Did you know that Latkes used to be a cheese dish? (*)
Yes, it originated as deep-fried ricotta cheese, which is quite different from our version now.
Today, these are deep-fried shredded potatoes that are super crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy from the inside.
The surprising thing is it has become one of the best Hanukkah recipes even if it has only had a few ingredients– onion, grated potatoes, eggs, breadcrumbs, salt, and oil.
While this Hanukkah staple is already satisfying on its own, serving it with a suitable side dish can make it more appealing and filling.
Frying and grating potatoes are easy but unfortunately, finding the right dish to pair with latkes is not as easy as it seems. The good news is we’re here to help you out.
So what to serve with latkes for the holidays? Here are 16 ideas to choose from:
What to Serve with Latkes: Appetizers
If you want your Hanukkah to be a success, you should choose the appetizers. Here are some of the best appetizers you can pair with your favorite potato pancakes:
1. Green Salad
Salad is always a great idea for a dinner spread. And if you don’t have too much time to spare, you can always make things simple by preparing a tossed green salad.
To prepare this, you just have to chop up red onion, cucumbers, leafy greens, and your choice of salad dressing. We recommend going for something tangy and sweet to keep the salad light and fresh.
Pro Tip: You can add sunflower seeds for that extra dose of healthy fats.
2. Kale and Apple Salad
Here’s another fiber-rich side dish that will balance out the greasiness and heaviness of a latke.
For this, you’ll just need a few ingredients— juicy pomegranate, tender baby kale, sweet apple slices, and crunchy pistachios. Serve this with maple mustard dressing to enjoy the blend of flavors and textures you can’t find in any other salad.
If you want something fresh yet tangy, coleslaw is the perfect latke side dish for you.
Pro Tip: Make sure to get cabbage in three different varieties (or at least two), so your appetizer can add a pop of color to your dinner spread.
4. Carrot Soup
If salads are not your thing, then go for the next best thing—soups! Lucky for you, simple soups are the best pairing for your latke.
To brighten up your winter nights, go for a creamy carrot soup, the perfect starter dish for any occasion.
Pro Tip: make sure the soup is piping hot before serving so you can enjoy the warmth and comfort it brings.
Another way to get your fiber without leafy vegetables is through hummus. Not only will it give you the fiber you need, but it also serves as a fantastic dip for your favorite latke recipe.
The best thing about hummus is it’s also low in calories and high in protein which is perfect for a satisfying and filling meal without the guilt.
Pro Tip: Swap chickpeas for white beans and use oats instead of flour for a gluten-free option.
What to Serve with Latkes: Main Dishes
You now know what appetizers go well with latkes, but what about the main meal? Here are our top 5 recommendations:
6. Roast Chicken
If mashed potatoes have steak, then latkes have roast chicken! So if you want an unforgettable Hanukkah, you should take advantage of this classic combination.
Why does it work? The crispiness of latke perfectly complements the juiciness of the roasted chicken. It’s like a marriage of unique flavors and textures that will surely tickle your taste buds.
Pro Tip: The best chicken seasonings that will match well with latkes are butter, garlic, and lemon.
7. Buttered Vegetables
Indeed, butter makes everything better. It can quickly transform an unappetizing plate of chopped veggies into a fantastic main dish that will go well with latkes.
Buttered veggies are healthy and easy to prepare, but these will also add color and texture to your meal.
Pro Tip: To keep the veggies bright and crisp, cook them for just 10 minutes. On the other hand, simmer them a bit longer if you want them to be tender.
8. Beef Stew
If you loved the idea of pairing your latkes with something warm and comforting, then you might want to try pairing it with an old-fashioned beef stew.
We recommend cooking the beef with different veggies like carrots and onions for the ultimate meat stew recipe. Initially, this has potatoes, but skip it if you feel like it’s overkill.
What makes this pairing work? Well, just imagine biting into your crispy potato pancakes, then chewing on tender and juicy beef cubes, and having a long sip of the warm and flavorful soup afterward. Amazing, right?
Pro Tip: Use both cubed beef chunks and beef bouillon so the stew will give off deep and rich flavors.
9. Garlic Butter Baked Salmon
We’ve already given you a poultry and beef recommendation, so now let’s talk about something light, flaky, and healthy—salmon.
The dish may sound fancy, but the truth is it’s pretty easy to prepare. All that you need to do is smother the salmon with your garlic butter sauce (minced garlic sautéed in butter) and bake it—that simple!
Pro Tip: For a more colorful and nutritious dinner spread, serve roasted asparagus on the side too.
What to Serve with Latkes: Toppings and Dips
If you don’t have enough time to prepare an entirely new dish to serve with your latkes, the next best option that you have is to be creative with how you serve it. Here are some topping ideas that you can try:
So okay, applesauce is not precisely a creative topping since latkes are most commonly served with it. But of course, we had to include this classic topping the list.
If you love the idea of experiencing both salty and sweet flavors in one bite, this is the best topping for you.
Pro Tip: If you’re just looking for a quick breakfast or snack, using store-bought applesauce is the way to go.
11. Sour Cream
Sour cream is another traditional Latkes topping that you shouldn’t miss out on.
The creamy texture and refreshing taste of sour cream is the best way to cut through the potatoes’ crispy texture and salty taste.
Pro Tip: You can serve it as a dip or top a dollop of it into your favorite potato treat!
12. Poached Egg
Are you thinking of what you can do with your leftover potato pancakes from last night’s dinner party? Well, get an egg, and let’s make a delicious and filling breakfast for you and your family.
All you need to do is poach a few eggs and put one atop a pancake. Then, slice through your perfectly poached egg and watch the runny yolk drip to your crispy pancakes.
It’s so satisfying to look at, but most of all, this protein-rich topping can undoubtedly give you the energy you need for the entire day.
Why should you try this? Well, just imagine that the texture and taste are similar to munching on a sunny-side-up egg and hash browns— only a lot better!
13. Smoked Salmon + Cream Cheese
Now, here’s one topping you might have never heard of but should try. The good news is it’s a lot simple than you think.
To prepare this, you need to spread cream cheese on top of the pancakes and pile thin slices of smoked salmon on top of it.
With this, you get a delicious and unique dish that will provide you with many healthy fats.
Pro Tip: You can add spice and herbs to your cream cheese. Our best recommendations are chives and onions.
If you’re into recipes that are sour and salty, then topping your latkes with sauerkraut is the way to go. The good news is you don’t have to make one from scratch since it’s widely available in supermarkets.
Not only will it add a unique flavor to your pancakes, but it will also provide you with probiotics that are good for your gut.
15. Spicy Red Pepper Relish
How about adding some fiery flavor to your potatoes? Top it off with a spicy red pepper relish if you love this idea.
Made from fresh tomatoes, roasted red pepper, lime juice, and cilantro, you can enjoy a wide range of flavors—from spicy to fruity to sweet to sour—that will surely leave your taste buds asking for more.
Are you looking for a way to lighten up and inject a refreshing taste into potato pancakes? If so, try dipping it in tzatziki. This yogurt and cucumber dip’s light and refreshing flavor will certainly balance out the pancakes’ greasiness.
Pro Tip: Try beet tzatziki if you want a healthier and more colorful spin on the usual tzatziki.
The Bottom Line
Mastering the art of latke making is easy. However, finding the right dish to serve with is can be quite challenging.
Lucky for you, we’ve already provided you with just about every food item that you can serve with latkes—from appetizers to main meals and toppings. So all you got to do is choose the one that suits your guests the best. Now, go and do it.