Butternut Squash Latkes

This is such a great take on the classic latke, and what great timing with Hanukkah around the corner. Latkes are a popular food eaten during Hanukkah, which is December 16th to December 24th. They’re similar to pancakes, with a variety of optional toppings on the side, such as applesauce and sour cream, which are a must! Check out those recipes as well. Traditionally, latkes are made from potatoes. I don’t do much cooking with white potatoes anymore because I prefer the boost of nutrition from more colorful foods, such as a sweet potato or butternut squash.

What Nutritional Benefit Does Butternut Squash Provide?

Low in fat and cholesterol, butternut squash delivers an ample dose of dietary fiber, making it an exceptionally heart-friendly choice. Butternut squash is high in potassium and magnesium, and with a 1-cup serving, you get nearly half the recommended daily dose of antioxidant-rich vitamin C. 

Squash's tangerine color indicates an abundance of powerhouse nutrients known as carotenoids, which are shown to protect against heart disease. In particular, butternut squash boasts very high levels of beta-carotene, which your body automatically converts to vitamin A. Beta-carotene has been identified as a deterrent against breast cancer and age-related macular degeneration, as well as a supporter of healthy lung development in fetuses and newborns.

Why are Latkes Eaten during Hanukkah?

Hanukkah is the festival of lights, and this holiday commemorates a miracle that occurred with oil. There was only enough oil to burn the Menorah, which is a type of candelabra, for one night, but miraculously when the Menorah was lit, it stayed lit for eight straight days, the exact time it took to press fresh oil. Many felt it was a miracle sent from above, and still do to this day. Because of the miracle of the Menorah, Jewish people deep fry much of their foods in oil when celebrating Hanukkah.

Butternut Squash Latkes

1 2 lb. butternut squash, peeled and grated (about 6 cups)

1 medium onion, grated (about 1 cup)

3 eggs

Salt and pepper, to taste

Oil, for frying

Ginger applesauce, for garnish (recipe below)

Curried sour cream, for garnish (recipe below)

Scallions, for garnish


The secret to great latkes is to remove as much liquid from the butternut squash and onions as possible. Place the grated squash on a clean paper or hand towel and squeeze the liquid out of the mixture. Do the same for the grated onions.

Add grated squash, onion, eggs, salt and pepper to a bowl and mix well. Heat up oil in a frying pan and place spoonful’s of mixture into hot oil. Fry the latkes until they’re nicely browned on one side, turn carefully and cook until browned on the other side and crisp on the edges. Remove with a spatula and place on paper towels. Let the excess grease drain onto the paper towel. Serve immediately for the best taste. You can keep the latkes hot in a warm oven. Serve with sour cream and applesauce.

Ginger Applesauce

8 honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 cup apple juice or water
juice of 1 lemon
1 2″ piece fresh ginger, peeled
2 cinnamon sticks
3-4 Tbsp honey or maple syrup


Add all ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove ginger and serve. Note: If you find the applesauce too chunky, mash it with a fork.

Curried Sour Cream

1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp curry powder


Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix to incorporate. Serve over latkes with applesauce.

Happy Hanukkah!

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

Recipe courtesy of Busy in Brooklyn 

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