Cauliflower Latkes (Pancakes)

Cauliflower Latkes, topped with chutney and scallions
Cauliflower Latkes, topped with chutney and scallions. © Miri Rotkovitz
  • Total: 55 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 15 to 20 latkes (serves 3 to 5)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
538 Calories
49g Fat
18g Carbs
11g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 15 to 20 latkes (serves 3 to 5)
Amount per serving
Calories 538
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 49g 63%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 181mg 60%
Sodium 585mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Protein 11g
Calcium 69mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Potato latkes—shredded potato pancakes fried in oil—are a traditional treat during the Hanukkah holiday. But if you are trying to watch your carbohydrate intake, fried potatoes may be off your menu. Luckily, there is a delicious and healthy option using cauliflower in place of potato. Combining cauliflower with eggs, flour (or matzah meal), and salt and pepper, these latkes are perfect for not only Hanukkah dinner but also Passover, or as a side dish for winter meals.

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower (fresh, washed, and cut into florets)
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour or matzah meal (plus extra if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white or black pepper
  • 2 quarts sunflower or canola oil (or enough for frying)

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large stockpot, bring a few inches of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the florets are soft enough to be mash easily with a fork.

  2. Drain the cauliflower in a colander. Mash lightly with a fork, leaving some texture rather than creating a puree. Set aside the cauliflower to cool a bit.

  3. Place cauliflower in a mixing bowl. Stir in the beaten eggs. Sprinkle with the flour or matzah meal, and mix well to create a pancake-like batter. (If needed, add more flour or matzah meal 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition.) Season with the salt and pepper.

  4. Line a plate with paper towels. In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, warm a few tablespoons of oil. Set the oven to warm (200 F).

  5. When the oil is hot, drop the batter by tablespoonfuls into the pan, taking care not to crowd the pan. Flatten the pancakes a bit so they cook evenly. Fry approximately 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until the latkes are browned on both sides and firm in the middle.

  6. Remove latkes from frying pan onto the paper towel-lined plate to drain off excess oil. Place on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you make remaining batches.

  7. Add more oil to the pan, heat, and continue frying the remaining latkes in batches, until the rest of the batter is used. Serve hot. 

To Oven Fry

Although not considered the traditional method (since frying in the oil is significant during this Jewish holiday), you can oven bake the latkes for a healthier preparation. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line 2 large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and drizzle with a little oil. Drop the batter by the tablespoon onto the prepared sheets, and flatten slightly with the back of the spoon. Drizzle the pancakes with more oil. 

Cook in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Carefully turn with a spatula and cook for 10 to 12 minutes more, or until the latkes are cooked through and golden brown on both sides. Serve immediately. 

Tips

If you have a very large head of cauliflower, you may find another egg useful for binding the batter, but will probably need to add additional flour as well. 

If you're feeling intimidated by frying, there are a few latke making tips you can follow that will have you turning out pancakes like a pro.

Recipe Variations

To add even more nutrients to this dish, you can include steamed and mashed broccoli in the pancake batter. Either swap out half of the cauliflower or use a whole head of cauliflower and a whole head of broccoli—just remember to double the rest of the ingredients. 

Want to spice up your latkes? Try accenting the batter with a little curry powder, garam masala, za'atar, or Old Bay. 

Instead of topping these delicate latkes with applesauce and sour cream, take a cue from Indian cuisine and pair them with your favorite store-bought or homemade chutney and sliced scallions or mint. If you're serving a dairy meal, add a dollop of cucumber raita.