Cheddar and Potato Latkes

These Cheddar and potato latkes are made like a traditional latke but with the notable (and indulgent) addition of plenty of gooey melted Cheddar. They’re served with a homemade brown sugar applesauce to complete this easy Hannukah (or weeknight) meal.

A cheddar and potato latke topped with chives and applesauce on a plate with a spoonful of sour cream beside the latke.

Crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, and pretty damn indulgent through and through. That’s what to expect from these lovely little Cheddar and potato latkes. Also in terms of what to expect, you may be on the receiving end of some nasty glances or curt remarks if you serve these Cheddar and potato latkes to a kosher crowd come Hanukkah when the table is also laden with beef or chicken, seeing as the dairy renders the meal non-kosher if meat is present. So maybe reserve these as an indulgent weeknight dinner any other time of year or a cocktail party come holiday season.–Renee Schettler

Cheddar and Potato Latkes

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 15 M
  • 45 M
  • Makes 12
5/5 - 1 reviews
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  • For the brown sugar applesauce
  • For the Cheddar and potato latkes


Make the brown sugar applesauce

Dump the apples, cider, brown sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat slightly and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apples become very soft, 6 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Mash the apples with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon until the applesauce is the desired consistency. You should have about 2 cups. Cover to keep warm.

Make the Cheddar and potato latkes

Dump the grated potatoes and onions in the center of a large, clean kitchen towel. Gather the sides of the towel on top of the potatoes and onions and squeeze the mixture tightly—as tightly as you can—over the kitchen sink to remove any excess liquid. Transfer the grated, drained potatoes and onions to a large bowl and stir in the Cheddar, flour, eggs, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine.

Heat 1/4 cup oil in a 10-inch sauté pan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add as many 1/4-cupfuls batter as will comfortably fit, flattening each circle a bit with the bottom of the 1/4-cup measuring cup or a spatula. (Don’t try to fry more than 5 latkes at a time.) Cook until the first side is golden brown and crisp, 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until also golden brown and crisp, about another 3 1/2 minutes. Transfer the finished latkes to a paper towel–lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining latke batter, not letting the pan go dry (you’ll probably only need another 1 tablespoon oil). You should have about 12 latkes.

Serve the latkes with the applesauce and sour cream, if desired. Originally published December 11, 2014.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

Holy wow! These Cheddar and potato latkes were everything you'd want in a potato pancake—crisp on the outside, creamy on the inside, and pretty failproof. And given how many recipes and combinations I have tried over the years, "fail-proof" has real meaning here. These were really, really good potato pancakes! I used flour instead of matzoh in the latkes.

The applesauce was great, too, though you could substitute any homemade applesauce. (I typically make mine without added sugar, so this brown sugar version—while 100% delightful—seemed almost decadent to me. Or was that the guilt talking?) I recommend the addition of the cider vinegar—it adds a little punch that marries with the latkes and sour cream for a real mouthwatering dish. I used about 6 large Granny Smith apples. Granny Smiths are a really tart apple and don't readily mash up into a creamy sauce, so you may want to take that into consideration if you like your sauce smoother and sweeter.

I served these with pork tenderloin, and I think a simple main dish is the way to go here, as the latkes will overshadow everything else on the plate.

This is an easy and simple Cheddar and potato latkes recipe. From start to finish, you can have delicious latkes in 30 minutes max, including cleanup. Use a food processor for grating, and it will go even faster.

I didn’t take the extra time to peel my potatoes, and I thought they tasted great. Try to use a white onion if you can, as it lends a nice flavor to the latkes. Don't forget to rid any excess moisture from the shredded potatoes and chopped onion in a kitchen towel. Removing the excess liquid helps produce a nice end-product. I have some well-seasoned cast-iron skillets, so 2 tablespoons per pan was enough to get these going. I didn’t need to add more oil to the pan. This recipe yielded 12 latkes using a 1/4-cup measuring cup as a scoop.

I started making these 40 minutes before leaving the house to attend a brunch event. The ladies loved them. I also cooked a second batch on Saturday afternoon for an easy breakfast on Sunday morning. All I needed to do on Sunday morning was cook the eggs and reheat the latkes in a pan or oven sheet tray. I didn’t make the applesauce, but I can only imagine how wonderful these two would pair together. And sour cream? That would take it to the next level. For seasoning, I used half of the salt and all the pepper, and the latkes were perfectly seasoned (well, almost on the verge of too much pepper, but I enjoyed it because I love black pepper). For the second batch, I omitted the salt and pepper and used about a half teaspoon of Toronto seasoning, which is what my favorite breakfast restaurant uses to season their home-fried potatoes. I loved the flavor of that version even more than the salt and pepper version. (This is not a plug for Whole Foods, but they do make a good Toronto seasoning blend.)

Sometimes in the case of making oven fries or French fries, a pre-soak of cut potatoes in water yields a crisper, cleaner-tasting end result. I tried 2 methods to satisfy my curiosity about rinsing the starch off the potatoes. I thought maybe the unrinsed potato mixture might be too gummy, but I actually liked the recipe just as is, with no rinse or soak. The rinsed version was also good, but you could taste the individual shreds of potato and onion more, whereas the unrinsed version—which is the recipe above—had an ever so slightly more moist and luxurious mouthfeel.


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  1. This was as simple a latke recipe as you can make. Excellent.

    I am not a fan of oil, so I used a nonstick pan and some pan release. Possibly not quite as crispy but so many calories saved. I added cinnamon to the applesauce because, let’s face it, cooking apples in any way without cinnamon is a sacrilege.

    A touch of kosher salt and pepper after exit. Served with top round crusted with butter, horseradish, Dijon, and garlic and a nice Zinfandel … one of my best meals ever and I’ve cooked a little bit in my life.

  2. We will be making about 100 this Sunday. We will have to close off the kitchen, turn off the furnace so air does not circulate, open all the kitchen windows and the back door will be propped open..hopefully our local friendly squirrel will not come into the house….we will turn on all the fans and vents (nothing really helps) then when we are done we put all our cloths in the washer and we take showers. The house still smell for a week….not entirely a bad thing.

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