Potato Pancakes

My favourite potato dishes in order of preference (as of my mood at this exact moment).


#1.  Potato Chips!


#2.  French Fries!



#3.  Mashed Potatoes!



#4.  Gnocchi!


Tantalizing Gnocchi photo pilfered from suburbangourmet.blogspot.com


At any given time, on just about any given day, any of those choices can be replaced with potato pancakes. This desire is usually triggered by looking at the jars of homemade chili sauce in my kitchen cupboard.

Kind of like the desire to make a roast beef dinner is triggered by looking at the jar of horseradish in my fridge. Ditto for seeing a glass bottle of ketchup and wanting french fries.

I’m highly suggestible when it comes to food condiments.

So you want some potato pancakes? ‘Cause you can have some. All you have to do is remember to make extra the next time you make mashed potatoes. Thennnnn the next night you can have potato pancakes! Yay for you!


Mashed potatoes – whatever you happen to have left over


Green Onions – 1 or 2 thinly sliced depending on how much you like green onions and how many potatoes you have.


1 egg – give or take a bit depending on how many mashed potatoes you have


Salt and Pepper – to taste


I guess now is as good a time as any to let you in on the fact that I don’t have an actual “recipe” for potato pancakes. I just make them by eyeballing everything. You’ll do fine. Don’t worry about it.


Slice your green onion.


Add your egg to the mashed potatoes.


Toss in the onions and a whack of salt and pepper.   Mix everything up.


Grab a ball of the mixture.  About “this” much.


Form into patties.  Top with a little extra salt and pepper if you like.


Fry in  2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in non stick pan over medium-high heat.   Flip them over when they’re browned on one side.



Serve with chili sauce, sour cream or just salt and pepper.

We usually ring in the fall season with potato pancakes served with the chili sauce I made in the spring, sausages and a fresh green vegetable.

Unless some time before dinner, I happen to spot the ketchup.


  1. Leah says:

    YUM! I am making some tomorrow.

  2. Orissa says:

    Do these really – work ???

    Mine always fall apart in the pan – is there some kind of trick to making these pan-cakes and not pan-splatters??

    ps. Love your blog

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Orissa! They do really work, but I know exactly what you mean when you talk about them falling apart. Make sure your patties are firm and remember to add the egg. Just a bit. It will make the potatoes thinner but will act as a binder. Then put them in the pan and do NOT try to flip them over until they’re browned. The brown crust helps to keep them together. Flip them carefully. And always only on medium to medium-high (depending on your stove). Good luck and lemme know how it goes. ~ karen

      • marie says:

        best if left over potatoes from a few days earlier, they get out a lot of the moisture I think.

        • Karen says:

          That’s true Marie! And I’ve never tried to freeze them. The only thing you can do is try, although potatoes don’t often freeze well. But give it a shot! I’m curious to see what happens. 😉 ~ karen!

    • Langela says:

      Mine always do the same thing. I’ll have to try them again. Maybe my mashed potatoes are too thin to begin with?

      • Karen says:

        Could be! Also make sure you add a bit of egg. It helps bind em together.

      • Dale says:

        Does the method of mashing effect the final consistency of the potatoes? We usually run an electric mixer and add milk plus butter to help the beaters plow through the potatoes. I may try my seldom used ricer to yield a dryer result.

  3. Liz says:

    Much more appetising than stupid barnacles.

  4. mbb. says:

    inspiration to use up my tomatoes for chili sauce and my potatoes for pancakes!

  5. marilyn says:

    and if you add some salt cod hmmm…fishcakes!

  6. Sherry (BTLover2) says:

    Reminds me of my childhood days. My mom made those all the time with leftover mashed potatoes. Shall I sing “Memories” for you (I am Barbra after all).

  7. Jessie says:

    Potato croquettes! I love ’em, too!

