Gluten Free Crispy Yukon Gold Latkes

Okay, I know it’s a little early for latkes (they’re traditionally a Hanukkah food), but I made these crispy gluten free treats as an appetizer for an early Thanksgiving event yesterday and I couldn’t wait to share them with you! They are so tasty– the ultimate crispy, delicious, melt-in-your-mouth latkes. Follow the steps carefully (don’t skip anything!) and you’re sure to end up with latkes that will please even the pickiest bubbe. Promise!

I made these mini latkes using Yukon Gold potatoes; they have a slightly creamy, rich natural flavor, and they crisp up beautifully when fried. I omitted the matzo meal that is so often added to the potato batter; while it helps to bind the latkes together, it adds unnecessary gluten, which can’t be digested by our gluten free friends. Instead, I decided to keep it simple– finely grated potatoes, onions, eggs, salt, white pepper, and peanut oil for frying. That’s it! That’s all you need to make a really great latke. You can add flour or matzo meal, of course, but to keep these little guys gluten free I decided to omit it. You really don’t need any sort of crumbs to bind them… potato starch will do just fine.

The real secret to these latkes is the size. Because I was serving these latkes as an appetizer, I used only a tablespoon of potato batter for each latke. The smaller size allows them to cook up more crisply and hold together better than larger latkes. Because they are small, they cook faster and require less oil, which makes them less fatty/caloric than bigger latkes. Their miniature size also makes them an irresistible bite-sized treat!

Recently, I picked up a latke cooking tip from my friend Beth that I wanted to share with you. One of the most difficult parts of cooking latkes is controlling the oil temperature. The best oil temperature for frying latkes is around 365 degrees F. If the oil becomes too hot, they burn. If the oil is not hot enough, they soak up too much oil and become soggy. Beth recommended that I try an electric skillet with a temperature control gauge that will keep the heat even and steady. All I can say is, wow! Such a simple solution, and it makes frying a much, much easier process. I’ve only tried it with my electric frying pan, so I can’t vouch for other brands, but I’m loving mine (available in the Shiksa Market).

Latkes always taste best just after they’re fried, but serving them fresh is not always a possibility, especially when you’re cooking for a large group. My friend Denise Vivaldo, a chef and food stylist, has made latkes for large catering groups (we’re talking 5,000 latkes in one sitting!). She told me that a convection oven is the best way to reheat latkes before serving. The dry, circulating heat of a convection oven keeps the latkes crisp and fresh. You would be wise to take Denise’s advice; she’s catered the Academy Awards and cooked for presidents and royalty, so she knows a thing or two about great food! If you have a convection oven, use it for the reheating process. If not, you can use a regular oven– reheating instructions appear at the end of the recipe. Don’t use a microwave to reheat, it will take the crispness out of the latkes and they won’t be nearly as yummy.

Make sure you grate these latkes fine (with the small holes of a grater or food processor). Larger shreds won’t hold together as well, which may necessitate having to add more eggs and matzo meal or flour to the mix.

I know latkes are a Hanukkah food, but I have a feeling I’ll be serving these mini potato wonders year-round. You can easily make them kosher for Passover by using a Passover approved cooking oil (like KFP extra virgin olive oil). Olive oil has a lower smoke point than peanut, so watch the temperature carefully to make sure the oil doesn’t become brown/smoky. Enjoy!

Update: I am always working to make the best recipe possible for my readers. I’ve refined this recipe since it was originally posted, cutting down the amount of egg, salt, and white pepper. If you don’t find the latkes salty enough, you can sprinkle more salt to taste after cooking.

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Gluten Free Crispy Yukon Gold Latkes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • Potato starch (optional)

