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Ricotta Latkes

Hardware | Software | Procedure

My version of Italian-style Hanukkah latkes is light and savory thanks to a ricotta base flavored with fresh herbs and lemon zest.

Prior to Columbus’ famed voyage across the ocean blue in 1492, there were no potatoes in Europe; so no, this Hanukkah staple was not originally made with spuds. Sicilian Jews made latkes with ricotta, resulting in a fluffy, savory pancake worthy of celebration. Here’s my take.

This recipe first appeared on Season 1 of Good Eats: The Return.

Active Time: 40 min

Yield: 10 latkes

Total Time: 8 hr 40 min (includes draining time)


Food processor

Electric griddle



  • 15 ounces whole-milk ricotta
  • 70 grams all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup parsley-leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Nonstick cooking spray, for the griddle


  1. Tightly wrap the ricotta in cheesecloth and drain in the fridge overnight.
  2. Whisk the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Spin the ricotta in a food processor fitted with the standard S-blade for 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until completely smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in the buttermilk and eggs.
  4. Sift the dry ingredients into the ricotta mixture and follow with the herbs, lemon zest and a few rasps of nutmeg. Fold with a rubber spatula until just combined.
  5. Heat an electric griddle to 350 degrees F. Lightly apply nonstick cooking spray, then drop 1/4 cup of the batter on the griddle for each latke. Working in 2 batches, cook until browned, flipping only once, 5 minutes per side.


Add yours
  1. 2

    For those questioning the fact that the flour is in grams, there is an episode where he explains that it is a more accurate way to measure things like flour that can be compacted. That being said, I doubt that level of precision is required for recipes like this, but it can make a big difference in many baking recipes. You need a very precise scale though, I quickly determined that my cheap kitchen scale is far less accurate than measuring by volume.

  2. 3
    Sandi Haslett

    It didn’t work for me to only cook these for 5 minutes. I found my old gauge for telling if pancakes were done is to wait for all the bubbles to pop. That method worked very well for me.

  3. 4
    Sandi Haslett

    Todd–my first attempt with this recipe used a gluten free flour, so I’m sure it would work with almond flour. You might have to play around with the recipe and adjust the amount of flour, but it should work.

  4. 5
    Sandi Haslett

    The 15 oz containers ricotta that I found at my local supermarket all had added ingredients. The only container of the 3-ingredient ricotta was a 28 oz container. I had to convert, after figuring out that it was 15 oz by weight not liquid measurement. But, I did eventually figure it out and got the recipe to work. Nice change from the sweet cottage cheese latkes that I usually make. Thanks, Alton, for the recipe.

  5. 6
    John K

    Must be a rookie recipe writer. You never mix measurement systems… well not unless you built the Mars Climate Orbiter… and THAT didn’t work out too well!

  6. 7

    Melissa, I’m owned by a green cheek conure, and I have a stainless steel electric skillet I use for my pancake/griddle needs. I also have a vintage griddle that’s not nonstick, but those are hard to come by. 🙂

  7. 8

    First thing I did when I started cooking was buy a small scale. Ive found that recipes with measurements by weight are far more accurate that measurements by volume, as different levels of compactness can affect those proportions greatly.

  8. 10
    Melissa L Moore

    I would love to try this but due to having a parrot I can not use non-stick cookware like an electric griddle. Does anyone know the approximate setting to use a cast iron skillet on an electric stovetop to get 350°?

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