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Kugelis: A Traditional Lithuanian Potato Casserole Recipe

One of Susan's passions is cooking and creating new recipes for family and friends.

Kugelis

Kugelis

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 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

Ingredients

  • 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 towels 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 eggs 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!

Photo Guide

Drain the bacon on paper towels and cook the chopped onions.

Drain the bacon on paper towels and cook the chopped onions.

Grate the potatoes into a large bowl.

Grate the potatoes into a large bowl.

Place grated potatoes onto a tea towel and roll to get the moisture out.

Place grated potatoes onto a tea towel and roll to get the moisture out.

Mix all ingredients in a clean bowl. Fold stiff egg whites into mixture.

Mix all ingredients in a clean bowl. Fold stiff egg whites into mixture.

Carefully put mixture into your baking dish. Dot top of potato mixture with butter.

Carefully put mixture into your baking dish. Dot top of potato mixture with butter.

Kugelis topped with sour cream, chicken and side salad.

Kugelis topped with sour cream, chicken and side salad.

Does this recipe sound good?

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

Comments

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on December 07, 2017:

Thank you Mary! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on December 07, 2017:

Want to try this. Looks like it is very delicious.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on November 14, 2017:

Thanks Chitrangada Sharan. I do hope that you try the recipe and enjoy it as much as we do.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on November 14, 2017:

This Lithuanian recipe sounds delicious and easy to prepare. The combination of ingredients looks interesting.Your instructions and pictures are very helpful. I would love to try this.

Thanks for sharing!

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 26, 2016:

Suzie, I love Kugelis and I hope that you will too!

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on September 25, 2016:

Great to read this interesting recipe from Lithuania, sounds yummy and easy to make so will be looking forward to giving it a go! Thanks so much sorry to have missed before!

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 25, 2016:

I know Bill, so many of us have left ..... so sad. If you try the Kugelis let me know what you thought of it. I'm sure you'll enjoy this great potato dish.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 25, 2016:

I was looking at the names on the comments. So many are gone now....sigh....somehow I missed this when it came out three years ago...I just might give this a try.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 24, 2016:

Hi DzyMsLizzy, Yes this recipe would be good without the bacon too :)

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on April 23, 2016:

Hmm...sounds pretty good, but as a vegetarian, I'd have to leave out the bacon. Most recipes are adaptable that way, except for those in which the meat is the recipe, such as a roast.. LOL

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on May 02, 2015:

Thanks poetryman, may have to try it that way myself :)

poetryman6969 on April 29, 2015:

Potatoes and bacon, I am so there. I would definitely smother it in cheese as well.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on December 16, 2014:

I'm sure you'll love it as much as we do vespawoolf. Merry Christmas!

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on December 15, 2014:

Oh my goodness, what´s not to like about potatoes, bacon, onions and cream?? I hope to try this soon! I´ve bookmarked it--I know my husband will be a big fan. Thanks for sharing!

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 21, 2014:

Thank you Jovita!

Jovita on June 18, 2014:

I'm so glad to see Lithuanian dishes in this page. it makes me happy to see that you all enjoy it:))

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 26, 2013:

Crafty, I make this potato casserole several times a year on special holidays. Hope that you enjoy the recipe, and please let me know what you think should you try it. Have a great weekend!

CraftytotheCore on October 25, 2013:

I just realized too that this is a gluten free dish. I've just started eating gluten free and am finding more uses for potatoes. Thanks for the recipe, it's very similar to some of the dishes my grandmother used to cook. She served one very similar at breakfast with eggs. I can't wait to try it!

Audrey Howitt from California on October 01, 2013:

Yum! Yum! Yum!

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 11, 2012:

GoodLady, Thank you and please let me know if you like it.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 11, 2012:

Judi, Thank you. If you like I can email you the recipe.

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on October 10, 2012:

This is so wonderful and we're so ready for it now that Summer's over and a (grated!!!) potato and bacon dish like this one is going to be so comforting. I'm bookmarking to make this weekend. Thanks. Voting and sharing etc. Just a great recipe

Judi Brown from UK on October 10, 2012:

Sounds good! Would love to pin it - ggrrrr!

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 05, 2012:

TToombs, Thank you :)

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on June 04, 2012:

Oh man, does that look ever so YUMMY! Thank you for sharing this wonderful and easy recipe! Voted across and pinned! :)

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 03, 2012:

Audra, Nice to know, and thanks :)

iamaudraleigh on June 03, 2012:

Your Kugelis looks so gooood! My Mom makes them too! This recipe brought a smile to my face! Love your technique!

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 03, 2012:

Brainy, Yes it is quite similar to Kugel. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 03, 2012:

Hyphenbird, Thank you.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 03, 2012:

Daffy, Thanks and I hope you enjoy it.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 03, 2012:

Hi Lesley, Drooling is good:)

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 03, 2012:

Brian, Thanks. Aloo saag sounds good, do you make it often?

