If you'd like to change up your breakfast a bit, substitute your flour-based pancakes for these delicious pancakes made with potatoes. Potato Pancakes, also known as draniki or deruni, are a delightfully simple yet flavorful dish that hails from the heart of Eastern Europe.
These golden-brown pancakes are made from grated potatoes, garlic, onions, and a few other ingredients, resulting in a dish that is both satisfying and comforting.
All my picky eaters love them very much, which means I have to grate a lot of potatoes to feed them all, so making these on a school day is probably not the best time unless you want to wake up at four or five in the morning. Yikes! You need to put some muscle into it, but it's so worth it. The pancakes are very filling, satisfying, and keep you full for quite a while.
The secret to achieving the perfect texture lies in properly squeezing out the excess moisture from the grated potatoes, guaranteeing a crispy exterior while maintaining a tender and fluffy center.
Whether served as a breakfast or as a side dish, these potato pancakes are sure to impress with their delicious taste and rustic charm.
Want to learn how to make this crispy Ukrainian potato pancakes recipe? Then keep on reading.
Table of Contents
- What are Potato Pancakes?
- What Makes This Potato Pancakes Recipe Special?
- What You Need to Make Potato Pancakes at Home
- How to Make Potato Pancakes (Step-by-Step)
- Tips for Making the Best Potato Pancakes Ever
- Serving Suggestions for Potato Pancakes
- Recipe Variation Ideas for Potato Pancakes
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Store Leftover Potato Pancakes
- Similar Recipes You'll Love
- Recipe Card
- Crispy Potato Pancakes Recipe (Classic Slavic Pancakes)
What are Potato Pancakes?
Potato pancakes, also known as draniki, are a traditional Slavic dish made from grated potatoes that are mixed with flour and seasonings, and then fried until crispy. They are typically served as breakfast or a side dish.
Although you may have come across other recipes using leftover mashed potatoes, this recipe calls for a grated potato that makes it taste incredibly delicious and gives it a crispy texture.
And so, what makes these pancakes so good is their crispy exterior and soft, tender interior. The grated potatoes create a perfect balance of texture, with a crunchy outer layer and a fluffy center. The addition of flour helps to bind the potatoes together and gives them a slightly denser texture.
The flavor is simple yet delicious and the natural sweetness of the potatoes shines through, while the seasonings, such as salt and pepper, enhance the overall taste.
Since it's a common culture recipe, it's made similarly by many people. My version differs in that I use very little onion but add lots of garlic. And oh, how good they turn out! This is another recipe that was passed down to me from my mom, who got it from her mom, and who knows how far it goes beyond that.
This classic recipe is probably centuries old but stood the test of time because they are incredible! I never met a person that turned their nose on them. If there are anyone out there who's not a fan, try it with my garlic twist, and see what you think. It is absolutely fantastic, I guarantee it will become your new favorite!
What Makes This Potato Pancakes Recipe Special?
Versatile: These crispy Ukrainian potato pancakes can be enjoyed as a main course or as a side dish, making them perfect for any meal time.
Delicious: The combination of grated potatoes, onions, and seasonings creates a delicious and satisfying pancake that will leave your taste buds craving more and more.
Easy: This recipe requires simple ingredients and straightforward instructions, making it a breeze to whip up in no time. Plus, they’re lower in calories than store-bought pancakes too!
Crowd-pleaser: Whether you’re cooking for a large gathering or a small family dinner, these pancakes are sure to please everyone with their crispy texture and flavor.
Traditional: This recipe stays true to the authentic Slavic flavors and techniques, allowing you to experience a taste of Ukrainian cuisine in the comfort of your own home.
What You Need to Make Potato Pancakes at Home
All you need are some simple pantry staple ingredients to make this crispy Ukrainian potato pancakes recipe at home. Let's look at them in more detail:
- Russet potatoes: We will be needing some russet potatoes to make these pancakes. They will provide a starchy and creamy texture, making them rich and satisfying.
- Onion: We will also need an extra small onion. It will add a sweet and savory flavor to the dish, enhancing the overall taste and giving it that authentic touch.
- Garlic cloves: Next we will add garlic cloves. It’ll infuse the pancakes with a delicious aroma and add a bold and robust flavor.
- Large egg: We will need a large egg to make these pancakes. It will help bind the ingredients together and give the dish a fluffy and moist texture.
