Spiced Sweet Potato, Carrot, and Acorn Squash Latkes Recipe

A sweet potato latke that's just a little sweet, balanced out with squash and carrot and kicked up with fresh ginger.

spiced sweet potato, carrot, and acorn squash latkes served on a black plate.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • Squeezing the patty mixture in cheesecloth helps eliminate excess moisture, making the results more consistent and helping the latkes brown more efficiently.
  • Shredding the ingredients in a food processor ensures a hearty, consistent size and shape for the latkes.

I'm not a huge fan of sweet potato latkes. I usually find them unmemorable at best; most are too sweet, and rarely have I enjoyed one as much as I would a traditional potato latke.

For this recipe, I wanted to build a more complex, nuanced flavor, with some textural interest. That's where the carrots and acorn squash come in. The three vegetables form a natural partnership—their flavors are complementary, but with enough variation to promise something a little more unexpected.

Overhead shot of ingredients for sweet potato, squash, and carrot latkes: shredded carrot, squash, and sweet potato; shredded potato; chopped onion; fresh ginger; paprika; cumin; and coriander

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

My next challenge was tackling that overwhelming sweetness. Incorporating shredded potatoes and chopped onions was a good start, but the real game-changer here is ginger—freshly grated, it delivers a heat that cuts right through the mixed-vegetable base. Then, to round things out, I added smoky paprika, a pinch of cumin, and some floral coriander.

Fried sweet potato, squash, and carrot latkes resting on a wire rack

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

The resulting latkes are definitely on the sweet side, but the ginger and spices make them feel a little Moroccan, a little Indian, and a whole lot Jewish, in a totally new way. 

You can round out your complete coursed latke meal with zucchini latkes as your salad course, beet walnut latkes for your main, and these make one helluva dessert.

December 2014

Recipe Facts

Active: 60 mins
Total: 60 mins
Serves: 24 latkes

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound (225g) carrots, shredded on the shredding disk of a food processor (2 cups shredded)

  • 3/4 pound (340g) acorn squash, trimmed, peeled, and shredded on the shredding disk of a food processor (2 cups shredded)

  • 3/4 pound (340g) sweet potato, peeled and shredded on the shredding disk of a food processor (2 cups shredded)

  • 1 pound (450g) russet potatoes, peeled, trimmed, and shredded on the shredding disk of a food processor (3 cups shredded)

  • 6 cups chopped onion (about 6 medium onions)

  • 4 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 cup matzo meal, plus more as needed (see note)

  • 4 teaspoons (16g) kosher salt, plus more if needed

  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more if needed

  • Canola or peanut oil, for frying

  • Unsweetened applesauce and sour cream, for serving

Directions

  1. Working in roughly 2-cup batches, wrap carrots, squash, sweet potato, russet potato, and onion in cheesecloth that has been folded over twice. Tie corners around the handle of a wooden spoon and twist bundle until liquid flows out and vegetables are dry. Add squeezed vegetables to a large mixing bowl and toss to combine thoroughly.

  2. Stir in ginger, paprika, coriander, and cumin. Mix in eggs and matzo meal. You should be able to form patties that just stick together in your hands; if the mixture is too wet, add more matzo meal, 1 tablespoon at a time, until patties can be properly formed. Stir in salt and pepper.

  3. Heat 1/2 inch oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until a shred of potato immediately bubbles when dropped in. Form a small amount of latke mixture into a disk and fry on both sides until golden brown to test for seasoning. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

  4. Form patties about 3 inches wide and 1 inch thick in the center and slide into pan (no more than 4 at a time). Fry until a golden-brown crust forms on bottom, then flip using a slotted spatula and fork and fry until golden brown on other side and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes per side. If a darker crust is desired, continue cooking on each side to desired doneness.

  5. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels and let cool for 2 minutes. Serve with applesauce and sour cream at the table.

Notes

The exact amount of matzo meal needed will depend on how moist your vegetables are. Start with the suggested amount, then add more if needed, working in 1-tablespoon increments, until you can form patties that stick together in your hands.

Special Equipment

Cast iron skillet, food processor, cheesecloth, rimmed baking sheet

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
164 Calories
7g Fat
22g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 164
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 31mg 10%
Sodium 285mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 10mg 48%
Calcium 33mg 3%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 329mg 7%
*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.)