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Boxty Recipe (Irish Potato Pancakes)

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A staple of Irish households for centuries, my boxty recipe recreates that beloved crispy on the outside, smooth on the inside texture that sets these traditional Irish potato pancakes apart from similar dishes.

Especially if you have some leftover mashed potato, this is a simple, filling, and flavorsome side you can serve with so many mains and dishes.

Boxty (Irish Potato Pancakes)

Boxty Recipe

Boxty (Irish Potato Pancakes) pin

What is Boxty?

At its purest, a boxty is a potato pancake. Traditionally, there are several ways to make boxty in Ireland. These include the ‘boxty bread’ method, where the potatoes are grated, left to drain, combined with leftover mash, and baked; the pan frying method, where the batter is scooped into cakes and fried; and the ‘boiled boxty’ method, where the boxty is boiled.

The first known published recipe dates back to 1854 in Ireland, and today, along with being a go-to staple in many households, the dish is synonymous with St. Brigid’s Day, who is the patron saint of dairy. Boxty is made on this day, along with many other traditional Irish dishes that use dairy, including bannocks.

A Note About My Recipe

While my recipe closely follows the pan-fried ‘griddle cake’ method, I am in no way claiming this to be the traditional way to make boxty. As mentioned above, boxty can take on many forms, and households across Ireland will have their own tweaks and additional ingredients for their boxty recipe.

As with all my recipes, I have done my best here to honor the traditional methods while delivering a flavorsome potato pancake. This is my take on boxty, and I really hope you, your family, and dinner guests enjoy this Irish classic at home.

Ingredients

So, let’s get started with my boxty recipe. You’ll first need the following ingredients:

Boxty (Irish Potato Pancakes) ingredients on a board
  • Mashed Potatoes – 1 1/2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • Grated Raw Potato – 1 1/2 cups peeled and grated raw potatoes (about 380 grams/13.5oz of potatoes before peeling and grating them)
  • Flour – 1 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
  • Baking Powder – 1 tsp baking powder
  • Milk – 1/3 cup milk
  • Eggs – 2 eggs
  • Green Onions/Scallions – 2 (optional) green onions/scallions
  • Butter – 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Oil – 3 tbsp neutral-tasting oil (sunflower, light olive oil, vegetable)
  • Salt – to taste

Ingredient Notes

Green Onions/Scallions – They are optional. I personally prefer the boxty with scallions. If you skip the scallions, you can also serve these potato pancakes as a sweet option with icing sugar (confectioners powdered sugar) on top.

Leftover Mash – I had leftover Irish champ (mashed potatoes with scallions), so I used that instead of plain mashed potatoes (in case you’re wondering why the leftover mashed potatoes in the photo above have scallions in them). The mash will help make the boxty fluffy and soft on the inside.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1. Peel and grate the potatoes.

Grating the peeled potatoes in a large bowl, using a box grater.

Step 2. Add about 1 tsp salt to the grated potatoes and let them sit and drain in a colander or sieve over a bowl for about 10 minutes.

Draining the grated potatoes

Step 3. Then, squeeze as much liquid as possible out of them, either with your hands or with a cheesecloth (as shown in the image).

Squeezing the liquid out of the grated potatoes

Step 4. To a large mixing bowl, add the drained grated raw potato, the mashed potatoes, beaten eggs, 1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste), chopped green onions, and milk. Mix everything until combined.

Mixing the grated potatoes with the mash and other liquid ingredients

Step 5. Add the baking powder to the flour and mix.

Adding baking powder to the flour

Step 6. Add the flour and baking powder mix to the mixing bowl with the potatoes and lightly fold the flour in until the potatoes and flour are combined.

Mixing in flour and potatoes
Boxty batter

Step 7. To a pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp of light olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter. I used a cast-iron pan, but you can use any pan you have at home.

Oil and butter in a pan

Step 8. Once the oil and butter are hot, add a little over a scoop of the potato batter and shape it so that it is as round as possible.

Frying the boxty

Step 9. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on medium-high (or if it’s browning too fast, adjust the heat to medium) and then flip, lower the heat to medium, and cook (ideally covered) until golden on the second side and cooked through (about 3-4 minutes).

Frying the boxty
Frying the boxty

Step 10. Repeat steps 7-9 until you’ve cooked all the potato pancakes. This recipe yields about 12 pancakes. You may have an extra one or two (for the chef :))!

Frying the boxty

What to Serve with Boxty

Serve about 2-3 pancakes per person. This recipe makes about 4 servings if serving 3 pancakes per person or 6 servings if serving 2 per person.

Boxty on a plate

Naturally, as these are potato pancakes, the choices are endless when it comes to serving them with other dishes. Here are a few ideas, some of which are traditional Irish combinations:

Breakfast – Traditionally, boxtys were served with lots of butter and hot tea for breakfast.

Bacon and Eggs – As an extension of this, crispy bacon and eggs, done many ways, including fried and poached, make for a hearty Irish breakfast. Boxty can even be used as part of the traditional full Irish breakfast.

Sour Cream/Yogurt – Cold dips, creams, and yogurts make for a balanced pairing, and you’ll find recipes that include everything from sour cream to Greek yogurt to creme fraiche.

Meat and Gravy – You’ll find many dishes, both online and in cookbooks, that pair boxty with some type of meat, often roast beef, and a thick, onion-based gravy. A side of roasted vegetables is also commonly included.

Boxty on a plate

Boxtys are warm and filling, while their crispy exterior and softer interior make for a very satisfying mouthful. I’ll let your imagination run wild when it comes to what you serve them with.

I really hope you and your loved ones enjoy this Irish staple. Let me know in the comments what you thought and how you served them.

Boxty (Irish potato pancakes)

Recipe Card

Boxty (Irish Potato Pancakes)

5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Author: Nomad Paradise
Servings: 12 potato pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and grated raw potatoes about 380 grams or 13.5oz of potatoes before peeling and grating them
  • 1 cup all-purpose plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 green onions/scallions optional
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp neutral-tasting oil sunflower, light olive oil, vegetable
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • Peel and grate the potatoes.
  • Add about 1 tsp salt to the grated potatoes and let them sit and drain in a colander or sieve over a bowl for about 10 minutes.
  • Then squeeze as much liquid as possible out of them, either with your hands or with a cheesecloth (as shown in the recipe images).
  • To a large mixing bowl, add the drained grated raw potato, the mashed potatoes, beaten eggs, 1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste), chopped green onions (optional), and milk. Mix everything until combined.
  • Add the baking powder to the flour and mix.
  • Add the flour and baking powder mix to the mixing bowl with the potatoes and lightly fold the flour in until the potatoes and flour are combined.
  • To a pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp of light olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter. I used a cast-iron pan, but you can use any pan you have at home.
  • Once the oil and butter are hot, add a little over a scoop of the potato batter and shape it so that it is as round as possible.
  • Cook for about 2-3 minutes on medium-high (or if it’s browning too fast, adjust the heat to medium) and then flip, lower the heat to medium, and cook (ideally covered) until golden on the second side and cooked through (about 3-4 minutes).
  • Repeat steps 7-9 until you’ve cooked all the potato pancakes. This recipe yields about 12 pancakes. You may have an extra one or two (for the chef)!

Recipe Notes

Green onions/scallions are optional. I personally prefer them with scallions. If you skip the scallions, you can also serve these potato pancakes as a sweet option with icing sugar (confectioners powdered sugar) on top
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nomadparadisefood or tag #nomadparadisefood!

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Authors

  • Doina Johnson is a recipe developer and writer. Doina has been cooking for most of her life, and her style draws from many different influences. She cooked with her mother and grandma growing up in Eastern Europe, before adding modern, western influences to her style when living in the United States for about a decade. Then, she traveled full-time for several years, trying food in Europe, Asia, and South America, and bringing those influences into her own cooking. She strives to introduce passionate homecooks to world cuisine, generally by trying the food herself abroad and then recreating it at home and, at times, enlisting the help of local foodies and chefs.

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  • Hey there! We are Dale and Doina, the founders of Nomad Paradise. We traveled full-time for over three years, and while we now have a home base in the U.K., continue to take trips abroad to visit new places and try new cuisines and foods. Our food guides are curated with the guidance of local foodies, and their contribution is indicated under each article. We also cook the foods we try abroad, and you can discover how to make them in our 'recipes from around the world' category.

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5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)
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