- All-purpose flour: Remember to use some all-purpose flour. It will act as a thickening agent and also add structure to our delicious potato pancakes.
- Salt: We will also be adding some kosher salt. It will enhance the flavors of the other ingredients and balance out the taste.
- Pepper: Next, we will be using some black pepper. It will serve to add a subtle heat and depth of flavor to the dish, making it more enjoyable.
- Olive oil: We will also need some olive oil for sautéing. It will help cook the pancakes evenly for the best ones you’ve ever had!
How to Make Potato Pancakes (Step-by-Step)
Making these incredibly delicious potato pancakes is easier than you think. Here's how to make them at home step by step:
Begin by first peeling and rinsing the potatoes thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Also, peel the onion and garlic. Next, take half of the peeled potatoes and grate them using a box grater. Make sure to use the side with larger holes to achieve a coarser texture.
Now grate the onion and garlic on the same grater, making sure that they blend well with the grated potato. This will prevent the potatoes from browning. Continue grating the remaining potatoes on a star-shaped grater. Now mix the grated potato a few times during the process to combine it with the onion juice.
Place a strainer or colander over a separate large bowl and transfer the grated vegetables into the strainer. This will allow as much liquid (potato starch) as possible to drain out.
After draining, transfer the grated vegetables back to the first mixing bowl. Set aside the juice from the potatoes as it will be used later.
To the grated vegetables, add an egg, flour, salt, and pepper. Use a hand whisk to mix everything together until well combined.
Next, add ¼ cup of the reserved potato juice to dilute the mixture slightly and adjust its thickness.
Then heat a medium skillet on high heat and then reduce the heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil or vegetable oil to the skillet.
Spoon heaping tablespoons of the grated potato mixture onto the heated skillet, one at a time. Flatten the spoonfuls slightly to form pancakes. Sauté the pancakes for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they turn a dark golden brown color. Place them on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
Repeat the same steps with the remaining grated potato mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as necessary. Serve the potato pancakes immediately with a dollop of sour cream.
Your delicious Potato Pancakes are ready to be served! Serve them immediately with sour cream.
Tips for Making the Best Potato Pancakes Ever
Use starchy potatoes: Starchy potatoes, such as russet or Yukon gold, are ideal for making crispy potato pancakes as they have a higher starch content. This helps to create a fluffy and tender texture on the inside while achieving a crispy exterior.
Grate the potatoes and onions finely: To guarantee even cooking and a smooth texture, it is important to grate the potatoes and onions finely. This will allow them to cook through quickly and evenly, resulting in crispy pancakes.
Squeeze out excess moisture: After grating the potatoes and onions, it is important to squeeze out any excess moisture. This will prevent the pancakes from becoming soggy and help them to crisp up nicely.
Season the batter well: To enhance the flavor of the potato pancakes, be sure to season the batter well with salt and pepper. You can also add additional herbs or spices, such as parsley or paprika, for an extra boost of flavor.
Fry in hot oil: To achieve a crispy and golden brown exterior, it is important to fry the potato pancakes in hot oil. Make sure the oil is hot enough before adding the pancakes to the pan, as this will help to create a nice crust.
Don’t overcrowd the pan: When frying the potato pancakes, make sure that you avoid overcrowding the pan. This will make sure that each pancake has enough space to cook evenly and crisp up properly.
Serve immediately: Potato pancakes are best enjoyed fresh and hot off the stove. Serve them immediately with your favorite toppings, such as sour cream or applesauce, for a delicious and crispy treat.
Serving Suggestions for Potato Pancakes
- Serve the crispy Ukrainian potato pancakes with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh chives for a classic and delicious combination. The creamy sour cream compliments the crispy pancakes perfectly.
- For a heartier meal, top the potato pancakes with smoked salmon and a squeeze of lemon juice. The salty and smoky flavors of the salmon pair wonderfully with the crispy texture of the pancakes.
- Create a savory brunch by serving the potato pancakes with fried eggs and bacon. The combination of the crispy pancakes, runny yolks, and crispy bacon is a winning combination.
- For a vegetarian option, serve the potato pancakes with a side of sautéed spinach and a poached egg. The earthy flavors of the spinach add a nice contrast to the crispy pancakes.
- To add a touch of sweetness, serve the potato pancakes with a drizzle of maple syrup or a sprinkle of powdered sugar. This creates a sweet and savory combination that is sure to be a hit.
