24 February 2018
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Kugelis recipe

Photo by Yours For Good


I’m very excited to share this recipe with you because


Once again I have been elected to share a traditional Lithuanian recipe with you due to the fact that I am so very “culinary challenged”. Please remember that I need to be supervised when I’m in the kitchen so that I don’t hurt myself. But the powers to be of VilNews feel that I’m the best person to share these recipes since if a person with my limited cooking skills can cook these tasty meals than it shows to every one how easy they are to prepare.

Kugelis is quite easy to make. The only thing a little confusing about making kugelis is what recipe to use. All recipes for traditional foods of all nationalities have their own little twists to them based on the recipe from one family to another. Recipes for traditional Lithuanian meals are the same.

However for kugelis??????

I think that kugelis has more variations for recipes than any other Lithuanian dish. So in formulating this recipe I took about six different recipes and averaged them out and gave ranges for some ingredients and options for the milk. All said and done, if you made kugelis from the six different recipes I used, in the end they would all be about the same and it would probably be difficult to taste or see the difference if you put a piece of each of the six on a plate.

So – Don’t worry about it. Just have fun!!!


What you will need

10 lbs./4.5 kg. potatoes

1-1 ½ lbs./.5-.7 kg. bacon or pork or chicken

3-6 eggs

2 large onions

1 can evaporated milk or 12 oz. scalded milk

Salt and pepper


Potato preparation

Peel and grate all of the potatoes.

If you do not have an Electric Potato Grater,

use the side of the hand grater with the smallest holes.

The consistency is important. It should be like apple sauce.

Unlike the potatoes for cepelinai, you can use a much wider variety of potatoes for kugelis

since the baking process will darken them and give a bit of a yellow tint.

Again we would not recommend using red potatoes though.

And yes by all means Sig and Rima you can use the purple potatoes!!!

You will have purple kugelis but I’m sure it will taste great and

after all there’s a first time for everything.

Just as we mentioned with the recipe for Cepelinai, the most time consuming part of making Kugelis is grating the potatoes. This is why many people don’t make this easy to make dish very often. This is also why many people got the Lithuanian Electric Potato Grater. It will grate 10 lbs. of potatoes in a matter of minutes. It is available through the Lithuanian E-Store

They have it in both the 110 Volt and 220 Volt models and they ship world wide.

Drain the excess water from the grated potatoes.

The best way is to place grated potatoes in a doubled cheese cloth and squeeze.

A less strenuous way is to put the grated potatoes in a colander and let the liquid seep out.

Important – Drain the liquid into a pan.

When finished pour off the liquid and put the potato starch back into the grated potatoes.


Meat preparation

Cut the bacon into thin strips.

Fry up the bacon and finely chopped onion together.

DO NOT drain out the grease.

The bacon grease is an integral part of the consistency of the cooked Kugelis.


A note about the meat


You can use unsmoked or smoked bacon, it’s all a matter of personal taste.

I don’t think I would recommend bacon cured in maple syrup though.

You can but the packaged and precut bacon or you can buy the “slab bacon”.

The “slab bacon” is what is called šoninė in Lithuania – Pork belly


While using bacon is what some would say is the “traditional” meat, I can honestly tell you that I have had Kugelis made with about any variety of pork cut you can think of. I’ve even had Kugelis made with chicken or turkey. All variations were delicious.


Mixing all the ingredients

Pour the milk into the drained grated potatoes and mix well.

Add the fried bacon and onions into the potatoes (grease and all) and mix well.

Beat the eggs and add into the potato mixture.

Some people recommend that you beat each egg and add it separately???

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Once all the ingredients have been blended well,

Pour mixture into a medium depth, greased backing pan/dish.



Be sure the oven has been preheated.

Again this is a source of discussion.

Some say;

Bake at 425F/220C for 15 minutes then at 350F/180C for 1 hour

Bake at 425F/220C for 15 minutes then at 325F/165C for 1 hour

Bake at 350F/180C for 2 hours

Bake at 350/180C for 1 ½ hours

The best way is to cook it at whatever temperature you think will work for however long you think is enough – When the top is a golden brown and there is a darker crust around the edges it is DONE.

Remove from the oven and let sit about 20 minutes and then cut and serve.

Sour Cream is a great topping.

Here are a few things to consider.

Maybe using 10 lbs./4.5 kg. of potatoes is too much for the meal you are planning so you may want to use 5 lbs./2.5 kg. of Potatoes. Now this may sound kind of strange but every one I have talked to has said that the amounts of all the other ingredients stay the same – You just use less potatoes???

Even if you cook up a big batch of Kugelis and there is some left over don’t worry





Fry up some of the left over Kugelis in a pan with some eggs

And this makes one fine breakfast.

In fact this is why I always make a bigger batch than I need just so that I can have Kugelis for breakfast the next day. In spite of what you may have read about “traditional Lithuanian breakfasts” in books, I can tell you that in Lithuania very often what you had for dinner last night is what you have for breakfast (and lunch) the next day.



Vin Karnila

Category : Food, wine and more

  • Kugelis Rules OK!

