Traditional Lithuanian Potato Pudding (Kugelis)

Lithuanian Potato Pudding Kugelis Recipe

The Spruce

Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 100 mins
Total: 2 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 12 to 15 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
273 Calories
9g Fat
37g Carbs
13g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 15
Amount per serving
Calories 273
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 83mg 28%
Sodium 446mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 15mg 76%
Calcium 106mg 8%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 996mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This traditional recipe for Lithuanian savory potato pudding, known as kugelis or bulviu plokstainis (literally "flat potato"), produces a dense, heavy casserole that is considered a national dish of Lithuania.

Kugelis is commonly served with applesauce, lingonberry preserves, sour cream, or crumbled bacon bits and can be eaten as a main course or side dish.

Compare this recipe with this easy Lithuanian kugelis recipe made with frozen hash browns and this Polish potato pie recipe known as baba kartoflana or kartoflak.


  • 1/2 pound bacon, chopped

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 5 large eggs, beaten

  • 1 1/4 cups milk

  • 1 (7-ounce) can evaporated milk

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup farina (not quick-cooking)

  • 5 pounds white or red potatoes, peeled and grated

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Lithuanian Potato Pudding Kugelis Recipe
     The Spruce
  2. Transfer rack to middle of oven and preheat to 350 F. Coat a 13-by-9-inch pan with cooking spray and set it aside. 

    Lithuanian Potato Pudding Kugelis Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. In a large skillet, sauté bacon and onion until lightly browned and caramelized. Leave in skillet and do not drain fat. Set pan aside to cool.

    Lithuanian Potato Pudding Kugelis Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, evaporated milk, salt, and farina. Add bacon-onion mixture and drippings. Stir until well combined.

    Lithuanian Potato Pudding Kugelis Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Using a food processor or by hand, finely grate potatoes, squeezing out excess moisture. Work quickly so potatoes don't darken. While they are still fine to eat if darkened, the final product won't look as appealing.

    Lithuanian Potato Pudding Kugelis Recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Add grated and squeezed potatoes to bacon-egg mixture, combining well.

    Lithuanian Potato Pudding Kugelis Recipe
     The Spruce
  7. Pour potato mixture into prepared pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until top is quite brown and interior is solid, but still moist.

    Lithuanian Potato Pudding Kugelis Recipe
     The Spruce
  8. Remove pan from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before cutting into squares.

    Lithuanian Potato Pudding Kugelis Recipe
     The Spruce
  9. Serve as a side dish or as a main course with a salad.

    Lithuanian Potato Pudding Kugelis Recipe
     The Spruce

Cover and refrigerate any leftovers. You can enjoy leftover kugelis by heating portions in the microwave or browning them in butter. Enjoy!

Tips and Substitutions

  • Farina is milled wheat that is used to make hot cereal. It is available in the cereal section of the market and one common brand is Cream of Wheat. If you don't have any you can substitute 1/2 cup of plain breadcrumbs.
  • Because this recipe uses farina, it is not gluten-free. However, you can instead use gluten-free cream of rice cereal as a substitute.

Potatoes Abound in Lithuanian Cuisine

Lithuanian cuisine shares many culinary traditions with Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Germany, and Ashkenazi Jews. That means potatoes reign supreme and exist in nearly every course. Besides kugelis, also known as kugel, they star in these other potatoes dishes:

  • Lithuanian zeppelin potato dumplingsKnown as cepelinai, these football-shaped dumplings made with a raw and cooked potato dough are filled with meat or cheese.

  • Lithuanian potato sausageVederai or potato sausage can be made entirely meatless or with the addition of bacon. The only other ingredients are grated potatoes, eggs, onion, seasonings, and a few tablespoons of flour.