Vegan potato kugel, a classic Jewish recipe, is easy to make, though it requires at least an hour in the oven — so plan ahead! Kugels (basically casseroles) are favorite side dishes to serve at holidays and on the Sabbath.
In the Jewish tradition, kugels are basically baked casseroles made with noodles or potatoes. The former is usually sweet, and the latter, savory.
What isn’t about the original recipe for potato kugel is that it’s held together by eggs. So I drew on my method for binding my vegan latkes — oatmeal. Potato kugel is definitely a close cousin to latkes, so it works beautifully in this case as well.
How to make this Passover-friendly
If you’d like to make this potato kugel for Passover, I’ve included an alternative to oatmeal —oats are not allowed during the Passover week, at least in the Ashkenazik tradition. And that would be quinoa flakes, since quinoa is indeed allowed. See the Notes section of the recipe.
Basically, all you need to do is substitute an equivalent amount of quinoa flakes for the oats. Ancient Harvest ® quinoa flakes are Kosher, though not specifically Kosher for Passover. Pereg ® makes quinoa flakes that are Kosher for Passover.
I highly recommend doubling the recipe if you have a larger crowd to serve. This simple and tasty dish doesn’t make a huge helping and goes down easy. So make extra!
See the Notes section in the recipe box for shortcuts that will make this dish a snap to prepare, and which will make this do-able even if you don’t have a food processor with a grating blade.
This is a great dish for Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). It’s welcome most any time, though, and you need not wait for a holiday to enjoy it. You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy kugel, but if you are, this dish will evoke all kinds of food nostalgia, even if you don’t have a bubbe in your past who made it for you!
FAQ: Can I make this ahead of time and freeze it?
Sometimes you want to get ahead of holiday food prep, so this question is understandable. Sadly, the answer to this, at least in my opinion, is no. Potatoes change texture when frozen after being cooked, losing flavor and becoming watery.
- 2/3 cup quick-cooking oats (or use quinoa flakes, see Note)
- 1 pound potatoes, preferably golden or red-skinned (or see shortcut in Notes)
- 3 medium carrots, peeled (or see shortcut in Notes)
- 2 medium onions, or 1 large
- 1/4 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as safflower
- 2 teaspoons salt-free seasoning (like Mrs. Dash® or Frontier®)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, optional
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400º F.
- Place the oats in a small heatproof bowl and cover with 1 cup boiling water. Cover and set aside.
- If the potatoes are organic and clean, scrub and leave the skins on. Cut into chunks and grate with the coarse grating blade of a food processor. Transfer to a mixing bowl (transfer in batches as needed, as the container gets filled).
- Cut the carrots and onion into chunks and grate in the food processor. Transfer to the mixing bowl with the potatoes.
- Add the cooked oats, oil, seasoning, and parsley to the potato mixture and stir together. Season with salt and pepper and stir again.
- Generously coat the bottom and sides of a 9- by 13-inch casserole dish with oil. This will help the kugel to develop a nice crispy crust.
- Pour in the potato mixture and pat in evenly using the back of a spatula. If you’d like to give the top an extra crispy crust, mist with cooking oil spray; this is entirely optional.
- Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until golden brown and crusty. Let stand for 10 minutes or so, then cut into squares to serve.
To double the recipe, simply double the recipe! You can then bake this in a larger casserole dish, or better yet, split between two.
To make this Passover-friendly, substitute an equivalent amount of quinoa flakes for the oats. Ancient Harvest® quinoa flakes are Kosher, though not specifically Kosher for Passover. Pereg® has quinoa flakes that are Kosher for Passover.
Shortcuts, or if you don't own a food processor:
- Use a 1-pound bag of frozen organic hash brown potatoes, which are basically raw grated potatoes. Sometimes they’re seasoned (salt, pepper, garlic), sometimes not; your choice. Why organic? Frozen organic hash browns have a lot more flavor. I learned that the hard way one Hanukkah when my latkes came out really meh.
- You can also use pre-grated carrots. These are a little long, so you might want to cut them here and there with kitchen shears or a knife. Use about 1 packed cup; a bit more doesn't hurt.
- As for the onion, use two medium onions, then quarter and slice them very thinly.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 154Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 55mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g
Nutrition data is always an estimate depending on program used to calculate and exact products used.
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