Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Potato kugel

In my recent post about short winter Fridays, I talked about making potato kugels in advance:

Suggestion: When making potato kugels in advance, bake them only halfway and then freeze. The kugels don’t even need to be defrosted when it’s time to finish baking them; they can go straight from the freezer to the oven on Friday afternoon. (We’re going to be using this model for the bar mitzvah IY”H.) Hat tip: My mother (Thanks, Imma!)”

הואיל והזכירו סיפר בשבחו – Since I mentioned potato kugel, I think that it’s only fair that I post our family’s favorite recipe. After all, there’s nothing like fresh potato kugel on a Friday night…

Potato Kugel


1. This kugel tastes best when the potatoes are grated by hand using a so-called “safety grater” (i.e. a reebaizen in Yiddish). But the shredder with the smallest holes on the food processor works well too.

2. “Overnight” variation – Instead of a regular pan, use a Pyrex bowl. Bake the kugel in the oven until set. Meanwhile, fill the crockpot about a third of the way up with water. Remove the kugel from the oven, and place in the crockpot, which will now serve as a double boiler. Leave overnight in crockpot on low. Unmold the kugel onto a round platter for Shabbat lunch.

3. What follows are the basic proportions. I generally use the equivalent of 6 large potatoes for one kugel and then adjust the other ingredients accordingly.


  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 eggs (i.e. 1 egg per every 2 potatoes + 1 extra egg “for the pot”)
  • 4 soupspoons canola or olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper


Grate potatoes and onions. Add other ingredients and mix. Pour mixture into oiled pan, and bake in a “hot oven” (around 390 degrees) until top is dark golden-brown.



  1. I am trying to understand 2. You bake it in a round dish? Halfway done or all done? And then leave it in a crockpot until Shabbat lunch? Or is it frozen in advance, half-baked, and you put it in the crockpot on Friday?

  2. I also didnt understand the crockpot part-you put the kugel directly into the water?
    In any event, I adopted your "baking halfway and freezing" advice before YB's bar mitzvah and got such compliments on the kugel...

  3. I just make the regular kugel recipe in the crockpot itself without the double boiler and it works great. You bake it first in the oven for an hour and then move it to the crockpot.

  4. Leora and Malke - Sorry about the confusion. Let's see if I can explain it in a better way:

    I bake the kugel (but only halfway) in an oiled Pyrex bowl. Then, I put water in the crockpot insert and place the bowl with the kugel into the water. (I forgot to mention that I cover the top of the kugel with aluminum foil before putting it into the crock pot.) I then leave it like that until Shabbat lunch.

    Does this make more sense?

    I should note that an "overnight" kugel looks and tastes very different than a regular potato kugel. The inside is much darker, and - assuming that you use a double boiler - there's not really a crust per se.

  5. Malke - I'm glad it worked. It definitely makes a "roshem" when one serves fresh homemade potato kugel at a meal for 50 people (BA"H)!

    Anonymous - I've tried that method, but I think the kugel tastes better with the double boiler.

  6. As the potato kugel recipe starter (or rather the one who collected and then modified), here are a few comments: Using water underneath or not is a matter of taste. Without water it's more like regular (i.e. Friday night) kugel, firmer. With water its softer, moister. Sometimes I do one and sometimes the other, it depends as they say. My latest modification (for the non-water way) is not to bake it in the oven at all. I line the crockpot with baking paper and pour the batter directly onto the paper. One could put a bit of oil on the paper but not crucial. I then let it bake until Shabbat lunch. It even gets a crust. It tastes somewhat different from the being in the oven--quite good. Also, not bothering with the oven step is one less thing to do on Friday. The kugel can be put up as early as you need and forgotten. It comes out with the paper which can then be peeled off.

  7. Using baking paper is an interesting idea. Maybe I'll try it one day...


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