Polish Potato Pancakes

Polish Potato Pancakes

Polish Potato Pancakes

Potato pancakes don’t have to be greasy… or hard to make. My recipe is easy thanks to my food processor but you can always grate the potatoes and onion by hand. The secret is to drain off the potato juice but keep the starch. Serve these Polish Placki Kartoflane with a little light sour cream or do like my mother did and slice up the leftover ones and cook into scrambled eggs for breakfast. - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Makes: 12 3-inch pancakes

Polish Potato Pancakes


  • 2 large russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup onion (about 1/2 of a small onion)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon flour (whole wheat or all-purpose)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste

  • 3 teaspoons oil, divided, for frying (I use canola)


  1. Place peeled & chopped potatoes and onion into a food processor. Process for about 30 seconds until lumps are gone.
  2. Place in a fine-mesh colander over a bowl and let drain for 5 minutes or longer.
  3. Carefully pour off the drained liquid but keep the white starch that’s settled on the bottom.
  4. To the starch, add the drained potato/onion mixture, egg, flour, salt, & pepper.
  5. In a cast iron skillet, heat 1/2 teaspoon of oil over medium heat. Spoon 1/4 cup mounds into pan, flattening each one to an even thickness.
  6. Cook about 3 minutes per side, adding 1/2 teaspoon oil as needed. (You can keep them warm in a 200° oven on a paper towel-lined pan.)

Polish Potato Pancakes

92 Comments on "Polish Potato Pancakes"

  1. Mariska

    Could I use store-bought potato starch if I don’t save the starch from the potatoes themselves?

  2. Sam

    This was fantastic. Subbed in a vegan egg replacer (it’s like a soy powder whisked with 3tbs.water) and they came out Great, made it twice this morning because they were so good. Thank You !

  3. Hyacinth

    We always put the potatoes and onions through a meat grinder attached to the table or counter and served with lots of butter and a little applesauce. You’ve brought back happy memories and I will definitely be making these. All other recipes out there call for a lot of flour and I knew that wasn’t right. Your recipe sounds just right. Thanks.

  4. Teresa

    I agree with Priscilla. I was looking at Hunky Bill’s pierogy video on YouTube and saw your video. I am so glad I watched it (and several more) and then checked out your website. Thank you, Jenny, for sharing your Polish recipes and for the great videos.
    I especially will be sharing your Polish Potato Pancakes recipe with my Dad. He loves them and your method is quicker and less messy. He is 78 and often cooks just for himself so this is one recipe he will love. And, another bonus…now I know what to get him for Christmas, a small Food Processor.

  5. Joanna

    I love these!
    So much easier than grating them 😃
    I love eating these with a mushroom sauce and sour cream!

  6. Priscilla

    Dear Jenny

    Being led to your website is like having found a gem in forest. I really enjoy watching your video and all the healthy way of preparing / cooking food that i once thought was so sinful to eat them. I love your kitchen. It is so colourful and you have so many cute tools. It makes cooking so fun. I love your “monologue” too :-). Thank you for sharing all your secret recipes with us. You are such a gem! I have been blessed by your kindness and generosity. May God bless you richly…. from the bottom of my heart!

  7. Noor

    I’m not understanding how you’re getting liquid draining from your potatoes. Food processed potatoes don’t have liquid draining from them from sitting in a strainer for 5 minute…please explain 🙂

  8. Mitter

    I would like to make these potato pancakes but where do you get the strainer or colander that you used to drain the water and starch from the potatoes???

    • Jenny

      I’m sorry I don’t remember – I’ve had it for a long time.

    • MARIA

      you can find one at Target or Walmart, if you want to see if a store near you has one just go to the website and see if your store carries one. thats where I bought mine.Hope that helps you out. 🙂

    • Alicia

      Got mine at the dollar store

    • Gigi

      Here’s my two cents’ worth of wisdom:
      1. You cannot beat hand grated potatoes. Yes, the food processor is quicker, but the texture is different. Oh, and don’t even bother using hash browns for this recipe.
      2. If you can’t find a fine mesh sieve, you can always line a regular sieve or even a colander with cheesecloth.
      Potato pancakes drenched in fresh butter are heavenly. Happy eating!

