Best Traditional Latkes Recipe | Pan Fried | Homemade From Scratch | Made with Matzo Meal, Egg, and Potato Starch
Classic potato latkes!

I look forward to making homemade latkes every year, but they’re so much work that I only make them once a year! (My advice is to enlist family or friends to help you– entice them with the promise of first dibs!) But ah, the crunch of warm, fresh fried potato, the slightly soft center, and the cool dip of sour cream or apple sauce… that makes all the work oh-so-worth-it.

Best Traditional Latkes Recipe | Pan Fried | Homemade From Scratch | Made with Matzo Meal, Egg, and Potato Starch
The apple sauce in this pic is actually apple butter! I happened to have some in the fridge that I’d made on hand. It was amazing. 10/10 would recommend.

Recipe Notes:

Matzo Meal + Potato Starch:
All latke recipes generally contain some kind of gluten and some kind of starch, but for me, matzo meal and potato starch are the winners. The flavor is authentic, and the combination holds the latkes together super duper well– no sad fall-apart pancakes here!
I made my own matzo meal because I happened to have a box of matzo on hand. Just blitz matzo in the food processor until fine crumbs are formed!
When mixing the latkes, be sure to use your hands and mix until you feel the mixture become thickened and sticky.

Shredded vs Julienned Smackdown:
Shredding potatoes with a food processor is way easier than julienning them on a mandoline. I know that, BUT, I think that julienned potatoes offer a far superior texture to shredded potatoes. To me, shredded potatoes become too uniform and mushy when fried, whereas julienned potatoes keep their shape, creating more crispy nooks and crannies. YES PLZ.

Best Traditional Latkes Recipe | Pan Fried | Homemade From Scratch | Made with Matzo Meal, Egg, and Potato Starch
Crunchy, thicc, textured julienned potatoes, baby!!

Squeezing Out Moisture:
If you don’t have flour sack towels or cheesecloth, you can squeeze the liquid out of the potato and onion with your hands. I feel like using your hands will be tougher, but, I don’t know– it’s the most labor-intensive part regardless. Squeezing out the moisture is a tough but important step, because too much moisture will cause your latkes to steam and be and soggy. To get through it, just think of how strong your forearms will be after this. That’s what everyone wants, right? Beefy, toned, forearms.

I’ve *heard* that schmaltz (aka rendered chicken fat) can be added to the frying oil for ah-mazing, rich, chicken-y flavor. I’m pretty sure the latkes I ate growing up (from this incredible rotisserie chicken place) were fried in schmaltz and I REALLY want to try it! Unfortunately, when I made these in NYC I could never find rendered chicken fat, and now, my store definitely has it, and I forgot to pick it up. Did I buy some after the fact out of annoyance and grief? Yes I did.
Try it! (the schmaltz, not the annoyance and grief. It comes frozen!)

Best Traditional Latkes Recipe | Pan Fried | Homemade From Scratch | Made with Matzo Meal, Egg, and Potato Starch

Homemade Latkes Recipe


Servings: 20 latkes


  • 3 lbs yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 small yellow onions
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup matzo meal
  • 2 tbsp potato starch
  • 1 tsp salt plus more for salting water
  • Neutral high smoke point oil for frying such as canola or vegetable oil


  • Prepare a large bowl of cold, generously salted water. Peel the potatoes and transfer peeled potatoes to the salted water. Julienne the potatoes using a mandoline (this is my preferred method) or shred them with a box grater or food processor cheese grater attachment. Transfer the julienned/shredded potatoes back into the salted water and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. While the potatoes soak, shred the onion and set aside.
  • Drain the potatoes. Divide the drained potatoes between two clean flour sack towels or two large pieces of doubled over cheesecloth. Divide the shredded onion in half, placing one half on top of each pile of potatoes. Working with one pile at a time, pull the ends of the towel or cheesecloth together and wring out as much moisture as possible from the potatoes and onions. (This is the hard part. I recommend wrangling in a friend, or relative to help.) Repeat with the second pile of potatoes and onions.
  • In a large bowl, (you can use the salt water bowl, just rinsed and dried) beat the eggs for 1 minute until well combined and slightly lighter in color. Add the potatoes and onions to the bowl, followed by the matzo meal, potato starch, and salt. Mix together with your hands until well combined, about 2-3 minutes. As you mix, the matzo meal and potato starch will become moistened, making the mixer thicker and sticker. The extra time spent mixing and massaging with your hands will make for a mixture that sticks together excellently!
  • Heat 1/2” of oil in a cast iron or heavy bottomed pan to 325F, and prepare a rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack for cooling. While the oil heats, use a ¼ cup measuring cup to scoop the latke mixture. Place the scoops on a clean surface and use a spatula to squish to ½” thick. (If the latkes are too thick, they may not cook evenly throughout.) I like to prepare about 5-6 scoops at a time.
  • When the oil is hot, lower 2-3 prepared latkes into the pan using a heat-proof slotted spatula. Fry the latkes 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown. As always with frying, check your oil temperature often and adjust the heat as needed. Transfer the latkes to the prepared wire rack to cool and sprinkle with salt.
  • If you like, keep the latkes warm in a 200F oven, or make them ahead and reheat on a wire rack when ready to eat. Serve with creme fraiche or sour cream, applesauce or apple butter, and a sprinkle of thinly sliced chives.

Potato fan? Yeah, me too!

Check these out:

French Fries

Potato Chips

Perfect Baked Potatoes

Fluffy Mashed Potatoes (with fried potato skins!)

Best Traditional Latkes Recipe | Pan Fried | Homemade From Scratch | Made with Matzo Meal, Egg, and Potato Starch
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.