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 03, 2012:

Kelly, Thank you and I hope that you enjoy the Kugelis.

Brainy Bunny from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania on June 02, 2012:

I never knew this was a Lithuanian recipe! Kugel (no -is ending) is a very common Jewish dish, and with the exception of the bacon, this is very similar to the potato kugel I make on Passover. I bet the bacon is fantastic in it; alas, I shall never know. . . .

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 02, 2012:

Anything potato is a good idea. This recipe sounds delicious. I will give it a try as soon as possible. Thanks for the background info also. I love learning about other countries.

Daffy Duck from Cornelius, Oregon on June 02, 2012:

That looks delicious. I can't wait to try it.

Movie Master from United Kingdom on June 02, 2012:

Mmmmm, topped with sour cream....

This is so new and unusual to me, I can't wait to try it - how embarrassing I am actually drooling....

BRIAN SLATER on June 02, 2012:

Very unusual-potato pudding. When I checked the ingredients this sounds like an indian dish we have sometimes, potato's cut into small cubes with spinach and reduced tomato to make a sauce. It's called aloo saag and although this is different when ever i see a potato dish I think about that. I like the fact that you have chosen a recipe from a European country, brilliant as ever.:)

kelleyward on June 02, 2012:

This looks great Susan! Looks rich and filling! Will put this on my list of new recipes to try! Take care, Kelley

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 02, 2012:

Pamela & drbj, Thank you both for stopping by and for commenting.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on June 01, 2012:

Thanks for sharing this unusual recipe, Susan. I like potato pancakes and I like bacon, so I'll probably enjoy this, too.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 01, 2012:

This looks like a fantastic dish and I know my husband would love it. Thanks for sharing this very good recipes.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 01, 2012:

UnnamedHarald, I know what you mean about wasting that one egg white, and I don't think it would hurt the recipe at all.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 01, 2012:

Scribenet, Thanks so much.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 01, 2012:

GoodLady, If you do try it please let me know what you think.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 01, 2012:

Mommiegee, Thank you.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 01, 2012:

Ruby, Thank you. I'd like that electric potato grinder too. It would save time making this recipe and hash browns too.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 01, 2012:

Thanks Frank.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 01, 2012:

RH, I'm sure you'd like this recipe. Let me know how it turns out.

David Hunt from Cedar Rapids, Iowa on June 01, 2012:

I rarely cook (fried eggs + fried bread + a cup of tea is my favorite way of killing myself), but I help my wife on occasion. One question: how important are the egg whites and yolks (instead of, say, just beat in three whole eggs? Don't mean to be blasphemous. Or, do you think it would make much difference if I used 3 egg yolks and folded in 3 egg whites (I hate the though of one egg white left over!).

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 01, 2012:

Cardisa, Yes it's to get the starch out. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do and thank you.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 01, 2012:

UnnamedHarald, Thank you so much, glad you liked it.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 01, 2012:

Marcy, Not sure how this recipe will work with turkey bacon as it won't render the fat you need. But please let know how it works out for you.

Maggie Griess from Ontario, Canada on June 01, 2012:

Susan this sounds yummy. I love potato recipes and this sounds sooo delicious.Thanks!

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on June 01, 2012:

It looks delicious!!!!!! I want to make it this weekend. It's so economical and so tasty and the hub is looks just great and so easy to follow. Thanks Susan.

Mommiegee from Alabama on June 01, 2012:

This sounds and looks yummy! 5 starts

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on June 01, 2012:

This looks and sounds delicious. I would love to have an electric potato grinder. Thank's again for another great recipe...

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on June 01, 2012:

Potato pudding.. never heard of it.. but its worth a try hmm thanks for the share Susan

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on June 01, 2012:

I've never heard of that but it sounds so good! I love all the ingredients so I'm positive I'll really like it.

I am always looking for a new way to prepare potatoes because it goes with so many meals and I get bored with the old boiled, baked or mashed. I am trying this for sure! The zucchini in the photo with it looks really good!

Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on June 01, 2012:

Yummy! I am going to try this! This look definitely delicious. I am just curious about the washing of the potatoes? Is that to reduce the starch? I can tell that this dish is delicious, all the ingredients are wonderful.

David Hunt from Cedar Rapids, Iowa on June 01, 2012:

I don't usually read recipe hubs but I'm glad I read this one. Sounds delicious-- I love potato dishes. The potato pancakes sound good, too. I also liked your paragraph about Lithuania. Voted up, interesting and useful.

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on June 01, 2012:

I love potato dishes of all types - this looks so great, and the flavors would be heavenly! I'm a turkey-bacon enthusiast, so I would change just that one item. Hope I get a chance to make this very soon!

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