Passover is just around the corner and that means tradition, ceremonial dinners and matzah. Finding foods suitable to comply with dietary laws is always a challenge, but our potato kugel recipe is one you’ll want to have.
Extra virgin olive oil replaces schmaltz (commonly known as chicken fat) and Russet potatoes make our kugel lighter and fluffier than most potato kugels. We also made our own matzah meal (with the help of a food processor and kosher matzah) and discovered our recipe delivers big time when it comes to freezing ahead of time.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with kugel, here are a few basics you might want to know. ‘Kugel’ is a Yiddish word meaning ‘ball.’ The dish was first conceived with basic ingredients of starch, eggs and chicken fat. Bread dumplings steamed like pudding and sautéed onions were eventually added for flavor.
Potatoes became popular as an inexpensive filling that was readily available to the poor. Noodles, eggs and cheese sweetened with sugar and cinnamon soon evolved into a deliciously sweet noodle pudding that we love to eat.
You don’t have to be celebrating Passover to make kugel—it’ll make a meal special any time of the year.
potato kugel recipe
- 1 1/2 lbs Russet potatoes, baking, about 3 medium
- 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and cut into chunks
- 3 large eggs, well beaten
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/3 cup matzah meal
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place an 8" x 8" baking dish inside to get nice and hot while the oven is preheating.
- Peel the potatoes and drop them into a bowl of cool water to prevent them from turning brown while you’re working. Attach the grater wheel to a food processor and shred the potatoes, working as quickly as possible. Once all of the potatoes are grated, remove them from the food processor and place them in a colander to drain.
- Next, remove the grater attachment from the food processor and switch to the steel blade. Add the onions (and any pieces of potato that did not shred properly) into the food processor and pulse until very small, but not liquified. Transfer the onions to a large mixing bowl then set aside.
- Cover the shredded potatoes with a paper towel, pressing down firmly with your hands to extract as much liquid from them as possible. Allow any of the liquid that is removed from the potatoes to drain away.
- Once you have removed as much liquid as possible from the potatoes, remove the paper towel. Add the potatoes to the bowl containing the onions and mix well—once the onions and the potatoes have been combined, you no longer have to worry about the potatoes turning brown so quickly.
- Add the eggs, salt, pepper and matzah meal to the mixture and stir until completely incorporated.
- Once the oven is preheated, remove the hot casserole dish from the oven and add 2 tbsp of olive oil to the bottom of the baking dish. Carefully tip the dish to allow the oil to coat the bottom.
- Slowly and carefully pour in the kugel mixture, spreading evenly.
- Drizzle the remaining tbsp of extra virgin olive oil over the top of the kugel and return it to the oven. Bake for 45−55 minutes or until deeply brown and crispy on the top and edges.
- Remove from the oven, allow the kugel to rest for 10−15 minutes then serve warm. Enjoy!
Place peeled potatoes in cool water to prevent them from turning brown while you’re working.