Potato Pancakes (Almost) Like Grandma Used to Make

potato pancakes with sour cream and chives

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These homemade potato pancakes make an easy and inexpensive meal. There’s a special tip to keep your pancakes crisp, plus a low carb “faux-tato” option.


Units Scale
  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, or other starchy, not waxy potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs or one duck egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour or gluten free flour blend (optional)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • butter or lard, for frying
  • applesauce and/or sour cream, for serving


  1. Grate the potatoes, either by hand or with a food processor.
  2. As you grate the potatoes, move them into water with added acid – 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 4 cups water.
  3. Toss the shredded potatoes and chopped onion with 2 teaspoons salt. Let rest for 5-10 minutes in a strainer. Squeeze off excess moisture.
  4. Place the potatoes and onions in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  5. Heat a large skillet up to medium-high, and lube it up with plenty of butter or lard. 
  6. Drop the potato pancake mixture in the pan about 1/4 cup at a time and flatten slightly. Fry until golden brown on the bottom, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Flip the pancake over and repeat. Give each pancake plenty of room so you get nice, crispy edges.
  7. If you’re cooking in lard, you can spread paper towels on baking sheets and place the finished pancakes there to drain.
  8. You can keep the potato pancakes warm in the oven while you finish cooking, or you can just start dishing them up as you go (my preferred option). If they sit too long, they loose that crispy goodness.
  9. Serve with applesauce, sour cream and chives, or ketchup. 


These are pretty tasty warmed up (in the toaster oven or frying pan) the next day for breakfast, too, or even eaten cold.


Add a little garlic powder or other spices of your choice to give your potato pancakes extra zip.

Do you have leftover mashed potatoes? Skip the shredding and soaking, and jump right to adding the onion and other ingredients.

If you’re eating low carb, swap in zucchini for the potatoes. Skip the acidic rinse, and jump to mixing the shredded zucchini with salt. Taking the time for this step makes it a lot easier to get a crispy pancake.

Keywords: potatoes, comfort food