Delicious baked latkes are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. And baking is so much easier than frying!
Hanukkah is by far my favorite holiday, simply because of the food. Potato latkes and jelly doughnuts - could it possibly get any better? But a holiday celebrated by eating high-carb fried foods to commemorate an ancient oil-related miracle is certainly a nutritionally challenging holiday.
So I was curious to see if I could take my potato latkes recipe, the foolproof one that I've developed over the years, and make it in the oven.
Baking latkes in the oven
The short answer: Yes, it can definitely be done, and the results are delicious! These latkes are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and very flavorful. They are almost as good as fried ones.
It's not that baking makes them low-fat, mind you. To ensure the potato pancakes are amazing, I spray them with quite a bit of oil.
Their big advantage, I think, is that baking is so much easier than frying. So now that my family has announced that these are "just as good" as fried latkes (I still think they are almost as good), I make them almost exclusively.
The ingredients needed for this recipe
You'll only need a few ingredients to make these tasty latkes (the exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below):
Avocado oil spray: I use it to spray the latkes prior to baking them. This oil has a high smoke point, which makes it appropriate for high-heat baking.
Yukon Gold potatoes: They are very suitable for frying because they are not very starchy.
Onion: Make sure it's finely chopped. You don't want big pieces of onion in your potato pancakes.
Egg: I use large eggs in most of my recipes, this one included.
Salt and pepper: I use sea salt. If you use coarse kosher salt, you can increase the amount you use.
Garlic powder: You can also use fresh minced garlic.
Coconut flour: Helps absorb any extra liquid and helps the pancakes set. You won't actually taste it - I use it because it's highly absorbent. If you don't need this recipe to be gluten-free, you can use 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour instead.
How to bake latkes
It's super easy! The detailed instructions are in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
Mix shredded, well-drained potatoes and onions with an egg, spices, and just a little flour. I use coconut flour to keep this recipe gluten-free, but you can use all-purpose flour if you don't mind gluten.
Press mounds of the mixture into a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spray them liberally with oil.
Bake until crispy, about 15 minutes per side.
Note that the recipe calls for parchment paper. In the past I used foil, and while the latkes brown more uniformly when baked on foil, they also tend to stick to the foil.
If you use unbleached parchment paper, it should do fine in high heat baking, but to be on the safe side, look for one that specifically says you can use it in high heat baking. Another option is to use nonstick foil.
By the way, after you grate the potatoes, they will quickly change their color and darken. Don't worry about it - this does not affect the taste or texture of the latkes.
Can I make them ahead of time?
Yes, absolutely. I usually bake these latkes an hour ahead of time, then keep them in a warm (150 degrees F) oven until it's time to serve them. You can even make an extra batch and keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Reheat them very gently, in a 200 degrees F oven. They won't be as good as fresh, but very close.
How to serve them
I usually arrange them on a big platter and place a few small bowls on the platter with sour cream, applesauce, and - for a spicy nontraditional topping - sour cream mixed with some hot sauce.
A low-carb alternative
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- Avocado oil spray
- 1 lb. peeled Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1 small onion (2.5 oz)
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour, or 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper marked as safe for high heat baking. Spray the parchment paper with oil.
- Grate the potatoes using your food processor’s grating attachment. Wipe the food processor clean with a paper towel, and use the food processor's standard blade to chop the onion.
- Place the shredded potatoes and the chopped onion in a colander over a bowl and press firmly with your hands, repeatedly, to remove as much liquid as possible.
- Empty the bowl from the liquid, wipe with a paper towel, and transfer the potato/onion mixture to the bowl.
- In another small bowl, beat the egg with the salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Add the egg mixture to the potato mixture and stir, then add the flour and stir to combine.
- Drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the prepared baking sheet, forming 12 very thin pancakes- press with your hands to flatten the patties as much as you can, while keeping their shape.
- Generously spray the latkes with oil - I used avocado oil.
- Bake the latkes for 15 minutes, until crisp and deep golden brown on the bottom. Remove pan from oven, flip the latkes to the other side, spray again with oil, and bake 10-15 more minutes, until crisp and deep golden brown on the second side.
- Serve immediately, with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.