Sweet Potato Latkes

For a twist on the classic potato latke, swap russets for colorful sweet potatoes. These slightly sweet but mostly savory latkes are crispy and delicious, especially with sour cream.

Plate of Sweet Potato Latkes Topped with Dollops of Sour Cream and Next to It, a Small Bowl with More Sour Cream

Simply Recipes / Micah Siva

Latkes are golden, crispy potato pancakes that are commonly eaten during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Traditional latkes are made with starchy russet potatoes with lacy, wispy edges fried in oil to golden perfection and served with sour cream and applesauce. 

In my family, you were either strictly a sour cream latke-lover or team applesauce—you couldn’t be both. My mother would make homemade applesauce just for Hanukkah, and I grew up topping my crispy latkes with it.

Why Use Sweet Potatoes?

There’s no doubt that classic potato latkes are delicious, but if you’re looking to update or upgrade your holiday latkes, look no further than the humble sweet potato. These latkes are what happens when a Hanukkah classic meets your favorite holiday sweet potato side dish.

Sweet potato latkes are the ideal combination of sweet and savory flavors, with crispy crunchy edges and a tender potato center.

Sweet Potato Latkes on a Parchment Lined Baking Sheet with One on a Spatula

Simply Recipes / Micah Siva

The Secret to Crispy Latkes

The key to great latkes is to remove as much liquid from the potatoes and onions as possible. Place your grated potatoes and onion into a clean kitchen towel and wring out any excess moisture. Don’t skip this step!

I always cook a tiny test latke first to check that the oil is hot enough and to make sure the mixture sticks together and is seasoned to my liking. If it falls apart, try adding another tablespoon of flour to the remaining mixture.

Time Saving Tips

You can save some time and skip peeling the sweet potatoes. There’s nothing wrong with potato skin—in fact, it’s full of nutrients!

Shredding potatoes and onions in a food processor make for quick and easy latkes. If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate the potatoes using the largest holes of a box grater.

These latkes are bound with eggs and flour, which help the potato pancakes hold their shape. Matzo meal is a traditional binder in latkes, and you can substitute half of the flour for matzo meal if you prefer.

Plate of Sweet Potato Latkes Served with a Small Bowl of Sour Cream

Simply Recipes / Micah Siva

How to Serve Sweet Potato Latkes

Because of the sweetness of potatoes, I think these sweet potato latkes work best with a savory condiment like sour cream or labneh. Or try serving these latkes as the base for your next eggs Benedict (thank me later!).

Make It Ahead

Even though they’re pan-fried, latkes can be made in advance. After frying, place the latkes on a foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for up to a day. 

To reheat, bake in the oven at 350°F for 6 to 8 minutes, or until crisp. Alternatively, freeze the baking sheet and reheat at 450°F for 5 to 7 minutes.

Plate of Sweet Potato Latkes Served with a Small Bowl of Sour Cream

Simply Recipes / Micah Siva

Sweet Potato For Everyone

Sweet Potato Latkes

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 4 to 5 servings
Yield 12 to 14 latkes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (3 large or 4 to 5 medium sweet potatoes)

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 quart vegetable oil, for frying

  • 1/2 cup sour cream, for serving, optional

Special Equipment

Method

  1. Prepare the potatoes and onions:

    Preheat the oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. 

    Peel the sweet potatoes (if desired) and onion.

    To shred with a food processor: quarter the potatoes and onion. Attach the shredding disc to the food processor and shred the vegetables.

    To grate using a box grater: Grate the potatoes and onion on the largest holes of a box grater. If the onion is difficult to grate, slice it very thinly instead.

    Sweet Potatoes and Onions Shredded in a Food Processor for Sweet Potato Latkes Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Micah Siva

  2. Wring out the liquid:

    Combine the shredded potato and onion and place on a clean kitchen towel. Wring out as much excess liquid as you can, squeezing tightly. 

    Simple Tip!

    I like to wrap the ends of the kitchen towel around the handle of a wooden spoon and rotate the handle to help squeeze out the liquid. How much liquid you get will depend on how moist your sweet potatoes are.

    Liquid Wrung from Sweet Potatoes and Onions Using a Kitchen Towel for Latkes Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Micah Siva

  3. Heat the oil and make the latke mixture:

    Transfer the wrung-out grated potato and onion to a large bowl. Add the flour, eggs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and mix to combine.

    Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a heavy, tall-sided, large skillet over medium-high heat. The oil is hot enough when you add a piece of potato to the pan and it immediately bubbles. 

    Simple Tip!

    I often place a small mound of latke mix into the oil to test it—this is a great time to add more salt to taste or additional flour to bind the remaining mixture, if necessary.

    Shredded Vegetables Mixed with Flour for Sweet Potato Latkes

    Simply Recipes / Micah Siva

  4. Fry the latkes:

    Use a 1/4 cup scoop to measure the latke mix and add it to the pan, flattening the mixture with the bottom of the measuring cup or spatula. Space out about 4 latkes depending on the size of the pan. Fry until brown and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes, and carefully flip. 

    Fry until cooked through, browned, and crispy on all sides, 3 to 4 more minutes. Transfer the latkes to the lined sheet pan as you cook, keeping them warm in the oven. 

    Simple Tip!

    Don’t overcrowd the pan. Adding too many latkes to the oil causes the temperature to drop, leaving you with soggy, oily latkes. Ensure you have at least an inch between each one.

    Repeat with the remaining mixture, adding more oil to the pan as needed and letting it heat up before adding more latkes. 

    Serve with sour cream. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to a day.

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    Sweet Potato Latkes Fried in a Pot of Oil

    Simply Recipes / Micah Siva

    Sweet Potato Latkes on a Paper Towel Covered Wire Rack on a Baking Pan

    Simply Recipes / Micah Siva

    On a Silver Plate, Sweet Potato Latkes with Some Topped with Dollops of Sour Cream and a Small Bowl with More Sour Cream

    Simply Recipes / Micah Siva

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
373 Calories
24g Fat
35g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 5
Amount per serving
Calories 373
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 74mg 25%
Sodium 501mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 27mg 136%
Calcium 67mg 5%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 705mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.