Passover Kugel with Potato and Caramelized Onion Recipe

Eric Ginsburg

This potato and caramelized onion kugel can be a cornerstone of your Passover meal.

Potato kugel is — as cookbook author Micah Siva puts it — "comfort food at its finest." And her Passover kugel recipe will quickly become a part of your annual seder for exactly that reason.

Siva, a registered dietician who recently published her book Nosh: Plant-Forward Recipes Celebrating Modern Jewish Cuisineis sharing her Passover kugel recipe from the book with us as we celebrate Pesach.

Courtesy Passover Kugel Photo

"To me, potato kugel reminds me of Passover," Siva told Food Fanatic. "There was always a crispy potato kugel packed with black pepper on the table, and I'd top it with bright pink horseradish."

This recipe is one of 80 meatless options in her cookbook, spanning Jewish holidays and everyday meals. We're grateful she's letting us share the kugel with you! (Siva is also the co-author of children's book 1, 2, 3, Nosh with Me.)

What is Kugel?

If you landed here, you were probably already searching for a Passover kugel recipe and know exactly what you're looking for. But for the uninitiated, Siva explains that "kugels, at their core, are baked casseroles."

Kugel can be made of different ingredients, but potato is one of the most popular bases. Noodle kugel is another classic. Both are Ashkenazi Jewish dishes popular in the United States and across the Jewish diaspora.

You might find them on a family's table on Shabbat. I associate them with my grandmother, who would make kugel on major holidays. I can still picture her pushing through the swinging door between her suburban kitchen and formal dining room with a dish of kugel, which just adds to the comfort food element for Siva's recipe and others like it for me.

Kugel is generally served hot but can also be enjoyed cold (particularly leftovers). You could go all-in and treat this as a main course, but generally kugel is considered a side dish. 

Consider pairing it with these Passover appetizers, a range of vegan Passover recipes, or best of all — Siva's horseradish and herb-laden salad! She also recommends serving it with eggs as breakfast!

"This potato kugel casserole is crisp and golden on the outside and creamy on the inside," Siva explained. "It reminds me of a shareable hash brown or a giant latke, and it’s served at any time of day (try leftovers at breakfast—really!)."

Below: author Micah Siva. Photo by Hannah Lozano Photography.

Courtesy Micah Siva Headshot by Hannah Lozano Photography

Potato Kugel Ingredients

You'll need these ingredients to make this recipe:

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1½ teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 pounds (3 or 4) russet potatoes
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup matzo meal
  • Sour cream, coconut yogurt, crème fraîche, or labneh, for serving (optional)
  • Fresh chives, chopped, for serving

This recipe is vegetarian and Passover friendly. As you can see, it contains eggs and is not vegan.

Courtesy Passover Kugel Picture

Useful Gear to Make This Recipe

This recipe calls for a 9-inch cast iron pan, which helps the kugel dish achieve its ideal crispness. 

You will also need a food processor fitted with a shredding disk, but you could alternately use a box grater. 

You'll also need a large bowl, a kitchen towel, and potentially an appropriately-sized airtight container (if you want to make this in advance or plan to store leftovers).

Tips for the Best Passover Kugel

Siva offered several tips to make this recipe as delicious as possible. And she also explained the importance of the specific cooking method outlined:

"Using a preheated cast-iron pan ensures that the kugel is cooked to golden perfection, with everyone getting the best part—the crispy edges!" she said.

While not required, she recommends topping your kugel with labneh, sour cream, crème fraîche, or coconut yogurt with chives to add to the depth of flavor of the dish.

You can prepare this kugel up to 4 days in advance, Siva said, and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Definitely helpful if you're working to ready a bunch of Passover seder elements at once!

Want to switch things up? While this recipe calls for russet potatoes, Idaho potatoes will also work. Similarly, Siva said you can add a ½ cup of chopped parsley to the kugel along with the matzo meal. (Which might help you use up some leftover parsley you bought for dipping in salt water as part of your seder!)

Recipe courtesy of Micah Siva, and originally published in her cookbook, Nosh: Plant-Forward Recipes Celebrating Modern Jewish Cuisine, published by The Collective Book Studio and distributed by Simon & Schuster.

Want more Passover ideas? Try these flourless tahini-swirl brownies!

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Passover Kugel with Potato and Caramelized Onion Recipe

11 Servings

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Divided
  • 2 Yellow Onions, Cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Salt, Divided
  • 2 pounds Russet Potato, (3-4 potatoes)
  • 4 Extra Large Eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Matzo Meal
  • quantity not specified Sour Cream, or coconut yogurt, crème fraîche, or labneh, for serving (optional)
  • Fresh Chives, Chopped (for serving)

Directions

  1. In a 9-inch cast-iron pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat until the oil is hot, but not smoking. Add the chopped onions, spreading them evenly over the bottom of the pan. Decrease the heat to medium-low and let cook, undisturbed, for approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the onions with ½ teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and broken down, 30 to 45 minutes. Once golden and caramelized, transfer the onions to a large bowl.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  4. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the cast-iron pan and place it in the oven to heat up while you prepare the potatoes.
  5. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
  6. Using a food processor fitted with the shredding disk, or a box grater on the largest hole, grate the potatoes. The potatoes will oxidize, so be sure to shred right before use.
  7. Add the potatoes to the bowl of ice water. Let sit for 10 minutes to remove excess starch.
  8. Drain the potatoes, transfer them to a clean kitchen towel, and wring out any excess liquid. The more liquid you can remove, the better! Add the potatoes to the bowl with the caramelized onions.
  9. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, eggs, black pepper, and matzo meal. Stir to combine.
  10. Carefully remove the cast-iron pan from the oven and spread the potato mixture in the pan, pushing it down to compact the potatoes. It should sizzle on contact with the pan. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 1 hour, or until deep golden brown on top.
  11. Serve with sour cream and chopped chives.

Notes

Prepare this kugel up to 4 days in advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Source: Courtesy of Micah Siva. Originally featured in her cookbook, Nosh: Plant-Forward Recipes Celebrating Modern Jewish Cuisine.
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Courtesy of Micah Siva. Originally featured in her cookbook, Nosh: Plant-Forward Recipes Celebrating Modern Jewish Cuisine.
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Related Recipes:
Jewish Recipes, Holiday Recipes, Potato Recipes, Onion Recipes, Entertaining Recipes, Cookbook Recipes
Recipe Yields:
1 dish
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Author: Eric Ginsburg
Source: Courtesy of Micah Siva. Originally featured in her cookbook, Nosh: Plant-Forward Recipes Celebrating Modern Jewish Cuisine.
Recipe Yields: 1 dish
Total Time: 120 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 11

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 59
Calories 156

% Daily Value*
11%
Total Fat 7g
4%
  Saturated Fat 1g
14%
Sodium 344mg
5%
Total Carbohydrate 16g
2%
  Dietary Fiber 1g
  Sugars 2g
9%
Protein 4g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.

Eric Ginsburg is the Editor of Food Fanatic. He's served as an editor at three newspapers and written for a wide range of publications, including Bon Appétit, Serious Eats, Wine Enthusiast, Southern Living, and Eater Carolinas. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. Follow him on Instagram.

Eric Ginsburg

About Eric

Eric Ginsburg is the Editor of Food Fanatic. He's served as an editor at three newspapers and written for a wide range of publications, including Bon Appétit, Serious Eats, Wine Enthusiast, Southern Living, and Eater Carolinas. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. Follow him on Instagram.

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