Crispy Vegan Latkes

These vegan latkes will blow your mind! Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, they’re perfect with a side of applesauce or vegan sour cream and surprisingly easy to make.

Plate of Vegan Potato Latkes and applesauce.

Years ago I made several attempts at developing a recipe for vegan potato latkes before finally giving up and declaring failure. Eggless latkes can be tricky! I couldn’t quite get the mixture to bind, and many of my attempts came out soggy.

Well that was then and this is now, and nowadays I know a lot more about egg-free cooking. I’m happy to say that I think I’ve come up with a recipe for the BEST vegan latkes ever. And bonus: these crispy vegan potato pancakes are also super easy to whip up!

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What You’ll Need

  • Potatoes. We’re using basic russet potatoes here, a.k.a., baking potatoes. These work best because they’re starchy! You could probably get away with using another variety like red or golden potatoes, but the texture will be a bit different and your latkes might not hold together as well.
  • Onion. You can omit this if you’re not a fan of onion in your latkes.
  • Matzo meal. This is our first magic binding ingredient. Some latke recipes use flour instead, but my research indicates that the best ones are made with matzo meal, so that’s what we’re using!
  • Potato starch. This is our second magic binding ingredient. It holds the latkes together like a champ.
  • Salt & pepper.
  • Canola oil. You can substitute any high-heat oil you’d like, such as peanut, avocado, or corn oil.
  • Fresh chives. Totally optional, but I really like them sprinkled over my latkes.
  • Applesauce and/or vegan sour cream. I’m a big fan of these latkes with homemade cashew cream.

How to Make Vegan Latkes

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  • Start by shredding your potato and onion coarsely. You can use a box grater or a food processor for this, but make sure you use the coarse setting (the larger holes).
  • Wrap your shredded potato and onion up in a dish towel and squeeze out as much water as you can. Removing excess water will ensure that your latkes are crispy and not soggy.
  • Place your potato and onion into a bowl and add matzo meal, potato starch, salt and pepper. Mix everything up!
Ingredients for making Vegan Potato Latkes in a mixing bowl.
  • Heat up some oil in a nonstick skillet. You want a generous coating of oil — at least ⅛ inch deep.
  • Shape your potato mixture into a few patties, using about ¼ cup of the mixture per patty. Get the patties nice and flat so they cook all the way through. Place them into the skillet, making sure they don’t touch.
  • Cook the patties for a few minutes, until they’re browned and crispy on the bottoms. Carefully flip them with a spatula, then cook them until they’re browned on the opposite sides.
Two images showing different stages of Vegan Potato Latkes frying in a skillet.
  • Transfer your cooked latkes to a paper towel to drain, and continue cooking them in batches, adding oil to your skillet as needed.
Vegan Potato Latkes draining on a paper towel.
  • Serve your vegan potato latkes with applesauce or vegan sour cream.
Vegan Potato Latkes on a plate with applesauce, dishes of sour cream and chives in the background.

Leftovers & Storage

Store any leftover latkes in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, place your latkes under a broiler and broil them for a few minutes on each side, until they begin to get crispy again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can these latkes be made gluten-free?

Possibly! You could try making them with a vegan gluten-free matzo meal. You might also be able to substitute oat flour (make sure it’s certified gluten-free). I haven’t tested either approach though, so no guarantees!

Do I need to peel the potatoes?

Nope! But you’re welcome to if that’s your preference.

Can these latkes be baked or air-fried?

They can, but they won’t turn out as crispy. Preheat your oven or set your air-fryer to 425°F. I highly recommend lightly spraying or brushing the latkes with oil, though this isn’t required. Air-fry your latkes for about 10 minutes, until crispy, or bake them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet for about 15 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Is there a substitute for potato starch? Can I use cornstarch or arrowroot instead?

Feel free to try, but I don’t recommend it. I went with potato starch for this recipe because I find it has the best binding effects.

More Vegan Potato Recipes

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Print

Crispy Vegan Latkes

These vegan latkes will blow your mind! Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, they’re perfect with a side of applesauce or vegan sour cream and surprisingly easy to make.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, Jewish
Keyword vegan hanukkah recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 latkes
Calories 93kcal
Author Alissa Saenz

Ingredients

  • 1 pound russet potato (about 2 medium potatoes), scrubbed and coarsely shredded
  • 1 small onion, peeled and coarsely shredded
  • ¼ cup matzo meal
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
  • Canola oil, or high-heat oil of choice
  • Chopped fresh chives (optional)
  • Applesauce and/or vegan sour cream, for serving

Instructions

  • Wrap the grated potato and onion in a dish towel, then squeeze it out over the sink to remove any excess moisture.
  • Transfer the potato and onion to a large mixing bowl. Add the matzo meal, potato starch, salt and pepper. Stir everything to combine.
  • Generously coat the bottom of a medium nonstick skillet with oil (at least ⅛ inch deep) and place it over medium heat.
  • Give the oil a minute to heat up. Once it begins to shimmer, grab about ¼ cup of the potato mixture and shape it into a patty of about 3-inches in diameter. Place the patty into the skillet.
  • Make and fry a few additional patties, cooking as many patties together as you can fit into the skillet without crowding them.
  • Cook the latkes for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until browned and crispy.
  • Transfer the cooked latkes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, then cook the remaining mixture in batches, adding oil to the skillet as needed.
  • Sprinkle the latkes with additional salt and pepper to taste, and optionally top them with fresh chives. Serve with applesauce and/or vegan sour cream.

Notes

Nutrition information does not include applesauce or vegan sour cream.

Nutrition

Serving: 1latke | Calories: 93kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.9g | Protein: 0.9g | Fat: 6.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 168mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.6g | Calcium: 6mg

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