Last updated on November 8th, 2019.
A super easy recipe for Sweet Potato Latkes (potato fritters) with a cumin-garlic yogurt sauce. These are pan-fried and easy to make with just a few ingredients. The creamy, flavorful yogurt sauce is a MUST – do not skip it!! Make these for Hanukkah and year-round.
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What are latkes?
Latkes are potato pancakes, or potato fritters, and they go by many different names depending on the culture. Many ethnic groups and religions have some kind of fried potato as their traditional food. The reason for this is that it is filling, affordable, and tasty.
Latkes can have many different shapes and textures. They can be made from mashed potatoes, grated raw potatoes, spiralized potatoes. They can be made with onions, leeks, or just salt and pepper. They can be pancake-shaped or shaped like a croquette (similar shape to a mozzarella stick). They can be pan-fried or deep-fried.
Latkes are often served with sour cream or apple sauce on top.
The possibilities are endless.
So with that said, why not add another little twist to latkes and make Sweet Potato Latkes??
I love sweet potatoes in a savory recipe. Personally, I don’t like marshmallow-topped sweet potato dishes.
I also love crispy sweet potatoes. None of that mushy sweet potato business for me.
So for those reasons these Sweet Potato Latkes are perfect for me! They are savory and have a delicious flavor thanks to the fusion of sauteed leeks with the sweetness of the potatoes. They are pan-fried to crispy perfection, which means that they are not dripping with grease from being deep fried.
I also made another twist to the traditional latke topping, and made a zesty yogurt sauce instead of serving them with sour cream. And personally, I think topping latkes with applesauce is disgusting – I am a creamy topping gal all the way! But some people think sour cream is gross.. so it’s all good. You do you.
When you top these leek and sweet potato latkes with a delicious Cumin-Lemon Yogurt topping, the flavor combination is just out of this world. The lemony, savory, smoky, slightly salty creamy yogurt sauce is the perfect topping for these little potato fritters. And the great part is that the sauce is made from Greek yogurt, so it is actually very healthy.
When to serve these Leek and Sweet Potato Latkes:
Latkes are often served for Hanukkah in Jewish homes. They can be the main course, or a side dish along some roast lamb. It’s best to have a few toppings for Latkes if you’re having a bunch of people over – just put out a bowl of applesauce, sour cream, and the Garlic-Cumin Lemon Yogurt Sauce from this recipe. You can have ketchup available too, if you’ve got kids who put ketchup on everything.
But Latkes should not be limited to Hanukkah only – they are great year-round too. They make a great side dish for any dinner.
And in my family, we often had these as an after-school snack, or as a light meal to hold us over until dinner. My mom or grandma would fry these up and we would just hang out in the kitchen waiting for them to be done.
They were hot, and we would blow on them to eat them faster, because we couldn’t wait to bite into these latkes.
Latkes are best served hot and fresh, just like any pan-fried food. They have the best texture that way. If you need to reheat latkes, just preheat the oven to 350F and bake them for about 5-10 minutes on a baking sheet to warm them up.
How to make Sweet Potato Latkes:
The worst part of this recipe is grating the sweet potatoes, I’m not gonna lie. If you’ve got a food processor or an electric grater of some sort to speed up this process, I say USE IT. Don’t be lazy, bring it out. I have this Salad Shooter that I got at a garage sale, and it’s been a game changer for grating potatoes for latkes and hashbrowns, and for shredding large amounts of cheese.
Otherwise, just get a good old boxed grater (such as this one) and go to town. Boxed graters are more steady and are definitely easier for grating potatoes. In reality, it only takes about 5 minutes to grate a pound of sweet potatoes, but it just feels like forever.
The rest of the recipe is super easy: saute chopped leeks for about 5 minutes. Make sure you rinse the chopped leeks really well – leeks trap dirt really easily and do not get cleaned thoroughly if you wash them whole. I like using a salad spinner to really dry the leaks so they don’t get soggy while you’re being cooked. You can also blot the chopped leeks with a paper towel after rinsing.
Then combine the grated sweet potato, sauteed leek, eggs, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and mix well.
You can form latkes by hand or by using an ice cream scoop with a release mechanism. Just grab about 1/4 cup of the sweet potato mixture, squeeze the extra liquid into a separate bowl (this will be discarded), form a rough patty and put it in a preheated skillet with oil to cook.
The latkes need about 3-5 minutes per side to cook – just watch until they turn golden brown and then flip them over. You don’t want to flip these too many times because they might start falling apart.
When the latkes are cooked on both sides, set them aside on a large plate while you finish cooking the rest of the mixture.
Once you get going, you’ll get into a groove and these will be ready in about 15 minutes, depending on the size of your skillet and how well it distributes heat.
You can mix together the Greek yogurt sauce while the latkes are cooking. I would recommend using fresh squeezed lemon juice for the sauce – this will make for a more vibrant and fresh flavor.
You might also love these other Sweet Potato Recipes:
- Sweet Potato Leek Soup
- Sweet Potato and Sausage Skillet
- Sweet Potato Pulled Pork Hash
- Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Black Bean Stuffing
- Shrimp and Sweet Potato Coconut Curry
See my full list of Sweet Potato Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, please let me know with a comment and a star rating below! And don’t forget to save it on Pinterest for later:
Leek and Sweet Potato Latkes with Cumin-Garlic Yogurt Sauce
Sweet Potato Latkes
- 3 sweet potatoes , medium (1.5 lb total), scrubbed clean
- 2 cups leeks , thinly sliced and thoroughly rinsed (white and light green parts)
- 1/4 cup olive oil , divided
- 2 eggs
- Salt to taste (about 1/2 tablespoon), pepper to taste
Cumin-Garlic Yogurt Sauce
- 1/2 cup plain fat free Greek yogurt (low-fat plain Greek yogurt can be used too)
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- 1 tablespoon chives or scallions
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Sweet Potato Latkes
- Grate the sweet potatoes into a large bowl. This is the hardest part of the recipe since sweet potatoes are so tough. Hang in there.
- In a small pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the sliced leeks. Saute leeks for about 5 minutes over medium heat, or until they are softened and just start to brown (don't let them burn).
- Add the leeks, eggs, salt, and pepper to the bowl of grated sweet potatoes, and mix well.
- Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet, and fry the latkes in batches of ~4-6, depending on the size of your skillet. To form the latkes, grab a scant 1/4 cup of sweet potato mixture and use your hang to squeeze the liquid out into an extra bowl. Form a 3-inch rough patty, and place it on the griddle. Cook about 3-5 minutes per side, until each side is nicely browned. Set aside while cooking the rest of the latkes.
Cumin-Garlic Yogurt Sauce
- Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and mix well. Serve over Sweet Potato Latkes.