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Kugelis: A Traditional Lithuanian Potato Casserole Recipe



What Is Kugelis?

Kugelis is a traditional Lithuanian potato casserole or pudding that was influenced by German cuisine. The word kugelis means "flat potato dish."

The first time I tasted kugelis was at my husband's grandparents' home. After one bite, I knew I had to learn how to make this delicious dish. My father-in-law and his parents are from Lithuania and were all happy to know that I wanted to learn more about Lithuanian cooking. Once I learned the recipe, I began preparing it to go along with our Christmas and Easter meals.

There are variations to this recipe; however, you will find that most recipes follow the same basic instructions and ingredients.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

1 hour 30 min

1 hour

2 hours 30 min

6 to 9 servings

Necessary Tools

  • Frying pan
  • Grater
  • Paper towels
  • Several clean tea towels
  • 2 mixing bowls (1 small, 1 large)
  • Chopping knife
  • Knife or vegetable peeler
  • Rubber spatula
  • 10" round baking dish, rectangle, or a heavy ovenproof skillet
Kugelis topped with sour cream, chicken and side salad.

Kugelis topped with sour cream, chicken and side salad.


  • 1/4 pound sliced bacon, diced
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 3 pounds potatoes, peeled
  • 1 cup light cream or half & half cream
  • 3 large egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Several dollops sour cream, for serving

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Dice the bacon and sauté over medium heat in a frying pan until the bacon renders its fat. Drain the bacon on paper towels. Pour off all the fat except 2 tablespoons.
  2. Chop the onions finely and add them to the reserved bacon fat in the frying pan. Sauté the onions over medium heat for approximately 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Peel the potatoes and rinse under cold water. Grate potatoes into a large bowl and rinse and drain several times in cold water.
  4. Using a clean kitchen or tea towel, squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Rinse the potatoes in cold water one more time, and squeeze again in a tea towel.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the grated potatoes, sautéed onions, and bacon, along with cream and slightly beaten egg yolks. Season generously with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  6. Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease a 10" round or rectangle oven-safe baking dish or skillet.
  7. In a small bowl, beat 2 large egg whites until they are stiff.
  8. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the potato mixture.
  9. Carefully transfer the mixture into your baking dish. Dot the top of the potato mixture with butter.
  10. Once your oven is preheated, place the kugelis into the oven and bake for 45 to 60 minutes. It will be ready the top is browned, crispy, and the potatoes are tender. Let the kugelis sit for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting to serve.
  11. Serve with a side of sour cream to dollop on top of the kugelis. Enjoy!

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Lithuania and Potatoes

Lithuania is located in Northern Europe on the Baltic Sea and is the largest of the Baltic states. Due to its cool and moist climate, potatoes grow quite well here, and are the most common and popular vegetable.

Potatoes in Lithuania are rated second next to bread.

Bulvinia blynai are potato pancakes made with grated potatoes, onions, eggs, flour, and salt. They are served with either sour cream or applesauce.

There are many delicious tasty potato dishes that are enjoyed every day in a Lithuanian home.

Lithuanian cooking is similar to Polish and Ukrainian food in both taste and ingredients.

More Lithuanian Recipes

© 2012 Susan Zutautas