Have a pumpkin that needs using up, or just want to spice up your savory pancakes? These pumpkin potato latkes are a tasty seasonal take on the classic that are perfect for any meal, especially with a dollop of sour cream.
This recipe was originally published on October 19, 2013, and was republished in August 2020 to add better quality photos, re-test the recipe, and add more helpful tips.
Potato pancakes or latkes are a popular Lithuanian meal. They are one of my childhood favorites and a comforting family meal now, even if mine are not quite as good as my mother used to make. Instead of trying to match up to the classic perfection I remember, I’ve taken my latkes a different route – adding lots of seasonal vegetables.
Latkes (aka pancakes or fritters) are a perfect place to add extra vegetables. It not only adds some nutrients, but also tastes amazing. Not sure what to make with some kind of vegetable? Add it to your latkes!
Keeping them partially potato helps with the crispiness (because of the starch) and as an added bonus, can disguise some of those healthy veggies from picky eaters. Just try it with something like broccoli pancakes. I’m sure you will get any vegetable haters eating them in no time.
What is the best type of pumpkin to cook with?
Most of the time when you think of pumpkins, you are probably thinking of the large, orange ones with deeply inset ribs. And while those are great for craving (and toasting the seeds), they don’t taste very good, being bland and tough. But if you are outside North America, “pumpkin” often refers to all kinds of winter squash – which are much tastier.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options for pumpkins that are perfect for cooking rather than carving. Because if you are going to be eating one, you want something with lots of flavor and tender flesh.
These are the best types of pumpkins or winter squash to use in these latkes:
- Sugar/Pie Pumpkins: These are the most common variety of cooking pumpkin. Sometimes just displayed as the generic “cooking pumpkin”, there are several types that fall under this heading like sugar pumpkins and New England pie pumpkins. They are all small, round, and have very shallow ribs and lots of thick, sweet flesh.
- Hokkaido (Blue or Red Kuri): This teardrop shaped squash is small to mid-sized and has very shallow ridges. While the skin can be a pale blue-green or reddish-orange, the flesh is always a rich orange with a nutty flavor.
- Butternut Squash: The one on this list that you are least likely to call a pumpkin, but it is perfect for this recipe. The flesh is firm and flavorful and it is so easy to peel and grate.
There are plenty of other winter squash and pumpkin varieties that work well in this recipe. The main features you should be looking for are thin skin, dense and sweet flesh, and shallow ribs – or ones that that are really widely spaced and easy to peel around.
Storing and reheating
Of course, these potato pumpkin latkes are best eaten right away (like anything fried). If by some strange occurrence you actually have leftovers – which is not something that happens often at my house – you could certainly refrigerate them. I recommend wrapping them in aluminum foil rather than sorting in an airtight container. This way less moisture will accumulate.
The best way to reheat would be in a single layer on a baking sheet at 400° F until starting to crisp up. You could also pan fry them again with just tiny bit of oil. Potato pancakes make a great breakfast. You can even serve them with a fried or poached egg on top.
Pumpkin Potato Pancakes (Latkes)
- 2 1/2 cups fresh pumpkin , peeled and grated
- 2 1/2 cups peeled and grated potatoes
- 1 small carrot , grated
- 1 onion , chopped
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 eggs , lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper , to taste
- vegetable oil , for frying
- Peel and grate the potatoes and pumpkin on the large holes of box grater (or in a food processor). Put grated vegetables into a large colander, sprinkle with salt and let it sit until the excess water drains (for about 10 minutes).
- In a separate bowl, peel and grate a carrot.
- Chop the onion finely.
- In the large bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, dried oregano, salt and pepper. Stir in all grated vegetables, chopped onion and mix thoroughly.
- In a large non-stick pan, heat the oil over medium-high setting. When it is hot, drop large spoonfuls of the mixture into a pan. Brown on one side, flip carefully, and brown on the other. Let latkes drain on paper towels.
- Serve hot garnished with sour cream or applesauce.