Potato Pancakes

Potato pancakes are a staple of German cookery and thus a regular in the restaurant and in our home – until we stopped eating gluten that is.  They are a menu favorite at the Berghoff year after year, and a recipe that our head chef Matt Reichel guards with his life.  I’d like to think our potato pancakes are a bit legendary in Chicago and thus one can imagine the void in our home when we eliminated them from our repertoire.  The original recipe includes wheat flour and so it was simply forbidden in our house.

However my kids have been begging me to make Potato pancakes for the last few years.   I know the recipe and they are labor-intensive to mix.  So I developed an easy gluten-free potato pancake recipe for my family, with simple ingredients and several variations.  It’s one of those great dishes that pleases each member of the family and goes well with breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  I plan on making these in a few weeks for Father’s Day too.

I don’t even peel the potatoes, because the peels add texture and flavor.  However if you prefer your potatoes with out the peel, you’ll need just slightly more than 1 pound of potatoes to make up for the weight lost in the peels.  Depending on your family’s taste buds there’s a number of variations – bacon, onions, or just plain pancakes are some of our favorites.


After you measure, simply chop and grate the potatoes by hand or in food processor.


Add the onions and whatever other ingredients you prefer.


I use a ¼- measuring cup to scoop out the potato mixture and transfer to skillet.  Flatten slightly with a spatula and fry on each side until brown and crisp.


Transfer to a paper towel and keep in the oven until ready to serve.  I prefer to serve mine topped with sour cream sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, or with applesauce, but feel free to use whatever toppings your family likes.  Happy cooking!

Potato Pancakes

Yield: 8 potato pancakes

Potato Pancakes


  • 1 1/8 pound russet potatoes, scrubbed, eyes removed, peeled
  • 2 eggs well beaten
  • 1 scallion, trimmed, minced (white and green parts)
  • 4 tablespoons potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • Sour cream, as needed, for garnish
  • Applesauce, as needed, for garnish
  • Cinnamon sugar, optional, for garnish


  1. Grate the potatoes on the coarsest side of a four-sided grater. Alternatively, chop the potatoes into 1-inch chunks and process them in 3 batches in a food processor fitted with the steel blade until they are finely grated but not pureed. Place grated potatoes in a colander to drain.
  2. In a 3-quart bowl add eggs, scallion, potato starch, onion power and salt. Whisk to mix well.
  3. Using folded paper towels, press down firmly on the potatoes in the colander to squeeze out liquid.
  4. Add potatoes to the egg mixture and stir to mix well.
  5. Over medium heat, add enough oil to film the bottom of a 12-inch nonstick skillet and heat until oil shimmers and a drop of water evaporates immediately. Scoop arounded ¼-cup scoop of potato mixture and transfer to skillet. Flatten slightly with a spatula. Repeat with 3 more scoops. Fry on one side until crisp and brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and fry on the other side until crisp and brown, an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel lined baking pan and place in a warm (225°F) oven.
  6. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  7. Serve pancakes plain, topped with sour cream sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, or with applesauce.
  8. Variations:
  9. Scrub potatoes well and remove eyes, but do not peel. Follow recipe steps.
  10. For plain pancakes, used peeled potatoes and omit the green onion.
  11. For bacon pancakes, add 2 tablespoons of crisp chopped bacon.




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  1. Thank you for this gluten free potato pancake recipe! I enjoy them with sliced tomatoes and a sprinkle of green onions.

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