You will also need

  • hand grater or food processor shredding disc attachment with fine holes, clean tea towel or layers of cheesecloth, skillet or electric skillet for frying, metal spatula, wire cooling rack
Servings: 24-28 latkes
Kosher Key: Pareve
  • Before you begin making the latkes, place your wire cooling rack close to the area where you will be frying the latkes. Place a layer of paper towels below the cooling rack to catch excess oil.
  • Peel the potatoes, then grate them using a hand grater or food processor shredding attachment with fine holes (small shreds).
  • Place grated potato into a bowl and immediately cover with cold water. Let soak for a few minutes to remove excess starch.
  • Meanwhile, grate the onion using the same grater or attachment you used for the potatoes (fine holes for small shreds).
  • Drain the potato shreds in a colander. Rinse and dry the bowl used to soak the shreds and set aside.
  • Place drained potato shreds and grated onion in the center of a clean tea towel or multiple layers of cheesecloth.
  • Wrap the shreds up in the cloth, twisting loose material to secure the bundle, and squeeze firmly to remove excess liquid from the shreds.
  • Pour potato and onion into the clean, dry bowl. Stir the shreds with a fork to make sure the grated onion is evenly mixed throughout the potato shreds.
  • Pour peanut oil into skillet to a depth of 1/8 inch. Heat slowly over medium to about 365 degrees F.
  • While oil is heating, use the fork to stir the beaten egg, salt, and pepper into the potato shreds. Take care to make sure the egg and seasonings are fully mixed throughout the potato shreds.
  • Scoop up a rounded tablespoon of potato batter and squeeze it firmly in your palm over an empty dish to remove excess liquid.
  • Shape the batter into a rough disk.
  • Place it gently into the hot oil. Use a metal spatula to gently press down on the latke to flatten it.
  • The oil should sizzle but not pop when the batter hits it; if the oil jumps wildly or smokes, it is too hot. If it only bubbles weakly, the oil is not hot enough.
  • Continue shaping the latkes in this way, using only a rounded tablespoon of potato batter for each latke. Fry in batches of 5 or 6 latkes at a time for 2-3 minutes per side till brown and crispy. Note: If your latkes aren't holding together, stir some potato starch into the mixture, 2 teaspoons at a tie, till the batter "holds."
  • Remove the latkes from the pan using metal spatula and place them on wire cooling rack to drain.
  • I recommend serving latkes fresh within 10 minutes of frying them, if your cooking schedule permits. If you need to make them ahead, fry them 4 hours or less before serving. After letting the latkes drain on the wire cooling rack, place them on an ungreased, unlined cookie sheet. Leave them at room temperature till ready to reheat. Place in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes (7 if using a convection oven), until heated through, just prior to serving.
  • Serve latkes with applesauce and/or sour cream, if desired.

Comments (45)Post a Comment

  1. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    This recipe sounds great! I’m already thinking ahead to my Hanukkah party. Is it possible to make these ahead of time and freeze them then reheat them?

  2. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Wow, those look fantastic! Most of the potato latkes I’ve eaten were mushy, not crispy. Thanks for sharing tips on making them crispy. I have russet potatoes and onions standing by. I look forward to trying these. Can I make a batch to freeze after cooking?

    1. Hi Faythe and Danielle! I don’t usually like to freeze latkes, since they never reheat quite as crisp, but it certainly can be done. Freeze them with wax paper in between layers (to keep them separated, otherwise they’ll stick together). Reheat them in a single layer on a bare cookie sheet in the oven (per the instructions in the recipe) until heated through. Use the convection setting on the oven, if you have one. When hot, drain them for a couple of minutes on a cooling rack or paper towels and serve.

  3. The twisting of the cloth is key to remove the moisture. Never thought about soaking the potatoes to remove the starch. Good one Tori.

    1. It really works well Barry! I agree, the cloth is super helpful in getting out that extra liquid. The drier the mixture is when it fries, the crispier the latkes turn out. :)

  4. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I have never made these before but after reading this, it looks like something I want to try. Your post is very clear, informative and has some great tips. The latkes look very addictive and tasty, no doubt you have done this more than once! Great post Tori!

  5. Oh my gosh they were melt in your mouth delish. Chrispy cruchie just the way I love them w/ applesauce cuz I can’t have the sourcream.

  6. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Tori – these look wonderful! I love latkes. It’s funny – I always use grated onion in my potato salad…I guess grated onion and potatoes are friends!

  7. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Beautiful Latkes, Tori.

    What temp should convection oven be set on & what’s (7 if using a convection oven) mean?

    One way to keep the potatoes white is to swcatter ice cubes among them!

    Also, I have always drained my potato latkes on brown grocery bags & they’re always a hit! YUM!!!

    1. Hi Marion, use the same temperature in a convection oven, but adjust the heating time, because they’ll heat up faster– that is what I meant by 7 (minutes) if using a convection oven. Hope that helps! Good tip on the ice cubes. :)

  8. I love all the suggestions..esp the one about soaking the grated spuds and the wrapping and twisting in a towel. The only thing I do very different from you..I use a mini muffin pan…coat each space with spray olive oil and bake them until they are a crispy golden color..this cuts down on the amount of oil and makes for a nice presentation on the table…small round latke muffins… with a bowl of apple sauce placed in the middle of the muffins..