    July 07 2015
    • Greg Fetingis

      Regardless of it's origin thank heavens for Kugelis, it has to be one of the most addictive foods ever. My family was Lithuanian and every large get-together (Christmas, Easter, Birthdays) Kugelis was served. It helped capture prospective spouses, because once tasted it stays in your sense-memory and you crave it.

      My family made it using Speck instead of Bacon, cream instead of milk, a little plain flour (1 tblsn) and with less eggs (I'll try it with more eggs next time). The drainage method was pushing a spoon into the surface of the grated potato mix at spaced intervals and continuing until done. One thing that is obvious from the variations of the recipes and ingredients is that Kugelis is a dish which usually works well and is very forgiving of even the novice chef as long as the potatoes are grated properly (nail hole hand grater, ouch).

      One final hint, many like the side pieces that have more crust, also some feel it lacks a bit served as slabs or don't want to make a whole dish for two people, try making it in deep Muffin Tins with less cooking time. Perfect Kugelettes look very classy on the plate and taste just as good, unfortunately not as good for frying in butter for breakfast!

      March 20 2015
      • vitolis

        I am Lithuanian and kugelis is my favourite of all the potato recipes. I never made it often because of all the work involved. Now I am retired and have a very inventive mind and the time to experiment,. Here is what I came up with. I used a kitchen aid with the fine grater. by cutting the potatoes into small pieces they came out with the right consistency, then I ran the whole batch of grated potatoes through a juicer and to my surprise the pulp went one way and the water and starch went the other. I let the water and starch separate for a few minutes and returned the starch to the potato mixture. In no time at all I was putting the kugelis in the oven . Hopefully this might help someone who has a very busy schedule and would love to make kugelis and potato pancakes

        December 07 2014
        • Ieva

          P.s. And my grandparents always eat kugelis with sour cream and redcurrant jam,like cake, which was weird for me as I thought the best additive is sour cream or plain yoghurt. 😉

          July 27 2014
          • Ieva

            Just yesterday I baked cake,it required for two rounded shape pans. Mine were too large,so I decided to use only one,but squared. That cake form instantly reminded me of the dish my grandfather use to make (and is still making ) and its weird name- kugelis. As a child I did not enjoy that dish so much, cause my grandpa use to put those big chunks of pork fat only,no meat, so I could eat only potatoes part, constantly spitting out the pieces of fat. But the smell coming out from oven was amazing! I couldn't wait to eat! And he always used this old school electric potatoe grater or actually its juice machine giving smooth texture of potatoes later in the dish. We are Latvians,but my grandpa has born and lived all his childhood in Eltiski (sorry,if I spell wrong), Lithuania and as young man moved to Latvia,where still living with his beloved wife just 8 km from border with Lithuania. I grew up and moved from the Baltics to the other side of Europe. As this thought of kugelis popped up in my mind,I gave call to my dear grandpa million miles away to learn details of it. Besides recipe I questioned him about the name,what it means,because I was sure its not at all Latvian name nor dish. So he told me that for generations our ancestors has called this particular dish- kugelis,with no other meaning rather oven baked grated potatoes and pork meat dish. Later I googled the word and all the answers regarded to traditional Lithuanian dish. So now I'm so excited and looking forward to make kugelis for my international family in the Medditerranian and tell them about kugelis heritage!
            So, ACIU, Lithuanians for one great plate! I can feel already the amazing aroma coming from oven… ☺

            July 27 2014
            • Sparky Svarp...

              Both of my parents were born in Lithuanian and came to the US in the 50s along with my grandparents.

              The notion that Kugelis is not a Lithuanian dish is simply preposterous. This was a weekly dish at our house as well as my grandparents. I’ve been to Lithuania several times (last time was Nov 2012) and as stated by another reader early, this is the national dish of Lithuania. Every home and every restaurant I had the privilege of visiting had Kugelis on the dinner table.

              So, while it may be easy to make statements that this is not a Lithuanian dish, it’s another thing to prove it.
              I’ve provided you firsthand accounts that prove otherwise. Can you provide me evidence to support your claims that it is in fact NOT a Lithuanian dish? Some other country that has this same exact recipe passed down for generations?

              To all my Lithuanian Brothers and Sisters out there, LABAS!

              August 22 2013
              • Nancy

                My grandmother was born in Lithuania and made this dish all her life. But she called it (and I'm spelling phonetically) Korshee. She made it with salt pork instead of bacon and baked it in a cast iron frying pan.

                August 19 2013
                • Linda

                  My grandmother who was from near Vilnus, called it Kugelis although it was pronounced "Ku-gu- lie" is that what other are saying? My mother (the youngest of 3) was born in 1913.
                  There are no Lithuanian words that are similar? It might mean a root brick or something, think of all of the odd names for foods worldwide: pigs in a blanket? Some British dishes have hilarious names!

                  June 19 2013
                  • Sharon Klastow

                    I LOVE KUGELIS. My gramma used to make this at least once a week on the farm. I never got her recipe so I greatly appreciate this one. Cant wait to try it and see is it comes close to grammas.

                    March 05 2013
                    • Verute

                      I usually make the kugelis without bacon because my daughter is a vegetarian. I add more butter to the recipie. I have also experimented by adding sweet potato to the mix-Yummy! My Italian sister-in-law always adds garlic..also very yummy. It is all good.

                      February 15 2013


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