Easy-Peasy Sweet Potato & Potato Pancakes

On Sunday night, when we came home after a combined total of over 2,000 miles of driving over the last few weeks, the kitchen had no fresh food but the Murcotts we’d carried in our bags with us.

So it probably makes sense when I tell you our fare this week, despite all the inspiring, innovative foods we’ve been exposed to lately, has been the simple kind.

Vertical oblique overhead image of a stack of golden brown fried latkes on a white plate with a decorative smear of sour cream, on a gray surface, printed with orange and white text near the top and at the midpoint of the frame.

Using pantry ingredients and items that arrived (in a timely fashion) in our CSA box, Tim whipped up some Thai noodles on Sunday night, and I used our turnip greens to create a new spin on this kale salad alongside grilled cheese.

Vertical image of a potato pancake frying in a large cast iron pan of oil.

At around 7 p.m. last night, after sipping quick smoothies, I said to Tim, “What could you make with a sweet potato and a potato?”

We ended up with this.

Overhead image of a short stack of crispy potato latkes on a white plate with a smear of sour cream, on a white plate with a pastel green rim.

My favorite kind of recipe is the type where you make it once, and the ingredient list is simple enough to stay in your head, so that reciting it back to someone else or going to make it again later is almost brainless. I feel that way about the flaky pie crust recipe I inherited from my mom. And I feel that way about these potato pancakes.

Vertical image of a stack of three fried golden brown latkes, on a white surface with blue and brown objects in soft focus in the background.

Listen, guys: You take a pound of root vegetables, grate them and strain them, and mix them with an egg, onion, parsley, some flour, and salt and pepper.

Easy peasy!

Vertical image of a stack of crispy shredded potato patties that have been fried in oil, on a white surface.

Saute heaps of this mixture in oil, and you’re done. Whatever your schedule or the inside of your fridge is looking like these days, I hope simple, flavorful, home-cooked meals like this one can be a part of it.

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Overhead horizontal image of a crispy fried potato pancake with sour cream, on an off-white surface.

Easy-Peasy Sweet Potato and Potato Pancakes


  • Author: Shanna Mallon
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 small latkes 1x

Description

Wispy fried potato shreds laced with sweet onions and parsley? Yes, please! These crispy latkes are the perfect choice for any time of day.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound russet potatoes
  • 1/2 pound sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely diced sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Instructions

  1. Grate the potatoes using the largest holes on your box grater or the shredding disc of your food processor. Place in a clean dish towel and squeeze out as much moisture as you can.
  2. In a large bowl, add the dried potato shreds, onion, parsley, egg, salt, and pepper. Mix everything together with a fork, and then add the flour 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring continuously.
  3. In a large skillet or cast iron pan, heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Carefully drop forkfuls of the potato shreds into the oil and gently flatten them with a spatula. Cook until crispy and golden, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Place the cooked latkes on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. Sprinkle with an additional pinch of salt and serve immediately.

  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian

Keywords: latkes, potato, sweet potato, potato pancake, Hanukkah

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Grate and Chop

Rinse, scrub, and dry the potatoes. Grate them, using the largest holes on your box grater, or the shredding disc of your food processor.

Overhead closely cropped photo of shredded potatoes in the clear plastic canister of a food processor.

Keeping the skins on and adding sweet potatoes to the mix brings even more nutrients to the party.

Closely cropped overhead image of shredded sweet potato in the open clear plastic canister of a food processor.

Chop and measure the onions and parsley. Does this task bring you to tears? Check out our tips for chopping onions with a smile on your face!

Step 2 – Squeeze Out the Moisture

A hand squeezes a cloth filled with shredded sweet potato to remove excess moisture, on a gray background.

Place the shredded sweet and regular potatoes into a clean dish towel.

Overhead horizontal image of a finely shredded orange and white potato that has been squeezed to remove excess moisture, on a white cloth on top of a gray speckled surface.

Squeeze out as much moisture as you can.

Shredded sweet potato mixed with flour and egg, and formed into patties, in a white bowl.

Feel free to work in batches, if you like. The more water you can remove, the crispier the latkes will be.

Step 3 – Add the Binders and Make the Batter

Oblique overhead closely cropped horizontal image of shredded sweet potato with flour and chopped parsley being stirred with a fork in a white mixing bowl.

In a large bowl, mix the dried potato shreds with the onion, egg, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Horizontal oblique overhead image of a mixture of shredded orange and white potato in a white mixing bowl with seasonings.

While stirring with a fork, incorporate the flour about a tablespoon at a time.

Oblique overhead closely cropped horizontal image of a shredded sweet potato mixture in a white mixing bowl.

Toss and mix thoroughly, to combine all of the ingredients well.

Step 4 – Fry

In a large skillet or cast iron pan, heat about 1 inch of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.

Horizontal image of a dollop of shredded potato on a fork, being submerged in a large cast iron pan of hot oil.

You can test if the oil is hot enough by dropping in a few shreds of the potatoes. If the oil bubbles and sizzles immediately, it’s ready.

Horizontal image of shredded root vegetable pancakes frying in a large pan of hot vegetable oil.

Carefully drop large forkfuls of the mixture into the oil, being sure not to crowd the pan, and gently flatten them with a spatula. Working in batches, cook until crispy and golden, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Oblique overhead image of two crispy brown latkes frying in oil in a large cast iron pan.