  8. Emmy Jay says:

    I agree with you 100% — not only are these my favorite ways to eat potatoes, but since potatoes are also my favorite thing to eat they’re also my very favorite foods, period. (I like my potato pancakes with sour cream and unsweetened applesauce — sour cream spread on them, and bites of applesauce in-between…)

  9. Anj says:

    Okay even this has not inspired a desire for Potato Pancakes which in my view is blech.
    Your gnocchi picture above did inspire though. The other day I saw this fantastic picture of Sweet Potato Gnocchi in Velvet Vodka Sauce in a magazine. It even has the recipe under it and now I am on the search for someone to make it for me.

    In my other life the one that didn’t include working from 9 – 8 every day and coming home and seeing to all the needs of 2 kids then doing homework for 4 more hours maybe I could think about making something like this.

    I was thinking about finding a chef to come over and make it for me or taking it to different restaurants and asking them to make it for me.
    But now I realized you would be perfect for this. Only you have the OCD to make something as step filled as gnocchi.

  10. Diana says:

    That looks delicious. When are you coming over to make some for me? j/k

  11. debra b says:

    They look gooooooooood!

  12. Looks delicious! Definitely try them with applesauce. Yum-o!

  13. Are you going to do a post on how to make homemade chili sauce tomorrow? Please and thank you.

    • Karen says:

      Ummmmmmmm. No. Homemade chili sauce is a bit of a “thing”. I won’t be making anymore until next spring at the EARLIEST. I try to make double batches. I can, however, post the recipe. My particular recipe uses clove and cinnamon and brown sugar and tomatoes and onions and celery and such.

  14. deborahinps says:

    Little bits of crispy bacon mooshed up with the lot and you’d have me running all the way from Southern California up to your digs, beggin’ for a place at the table 🙂

  15. misskher says:

    I’m allergic to eggs, but I still want to make these as they look amazing – what would you suggest I use as an alternative?

    • Karen says:

      Misskher – I would try making them with no egg. If that doesn’t seem as though it’s going to work try mixing up about 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch with some water and stirring that in. I think you’ll be O.K. with just the potatoes though. – karen!

  16. Shelly (FlagirlinTN) says:

    One of the things I love about livin’ in the South is Potatoes is one of the 4 food groups. Now I want french fries……..

  17. Amy says:

    These look great. There’s one concept I’m having trouble with, though… Leftover mashed potatoes?
    Who ever had leftover mashed potatoes?
    If there are ANY left after Thanksgiving (usually the only time we allow them), they are eaten by 11:00 the next morning.
    If I make potato pancakes, I’d have to make mashed potatoes expressly for that, and we’d be temped to stop there!!

  18. Ariel says:

    These remind me of llapingachos – a traditional food of Ecuador. I ate a bazillion of them when I was on a study abroad there.

    They are essentially little potato pancakes, but with a little piece of white, tangy cheese melted in the center.

    Between the potatoes and the empanadas, I grew to become shaped like a llapingacho while I was living there – SO delicious.

  19. Theresa says:

    great recipe- on my list of cold weather meals now – I absolutely love latkes with apple sauce- a grated potato pancake – a staple for the jewish holiday hannukah or the irish version we called boxy potatos- either way just added “get extra potatos ” to my shopping list.

    • Karen says:

      Theresa – I haven’t made latkes since I was in grade school! I should try them again. You know, now that I’m allowed to use a knife for myself. Latkes usually include a bit of flour and are made from shredded raw potatoes. I had some sweet potato latkes a couple of weeks ago. Delicious! Yup. Gonna have to make latkes now. Thx. – karen!

  20. Kostas says:

    Nice recipe i ate such pancakes but they where stuffed mith chopped boiled meat. In Lithuania we make slightly different Potato pancakes. we just grate (small grater) potatoes add some flour, salt and an egg. batter must not be too hard or too liquid (as sourcream +/-). Fry on nonstick pan with oil about 10 minutes (5min one side). We eat them with sourcream, sauce made of fryed onions and choped bacon and sourcream or with curd and salmon and fresh parsley.

  21. kath says:

    In NY, we eat them with applesauce. This looks like a great recipe. Can’t wait to try it!

