Crispy potato kugel for a crowd with parsley and lemon topping (Photo/Faith Kramer)
Crispy potato kugel for a crowd with parsley and lemon topping (Photo/Faith Kramer)

This crispy, flavorful, easy potato kugel is a crowdpleaser

Sign up for Weekday J and get the latest on what's happening in the Jewish Bay Area.

Food coverage is supported by a generous donation from Susan and Moses Libitzky.

Probably the No. 1 Rosh Hashanah dinner recipe request I get is for a “good” potato kugel. Since there is no consensus on what makes a “good” kugel, here’s a recipe for one that meets my personal kugel checklist: crispy, flavorful and easy to make ahead.

Potato Kugel for a Crowd is thinner than some traditional Eastern European-inspired potato casseroles and is packed with onions and spices. Since it’s parve it can be served with meat or dairy dishes. It also has a zingy parsley and lemon topping inspired by my friend Beth Lee, who runs

If you have leftover kugel, you can fry up slices of it like latkes for a great brunch. I like to top fried leftover potato kugel with poached eggs, shredded cheese and harissa, z’hug or another hot sauce. I’ve also used the kugel as a base for serving leftover shredded brisket with sauce and shakshouka.

This recipe halves easily. To double, it’s best to prepare two separate batches. Peeling the potatoes is optional. My family likes the texture and taste of the peel. But peeling the potatoes lightens the kugel’s taste and color.

Potato Kugel for a Crowd

Serves 12-16

  • 5 lbs. baking potatoes, scrubbed or peeled
  • 2 lbs. onions
  • 2 cups chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika, divided
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne
  • 10 Tbs. vegetable oil, divided (see notes)
  • ½ cup matzah meal
  • Parsley and lemon topping (see below)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Have ready two 11-inch by 7-inch baking pans or baking dishes (see notes).

Alternate grating potatoes and onions in batches in a food processor or by hand. Transfer grated potatoes and onions to a 14-inch or larger bowl (or use a large soup or stock pot). Squeeze shreds and drain liquid from bowl. Stir in parsley , garlic, eggs, salt, black pepper, cumin, ½ tsp. paprika, turmeric and cayenne. Mix in 6 Tbs. vegetable oil. Sprinkle in matzah meal. Stir.

Pour 2 Tbs. of vegetable oil in each baking pan. Place in 400-degree oven 5-10 minutes until the oil is very hot. Remove pans from oven and carefully tilt each to make sure bottoms are covered with hot oil. Immediately fill each with half of the potatoes and onion. Sprinkle with remaining ½ tsp. of paprika. Return to oven.

Bake 1 hour at 400 degrees. Top should be browned. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake about 30 minutes for a less crispy kugel and 45 minutes for a crispier one. Timing varies so make sure kugel is cooked through and not raw inside. If the top is overbrowning, cover with foil, removing foil for the last few minutes of baking.

Serve hot or at room temperature sprinkled with Parsley and Lemon Topping.

This recipe can be made ahead. Cover kugel in pan without adding Parsley and Lemon Topping. Refrigerate kugel for 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw or bring to room temperature before warming it, covered with foil, in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove foil and heat another 10-20 minutes until kugel is heated through. Add freshly prepared topping.

Parsley and lemon topping: Densely pack chopped parsley into a 1 cup measure. Mix chopped parsley in bowl with 1 Tbs. minced garlic, 2 tsp. minced lemon zest and ¼ tsp. coarse or kosher salt. (If desired, omit zest and salt and add 2 tsp. minced preserved lemon).

Notes:  If you have a roasting pan (or very large baking pan) about 14 inches by 10 or 11 inches, use one pan instead of two. Reduce oil to 9 Tbs., heating 3 Tbs. of oil in pan before adding potatoes and onions. Kugel batter should be 1½ to 2 inches deep in pan.

Faith Kramer
Faith Kramer

Faith Kramer is a Bay Area food writer and the author of “52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen.” Her website is Contact her at [email protected].