Kugel (Yiddish for pudding) can be sweet or savory, made with a combination of egg noodles, cheese, potatoes, apples, carrots, sweet potatoes, and, during Passover, often matzoh meal. No matter the taste profile, Kugel usually contains eggs and gluten. I wanted to avoid both. So I took on the challenge from Melissa, who asked for a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free Kugel recipe.
In place of eggs and matzoh meal (or flour), I used mashed potatoes for the binder. Egg replacer was out; it contains leavening, which is not allowed during Passover, and “flax eggs” seemed wrong for this recipe, flavor-wise.
I boosted the savoriness with leeks, onions, and chives, my favorite combo with potatoes.
And here’s a fun bit of trivia: Daiya Vegan Cheese is now certified Kosher Parve. Though it doesn’t have Kosher for Passover certification, it is acceptable for Sephardic Passover, and should be fine for Ashkenazi Passover, too. If you wish to omit it from the recipe, you'll still get great results!
Speaking of results, my Jewish husband just walked into the house and announced, “It smells like Passover in here!” so I’m happy with mine!
Allergy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Kosher Potato Leek “Cheddar” Kugel
Superb on their own or with Passover brisket, these savory Kugels are crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Plan ahead and make them a day in advance, then reheat at 375°F on a baking tray for 10 to 15 minutes.
4 large Russet potatoes (about 4 lbs), 2 peeled and cubed into 1-inch pieces and 2 coarsely grated and drained
½ cup vegetable or chicken broth
5 Tbsp olive or canola oil, plus more for muffin pan
1¼ tsp kosher salt
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely grated and drained
3 leeks, white and pale green parts only, rinsed well and sliced into thin rounds
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1½ cups Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds
1 Tbsp minced chives
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 12-cup nonstick muffin pan with olive or canola oil.
2. Place cubed potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then cook until soft when pricked with a fork, about 10 minutes. Drain. Add broth, 3 Tbsp oil, and ¼ tsp salt to the potatoes and combine using an electric mixer.
3. Heat the remaining 2 Tbsp oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the leeks, celery, and garlic, and cook about 8 minutes until soft, stirring often, so garlic doesn’t burn.
4. In a large bowl, combine grated potato and onion (discarding drained liquid). Add the sautéed leeks, celery, and garlic and the remaining tsp salt. Season with pepper. Mix. Add the dairy-free cheese and toss well to combine.
5. Add minced chives to mashed potatoes. Gently stir mashed potatoes into leek mixture.
6. Divide evenly between the 12 muffin cups. (They should be heaping.)
7. Bake 75 minutes, until crispy and browned. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool in pan 15 minutes. Gently loosen each Kugel around the edges and turn out of pan onto the cooling rack. Let rest another 15 minutes. Serve warm.
Tip: To save time and effort, try grating potatoes and onion in a food processor.
P.S. Last week, I found Gefen Kosher For Passover Gluten-Free Egg-Free Wide Noodles at Whole Foods, so come back in two weeks for a Sweet Noodle Kugel recipe.
Allergy-Free Potato Leek Kugel © 2011 by Cybele Pascal
(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)
SAFETY NOTE: Because each person's food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns before consumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.
Cybele Pascal is the award-winning author of "The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook" and the "Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook." She lives in Los Angeles with her food-allergic family: husband Adam, sons Lennon and Monte, and their dogs, Izzie and Carly (who also has food allergies). Please visit her website at CybelePascal.com or follow her on twitter @CybelePascal.