Leek & potato kugel – A delightful twist on tradition

With crispy golden edges and a meltingly soft, delicious interior,
this gorgeous leek and potato kugel is a glorious twist on tradition.

My new year’s resolution should be being more decisive. Or not. Hmmm….

Do you suffer from indecision? I do. Only recently I received two lovely looking leeks in our organic veg box, and I must have worked my way through at least dozen different recipe ideas without being able to settle on a favourite. My leeks were very nearly a creamy leek sauce for fish, a steamed vegetable side dish, or even an innovative new savoury cookie. How to choose?! 

Decisions, decisions…

In the end, having assessed what other ingredients were available, and taking into account the horrible comfort-food-inspiring weather, I settled on a leek and potato kugel. There was just one problem – my dearest DH.

There are a few things that DH claims to dislike, and kugel is right up there. But I honestly think that it’s the idea of kugel, rather than kugel itself, that he doesn’t like. As long as he doesn’t instantly recognise it as kugel, I can usually get away with it. And I have found a sneaky way to get him to eat it. 

Rich with caramelised leeks, onions & thyme, this gorgeous potato kugel is crispy on the outside, meltingly soft inside, & delicious all the way through. #kugel #Jewishfood #sidedish

So what’s the secret?

When I make plain potato kugel, it is known in this house as a potato rosti.

Individual potato kugels, are known as crispy potato hearts.

And this leek and potato kugel? Well, I wasn’t feeling very creative so it ended up as a “leek and potato bake…. thing” but that seemed to do the trick.

Because I’m sure you’ve guessed my sneaky method to get him gobbling it down. DON’T CALL IT KUGEL!

A rose by any other name…

As long as it’s called something else, DH will happily eat his kugel and even come back for seconds. He ate a big portion of this yummy leek and potato kugel, and even said how tasty it was. That’ll be the sautéed leeks and onions, and the delicious seasoning of thyme and black pepper. And the fact that I didn’t refer to it as kugel, of course. 

My daughter Kipper was a big fan of this dish whatever it was called, although she was all about the crispy edges, which as everyone knows are the best bits of any potato kugel. Personally I think it’s the combination of crispy edges and meltingly soft middle that’s the killer. This kugel has that in spades too.

Call it what you like, this leek and potato kugel is a delicious side dish. Now you just need to decide to make one!

Serves 4-6.

Rich with caramelised leeks, onions & thyme, this gorgeous potato kugel is crispy on the outside, meltingly soft inside, & delicious all the way through. #kugel #Jewishfood #sidedish

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leek and potato kugel
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4.67 from 3 votes

Leek and potato kugel

Flavoured with caramelised onions, leeks and thyme, this delicious kugel has crispy edges and a meltingly soft middle. Yum!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine jewish
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Author Helen


  • 750 g potatoes (approx 4 large)
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 medium leeks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2-1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • generous pinch salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp self-raising flour


  • Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Lightly oil a 20cm round oven-proof dish and set aside.
  • Peel the potatoes and grate coarsely (I use the food processor). Set in a colander over the sink and press and squeeze the grated potato to remove some of the water. Leave to drain.
  • Peel and thinly slice the onion. Trim and wash the leeks and cut into 5mm slices.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over a medium-low heat. Saute the onion and leek for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to caramelise. Season with the thyme, pepper and salt and mix well.
  • Transfer the grated potato to a large mixing bowl. Add the leek mixture, the beaten egg, and the flour, and combine everything well together.
  • Tip the mixture into the prepared dish and press gently down to level the surface. Bake at 180C (350F) for 60-75 minutes, until golden and crispy. Serve hot.

If you’re looking for more delicious savoury Shabbat recipes, how about this easy vegetarian cholent, or these delicious bulgar stuffed courgettes with pine nuts.

If you love kugel, why not follow my kugel board on Pinterest? All the kugel-y goodness!

I’m linking this up with CookBlogShare and Simple & In Season.














  1. Could the leeks/onion combination be made the day before, and then mixed in with the potato and egg before putting it into the oven?

    • Hi Michele. Yes, I think that should be fine. Just make sure to keep them in the fridge once they’ve cooled down, until you’re ready to use them. Enjoy your kugel! All the best, Helen x.

  2. 4 stars
    This was easy to make kosher for Pesach (and vegan with an egg sub). But you say to grate this, which I did, but I realized the photos show the potatoes shredded. I think it will turn out better that way, which I’ll do next time. Thanks.

    • Hi Andrea, I think this might be a UK/US English thing! Here in the UK we use ‘grated’ to mean what I think Americans mean when they say ‘shredded’ e.g. what Americans call ‘shredded cheese’ we call ‘grated cheese’. I don’t think I’d realised that Americans mean something else when they say ‘grated’. Eek! Anyway, I’m glad it turned out well and you enjoyed it! Thanks for your comment and all the best, Helen.

  3. Pingback:How to make gorgeous gluten-free roasted cauliflower & vegetable chowder

  4. Elizabeth Applebaum

    Hello from Detroit and thank you so much for posting this recipe! We love potato kugel in my family but have never tried anything like this. I’ll be making it for Shabbat!

  5. Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours

    5 stars
    It is a rosti by another name. Classic comfort mountain food and perfect for the winter.

  6. I love that a simple name change can make all the difference! I used to be a very fussy eater so can empathis with both you and your OH! This both looks and sounds delicious though so I’m not surprised they all lapped it up!

  7. I love leek and potato together, but I have never tried it like this before. Something new for me to try this month!

  8. Oh my goodness those look amazing! I want to try it! This looks incredibly healthy AND delicious. I really want to try this recipe.Thanks for sharing!

  9. 5 stars
    This is fabulous comfort food, I can imagine it’s the kind of food you eat until it’s all gone, no leftovers! Thank you for bringing it to #CookBlogShare!

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