Place the cooked latkes on a paper-towel lined plate to drain any excess oil.

Horizontal oblique overhead image of a fried root vegetable latke draining on a paper towel to remove excess oil.

Sprinkle hot latkes with an additional pinch of salt and serve immediately.

Potato Pancakes Are an Anytime O’Clock Food

Don’t let the word “pancake” trick you into thinking you should only fry up these fritters for the first meal of the day.

Latkes make an ideal partner for any type of protein. Serve them alongside garlicky roasted chicken thighs or a big, buttery steak.

These savory rounds may be a side dish, but dollop them with a cinnamon-scented spoonful of applesauce and a swirl of tangy sour cream, and they’ll take center stage on your table whether you’re celebrating a holiday with the family or rustling up a quick dinner after some time away from home.

Overhead horizontal image of a crispy fried latke with sour cream, on an off-white surface.

Looking for more ways to turn up the volume on traditional taters? With these recipes, you’ll see spuds in a whole new light:

What will you drape over these crispy latkes? Greek yogurt? Cream cheese and smoked salmon? Share your creative toppings in the comments below! And don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it.

Photos by Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on October 30, 2013. Last updated: October 25, 2019 at 18:44 pm. With additional writing and editing by Fanny Slater and Allison Sidhu.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.

29 thoughts on “Easy-Peasy Sweet Potato & Potato Pancakes”

  1. Thanks for sharing some of the less glamorous aspects of your trip ;-). So often we see the polished perfection that people choose to post on blogs, and we forget that everyone has “messy” days, less-than-perfect meals, and, even on vacations, breakdown moments. I love that you allow yourself to be raw and real here, Shanna.

    Reply
    • You’re nice. Comments like this one definitely make it easier. The first night when I had the headache, it hit me that even wonderful things like vacations (and to places you’ve always wanted to visit!) aren’t perfect in this life. Sometimes we believe, when we look at what someone else is doing or being, that their situation would make things so swell… when in reality, everything is tinged with imperfection because everything we do includes us. : ) Thanks for your sweet words, Lindsey! Always appreciated.

      Reply
  2. Oh wow – you guys have been all over the place these past couple weeks! I’m with you thought, there’s nothing that feels quite as good as coming home to familiarity and comforting, simple meals. I’ve been splurging on sweet potatoes (they’re hard to come by here), and have fallen back in love witn them. These will be next on the list!

    Reply
    • I always love hearing about the difference in food availability over there, Jess — it reminds me how big the world is! and how even the simple things here are luxuries somewhere else. Would love to hear what you think about these if you try them!

      Reply
  3. I was expected the typical pancake with baked, mashed sweet potato added in but was delighted to see a shredded version! They look so good and I bet would be good for breakfast or dinner 🙂

    Reply
  4. hey shanna, i was just thinking of how simple foods are the best kind to enjoy with the people we love most – with whom there is no need for fancy napkins nor complicated recipes to impress; just sitting together, munching on simple fare and enjoying each other’s company. I’m always encouraged by how you and Tim make the most of whatever you have on hand. btw, the need-to-pee-so-bad anecdote was funny (i don’t mean to laugh at your discomfort), but I know how it is! Sometimes I feel that way too and dont even mind stopping the car and settling it in the midst of fields where only cows exist!!

    sending plenty of love my dear friend!

    Reply
  5. I know exactly what you mean. Whenever I get back from a trip, and for some reason especially when it’s been a trip full of inspiring food, I find that all I want to do is boil some pasta and make the simplest dishes possible. It takes me awhile to get my kitchen energy back, I suppose. 😉

    Reply
  6. You pretty much made latkes! One of our good friends is Jewish and he invites us over whenever he’s making latkes. Usually they are made with just potatoes but he liked to do a potato and sweet potato mix. As strange and it sounds, they are DIVINE with some applesauce and sour cream on top. Yumm.

    Reply
    • Alexis, I grew up in a home that celebrated Passover and sometimes Hanukkah, and right after this post went up I was reminiscing with my mom about a time she made 300+ latkes for one of those parties, keeping them in the oven warmer, divvying them out plate by plate. I told her it was amazing. She said it was crazy. Haha! : ) And I couldn’t agree more about the applesauce!

      Reply
  7. This is my kind of side dish or main dish. I’m eating Paleo lately and if I make these with just the sweet potatoes, I’m in. Love.

    Reply
  8. Oooh – yum, yum, yum! These look so crispy and delicious. And I love that you’ve added some sweet potato – a little nod to healthy, vitamin filled veggies. Can’t wait to try and make these…
    By the way – I have only just discovered your site and it is beautiful – such great photos and such mouthwatering recipes… Looking forward to reading more…

    Reply
  9. I love the sound of this — and I like it even more after reading that it came out of the necessity of the moment. I absolutely hate cooking as soon as I get back from a trip. It’s the worst combination of road fatigue, hunger, and a lack of inspiration in the kitchen. So glad you figured out a way around it to make something that looks darn-right delicious.

    Reply
    • People always say necessity is the mother of invention, and I guess it’s true. We tend to be much more creative (or, at least, creative in a more obvious way) when we’re spent than when we’re full and rested. Such a strange irony!

      Reply

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