  9. Mitch Cholewinski

    Jenny. I would like to make these but where can I buy a flat sieve like you used

    • Jenny

      I’ve had it so long I’m sorry I don’t remember where I got it.

  10. Annette

    The best potato pancake ever! Exactly like my Momma’s !
    So glad I found your recipe, I didn’t have her recipe.
    Thank you!

  11. Mark

    Been eating them with yellow mustard for 60 years. Try them and please comment.

  12. pete

    I make this item but instead of flour I use instant mashed potatoes to help dry the liquid up. Great recipes and thank you for all the great work.

  13. jim

    Hey Jenny you are now my god of cooking have tried several of your recipes all turned out great!!! a lot more variety to my meals tasty and easy ..yum yum

    thanks heaps

  14. Marion B

    I remember my Mother making these especially during lent. All 7 kids loved them but we spread applesauce on the tops of ours. Brings back memories. Thanks.

  15. Magart

    My mother-in-law often made these for Friday dinner (no meat on Friday in those days). She served them with stewed tomatoes. I remember how hard it was to grate all those potatoes. I had many skinned knuckles! She made dozens of them as we all loved them. She told me to never let them touch each other after cooking. I have no idea why but that is what her mother told her.
    Thanks for this method. I will try them. Love potato pancakes!

  16. KAY V



  17. Catherine Nicolay

    Made this today my grand daughter loved it. Turned out just like yours thanks Jenny

  18. Linda

    I am Lithuanian and my mother use to make potatoes when I was growing up. She would make 75 at a time and there were no left overs. It never failed my brother and sister would show up for dinner if that was what we were having. I was an applesauce person, but my dad was sour cream and applesauce. By the way if you need any taste testers I am available.

    • Karen

      I am also Lithuanian and my mother always drained thru a hanky

  19. Vanessa

    I made your potato pancakes my family loved them. Do you have a recipe for corn fritters?

    • Jenny

      No, I do not make corn fritters.

      • walt jas

        The Acadians make a dish Rappi (Rapure) Pie using grated potatos,when I first met my wife I was invited for a holiday dinner which I helped grate 50# of spuds they then put small amounts of gratings in an unbleached cloth and squeeze the water out, there is a lot of starch that comes out ,anyway I wil ltry your recipe tonight and squeeze. Love that roppie.

  20. Alethea

    I would like to make a mini, appetizer version of these for Christmas Eve and it would be best if I could cook them ahead of time (the night prior and refrigerate or a few hours before the party) and then heat them up. Do you have any suggestions as to how to reheat them so they do not seem soggy?

    • Jenny

      I’m sorry but I have never made them in advance and would hate to suggest something I have never tried. I suspect it’s not easy to keep them crisp but you’ll have to do a search for how other cooks have re-heated them. I’m guessing probably in a very hot oven on a baking sheet (perforated would be my choice). Good luck!!

    • Robin Milligan

      I reheat them by placing them on the rack in my oven. That way they become crisp again. A toaster oven also works well.

    • Debra

      Don’t just refrigerate them, freeze them, then put them in oven at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes (depending on size), frozen, you’ll love the results…

  21. Mary

    Sounds amazing, but I’m going to add some diced jalipeno and cheddar!! Wish me luck!

  22. Zeenat

    Looks Yummy. I will try it. Thanks

  23. lois byers

    Loved looking at all your recipes, I can’t wait to begin cooking again. My husband is of Hungarian decent. And you have a bread he can’t wait for me to try and make. You make everything look so easy. I will be back and let you know how everything came out. Again Thanks.

  24. Amy H.

    Jenny, thanks for your awesome recipes, this turned out delicious. One tip to share here, I let my mixture sit for 5 minutes but only half of the water came out compared to your video. I should have let it sit longer since the potato pancakes were a bit on the wet side. I’m using potatoes from my farm share, and I’ve heard that they are wetter in our area (RI). So if you’re in the NE and using local potatoes, maybe let them sit longer to drain.

  25. Canadagirl

    FYI, Canola oil is made from rapeseed that has been soaked in Lindane, a pesticide banned in the USA and Europe but still used in Canada, before it is planted. After planting, some of the Lindane migrates through the soil where it is picked up by the wind blowing from the prairies to the far north where it settles onto the land where caribou and other food animals forage. It has been studied and reported by the CBC News where I came across it. Surprised to hear of ORGANIC Canola oil as all rapeseed is treated, as mentioned, before planting. Beware of Canola Oil. I, for one, will NEVER use the product.

