Potato kugel is a hearty potato casserole dish with a crispy baked top, kind of like a hash brown cake. With onions, egg, and light seasoning, it's the best easy recipe to satisfy your need for a warm, comforting meal.
Baked in cast iron, nothing beats the crunch and crackle married with a tender inside!
Why this Recipe Works
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Baking kugel in a cast iron pan isn't traditional, but it is the best way to get a crispy outside. This recipe uses a 10-inch cast-iron skillet.
A potato bake is always a delicious recipe, and potato kugel takes it to the next level. It's the ideal combination of fluffy inside and crispy on the outside, with simple flavors that pack a punch.
You only need a few simple ingredients and a bit of know-how to make a perfect potato kugel. You assemble the ingredients in one pan and leave to bake with minimal interfering from there.
There are two pro tips in this recipe: add boiling water just as you put the kugel in the oven, and broil the kugel for a couple minutes at the end of the bake to help guarantee that amazing crispy top.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Onion - yellow onions are preferred. Grate or shred the onion using a coarse grater or the grater in a food processor. This helps the onion flavor and integrates the onion seamlessly with the kugel's texture
Russet potatoes - these are preferred as they have a high starch content and are perfect for kugel. It's essential these are grated, and as much water is squeezed out as possible to prevent a soggy kugel
Salt - I use pink Himalayan salt here, but other types of salt will work. Always season to your own preference
Potato starch - you can also use cornstarch
Oil - any flavorless oil like grape seed, avocado oil, sunflower, peanut oil, or canola will work
How to Make Potato Kugel
Start by pre-heating your oven to 450F. Place the cast iron pan inside the oven and heat it up for 10 minutes.
To begin prepping the ingredients, peel and shred your potatoes and onions. I use a food processor to make this step faster.
Use a tea towel, cheesecloth, or even just your hands, squeeze as much of the liquid out of your potatoes as you possibly can, and discard the remaining liquid.
Next, mix the grated russet potatoes, grated onion, potato starch, salt, pepper, eggs and oil in a bowl.
Transfer the potato kugel mixture to the the heated cast iron pan. Be careful, the pan is hot!
Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture down into the cast iron pan to compact it. Then, pour the boiling water over the top and immediately place it in the oven.
Note: Adding the boiling water to the pan just as it enters the oven to help properly steam and cook the potatoes for the perfect, fluffy texture inside.
Bake the potato kugel at 450F for 20 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to 425F and bake for another 35 minutes.
The final step is to set your oven to broil, and broil the potato kugel until it has browned on top. This should take about 3 minutes. Let it rest for 20 minutes before cutting and serving.
A kugel is a baked casserole, which can be sweet or savory. Kugel is a Jewish dish, served in Ashkenazi Jewish households on special occasions such as Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashanah. Noodle kugel is a sweet dish with sour cream and cinnamon, while potato kugel is a savory version with grated potatoes as the main ingredient instead of noodles.
This can happen and will happen quickly if you set your oven to high broil. While broiling, it's best to keep a close eye on the kugel and remove from the oven as soon as it browns.
You definitely can, but this will be more time-consuming and harder on your hands. I prefer to use the grater disk of a food processor as it's quick and easy.
If you're a fan of this Jewish recipe, these great recipes are sure to become your new favorites.
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Cast-Iron Potato Kugel
- Cast Iron Pan 10-inch
- 2 lbs. russet potatoes
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 tablespoon potato starch
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup oil
- ½ cup boiling water
- Preheat your oven to 450F. Heat the cast iron pan for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, peel and shred the potatoes and onion. I use a food processor, but you can do this with a coarse grater.
- Squeeze as much of the liquid out of the potatoes as you can and discard the liquid.
- Add the rest of the ingredients (except the water) to the potatoes and onion in a bowl. Transfer to the heated cast iron pan. Press the mixture down to compact it. Pour over the boiling water just as you place it in the oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Reduce the temperature to 425F and bake for another 35 minutes.
- Then turn the broiler on high and broil until browned on top. This should take about 3 minutes.
- Rest the kugel for 20 minutes before cutting into it and serving.