Latkes are a Chanukah tradition, typically made with white potatoes, white flour, onions and vegetable oil.
Now, you guys know that I am one who bucks tradition – and so instead of regular latkes, I created a healthified latke packed with vegetables. My version is gluten-free and dairy-free, and can be made vegan or Paleo depending on the flour you use and if choosing an egg-free substitution.
‘Normal’ latkes, while certainly delicious, are high on the glycemic index and fried. Starchy, white potatoes and glutenous flour help with texture and binding, but the health cost for me is too high. By using gluten-free flour and egg as a binder, these sweet potato zucchini latkes hold together well, especially since they are baked in the oven. This saves you the stress of flipping them and worrying about your latkes breaking and falling apart.
Most fried foods are fried in vegetable oil, which is problematic for a number of reasons. Vegetable oil is:
- Processed and refined and stripped of its nutrients
- Bleached and deodorized to mask the smell of its rancidity
- Hydrogenated – which creates trans fats – to boost shelf life
- High in omega-6 fats, which are inflammatory when consumed in excess
You can learn more about processed vegetable oils here, and how to choose healthy cooking oils instead.
Fried Food Health Risks
Aside from the inflammatory effects of the omega-6 fatty acids, fried foods are associated with:
- An increased risk of developing depression
- Accelerated cognitive decline
- An increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes
- Obesity, especially in those who are predisposed to it through their genes
- Incidences of heart failure and hypertension; though there is mixed evidence about the link between fried foods and cardiovascular disease. Scientists propose that the inconsistencies are likely due to the type of oil used and the exact frying techniques.
And so, instead of frying or deep-frying my latkes, I bake them in the oven instead. This is a much healthier method of cooking, plus it’s easier because it’s almost totally hands-off.
That means instead of latkes being a once-a-year treat, I can eat these sweet potato zucchini latkes more often! These are popular at our family Chanukah gatherings, but are also great for brunch or an afternoon snack.
Serve these with applesauce, homemade cashew cheese, jam, chutney, preserved lemons, or just eat them on their own.Print
Sweet Potato Zucchini Latkes
- Total Time: 40 mins
- Yield: 24 1x
A white potato-free potato latke! Gluten-free and dairy-free, with Paleo and vegan options.
- 2 cups grated sweet potato
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 2 eggs, or 1 Tbsp ground chia mixed with 4 Tbsp water for vegan
- 1/2 cup flour + more as needed (chickpea, brown rice, or almond flour for Paleo)
- 1 Tbsp psyllium husk (optional, but helps them hold)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt (or a little more to taste)
- 1/4 cup olive or coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Using a nut milk bag, clean cloth or paper towel, squeeze the excess liquid out of the zucchini.
- Mix together grated veggies, onion and egg or chia egg.
- Add in flour, psyllium is using, baking powder and salt. Add additional flour, 1 Tbsp at a time if batter is too moist.
- Form into patties on a parchment-lined baking sheet. I made them about 2-3 inches in diameter and flattened them out with a fork.
- Brush the tops with olive oil to give them a bit of the fried vibe.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until latkes feel dry on top and are holding together. Flip and broil for 1-2 minutes.
- Serve warm.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Category: Quick + Easy
Photo credit: Maya Visnyei for The UnDiet Cookbook
50 responses to “Sweet Potato Zucchini Latkes”
Thank you for this Meghan! A great recipe – you’d think a bubbie made ’em!
PS. A gentle clarification – Hanukkah starts tomorrow, the 11th at sundown, and ends on the 19th.
Enjoy some dreidel playing and latke eating!
Hey don’t the fabulous travel tea cups from a wonderful new Toronto tea store called David’s Tea count? Socks are a tradition, who doesn’t love getting new socks?
love you all, happy Chanuka.
Yum! Will indulge in some latkes for no other reason but enjoyment!
Ooh, that looks awesome, I love sweet potato!
I think socks are a tradition for everyone’s holidays- Chanuka, Christmas, etc.
Enjoy your celebration :)
you really confused me…. it dosen’t start til tomorrow night!
happy chanuka! nice recipe:) my sister in law and nieces are jewish and so have made it a point to be involved:) i love your recipe. i have made them with just sweet taters, but i think it is inspired to add zucchini and carrotts:) thank you for sharing and happy journeys:)
oh, I bet my crew would love these.
Happy Chanuka, whenever it starts!
I ADORE socks…anytime of the year!
These photos are making my mouth water! I’m impressed with your emergency apple sauce too. As always, something learned! Thanks M!
Yum! Thanks for the recipe!
Love Hanukkah food, but it’s so greasy! So the idea of baked latkes definitely appeals to me.
It’s funny though because my aunt, who reads my blog and is NOT a fan of all the “healthy food” I eat told me if I posted baked latkes (rather than the regular fried) on my blog she would be very disappointed. Haha. Too bad for her :)
Sounds like the Telpners had a great celebration! Costumes? That’s so awesome. Once again I have Vitamix envy.
I couldn’t imagine frying latkes in your apartment either. Your bed would smell of oil for days. :)
Happy chanukah to all the Telpners!
