Latkes Remixed: Sweet Potato, Parsnip, and Apple

One of the things I miss most about college are the latkes that graced every Jewish holiday celebrated at the campus Hillel. Hours upon hours were spent in the kitchen preparing hundreds of latkes that would vanish from the large platters before they had the chance to lose that fresh-from-the-skillet crisp exterior. For me, latkes are still a comfort food, although one I have enjoyed less regularly since the end of my college years.

While the traditional latke still holds a fond place in my heart, the concept is so simple it’s hard not to experiment every once in a while with a twist on tradition. This recipe was sparked by the following post on Well+Good, one of my favorite health and fitness blogs. As I started to gather my ingredients, I noticed a sweet potato on the counter, left over from a sweet-potato-for-breakfast binge a couple weeks earlier. The sweet, starchy potato adds back that quintessential latke feeling, while maintaining the healthier-and-different-tasting vibe of these remixed latkes.

They taste best right out of the oven, but can also be stored in the fridge or even frozen, then re-heated in the microwave or toaster oven. I don’t mind a bit of char around the edges, but if you prefer your latkes singe-free, take care to keep the edges neat (no stray shavings poking out an an angle) when shaping them. And, of course, while you can enjoy them as is, I highly recommend topping with some plain greek yogurt/sour cream and applesauce to complete the latke experience.


3 medium gala apples

1 large sweet potato

3 medium parsnips

2 eggs

fresh ground black pepper

cooking spray


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Peel the skin from the sweet potato, remove tops from parsnips, and cut/core the apples. Using a grater, shred the sweet potato, parsnips, and apples into a large bowl.

Grated sweet potato

Grated sweet potato

Grated parsnip

Grated parsnip

Grated apple

Grated apple

Whisk eggs together in a small bowl, then pour over the mixture. Grate pepper on top to taste, then mix until egg completely coats the sweet potato, parsnip, and apple gratings. I recommend using your hands for maximum egg-coverage, but you could also use a fork.

Spray 2-3 baking sheets with cooking oil. Form the egg-coated mixture into palm-sized patties and place on the baking sheet, leaving about 1/4 inch on all sides. Note that the larger the patties, the more likely they will fall apart when removed from the baking sheet.

Latkes ready for the oven

Latkes ready for the oven! If you want to avoid charred edges, remove any stray pieces of sweet potato, parsnip, or apple from each latke before baking.

Bake until fully cooked, about 20 minutes. While still hot, remove from baking sheet.

Fully cooked latkes.

Fully cooked latkes.

Serve immediately, or let cool on a plate and then refrigerate or freeze.


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