  22. Singer says:

    I made an extra amount of mashed potatoes just so that I could make this!!!! WIll update on results later!!! Thanks

  23. Adam says:

    I’ve always made mine too big until today. These were perfect for the day after US Thanksgiving. My roommates all thought I was crazy until they had one for themselves. Unfortunately someone ate all our sweet chili sauce but they were delicious with some leftover gravy too.

  24. colleen says:

    i would love a recipe for your home made chili sauce. Is that possible??? Or do you share those secrets??lol

    • Karen says:

      Yup, I share. I just don’t need to make any at the moment, ’cause I still have a fairly large batch. I’ll do a post on it as soon as I need to make chili sauce! If you DESPERATELY need a chili sauce recipe immediately because you’re having a chili sauce emergency then I can send just the recipe to you w/out pictures. ~ karen!

  25. Amy says:

    I just ate 6 potato pancakes.

  26. Bonnie Cramond says:

    This reminds me of a time when I was a little girl, and I hate dinner at my step grandmother’s house. She fixed three strange things: potato pancakes, codfish balls, and squash. I thought it all looked awful, and after one taste of the squash, I was sure it was awful. So, when she wasn’t looking, I wrapped it all up in a napkin and later threw it under the house. Well, I love summer squash now, and I have never met any potato dish that I don’t like. But, I still don’t think I ever want to eat a cod fish’s balls.

    • Dale says:

      “But, I still don’t think I ever want to eat a cod fish’s balls.”
      I got a feeling your name would go with others on a rather loooooong list!!

  27. Bonnie Cramond says:

    I meant to say I ate dinner. I guess that was a Freudian slip.

  28. Susan says:

    I made potato pancakes for Chanukah last December. I don’t have a recipe either, but I remember watching my grandmother make them. Grate pealed russet potatoes and some brown onion on the box grater. Add egg and matzoh meal. Salt and pepper to taste. Fry in vegetable oil. Serve with sour cream and a stent. Yum yum yum!
    My own personal touch (Don’t listen, Bubby!) was to eat then sitting next to the menorah AND the Christmas tree…

  29. Susan says:

    So thrilled to realize I typed “pealed” instead of “peeled”, for all the world to see! Oye vey! LOL!

  30. Barbara Q says:

    Followed a link from today’s On The Menu to this recipe. In the “you might also like” section was a suggestion for ” Draw your guns, let’s talk calk!” Hahaha

  31. Ann says:

    I love them too! If you are from the East Coast, like me, you may call them potato fadge. Thanks for the memories, Karen.

  32. Cathy says:

    Oh yea, now yer talkin.

  33. Tricia says:

    My all-time favorite childhood food!

    Karen, my Mom’s eyeball recipe called for some flour. Have you ever tried flour in your mix? Hers were dense and a bit doughy but really savory. I haven’t been able to duplicate the flavor but maybe I’m missing an egg….sadly she’s no longer around to ask.

  34. Luanne says:

    Holy macaroli. *Entirely* too tasty. Fingers crossed that I forget all about how to make this!!!

  35. Luanne says:

    That was the first pull to try the potato pancakes out, actually. I’ve got “shop for tomato seeds” on the list of to-do’s so that I can get started on that chili sauce right away….. (Late to TAODS party, but glad I’m here!)

  36. Pat says:

    LOVE potatoes and pretty much in the order you listed. When I make potato latkes, I use 2/3 shredded potatoes and 1/3 shredded rutabaga. Yummy!!

  37. marie says:

    Can you freeze these?

  38. Mary W says:

    My favorite way to eat these is with apple sauce and sour cream on top. My German grandmother would die if she saw us make them from mashed potatoes instead of ground fresh, but my Mom always made these since Dad wanted mashed potatoes almost every single night. (Unless she cooked egg noodles with browned butter.) She planned leftovers and I’d rather have these than dessert. She cooked them in butter not oil. It’s a Wisconsin thing. Yes, I have excess potato/butter weight!

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