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Vegan Potato Pancakes with Leeks

These Vegan Potato Pancakes are made with leeks, onion’s milder cousin. They are fluffy on the inside, browned on the outside – and can be made completely oil-free by cooking them in an air fryer. In the photo below, can you tell which one was air fried?

No air fryer? No worries, they can also be cooked on a pre-heated cast iron griddle/skillet, or ceramic non-stick pan. They can even be made in a stainless steel skillet, but probably would require more oil for frying.

This recipe can be made with leftover steamed or boiled potatoes. What a great way to use leftovers! Speaking of leftovers – the uncooked batter and cooked patties both store well in the refrigerator for a day or two.

Three Vegan Potato Pancakes with Leeks plated; apple sauce and tzatziki sauce in the background and a checkered napkin to the side
Vegan Potato Pancakes with Leeks served with applesauce and homemade Tzatziki Sauce. The two patties in the rear were cooked on a lightly oiled griddle; the patty in the foreground was cooked in an air fryer without any oil.

Method Overview

  • Steam potatoes and leeks; mix with rest of ingredients
  • Divide batter into 8 equal portions then form into patties
  • Cook in air fryer or on preheated cast iron griddle/skillet (or other pan)

The cooked potatoes and leeks can be pulsed in a food processor (you do not want to create a smooth paste, so only pulse a few times), or you can chop them up by hand.

They came out great when cooked in an air fryer – I didn’t use ANY oil. They also came out great when cooked on a preheated cast iron griddle (I brushed a bit of avocado oil onto the cast iron using a pastry brush).

Three Vegan Potato Pancakes with Leeks plated; apple sauce and tzatziki sauce in the background and a checkered napkin to the side
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Vegan Potato Pancakes with Leeks

Fluffy on the inside, browned on the outside – and full of that yum factor!
Course: breakfast, main course, side dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 pancakes
Calories: 81kcal

Equipment

  • food processor (see optional instructions if not using a food processor)
  • air fryer or griddle/skillet

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled, left whole or cut into equal-sized pieces
  • 2 large leeks, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices and washed (see tips for cleaning leeks below recipe card)
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flax seed (see notes)
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour blend, such as Namaste Foods brand, or other flour of your choice
  • 1/4 cup cracker or bread crumbs (I use Simple Mills brand almond crackers pulsed into crumbs using my bullet blender)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

Instructions

  • If you plan on cooking the patties on a griddle or skillet, put the pan on your stove's lowest heat setting so that it warms up while you continue with the recipe.
  • If using a food processor, put the ground flaxseed and water into the processor bowl.
    If you are not using a food processor, put the ground flaxseed and water into a large mixing bowl.
  • Steam the potatoes until they are just fork tender; don't overcook. Remove them from the steaming basket and set aside to cool down (but don't drain the water from the pan).
  • Steam the leeks for about 7 minutes or until soft. Remove the leeks from the steaming basket and let them fully cool down.
  • In the meantime, in a small bowl, mix together the flour, crumbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cumin.
  • If you're using a food processor, add the potatoes and leeks to the processor bowl, then pulse them until chopped, leaving some pieces chunky. Don't process into a paste! Using a soft spatula, scrape the potato/leek/flax mixture into a large bowl.
    No food processor? No problem! Hand chop the potatoes and leeks into small pieces then add them to the bowl with the "flax egg."
  • Fold the flour/crumbs mixture into the potatoes and leeks.
  • Form the batter into a mound, and then cut into 8 wedges.
    Form each wedge into a ball, then into a patty.
  • Cook the patties in an air fryer or on a preheated griddle/skillet as follows:
    If using an air fryer, there is no need to use any oil. Cook the patties at 400º for 10 minutes, turning halfway through.
    If cooking them on a griddle or in a skillet, brush the pan with avocado oil and turn the heat up to medium/high. Cook for about 7 minutes on each side, or until browned.
  • Serve the potato pancakes with applesauce, tzatziki sauce, or other sauces/dressings as described below.

Notes

Flaxseeds can be ground using a bullet blender (or other blender), or spice mill. Since the oil in flax turns rancid easily, store flaxseeds in the refrigerator, and leftover ground flaxseed in the freezer.

Nutrition

Calories: 81kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 112mg | Potassium: 248mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 387IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg
How do you clean leeks?

Trim off the roots, cut off the tough upper portion of the stalks, and peel off the dark-green outer leaves (save for vegetable broth if desired). Slice the remaining tender white and light-green stalks into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Drop the slices into a bowl of water; massage the leeks to release any dirt hiding between the leek layers. Let the dirt settle to the bottom of the bowl and then lift the leek slices from the water.

What can you serve potato pancakes with?

They go well with so many sauces and dressings such as applesauce, Vegan Tzatziki Sauce, Roasted Golden Beet Hummus, and Creamy Dill Sauce and Dressing. They also go great with the Buffalo Sauce, Romesco Sauce, Spicy Sriracha Tahini, Spicy Peanut Dressing, and Cucumber Dressing recipes – all in my cookbook.

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