    • Jenny

      You don’t have to use canola oil. You can choose another oil suitable for high heat and enjoy these delicious potato pancakes.

    • Jenny K.

      Your weird.

    • Cindy

      Agree regarding canola oil. Never use! It is from the rapeseed, from Canada. Not healthy…….nothing in it is “organic”. Beware!

    • Kevin

      Canola is Rapeseed oil. It’s made the same way you would make every other oil derived from seeds/plants. If Canola is made from “chemicals”, then everything is made from “chemicals”. An argument could be made about the fact that most of the US and Canadian Rapeseed grown to make oil is genetically modified to resist herbicides, but there have been no adverse health issues associated with the consumption of genetically modified Rapeseed oils. Ever. Period. Pretty much everything said about Canola Oil being “bad for you” is gross speculation in place of actual research or even observed effects. Fearmongering is not fact.

    • Lois in So. California

      I haven’t heard about the pesticide you mention, but I have heard the Canadians first developed this rape seed oil for use as a substitute for petroleum based MOTOR OIL back in the days when there were frequent petroleum shortages, perhaps during W-II. It was intended to lubricate mechanical moving parts, not for consumption as food. When I learned this, it explained why I was doubled over with stomach cramps almost every time I ate anything with canola oil. I don’t know if rape seed is grown in the USA without the pesticide, but I think I will stick with olive oil from Italy.

  26. Rich S

    Great recipe! I did make one minor modification… I did half of the potatoes in the food processor, and the other half were grated on the good old cowbell. I like the texture that way. I never considered the starch, I always poured all the liquid off and rinsed the starch away. Thanks!

  27. Pam

    Hi Jenny,
    I just tried making potato pancakes. The smell totally reminded me of my Babci’s Polish Kitchen. I let my grated potatoes drain for about 20 minutes. They seemed dry. Added the rest if my ingredients. When I was frying them in the pan, they seemed watery and I have liquid in the bottom of the bowl. I drained them again. When I re watched your video, it doesn’t seem like you had liquid. Did I not let them sit long enough? They tasted good – a little “wet” in the middle after frying 3 minutes per side. I am determined to master this recipe. My kitchen smells good though. Love your website!
    Thanks for your help.

    • Jenny

      I make potato pancakes all the time with no moisture so there has to be an explanation. Did you use russet potatoes? White onion? Only one egg? Which side of the grater did you use? It should be the small outward protruding holes with spiky edges all around so the grated potatoes are the texture of apple sauce. Did you shred and drain the onion with the potatoes? Is it possible you added oil to the batter? Those are the only reasons the batter would be too wet. Please let me know so we can figure this out.

      • Pam

        I used russet potatoes, and followed the recipe exactly. Used a food processor, white onion, didn’t add any oil, just the four ingredients. The pancakes tasted good, but seemed soggy to be after sitting for a bit.

        • Pam

          Used a food processor and only one egg. The potato and onion mixture was dry until I added the egg!

          • Jenny

            I think I may have a possible answer. Once you combine all the ingredients (the potato/onion with the starch, flour, etc., you should not let the batter sit any longer. If it sits around, I think that moisture could still settle at the bottom. And make sure you scrape up all the starch because it’s hard to see it in a white bowl. I hope you’ll try again and report back. Thanks.

          • Pam

            Thanks Jenny. I will try again and let you know.

          • Susan

            I have had the same issue with too much liquid. My resolution is to use a slotted spoon to scoop up the batter. When I am making a double or triple batch, it will sit there for a while until I get them all fried so the slotted spoon insures the liquid is drained a bit before I start frying.

  28. Alice Fong

    I just made this potato pan cake so delicious 🙂 I wanted to post the photo of the pan cake for you to see but can’t send,any way thank you so much.

  29. Linda Kay Schuler

    Ah,Jenny…I have always thought my mother-in-laws potato pancakes were the living end, with the exception of mine, which were carefully concocted from carefully watching her put a little bit of this and some o’ that together, and….there you have it.