Recipe Variation Ideas for Potato Pancakes
This delicious crispy Ukrainian potato pancakes recipe is absolutely perfect as is, but if you're looking to change things up, here are a few variation ideas you can try:
Spicy: Add a tablespoon of finely chopped jalapenos or red chili flakes to the potato pancake batter for a spicy twist. This serves to add a delicious heat to the pancakes and pairs well with a dollop of sour cream or a spicy salsa on top.
Cheese: If you love cheese, you can also add some cheese on top and melt it before serving these delicious potato pancakes. You can also add some garlic powder to make it even more garlicky.
Herb-infused: Incorporate a tablespoon of finely chopped fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, or chives into the potato pancake batter. This serves to add a refreshing burst of flavor to the pancakes and makes them fragrant and aromatic.
Onion: If you love onions, add some extra to these delicious Slavic potato pancakes for an authentic touch. It’ll add depth of flavor and compliments the crispiness of the pancakes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a food processor to grate the potatoes and onions?
Yes, a food processor can be used to grate the potatoes and onions for this recipe. Just make sure to use the grating attachment and not the chopping blade.
What type of potatoes should I use for this recipe?
It is best to use starchy potatoes, such as Russet or Yukon Gold, for this recipe. These types of potatoes have a higher starch content, which helps to create a crispy texture.
How do I prevent the potato pancakes from sticking to the pan?
To prevent the potato pancakes from sticking to the pan, make sure to use enough oil and preheat it properly before adding the batter. You can also use a non-stick pan or a well-seasoned cast iron skillet.
How to Store Leftover Potato Pancakes
To store leftovers, first allow them to cool completely at room temperature. Then, transfer the pancakes to an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Place the container in the refrigerator and they can be stored for up to 3-4 days.
To reheat the pancakes, you can either use a non-stick skillet or an oven. In the skillet, heat a small amount of oil over medium heat and cook the pancakes until they are heated through and crispy again. In the oven, preheat it to 350°F (175°C) and place the pancakes on a baking sheet. Bake them for about 10-15 minutes, or until they are heated through and crispy.
Unfortunately, these potato pancakes do not freeze well. Freezing them can cause the texture to become mushy and lose its crispiness. It is best to consume the leftovers within a few days or adjust the recipe to make smaller batches if needed instead of popping them in the freezer.
Similar Recipes You'll Love
- Easy Light and Fluffy Vanilla Greek Yogurt Pancakes
- Authentic Ukrainian Sirniki (Cottage Cheese Pancakes)
See all breakfast recipes.
Crispy Potato Pancakes Recipe (Classic Slavic Pancakes)
- 8 large – Russet potatoes
- 1 extra small – onion
- 3 large – garlic gloves
- 1 large – egg
- ¼ cup – organic all-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil for sautéing
How to Make Potato Pancakes
- Begin by first peeling and rinsing the potatoes thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Also, peel the onion and garlic. Next, take half of the peeled potatoes and grate them using a box grater. Make sure to use the side with larger holes to achieve a coarser texture.
- Now grate the onion and garlic on the same grater, making sure that they blend well with the grated potato. This will prevent the potatoes from browning. Continue grating the remaining potatoes on a star-shaped grater. Now mix the grated potato a few times during the process to combine it with the onion juice.
- Place a strainer or colander over a separate large bowl and transfer the grated vegetables into the strainer. This will allow as much liquid as possible to drain out.
- After draining, transfer the grated vegetables back to the first mixing bowl. Set aside the juice from the potatoes as it will be used later.
- To the grated vegetables, add an egg, flour, salt, and pepper. Use a hand whisk to mix everything together until well combined.
- Next, add ¼ cup of the reserved potato juice to dilute the mixture slightly and adjust its thickness.
- Then heat a medium skillet on high heat and then reduce the heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet.
- Spoon heaping tablespoons of the grated potato mixture onto the heated skillet, one at a time. Flatten the spoonfuls slightly to form pancakes. Sauté the pancakes for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they turn a dark golden brown color. Place them on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
- Repeat the same steps with the remaining grated potato mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as necessary. Serve the potato pancakes immediately with a dollop of sour cream.
- Your delicious Potato Pancakes are ready to be served! Serve them immediately with sour cream.
This recipe was originally posted on April 18, 2017 (original picture below), and updated for a better user experience. The post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure.