Passover Potato Kugel

Let’s talk kugel! For those of your who are new to Jewish cooking, a kugel is a quintessentially Jewish dish that is best described as a baked pudding. The dish originated over 800 years ago in Germany and quickly became popular with Jewish families throughout Eastern Europe. There are many kinds of kugels—noodle kugels, potato kugels, sweet kugels, savory kugels. Slow cooking overnight kugels developed because Orthodox families were not allowed to cook during the hours of Shabbat. There are some terrific dairy kugel recipes that include noodles, cheese, dried fruit and spices… but during Passover, because of the kosher laws, we can’t use noodles.

For years, I searched for a pareve, noodle-free kugel recipe that could be served with meat at the Seder table. I tried many, but couldn’t seem to find one that made my taste buds happy. I resorted to creating my own, combining some of the methods I’d tried over the years. After a lot of experimentation, I finally figured out how to make a really great potato kugel.

While most kugels are dessert-type dishes, originally kugels were prepared savory rather than sweet. My Passover Potato Kugel recipe is savory; it’s crispy on the top and soft inside. In true “Ashkephardic” style, I’ve added some delicious Sephardic Middle Eastern spices to a basic Ashkenazi potato kugel. The result is a truly unique and delicious side dish for your Seder table.

The “chicken” consommé powder called for in the recipe is actually not made of chicken at all. It’s a common vegetarian ingredient in Jewish cooking that adds a savory, salty flavor to the dish without the need for meat. You can find it in the kosher section of the grocery store and at most Middle Eastern markets. If you can’t find the chicken powder, substitute it with an additional 1/2 tsp of salt.

Note: I am always working to improve my recipes. Since originally posting this recipe, I have modified it slightly by decreasing the salt and adding cayenne pepper for spice. If you don’t like a spicy flavor, omit the cayenne.

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Passover Potato Kugel

ingredients

  • 5 lbs. russet potatoes (about 10 large baking sized potatoes)
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chicken consomme powder (vegetarian product)
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp black or white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal
  • Extra virgin olive oil

You will also need

  • Hand grater or food processor with grating attachment, electric hand mixer or immersion blender
Prep Time: 15 - 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 60 - 70 Minutes
Servings: 15 servings
Kosher Key: Pareve, Kosher for Passover
  • Peel the potatoes, then use a food processor or hand grater to grate them. Place grated potatoes into a colander and press down on them with a potato masher or your hands to squeeze out the excess water.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whip together the eggs, salt, paprika, cumin, chicken powder, turmeric, pepper and cayenne with an immersion blender or electric hand mixer till ingredients are well combined and eggs are frothy.
  • Place grated potatoes in a large bowl. Add seasoned eggs and matzo meal to the bowl. Use your hands to mix all ingredients together till well combined; it should take about 3 minutes of mixing time.
  • Grease a 9x12 baking dish with olive oil. Put potato mixture into the baking dish, then drizzle a couple tablespoons of olive oil across the top.
  • Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 60-70 minutes until the top is nicely browned. Serve hot from the oven.

Comments (45)Post a Comment

  1. I tried this recipe last night because like you, I never liked kugel and always wanted to! Yours is by far the best I’ve tasted. Thank you!

  2. What is different about this recipe than typical Kugel? I’m new to this style of cooking. So I wouldn’t know the difference. Thanks for clarifying!

    1. Hi Betsy, great question. Kugels come in all sorts of varieties. Most are made with noodles or potatoes, and the majority are sweetly flavored. This recipe is a potato kugel with a savory/salty flavor. It’s kosher for Passover (unlike a noodle kugel) and it’s spiced differently than your average potato kugel, which is generally pretty bland. I used some Middle Eastern spices in this recipe to give the kugel more flavor/interest. It would make a great side dish for a Passover celebration.

      If you’ve never tried kugel before, you might want to start with a sweet noodle one. I’ll be posting some noodle kugel recipes after Passover. :)

      Aprnstrngs, so glad you had a chance to try the kugel! Isn’t it delish??

  3. Can this kugel recipe be made in advance and frozen? I will be away and coming home the first night of Passover. I can have someone “thaw out my freezer” for me. All of my recipes have to be freezable! I also have a vegetarian coming to seder. Sort of complicated this year! Have a good Pesach Tori!

  4. Shiksa, you are seriously missing onions here….they are the corner stone of Ashkenazi cuisine….I would add at least 1 grated with the potatoes. Chag Sameach!

    1. Hey Rachel! I developed this kugel after a LOT of experimentation with savory kugels– most had onions, which as you point out is more traditional to Ashkenazi cuisine. I prefer this particular “Ashkephardic” kugel without the onions, but that is my own personal taste. The Sephardic spices add a lot of flavor, and I found that adding the onions left a strange aftertaste for me. That said, you can most certainly add onion in if you think you’ll miss it. Cooking is all about adding your own personal touch, so by all means go ahead and give it a try! Chag Pesach Sameach, have a terrific holiday. :)

  5. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Made this for Passover and everyone loved it, thank you for sharing. :)

    By the way, it’s also a fantastic recipe to make in the form of potato latkes pan fried in olive oil!

    1. It is not recommended to freeze potato dishes, as it can give the potatoes an undesirable texture. To make 1 day ahead, pre-bake the kugel till it’s about 80 percent baked, then let it cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Before you serve, pop it in the oven at 350 degrees F till it is baked all the way through and golden brown on top, then serve.

  6. Will it work with Yukon Gold potatoes? I just bought a five lb. bag of those. Also, can you omit the “chicken consomme powder,” or substitute with a tsp of low salt chicken bouillon? I’d like to reduce the salt a bit because my husband has high blood pressure.

    1. Hi Marlene, Yukon Golds will work great. Use low sodium chicken bouillon, if you need to– I wouldn’t omit it completely, it adds a lot to the flavor.

  7. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Thanks for great recipe. I dislike bland kugel and used the spices you suggested. I also used yams instead of white potatoes. I didn’t have matzo meal so I mixed one packet of matzoh ball mix (1/2 cup) with the eggs and spices. Also I cooked it ahead of time, won’t freeze it but will reheat it covered.

  8. Love this kugel so easy to add in veggies. For a sweet try pineapple chunks and rasins minus the onion chicken and cumin.

  9. All the chicken consomme powders I’ve seen (Osem, in particular), have corn starch in them and can’t be used on Passover. Do you have a recommendation for a substitute that won’t take away from the flavor?

  10. Thanks! I stumbled upon an Osem consomme that is kosher for Pesach while at the market last night. So I’m heading to my kitchen now, making some kugel to take to Shabbat dinner tomorrow. Cheers.

  11. I will be cooking for 125-150, and wondered if this recipe could be made with frozen, shredded hashbrowns instead of grating oh…approx 50 lbs of potatoes!

    1. Hi Peggy, if making ahead I would pre-bake the kugel till it’s about 80 percent baked, then let it cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Before the Seder, pop it in the oven at 350 degrees F till it is baked all the way through and golden brown on top, then serve. Enjoy!

  12. I’d like to add broccoli. How do you recommend doing this? Precook small pieces of florets? Or frozen not precooked? Thank you

  13. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    This looks delicious! Can it be made ahead, frozen then thawed/reheated? My oven is small (only 1 rack) so I have to get creative.

  14. Well, other individuals must have different taste buds than my family does. I was politely asked to never cook this again by my husband and everyone else at the table seconded that. I will go back to my tried and true recipe for potato kugel from my “Kosher for Design” cookbook.

  15. Tori:
    Looks good! Think I can use sweet potatoes (so much healthier) instead? Perhaps then cut back on the sugar?
    Todah Rabah!

    1. Hi Betsy– I think you could, but this is a savory kugel so there is no sugar in it. The sweet potatoes might taste good, but I haven’t tried it myself I can’t give you a definitive answer. If you try it please let us know!

  16. Hi! Thanks fir the recipe. I don’t like using artificial powders consome. Can I use a little bit of real chicken broth?

    1. Hi Andreia, there are some all-natural consomme powders out there. I don’t recommend chicken broth here as it will add liquid to the mixture and may potentially make it soggy.

  17. Shiksa! After too many decades of eating potato kugel and loving every moment … lol Finally one that is my favorite! Coming from Austrian Jewish lineage, the women well-known for their unique take on Jewish cuisine, also different from the basic Ashkenazic recipes, I have recently discovered the wonders of Separdic cuisine….much easier for me to tailer to also living a gluten-free protocol. Who needs onions? !!

  18. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    I think I may have over-cooked this dish; it was very crusty on top. Also, I would double the salt – it needed a lot of salt – and cut back on the matzo meal. All in all, it wasn’t very tasty and the potatoes turned brown so it didn’t look at all like it does in these pictures. Darn.

    1. Hi Ruthie, I’m sorry to hear that. I always err with cooking with less salt because some people are salt sensitive, and you can always add more. Next time you make a potato kugel, try soaking the shredded potatoes in cold water till you’re ready to use them, this will help keep them fresh and white till you cook them.

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