    But I will have yours tonight….or perhaps later this afternoon, as I don’t think I can wait that long. They sound too good to be true. But I feel for sure they will be delicious, and not greasy!

    I am already a converted fan!!

    Linda Schuler

  30. Sarah

    Yum these are delicious almost like how my grandma used to make. Im pretty sure she used lard or something totally unhealthy lol but these definitely satisfy the craving.

  31. John Raschke

    I happened upon your recipe/video via a Polish recipe Facebook page and decided to try them tonight. Being almost 100% Polish and fully Eastern European, I have some experience with Polish cuisine. My dad came over and said “That’s not going to be any good…you aren’t grating the potatoes!”, which is the way his mother made them, and how we we are used to having them. I followed your recipe exactly (but I did double it because I have four boys under the age of 8 to feed, and I also added fresh garlic cloves to the processor) and the entire family raved about how this recipe is a keeper! Even my dad said “You and Jenny proved me wrong! Don’t lose the recipe!” But it is such a simple recipe, I’ve already committed it to memory so that I can make them at the firehouse soon! I’m already reading your other recipes and will definitely introduce them to my family and the other firemen. Thanks Jenny!

  32. cindi sandy

    Hi Jenny love your recipe I am looking for a recipe that my Grandmother made it is potato pancake that is baked she called it rattlesnake hope you can help

    • Jenny

      I wish I could but I have no knowledge of any baked potato pancake. I tried looking online and found nothing there.

      • Marylou

        My grandmother used to bake the potato pancake and call it Bapka, not sure if it’s spelled correctly or not. You would take a slice and melt some butter over it, was really good. Haven’t had it since I was a kid.

        • Patty

          You are asking about potato babka, and it is similar to paschka or bleenies (Schuylkill County PA name) but uses bacon, or bacon fat and baked in a greased with bacon fat cast iron pan. Grated potatoes, 1/2 a good sized onion, egg, a tablespoon of flour, 2 T of bacon fat, salt, and pepper. Bake @350 until golden brown. I have heard of browning the onion first, but my parents made it the way my grandmother born in 1891 made it. You drain the potatoes some, but baking it, plus the flour and egg will make it fine. It will be 3 inches high hence the babka or cake name.

          • Patty

            I meant placki not, paschka, no one knows why they call them bleenies in Schuylkill County. My guess is the reason is twofold. There was a huge Lithuanian population and they call them blynai, and there is also a Russian blini. Whatever you call them, they are delicious. Church festivals and block parties, and fire halls make the best ones.

        • Patty

          I forgot to say it is traditionally eaten with sour cream, just like the potato pancakes.

    • Marta

      I think you’re talking about Babka. It’s pretty much a big potato pancake and it’s delicious. You need grated potatoes, an egg or two, salt,pepper, little bit of flour (I eyeball everything), and I always add a pound of good sausage cut up in small pieces and cooked until it browns a little. Make sure the sausage is good quality, and not one of those ‘kielbasa’ sausages you see at grocery stores, those are NOT EVEN CLOSE to polish kielbasa. Here in texas I buy Holmes Smokehouse Pecan Smoked Sausage and we really like it. I don’t use the onion in this, or my pancakes, but you can. Mix all and pour into a baking dish, i usually use the 13×9″ glass dish, and bake for about an hour to hour and a half. It’s very good on the first day, but even better the next day when you slice it up and fry it in a pan with some oil or butter.

    • John Raschke

      What you are talking about sounds like Lithuanian Kugelis almost…great stuff!!

  33. Gary S

    Thank you for this “so simple recipe.” I made these last night using our combination waffle/pancake maker. They cooked up beautifully and really needed nothing other than little brush with butter. I will be making these again and again.

  34. Joyce

    Can I use reg flour and if so how much? thank You love your site and recipes. JM

    • Jenny

      Yes, all-purpose flour is fine. I have adjusted the recipe to show that as well.

  35. Vilma

    Hi Jenny! I would like to make this potato pancakes, but I have a question here. You recommend to leave the potatoes to drain for 5 minutes, wouldn’t they turn dark being left in the open just like that? I really hope to get an answer at your earliest convenience, thanks.

