Who can resist the wonder that is a perfectly prepared latke? The beloved potato pancakes—a Hanukkah staple—are traditionally crafted with egg, onion, matzo meal, kosher salt, canola oil and shredded potatoes (highly starchy russet potatoes are the most commonly used), and they are typically served with applesauce or sour cream on the side. In batches or in bites, this traditional Jewish dish rarely falls short, and it has endured for a reason: Latkes are completely delicious! But as with all the classic recipes in life, there's always room for creativity and innovation.
So we searched high and low for the most innovative twists on the traditional potato latke recipe. Whether you're whipping up a few batches for Hanukkah or simply trying your hand at something new, here are eight creative latke ideas from Jewish cooking experts and foodies that are sure to keep you inspired—and your loved ones asking for more!
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1. Fried Pickle Latkes from Amy Kritzer Becker of @whatjewwannaeat
Known for her food blog, What Jew Wanna Eat, Amy Kritzer Becker emphasizes the importance of celebrating Jewish joy. And this joy is alive and well in her take on traditional latkes: a crunchy, supremely crispy dill pickle variety that combines latkes with the ever-popular flavor of deep-fried pickles. Whip up some of Amy's everything bagel ranch dip to go alongside and you've got something truly unique.
2. Salt and Vinegar Latkes from Samantha Ferraro of @ferrarokitchen
Weeknight cooking expert Samantha Ferraro, whose food is shared via Instagram and her blog, weaves culture and personality into each and every recipe. This sense of inventiveness really shines in her salt and vinegar latkes, which offer a subtle but delicious twist on the traditional latke or potato pancake. Sea salt keeps things balanced while vinegar adds a dash of sourness to the flavor profile. Samantha recommends dipping these latkes into onion and chive sour cream. Yum!
3. Hanukkah Latke Dogs from Nina Safar of @kosherinthekitch
We bet you never thought you'd hear "latkes" and "corn dogs" in the same sentence, but here we are. Kosher cook Nina Safar is all about easy and updated takes on classic recipes, and it doesn't get much more unique than these latke corn dogs. All you need are frankfurters, traditional potato pancake ingredients, lollipop sticks and plenty of condiments. These fun and crispy delights will impress even the pickiest eaters (especially kids).
4. Colorful Latke Board from Leah Koenig of @leah.koenig
Leah Koenig's takes on modern Jewish cooking have led her to publish The Jewish Cookbook (a thorough collection of contemporary Jewish eats) and launch The Jewish Table newsletter. She offers an unconventional twist on classic latke presentation with a lovely latke board—the perfect Hanukkah stand-in for a charcuterie board. With cheese, olives, sour cream, fruit and more, the board is both eye-catching and totally mouthwatering.
5. Corned Beef Hash Latkes from Michelle Sterescu of @the.yummy.yenta
Are you a fan of both hearty breakfast food and latkes? Michelle Sterescu's corned beef hash latkes are calling your name. Simply dress up traditional latke batter with peppers, onions, parsley and chopped corned beef—then top with a runny egg. You'll be returning to this recipe time and time again, whether or not there's an occasion to mark.
6. Sweet Potato Pecan Latkes from Micah Siva of @noshwithmicah
Who says all latkes have to be savory? Certainly not us—and certainly not Micah Siva, a chef who specializes in modern Jewish meals. Her sweet potato pecan latkes look almost too delicious to be true, mixing sweet potatoes, chopped pecans and a healthy helping of lightly toasted marshmallow topping. Whip up these sweet treats and you'll impress the whole family.
7. Mini Gravlax and Dill Latkes from Shannon Sarna of @shasarna
Shannon Sarna is an expert in modern Jewish comfort food (she's even published a cookbook), so it's no surprise that she makes excellent latkes. Her downsized version mixes gravlax (cured salmon) and flavorful dill atop golden brown mini potato patties. They're not just beautiful to look at—they're also downright delectable, especially for seafood fans.
8. Pizza Latkes from Molly Yeh (@mollyyeh)
It's pretty hard to wrong with pizza (or potatoes), and cookbook author Molly Yeh's pizza latkes expertly combine both. Molly, whom you might recognize from the Food Network's Girl Meets Farm, is all about infusing her cuisine with playful twists—which led her to this latke recipe, combining a standard potato mixture with marinara, mozzarella, red pepper flakes, basil and parmesan.