Mama Living Abroad

Kasha Varnishkes

Kasha Varnishkes in a white bowl
Kasha Varnishkes in a white bowl

Kasha Varnishkes is a classic Jewish comfort food, delicious, rich, and satisfying. I have honestly never met a person who doesn’t like pasta. I am a fan of this recipe because it’s a comfort side dish that works for just about any occasion. This Kasha Varnishkes recipe is delicious hot, but it also makes a great cold pasta salad!

What is Kasha Varnishkes?

Kasha Varnishkes is a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish side dish of sautéed onions, buckwheat groats (kasha), and bowtie pasta. It is often served on special occasions or Shabbat dinners with chicken or brisket.

Ingredients Overview

Fat: I use olive oil, but traditionally it is made with schmaltz or butter.

Onions: Sautéed in a generous amount of fat. They have an earthy and sweet flavor.

Kasha: Roasted buckwheat groats. You may find kasha in online stores or in the grains section of your grocery store, in packages or in bulk bins.

Egg: The egg coats the kasha before toasting. Don’t be tempted to leave this step out! It’s crucial to encourage separation and fluff.

Pasta: This side dish is traditionally made with bowtie (Farfalle) pasta.

Chicken or vegetable stock: Homemade or store-bought.

Salt and pepper: Just a pinch to your liking. You can always add more. 

For garnish: An authentic or traditional way to serve Kasha Varnishkes is with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

How to Make Kasha Varnishkes Step-By-Step:

Step 1: Sauté the Onions: In a medium sized pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season generously with salt and pepper, and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Move onions to a bowl and set aside.

Step 2: Cook the Pasta: Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

Step 3: Toast (and cook) the kasha: Warm up the stock and keep it simmering. Beat the egg lightly and mix with the kasha so that the grains are well coated. Pour kasha into the pan you just used for the onions. Cook over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring, to break apart any clumps. Add the boiling stock, cover and simmer until the stock is absorbed and the kasha is cooked (10-12 minutes).

Step 4: Assemble the dish: Mix the pasta, onions, and cooked kasha together in the large pan. Use your own preferred pasta/kasha ratio. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

More Jewish Recipes You’ll Love 

Vegetarian Matzo Ball (Kneadelech) Soup

Round Spiral Challah

Tzimmes Cake

Sweet Cheese Kugel

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Kasha Varnishkes in a white bowl

Kasha Varnishkes

A delightful warm dish of sautéed onions, kasha, and bowtie pasta. This is such a soul-warming comfort dish, perfect for any occasion.
Kosher (can be dairy, Pareve, or meat)
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Jewish
Keyword: Jewish Comfort Food, Jewish Traditional Food
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) oil, butter, or schmaltz or butter or schmaltz
  • 2 large onions or 4 medium, chopped
  • 1 Lb ( 454 grams ) uncooked bowtie (Farfalle) pasta
  • 2 cups (490 ml) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup (150 grams) kasha (toasted buckwheat groats)
  • 1 large egg at room temperature and lightly beaten 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped parsley for garnish optional

Instructions

Sauté the onions:

  • In a medium-sized pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Season generously with salt and pepper and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, until golden brown. Move onions to a bowl and set aside.

Cook the pasta:

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

Toast (and cook) the kasha:

  • Warm up the stock and keep it simmering.
  • Beat the egg lightly and mix with the kasha so that the grains are well coated.
  • Pour kasha into the pan you just used for the onions. Cook over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring, to break apart any clumps.
  • Add the boiling stock, cover, and simmer until the stock is absorbed and the kasha is cooked (10-12 minutes).

Assemble the dish:

  • Mix the pasta, onions, and cooked kasha together in the large pan. Use your own preferred pasta/kasha ratio. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
  • Sprinkle with chopped parsley (optional) and serve warm.

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Hi, I’m Rachel.

Welcome to my little corner of the internet! I’m happy you’re here. I am the food blogger behind “Mama Living Abroad.” In this space, I am sharing flavorful recipes that I love to make and have my family and friends approve.

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