cauliflower kugel recipe jewish passover shabbat
Photo credit: Emanuelle Lee

This Cauliflower Kugel Might Be Better Than Noodle Kugel

A lighter kugel that doesn't compromise on flavor or comfort.

I love cauliflower. It’s a beautiful and humble vegetable. But I’m not one to replace things that are already good with cauliflower — I believe it shines brightly on its own and should be celebrated as the star of a dish, not as a low-calorie substitute. What I mean is: I’ll always choose cauliflower with rice over cauliflower rice. 

There are some cases, however, where a replacement that happens to be low-calorie is just as good as the original. Take kugel — a classic winter warmer that feels like a cozy hug from grandma. But if it’s not your grandma making it for you, insisting you eat it because you look too thin, it can be rather guilt inducing. That’s why I’m making an exception for cauliflower kugel — not because I’m against potato or noodle kugel, but because cauliflower kugel stands on its own as a really delicious, lighter option that doesn’t compromise on comfort or flavor.

Note: You can store this kugel in the refrigerator and reheat for up to 4 days. 

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Cauliflower Kugel
Photo credit Emanuelle Lee

This Cauliflower Kugel Might Be Better Than Noodle Kugel

Cauliflower kugel stands on its own as a really delicious, lighter option that doesn’t compromise on comfort or flavor.

  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium cauliflower (approx. 750-850g)
  • 5 large eggs
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ⅔ cup + 2 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 410°F
  2. Remove any tough, blemished outer leaves from the cauliflower and discard. Cut off the tough, round stem at the bottom of the cauliflower and discard. You can keep the softer, smaller leaves for the kugel. Wash the cauliflower well in a bowl of warm water 3-4 times to remove any unwanted dirt. Dry well. 
  3. Slice the entire cauliflower very thinly (approx ¼ inch). Most of it should crumble into small pieces, but you should have some beautiful thin slices of cauliflower that have held their shape, too. Reserve a few slices for the top of the kugel. 
  4. Combine the onion and crumbled cauliflower in a large mixing bowl. Mix the eggs and ⅔ cup olive oil along with the black pepper, sea salt and paprika in another small mixing bowl. Pour the egg mixture over the cauliflower mixture and mix well, so the cauliflower mixture is thoroughly coated in the liquid. Mix in the reserved smaller cauliflower leaves. 
  5. Transfer to a 7×10-inch baking dish. Nestle the reserved thin slices of cauliflower on top. Drizzle with the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. 
  6. Bake for 20 minutes at 410°F or until golden. Then cover the dish tightly with aluminium foil and lower the temperature to 320°F. Bake for another hour and 10 minutes. 

Notes

Store in the refrigerator and reheat for up to 4 days. 

  • Author: Emanuelle Lee
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Ashkenazi

30 comments

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  • Chaya Waxman

    Will definately try this recipe. Thinking ahead for Rosh Hashona so I want to know if I can freeze it. Thank you.

    • Shannon Sarna

      Yes, it can likely be frozen. Just make sure it cools completely before freezing.

  • Roberta Newberry

    Interesting temperatures, oven 410° and 320°. I wonder how many people have ovens with those setting. I know I can guesstimate it on mine. Also the size pan
    7”x10” is unusual and I guess I can guesstimate on that too.
    The recipe sounds interesting and I may give it a try.

  • Elayne Riskin

    YUMMY!! Not difficult to prepare. Be careful
    with the amount of salt. Especially if you are on a salt free diet. I’ve made it without salt and it was delicious 😋. Instead of onion, I used “everything but the bagel” seasoning, which I believe has salt in it.

  • Paula Rabkin

    Do normal ovens now have 410 and 320 degree settings? Or is the result of trnaslating the recipe from degrees Celsius?

    • Shannon Sarna

      This recipe was created by a British recipe developer. You can switch to 400 and 325 if thats easier.

  • Michael Shook

    I regularly take kugel to my church for coffee hour (favourites are the standards – noodle, or potato), and yes, I am obviously not Jewish. But I love Jewish culture, intellectual and Biblical traditions and heritage, and the food is like a bountiful bonus. This sounds fabulous, and I can’t wait to try it. Thank you!

  • H Goodman

    This looks yummy, as many of your recipes are.

    Can frozen/thawed cauliflower be used? At what proportion?

    Thanks much,

    • Shannon Sarna

      Yes, it probably can but you want to make sure to drain any excess water. Since we have never made this recipe with frozen cauliflower, we cannot say for sure the proportions. If you try it, please let us know.

  • AILUY

    Can I use precut florets? How much would I need? I understand I will have no beautiful slices, but sometimes it’s a necessity. Thank you

    • Shannon Sarna

      Yes, you can, but since we have never made the recipe this way, we cannot be sure about how much. If you try it this way, please let us know how it turns out.

  • Barbara

    I don’t have the baking temperatures you mention 410 and 320. Is this for an normal oven or air fryer?

    • Shannon Sarna

      This recipe was created by a British recipe developer. You can switch to 400 and 325 if thats easier.

    • Shannon Sarna

      We have never tried this with frozen cauliflower but its worth a try, as long as it is drained of an excess water. Yes, this can be frozen, just make sure it cools completely.

  • Valerie G.

    The recipe is great with a few modifications. First, there is no need for 2/3 cup oil. 1/3, possibly even 1/4, will do. With 2/3 cup I had to drain the dish with about 10 minutes left. I also suggest cutting the salt to 1 tsp. But the taste is as cozy as chicken soup!

  • Nina Jaffe

    This is indeed delicious. Lucky me, I had a pristine cauliflower that did not require rinsing. I wholeheartedly agree with Valerie G.–cut the oil by at least half and reduce the salt to 1 tsp.

  • Linda

    Wish I would have read above comment regarding way too much oil. Definitely cut back to 1/4 cup. Also less salt. Depending on the size of your cauliflower you might need 2. Also if you have medium size eggs you need to add an extra 2.

  • Christine

    This just came out of the oven. The kitchen smells divine! I was in a grocery store yesterday and spotted a huge cauliflower! I grabbed it and wondered what I was going to make with this. VOILA! I got your email and dug in. So easy to put together! Now, to find another for Rosh Hashanah!

    • Shannon Sarna

      We have never tried it this way, but I think it would probably work. If you do it, let us know how it turns out!

    • The Nosher

      Yes, it can likely be frozen. Just make sure it cools completely before freezing.

  • Wendy

    Can i somehow modify this to fit a 9 x13 dish. I do not own a 7x 10 but also i am havi g a karge crowd and would need at least a 9x 13

    • The Nosher

      You could try doubling the recipe. Enjoy!

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