Crispy Polish Potato Pancakes

Crispy Polish Potato Pancakes are made with just a few simple ingredients and are cooked in a skillet until perfectly golden brown. They are finished with a little sprinkle of salt and served with apple sauce, sour cream, or traditional goulash.
Crispy Polish Potato Pancakes on a black plate with a blue table with white napkin next to the plate.
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When I met my husband, I learned that his family was of Polish descent. I wasn't too familiar with Polish cooking at the time, but over the years I've enjoyed exploring some traditional Polish recipes to celebrate his heritage.

In addition to making pierogi, cabbage rolls, Kołaczki Cookies, and incorporating kielbasa into our meals, I also tried my hand at making potato pancakes.

This Polish potato pancake doesn't disappoint! It's a humble dish, yet has a simple elegance. Is this the best potato pancake recipe ever? I'm not sure I'd dare go up against your babcia, but I think you'll love this easy potato pancake recipe as much as I do!

Crispy Polish Potato Pancakes on a black plate with a blue table with a dollop of sour cream on top.

Polish Potato Pancake Ingredients

Potato pancakes only require a few ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen:
  • Potatoes - My favorite potato for crispy potato pancakes is russet potatoes
  • Onion - choose a small yellow or sweet onion
  • Egg - if you prefer to eliminate the egg, you can substitute it with a flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water)
  • Flour - I use all-purpose flour
  • Salt - go with kosher salt
  • Pepper - I almost always recommend fresh ground black pepper
  • Oil - a neutral oil like canola or vegetable oil is best

How To Make Polish Potato Pancakes

Polish Potato Pancakes, also known as Placki Ziemniaczane, are easy to make at home. First, peel and shred russet potatoes and onions. Next, combine the potatoes and onion with egg, flour, salt, and pepper. Finally, fry the pancakes in oil until nice and crispy. See below for a detailed ingredient list and instructions.

Step by step collage of images of Crispy Polish Potato Pancakes being made.

Are Polish Potato Pancakes and Latkes the Same Thing?

Potato pancakes and latkes have the same base ingredients, but latkes are more complex, often adding matzo meal, milk, and baking powder.

Potato Pancake Variations

I will preface this list by saying that Polish potato pancakes are glorious served as is. However, if you feel like jazzing them up, they won't be so traditional. If that's okay with you, try one of these fun variations:
  • substitute some of the russet potatoes with sweet potato
  • add minced chives in place of some of the grated onion
  • mix in some shredded cheese for a cheesy twist
  • substitute some of the potatoes with shredded zucchini

How to Serve Polish Potato Pancakes

Polish Potato Pancakes are excellent served on their own topped with a sprinkle of salt. Optionally, a side of applesauce or sour cream pairs well with crispy potato pancakes. For an authentic pairing, make a pot of goulash to serve with them!

Crispy Polish Potato Pancakes on a white paper towel.

How To Store Polish Potato Pancakes

For optimal crispiness, potato pancakes are best served right after cooking. Store covered in a single layer in the refrigerator for up to five days. A great way to reheat to try to get back some of the original crispiness is by reheating in your air fryer.

More Yummy Potato Recipes

Looking for more awesome recipes that feature potatoes? Check out these popular recipes from the archives:

Crispy Polish Potato Pancakes on a black plate with a blue table with small cups of apple sauce and sour cream on the side.

If you try this recipe, I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments below. Enjoy!

Crispy Polish Potato Pancakes

Yield: 12 potato pancakes
Prep Time: 20 MINUTES
cook time: 20 MINUTES
total time: 40 MINUTES
Crispy Polish Potato Pancakes are made with just a few simple ingredients and are cooked in a skillet until perfectly golden brown.


1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes (2-3 potatoes)
1/4 cup grated onion
1 egg
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
vegetable or canola oil, for frying
sour cream or applesauce, for garnish


  1. Peel the potatoes, then use a box grater to shred them.  Place the grated potatoes on paper towels or a clean dish towel and dry them thoroughly, squeezing out as much moisture as possible. After they are dry, put them in a large bowl.
  2. Add the grated onion to the potato.
  3. Crack the egg into a small mixing bowl and whisk. Pour into the potato mixture.
  4. Add the flour, salt, and pepper to the egg mixture. Stir to combine well.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a 1/4 inch of oil to the pan.
  6. Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, scoop out 1/4 cup of the potato mixture and gently place it into the pan. The oil should sizzle when you add the potato mixture. Press the mixture out into a round shape about 1/4 inch thick. Add more potato pancakes being sure not to crowd the pan. Work in batches.
  7. Cook the potato pancakes until you start to see the edges turn golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Lift the edges to see if the first side is nicely browned. If so, flip. Cook until the other side is golden brown, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Season with salt while they are still warm. Serve with sour cream or applesauce as a garnish.


For a pretty pop of color, substitute 1 tablespoon of the onion with minced chives.

Author: Becky Tarala

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