Even for the fiercest fried potato enthusiast, eight days of latkes can be a whole lotta latke. (Speaking from experience, here.)

One way to switch it up is, of course, to alter the essential being of the latkes themselves: You could strengthen the standard grated potato with persimmon or sweet potato, onion, and parsnip. Or you could dredge them in panko breadcrumbs or forgo the potatoes for beets and carrots. (Are these still latkes? You be the judge.)

But it's much easier to dress your latkes in new clothes rather than alter their essential personality. (Note to myself: Remember this for New Year's resolution season.)

Clockwise from top: latke as falafel, as pancake, as latke, as toast, as brioche & as baked potato. | (James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

Since potatoes are so versatile (I can't say I haven't referred to them as "the blank canvas of tubers" more than once), there are few spreads and sprouts latkes won't play nicely with — though their deviation from "the classic" might make your bubbe scratch her head. Fry a big batch of your favorite latkes (or whatever kind you end up with) at the beginning of the week, then switch out the toppings every night of Hanukkah.

You'll avoid latke fatigue and will only have to rid your home of that frying smell once (unless you decide to make sufganiyot, too).

How to get the smell of frying out of your kitchen

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

8 latke problems for every night of Hanukkah (and how to fix them all)

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

Inspired by the latke toppings at Mile End Deli (green goddess sour cream, tobiko caviar sour cream, whipped tofu, spicy za'atar hummus, chopped liver, etc. etc. etc.), we came up with 8 more ways change up your latke treatment.

Think of your latkes as...

Baked potatoes:

  • Pickled onions
  • Chopped chives or scallions
  • Black beans
  • Sour cream or grated cheddar

$10 toast:

  • Mashed avocado
  • Herbs of your choosing
  • A squirt of Sriracha (in true "cool food" fashion) or lemon juice
  • A sprinkling of savory granola

Thai-spiced savory granola

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

Zahav's hummus tehina

(Bobbi Lin/Courtesy Food52)


  • Hummus
  • Schug (a Yemeni hot sauce)
  • Slaw and/or pickled vegetables


  • Pumpkin or apple butter
  • Pumpkin or sunflower seeds, chopped nuts, granola, or crushed brittle

Paul Virant's pumpkin butter

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

Cheese latkes

(Mark Weinberg/Courtesy Food52)


If you're going this route, you might as well hark back to the original latke: potato-free, enriched with cream cheese and ricotta, and strongly resembling the inside of a blintz.

  • Pat of butter
  • Maple syrup (or a plop of jam or compote)
  • Cinnamon-sugar

French fries:

  • Ketchup (make it yourself the easy way)
  • Vinegar
  • Mustard? (Why not!)


Green goddess dressing

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

Judy Rogers' roasted applesauce (and savory apple charlottes)

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

Latkes (well, duh!):

Okay, not so wacky, but paying homage to the classic is also important.

  • Applesauce (maybe even roasted applesauce)
  • Pear sauce
  • Thanksgivukkah will not happen again in your lifetime — but that shouldn't stop us from putting cranberry sauce on latkes
  • Sour cream, crème fraîche, yogurt, labneh, another creamy dairy product

If you're wondering how to make all those latkes ahead of time, skip refrigeration, which is a one-way ticket to Mushville, U.S.A. Instead, take a tip from Kim Severson, who freezes her latkes in a single layer on baking sheets before transferring them to resealable plastic bag; when she's ready to serve them, she reheats in a 425° F for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping once, until deeply golden-brown.

This story was originally published on Food52.com: 8 wacky ways to top a latke (don't tell bubbe)