classic potato kugel
Photo credit Doug Schneider

Classic Potato Kugel

A grandmother's recipe offers an easy route to this classic Ashkenazi dish.

Potato kugel is such a classic Ashkenazi holiday and Shabbat dish, but I never grew up eating it. We had sweet and savory noodle kugels at my grandmothers house on Rosh Hashanah, but it wasn’t until I started dating my now-husband that I tasted and fell in love with potato kugel during the first Sukkot I spent with his family.

It wasn’t just any potato kugel, it was his grandmother’s potato kugel, Baba Billie of blessed memory. I ate my weight in rich brisket and kugels that holiday and learned my lesson about moderation of Ashkenazi food, no matter how delicious it may be. I still have flashbacks of that stomach ache.

I cannot take any credit for this recipe, it is 110% Baba Billie, and my husband who has worked to recreate the dish and write it down. I hope it will bring other kugel-less homes as much joy as it has brought mine.

Don’t get scared about the amount of oil in this dish, just embrace it. This is the kind of  kugel you make only a few times during the year, and if you cut out the oil, it just won’t be the same.

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classic potato kugel
Photo credit Doug Schneider

Classic Potato Kugel Recipe

Prepare to fall in love with this classic Ashkenazi holiday and Shabbat dish.

  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 810 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and coarsely shredded
  • 2 medium-large onions, coarsely shredded
  • 5 large eggs
  • ¾ cup matzah meal
  • ½ Tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • paprika for sprinkling
  • thick sea salt
  • cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. When oven is preheated, add ⅓ cup olive oil to a 9×13 pyrex dish and put into the oven to heat up.
  3. Whisk eggs together in a large bowl.
  4. Add shredded potato, onion, matzo meal, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix until combined.
  5. When oil has been heating about 10 minutes, remove from oven.
  6. Add a small spoonful of the potato mixture and if it starts sizzling, it is hot enough. If not, put it back in the oven for a few minutes.
  7. When oil is ready, add the entire potato mixture and spread in a even layer using an offset spatula or large spoon.
  8. Sprinkle sweet or hot paprika on top and a sprinkle of thick sea salt.
  9. Bake for 40-50 minutes until crispy around the edges and golden brown on top.
  10. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into squares.
  11. Serve warm or room temperature.
  • Author: Shannon Sarna
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40-50 minutes
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: Askenazi
  • Diet: Vegetarian

11 comments

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    • The Nosher

      Yes, it can definitely be prepared a few days ahead of time, and also freezes well. Just make sure it is cooled completely before freezing.

  • Bea

    I presume you gave to squeeze the excess water out of the potatoes and onions? Correct?

    • The Nosher

      You could try it this way, but I have never tested it like this. If you make it, let us know how it turns out.

  • Lauren P

    I made this for Rosh Hashanah dinner. It was the first time I’ve ever attempted kugel and it was PERFECT. All that oil made the outside deliciously crispy, and the inside was fully cooked. My whole family loved it (except my 16-year-old, who critiques everything I make as if they were a judge on Chopped). I bookmarked this page so I can come back to it on future holidays. THANK YOU for the great recipe and super-clear instructions!

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