.
- Next, grate the onions and potatoes into a large bowl. Add to a cheesecloth or nut milk bag and strain the potatoes over the bowl. Don't discard the potato liquid yet as you will want to use the starch that settles to the bottom of the bowl in the batter.
- Add the strained grated potatoes and onions to a separate bowl. Then, add in the flax egg, all-purpose flour, and spices. As a final step, dump out the water from the bowl containing the potato liquid. At the bottom there should be a layer of potato starch. Add this to the bowl with the rest of the latke ingredients and stir until well mixed. The potato pancake batter should be slightly sticky, but not too wet. If it's too dry, add in 1-2 Tbsp of almond milk and mix.
- Next, fill up your frying pan until it is ¼ inch high in oil. Once the oil is hot, scoop out the latke batter and add it to the pan. Use a spatula to immediately press down and flatten each latke so it is not too thick. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan.
- Fry each latke for 2-3 minutes on each side or until browned and crispy. Once the latkes are done, remove and place onto a paper towel lined plate to soak up any excess oil.
- Serve the latkes while still warm with your choice of toppings. Enjoy!
- Since you want starchy potatoes (not waxy) I recommend using russet, Idaho, or Yukon gold potatoes. The potatoes you see pictured in my recipe are russet potatoes.
- To make gluten-free just use a 1:1 GF flour mix.
- Latkes can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days between layers of paper towels or parchment paper. To reheat, place in the microwave for 30 seconds- 1 minute or heat in a frying pan for 2-3 minutes on each side until warmed.
- Latke batter CANNOT be prepped in advance. If you let the potato batter sit for too long, it will turn brown. While it is still edible, it doesn't look great so I really recommend making this latke batter when you are ready to cook the latkes.