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Tips For Perfect Vegetable Pancakes & Latkes

Mar 05, 2015 01:19PM ● By Ryan Frisch

When making vegetable pancakes and latkes, reach for the forks. They’re the best tool in the drawer for tossing and stirring the veggies with eggs, cheese, or flour.

It’s all in the scoop! Ice cream scoop, that is. A 2-ounce scoop works great for regular pancakes. Use a 1/2-ounce scoop for minis.

Wipe the pan. You don’t need to toss it in the sink for a wash. After every batch or two, just give the pan a good swipe with a paper towel to remove any of the dark brown bits. This will ensure that your pancakes are a lovely golden brown.

If you have them, consider using two pans. Yes, it’s one more pan to wash, but your friends and family (and you) will be delighted to dig in sooner rather than later!


Sweet Potato Latkes with Black Beans

Makes about 12 regular latkes or 30 minis

  • 1 large (1 1/4–1 1/2 lb) sweet potato, peeled and coarsely shredded
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3–1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Olive or vegetable oil  


  • Sour cream
  • Black Bean Pesto (recipe follows)

1. Preheat the oven to 175º.

2. Put the sweet potato, onion, and eggs in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Add the flour and toss and stir again until well combined.

3. Lightly coat the bottom of a large, nonstick skillet with oil and heat over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches, drop spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the pan and flatten into pancakes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until golden, about 3 minutes on each side.

4. Drain on paper towels, transfer to an ovenproof platter, and place in a 175º oven to keep warm.

5. Serve with a small dollop of sour cream and a spoonful of Black Bean Pesto.

While they won’t be as crispy, if you’re making latkes for a crowd, they can be prepared in advance, covered, and refrigerated. Reheat on a baking sheet in a 375º oven for about 5 minutes.


Black Bean Pesto

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup seeded and chopped tomato
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder, or to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

1. Put the onion, tomato, and garlic in a small food processor. Season with cumin, chili powder, and salt and pepper, and purée until smooth.

2. Add the beans, lime juice, and olive oil, and pulse until smooth. Add the cilantro and pulse again until well combined.

3. Cover and let sit for about 30 minutes at room temperature or for several hours in the refrigerator to mix and meld the flavors before using.

Leftover Black Bean Pesto makes a great dip for tortilla chips or raw vegetables. It is also good in a quesadilla or wrap.

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