    • Jenny

      If you watch my video, you’ll see that the potatoes did not turn dark in 5 minutes. Maybe the onions in there prevent it, I don’t know, but it doesn’t happen.

  36. allen howe

    love your cooking videos. Brings back memories of my mother”s cooking.
    Also you have a great sense of humor witch makes it enjoyable to watch.

  37. John

    Hi Jenny, I love making these pancakes to have with my salmon patties. I also add a little Romano cheese and parsley when mixing the pancakes, just adds a little more flavor.

    Love all your recipes.

  38. Ashley & Jay

    My husband & I are THRILLED with your potato pancakes recipe/video. We have been trying off and on again for an easy, delicious potato pancake recipe. Yours is fab-u-lous!!! We watched your YouTube video this afternoon where you demonstrated that wonderful potato starch technique. We have always used recipes where you grate potatoes & then squeeze out all of the water over a colander. What a pain &, now we know, we have been disposing of all of that good potato starch as well. Anyway, we followed your recipe tonight & the pancakes were as good as those we drive an hour to eat at a Polish restaurant. We had hoped to try the leftovers with scrambled eggs in the morning, as you suggested, but the pancakes were so tasty we ate them all at dinner. We cannot say enough good things about your simple, lowfat version of the dish. Many, many thanks for the recipe/video! We are delighted to have discovered you!

    Ashley & Jay
    Albemarle, NC

  39. Unyime

    Dear Jenny,
    I’m in Nigeria and what is common around me is Irish potatoes and Sweet potatoes. Can I use it?

    • Jenny

      If Irish potatoes have white flesh, that would be the closest to ours. However, there are many recipes for sweet potato pancakes and some are flavored with cinnamon and other spices. Look online for “sweet potato pancakes” or “sweet potato latkes.”

  40. Natalie

    These are delicious, I’m from New Zealand and this is the first polish food I’ve had a go at making. I love it.

  41. Mae

    Hi Jenny! You are awesome! I was just cracking my head thinking about what to prepare for my kids’ breakfast, and here I am, so in luck in getting your delicious and doable recipe! Delicious, Quick and Simple for working mum is what I need. And your video is just awesome beyond words because of your personality. You are just so generous with your knowledge and your speak so well. My kids love the potato pancake. Thanks Heaps!

  42. Thomas

    These are really Polish Pancakes and not the “HASH BROWN LATKES” , that most people think are potato pancakes.

  43. Binnsh

    Just enjoyed these for breakfast, they came good. Next time I’ll try adding the salt to the potatoes before draining, to get the most liquid out.

  44. Halina

    daj mi buzi very good

    • Ann Marie

      I just love your comment: daj mi buzi very good. Best way ever to relay how good they are. Thanks! It made my day =) I was blessed enough to have learned all my mom and bucia recipes….. There love and recipes will live on forever, as now I am teaching my daughter. Thanks again!!!

      ~~~ Ann Marie

  45. Abdul Aziz

    Jenny your’re the best, great recipe!!!

  46. George

    Jenny, Your recipe and completed potato pancakes are exactly how my grandmother/mother made them. I remember this because being the youngest of three siblings I was always in the kitchen watching. You’re absolutely right about them not turning out greasy. BTW grandma was from Poland and mama from the Ukraine. I still make them at least once a month.

  47. Juggernaut383

    I love placki ziemniaczane :)) I do mine thinner and put sour cream on top, sometimes even sugar 🙂 Smacznego!

  48. In2HealthyLiving

    I Love that these aren’t greasy!! Thanks for doing a video on this, GREAT JOB!!!!

  49. Kentucky Homestead

    My sweet mother used to make us potato pancakes on Christmas morning from left over mashed potatoes we had for our Christmas dinner. A tradition that I continue with my family 🙂 Sometimes a recipe or dish can bring back the most cherished memories! Thank you for sharing this recipe and allowing me a trip down memory lane.

  50. weeknightingale

    I like your way easy! My Dad always made these and grated the potatoes etc. Nice video! Thanks! Like the way you strain them I usually just squeeze the potatoes. Great! 🙂

  51. Susan J.

    Hi Jenny, Just made this recipe for breakfast today and they were a BIG HIT. Thanks for sharing an easy and fabulous recipe 🙂

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