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Perfect for Passover: Allergy Free Potato Leek Kugel

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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!

1 of 7

1 Drain the grated potatoes and onion in a colander over a bowl or the sink.

2 Use an electric mixer to mix the mashed potatoes.

3 Slice the leeks into rounds.

4 Sauté the leeks, celery, and garlic.

5 Combine the grated and drained potatoes and onion with the sautéed leek mixture.

6 Fill the muffin cups with the mixture.

7 Bake until golden.

Allergy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Kosher Potato Leek “Cheddar” Kugel
Makes 12

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.

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Comments (18)

  • So since I've been wondering how to make knishes for a while now... Do you suppose you could take those transparent spring roll wrappers and fill them with your kugel recipe (minus the Daiya)? I don't know why I haven't thought of spring roll wrappers before but I'm not a professional chef just a professional pest. BTW as always, looks good enough to eat!

  • Hi Laurel:

    I think that would be good! Use the large summer roll wrappers. Let us know how it goes!


  • Omg I am so excited! I feel like I've wonthe jackpot over here!!!!!

  • wait wait, I'm on the right site, can I put in my challenge for challah ( for after passover obviously) or cheesecake? I make a challah with my girls most Fridays. I braid them and make round ones and dessert for the new year, but alas I cannot enjoy the yummy bread full of all my no-nos. So, for now I enjoy the smell, and what a smell that is! the cheesecake is just a sinful request nd since I m sugar free too, it'll never happen, but I'd love a splurge:)

  • Oh these look just amazing. Perfect for a Peasch side. Thanks for sharing

  • Hi Melissa:

    Happy you like the recipe!


  • Hope you enjoy them, Beth Michelle.

    Kindest regards,


  • My family has had me on a search for a good pierogi dough that is GF and allergy friendly (we can use soy though). It has to roll out thin, or else when cooked comes out thick and gummy. My kids don't like sorghum flour. I would love to use your basic flour mix or something close to it. My family (and I) would be so grateful! As a kid growing up near Pittsburgh, pierogis were always around. We miss them.

  • [...] Allergy-Free Potato Leek Kugel (by me) at Whole Living [...]

  • This may be an utterly unreasonable challenge, but after reading your recipes you might just be the one who can make it work. I am utterly desperate for anything decently bread-like (or crackers or rolls or tortillas, etc). I can do muffins & sweet/quick breads, but my attempts at anything suitable for a sandwich or burger are just a series of miserable failures.

    Here's my restrictions:
    - No gluten, no dairy, no eggs, no soy (of any kind, not just allergenic proteins), no corn, no potato, no bean or nut based flours (both tolerated only in very small amounts), no ener-g egg replacer (b/c of the potato), and no xanthan OR guar gum (I react strongly to both).

    I am definitely flexible on the end product, I just want a sandwich on something other than a rice cake! If it helps, I do use gf oat flour which I know lots of people avoid when gluten free. Thank you so much!

  • Now that my little guy is starting to eat solids he's grabbing for everything we eat so I was wondering if any of your recipes would adapt well as a teething biscuit? He grabbed a flax biscuit from your cookbook the other day and liked it but I was thinking of something he could gnaw on a little bit.

  • [...] Allergy-Free Potato Leek Kugel at Whole Living [...]

  • [...] several weeks ago to make an Allergy-Free Noodle Kugel. Two weeks ago, I came up with a delicious Allergy-Free Savory Potato Leek Kugel, but a Passover meal is not complete without a Sweet Kugel [...]

  • [...] Cybele Pascal’s Potato Leek “Cheddar” Kugel [...]

  • [...] Perfect for Passover: Allergy Free Potato Leek Kugel – Whole Living … [...]

  • This recipe turned out really tasty for me, but the center of the kugels NEVER cooked all the way through. Did this happen to anyone else? I scaled up the recipe x3 to serve a big crowd, and my only guess is that the ratio of mashed potato to grated potato needs to be lower when tripling the recipe? The soft center wasn't the cheese either - it was melting wonderfully as daiya tends to do :) but the center of the muffins just never got firm, even after cooking over 1.5 hours and cooling completely in the pan. Without eggs, though, there is no danger in eating it undercooked as it was, which is nice! Thanks for a tasty recipe though!

  • [...] Some sort of potato kugel, like these simple mini ones, or perhaps something a little more fancy with leeks [...]

  • This recipe gooped up and made a mess. The overfilled cups just spilled over onto the oven. Also, they did not look like yours. In your instructions you say to mix the leek mixture with the mashed potatoes. Did you really mean that? Your picture looks like you layered that part on the top... Oh well, I hope they will taste all right, once I get the house cleared of the smoke.

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