(The only one I have yet to meet is your dad, and that’s actually on my schedule – or will be after a few emails. “Telpners: Entering my life in a variety of contexts since around 1993.” The small world of Jews is astounding.)
…there was a caffuffle, a take down and a destroyed temple or two and when the dust settled there was only enough oil remaining to last through one night. By miracle of miracles the light stayed a burning for eight days and eight nights.
This goyeh is grinning from ear to ear! The Hanukkah story as only Meghan can tell it. :D
Hope you’ve escaped to a warmer coast. Shining Light on you and your rule-breaking family!
yum! fellow sort-of-Jewish-here, i too only really do the eating part of the high holidays. i like that these are mostly grain/potato-free!
yay! i’m married into a jewish family, but i seem to like the foods a lot more than my hubby…
Love the Hannukah story! And these look like my kind of latkes. Hope you have a wonderful time somewhere warm!
corrections have been made. my editor at the Post caught it . Oopsy.
You should hear my version of Passover. Oprah makes a cameo.
Meghan- Love this recipe!! Would love to share it with my readers on my blog http://www.foodforthought-dee.blogspot.com, giving you full credit, of course. Will tweet it and Facebook it to all my peeps, which may garner you some more votes for top blogger – just want to get your permission before I share – thanks, Dee
Please do. The less fried potatoes happening over the next week the better!
These look so good! I never fry anything, just don’t like too. I love that these have the “fried look” without actually soaking it in oil, AND seem so easy to make. Can’t beat that! :)
These look beautiful!
They taste beautiful too!
Had these for dinner tonight – delish with extra spices and some other randoms included. Thanks for the base recipe!!
Thanks for getting creative with it!
As I am reading through the Old Testament and learning how these holidays we now celebrate came into existence, I love your rendition of it best and your rendition of the food too. Can’t wait to try it.
Your recipes are great! I was just about to make this one and realised it says ‘¼ olive or coconut oil’ – just wanted to check if you meant a 1/4 tbs or cup etc? Thanks!
Thanks for catching that – it’s 1/4 cup. I’ve updated the recipe.
I made a batch of these just this morning! I actually went to look up the grain free almond bread recipe, but saw this one first and had everything to make them. So delicious! I just had one topped with an egg. I don’t think I can stop at just one….. thanks Meghan for another winner!
I can’t wait to try these healthified latkes as I love sweet potatoes and zucchini!
I am going to a Chanukah dinner and the home serves only kosher foods, so I’m just wondering if it’s difficult to find these ingredients in a kosher store, and would my kitchen need to be kosher to make these as well? The host said not to bring anything, but I wondered if it would be at all possible to make them.
I’m looking forward to making these, but wondering if the 1/4 cup of oil listed in the ingredients is what gets brushed on top or does it get mixed in with everything?
Hi Jen – the oil is for brushing on top of the latkes.
I made too much – can I freeze the raw ingredients? Or, should I bake it and then freeze?
I’d suggest forming the patties, freezing on a parchment-lined baking sheet and then storing in a container in the freezer. Then you can take them out and put them in the oven when you’re ready to cook and eat them.
Did you drain out the excess liquid from the zucchini? Or just use it as is?
I used as is.
The recipe says it makes 24 latkes, so what would be a serving size? Do you have the nutritional info?
Hi Jill! I make these on the smaller side (about 2-3 Tbsp of the mixture per latke), but you could adjust as needed. I don’t include nutritional info in my recipes. Here’s why: https://www.meghantelpner.com/blog/how-to-read-nutrition-labels/
“Now, you guys know that I am one who bucks tradition…”
Fascinatingly, the tradition to which you refer is very modern. I discovered that latkes originated in Renaissance Italy and were made out of ricotta cheese, then the tradition shifted to buckwheat in Northern Europe and finally settled on potatoes when there was a famine in the mid-19th century or thereabouts. So your recipe is really just another delicious iteration in the ever-evolving history of the latke. :-) Happy Chanukah!
These were AMAZING. Used almond flour and brushed top with avocado oil before baking. Will make again!
This recipe has way too much moisture because you don’t call to squeeze out the moisture from the zucchini and bakes very poorly. The texture was nightmarish. My bubbe is rolling in her grave at the audacity of calling these “latkes”.
I’m sorry this recipe didn’t work out for you. We had several recipe testers test this for my cookbook and none of them noted this problem, so I’m not sure why these turned out soggy. I have a feeling you won’t be trying these again, but if you do you could certainly squeeze out the moisture from the zucchini.
Can I add tuna?
I haven’t tested the recipe with tuna, but you could try it! They would become more like tuna cakes instead of latkes.
I had a question about the zucchini, potatoes, and carrots. It calls for two cups, grated. Is that two cups of the grated vegetables or two cups of veggies before they are grated? Thanks!
Hi Rebecca! The veggies should be grated before they are measured – I’ve updated the recipe to reflect this. Thank you!
I made two batches: one with almond flour, the other chic pea flour. Then I fried half of each. I thought frying would result in better flavor and I was (pleasantly) surprised the baked ones were tastier! The chic pea flour won over the almond flour, another surprise! Thanks for this gluten free option, less oil recipe.
They are delicious, made for a party dish and at home. Not a crumb left behind.