    1. In a mini muffin pan, is the potato mixture pressed up the sides or just on the bottom of each cup? What temperature should they be baked at, and for how long? I’ve used many of the recipes on this site – this is the first, and sometimes only, place I look when I cook!

    2. Hi Robin, I’m so pleased you’re enjoying the site! I tried Natalie’s muffin pan idea last year, but for me the results didn’t turn out as great as I had hoped. They did not turn out nearly as crisp as traditional latkes. Natalie might have a more tips for you to make it work better (perhaps my oven temp was too low?). I think that I will stick with traditional frying in the future, since we only make these once or twice a year.

  9. We made hundreds of latkes one year for our schul, we made them the day before, formed them and placed on cookie sheets and froze them, then fried them up during the chanukah party, they came out nice and crisp, and that way we had time to enjoy the party too!

  10. Now I’m craving latkes! I made the Yukon gold ones last year and actually got Freshly Pressed on WordPress for the recipe. Something about those Yukon gold are too good!

  11. Oooh wow, these look like such a step up from the latkes I tried to make last year. I love how crispy they look. And why why why didn’t I think of using my food processor to shred those little buggers? Lol – now I know!

  12. Love your blog. The recipes are inspiring and the history is so interesting. I’ve been cooking up a latke storm over here… but the allergy-free variety! Looking making these for the next holiday party.

  13. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I’ve made so many latkes but just picked up at least five new tips! Making them smaller is a great idea, and squeezing them before frying…well, why haven’t I been doing that until now? Yours look nothing short of perfect, and I can’t wait to try your methods on my next batch.

  14. I just found your website and I love it…I know I will be checking in often! I am just wondering what kind of food processor you use to make the small spaghetti shape grated potatoes for your latkes. I need to make them exactly the way you did and would love to know….Thank you so much!

    Julie-ann

  15. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I always use Russet potatoes, do you find Yukon Gold’s to be better? I also heard that they are great made in Schmaltz (which I could never do) but thought you would love, have you tried that ?

  16. Hi, just wanted to say that as a home cook and cookbook enthusiast -who reads a lot of recipes and collects cookbooks, I really love how you write a recipe. It’s a real skill to demonstrate a recipe as you do. Logical, clear, well spoken and perfectly, verbally illustrated. Very impressed. Ever consider a “Shikse meets Goy” offshoot of your cooking blog/shtick? If interested I’m your Goy. I’m cute like you so it could work :)

  17. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    I just made these and they were amazing! We had over someone who couldn’t each any gluten so it was a great recipe to use. Thanks so much!

  18. I love your recipe! It’s very close to the one I use…also handed down from a “good Jewish girl”. Yes, there’s a story, as enchanting in its own way as the latkes are! Thanks for sharing… I have a feeling I’ll be visiting more often!

  19. Im having 40 people over for a latke party. I need to have these ready when they arrive. Can I prepare the mixture and form into the patties and then freeze and defrost and fry or am I better to fry and freeze and heat up. I cant be frying until the last minute but I want them to be crisp.

    1. Hi Lizm– fry them first, then freeze. If you freeze them without frying first they will fall apart. If you have a convection oven, use that to reheat them from frozen to keep them crispy. Good luck!

  20. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    I found your blog through Elvis’ meatloaf and being an all time Elvis fan I was immediately attracted to your site so I subscribed and your recipes are great with the pictures and all. Your Latkes look amazing and I’ll try them for sure.

  21. Tori, sorry my last comment. U mentioned adding flour or matzo meal to the latkes mixture. I’ve noticed most latkes recipes call for apx 1/2 cup flour or matzo meal in the ingredient list. your recipe is one of the only I’ve seen that doesn’t include it (as essential.) do you prefer them w/out??

    1. oh wait. lol i just re-read your post more carefully and realized that you had already talked about why u didn’t want matzo meal… makes them heavy and dense. so ok guess i got it.

  22. Made these for a Chanukah dinner party yesterday. Cooked them a few hours before and then reheated them. Because I taste tested one when they were first made, I know that they are at their best when they have just been cooked. But my guests raved about them, and gobbled them all up, so cooking them ahead of time worked out fine. So much easier to not make these when guests are arriving!

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