Potato and Bacon Latkes are traditionally enjoyed during Hanukkah, but their irresistible crispiness has made them a year-round favorite! In this unique twist, I add bacon to create an ultra-savory, comforting breakfast or snack. Pair them with fresh fennel slaw for a refreshing contrast.Jump to Recipe
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Perfect texture: I’ll guide you through achieving a quintessential golden-brown crispness that’s the hallmark of a great latke. It’s all about draining the potatoes and heating the pan!
- Customizable: You can get creative with this recipe by adding other veggies or spices. You can even make it with sweet potatoes or carrots instead!
- Crowd-pleaser: Whether you serve these at a family brunch or as a side dish at dinner, potato and bacon latkes are always a hit with guests of all ages.
Crispy potato and bacon latkes
Latkes (pronounced “lot-keys”) are a Jewish culinary staple. They’re made primarily from potato shreds, formed into pancakes, and fried until crispy. Classic potato latkes are inexpensive and always a hit in my family. What’s not to love?
This recipe takes things a step further by infusing the pancakes with one of my favorite ingredients — bacon! Each bite is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Following my simple browning method, you’ll end up with perfectly golden potato and bacon latkes every time.
I also love elevating the dish by topping each pancake with a fresh fennel slaw. It adds a crisp, refreshing element to balance the richness. So, if you’re in the mood to switch up your usual breakfast potatoes, try this recipe once, and it’ll forever be in your meal rotation!
Ingredients & substitutions
- Yukon Gold potatoes: I prefer Yukon Golds for their creamy texture and buttery taste, which make them perfect for latkes. For a lighter, fluffier texture, try Russet potatoes.
- Bacon: Adds a smoky, savory flavor and crispy texture. If you want to make a lighter version, try turkey bacon instead of regular bacon.
- Sweet onion: Contributes a mild sweetness to balance the savory elements. Use white or red onion for a more robust flavor.
- Corn starch: Binds the ingredients and gives structure to the latkes.
- Baking powder: Helps to get the latkes crispy.
- Egg: Acts as a binder to hold the latkes together during frying.
- Salt: Enhances the overall flavor profile of the latkes. Potatoes need a lot of seasoning, so don’t be shy with the salt!
- Fennel: Adds a crisp, slightly sweet, licorice-like flavor to the slaw. Try green cabbage for a different crunchy texture.
- Orange: Brings a sweet citrus flavor to the slaw. Tangelo or grapefruit segments will also work for a variation in citrus taste.
- Lemon juice: Adds freshness and acidity to the slaw. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best results. Opt for lime juice if you don’t have access to lemons.
- Olive oil: Helps emulsify the slaw dressing and adds a rich taste. Make sure to use extra-virgin olive oil or swap it with avocado oil for a milder flavor.
How to make potato latkes
- Prep the potatoes and onions: Grate the potatoes and onions, then add to a towel or nut milk bag squeezing out the excess moisture.
- Mix the batter: Toss the potato and onions in a bowl with potto starch, baking powder and salt. Add the whisked egg and crispy bacon bits, gently toss to combine.
- Cook latkes: Heat some bacon fat in a skillet until it’s nice and hot, then form the potato mixture into pancakes and fry them until golden on each side. Let the latkes drain on a paper towel-lined plate while you cook the rest.
- Make the slaw: Slice the fennel thinly and combine it with your orange segments. Add the lemon juice, orange juice, olive oil and salt, then toss to combine. Serve the slaw on top of your crispy potato and bacon latkes, or enjoy it on the side.
Frequently asked questions
Aim for a medium grate for the best texture, which allows the latkes to cook evenly while retaining enough moisture for a tender interior. Too fine a grate can result in mushy latkes, while too coarse can make them fall apart.
Use a colander and press down to squeeze out as much moisture as possible, which is crucial for achieving crispy latkes. Excess moisture can steam the latkes as they cook, preventing them from forming a golden-brown crust.
They should be golden brown on both sides, indicating a crispy exterior and properly cooked interior. The edges should be slightly crispy, and the center should be tender but not dry.
Storage & reheating
Keep your potato and bacon latkes fresh and delicious with these easy storage tips:
- Fridge: Once cooled, store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: You can freeze your potato and bacon latkes between layers of parchment paper for up to a month.
- Reheating: Reheat them in the oven or on a skillet over medium until crispy. This will take about 5-7 minutes in the oven or 1-2 minutes per side in the skillet.
- Cheesy latkes: Add grated cheddar or mozzarella for a cheesy version.
- Herb-infused: Mix in herbs like dill, parsley, or rosemary for more flavor.
- Root vegetables: Substitute some or all of the Yukon Gold potatoes with sweet potatoes or carrots for a sweeter take on the recipe.
- Zucchini latkes: Incorporate grated zucchini to make a lower-carb version.
- Proper drainage: Ensure the potatoes and onions are well-drained and patted dry with a paper towel to avoid soggy latkes.
- Even thickness: Form latkes to the same thickness so they cook at the same rate.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan: It’s best to fry in batches for even browning. Cooking latkes too close together can result in steaming rather than browning.
- Gentle flipping: Flip latkes carefully to help them maintain their shape.
Looking for more potato recipes?
If you enjoyed these bacon and potato latkes, dive into some more potato recipes like these:
If you try this Potato and Bacon recipe, let me know what you think! Rate and review this recipe in the comments below. Don’t forget to take a picture and tag me on Instagram @lenaskitchenblog!
Crispy Potato & Bacon Latkes (With Fennel & Citrus Slaw)
- Cook the bacon until slightly crispy. Leave the bacon fat to cook the latkes in the same pan.
- Grate the potatoes and onions into a bowl, then add to a towel or nut bag. Squeeze to remove any excess moisture.
- Place the dry potato and onion mixture into a large bowl, add the potato starch, baking soda and salt, toss to combine. Then add the egg and cooked bacon and mix well.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Use the bacon fat from cooking the bacon. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of potato mixture loosely into the pan, then press it down with a spatula to flatten out. Add as many that will fit comfortably in the skillet and fry them. Flipping once, until golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side. Remove the latkes from the skillet and place on a plate with paper towel to drain any excess fat. Repeat with the remaining mixture, add any additional oil or bacon fat.
Shaved Fennel Slaw
- Trim the tops and bottom of the fennel bulb, slice the bulb in half lengthwise. Shave into thin slices using a sharp knife or a mandolin. Place the shaved fennel in a bowl.
- Cut the skin off the orange and segment it, add to the fennel. Reserve the remaining citrus for the dressing.
- For the dressing, squeeze the remaining orange juice into the bowl with fennel, add the lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Toss the salad and add the fennel fawns. Once latkes are done, either top them with the salad or serve on the side.