Kasha Varnishkes Recipe (2024)



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Cooking Notes

Wendy Heppt

The additional (and very easy) step of toasting the kasha with egg brings kasha varnishkes up a notch so the end result is fluffy and not a mush: beat an egg (or two egg whites) and mix with raw kasha, then toast in a dry non stick pan until the groats are golden and dry.


I must agree with the others who have noted you can add less fat (i prefer extra-light olive oil), and use a broth, e.g. chicken, to bring this up a notch. Toasting the kasha with egg is also a great addition. To add yet another layer of flavour, i add caramelized sweet onions. My husband loves the addition of sauteed mushrooms, and whole wheat farfalle as well. Kasha varnishkes is great all year round.

David Yee

Growing up Jewish (I know, bizarre with a Chinese last name), I can honestly say that the moedim are no time to spare the fat (in fact, commands are there to eat the fat, drink the sweet).

Plus, if you have all your Jewish friends over, a greasy meal is the perfect start to 2,3,4, okay 5 or more bottles of wine!

I like the fact that they represent true Ashkenazi heritage by acknowledging that chicken fat was the primary source of fat for many prior to modern commerce.

Eddie Lew

I know that this is comfort food for you, Mark and, as such, it must not be tampered with - for you; however, may you live to 120 and be well but where's the toasting the groats with a beaten egg? That is a must - for me.

Alan Singer

Forgive. Tossing the dry kasha that is coated with an egg is the heart of this staple. I might say this step us a must. In fact, when a person is creating a big tadoo about something causing all kinds of trouble, that person was referred to as “Stirring up a Kasha”. I have no idea how the toasting with the raw egg step ever gets left out of a Kasha recipe.

Thank goodness for Mark Bittman

My grandma never gave me her recipe for kasha varnishes- I’ll make it for you was her reply. I love this recipe and the instructions for cooking the onions dry first really speeds up the time for getting them lovely brown & carmelized. Will use this technique frequently. I made this once without the egg “toasting” step and once with. BIG DIFFERENCE! Don’t skip it!

Bernice Glenn

When I fry the onions, I use less than half of the fat the recipe lists, and sometimes add leftover chicken pieces at the end to round out this old-country dish. Also, instead of water, I use chicken broth to stir into the kasha. With a salad, this then becomes a full meal.

Jim Kyser

I toast the groats first, then coat with beaten egg. Then add sauteed onions and mushrooms.I toss the pasta in garlic butter and freshly chopped parsley. Then stir in the groats, mushrooms and onions.
Then top with sour cream.


Mix kasha with an egg. Toast until dry in pan. Then add water/broth.


May be sacrilegious, but I sauté mushrooms and add some dill too. Complements the kasha.

Jeff R

Wolf’s kasha- follow directions on box, add onions and farfalle. Genug!


Brings back fond memories of Dad starting the recipe by making the schmaltz for the kasha: rendered chicken fat with bits of crackling and caramelized chopped onion. Seems like there was always a jar of the stuff in the fridge. It wasn't much to look at, but when used the right way, schmaltz was gold!

Ellyn Caplan

I saute the finely chopped onions in a cast iron pan for about ten minutes and add sliced mushrooms. Mix the kasha with an egg.
Brown slightly in dry pan. Then cook the kasha in a pot. I use very small bow ties for the noodles.


Add in Lipton's onion soup mix to the boiling water before adding the kasha.


waaaay too many noodles. I used 1 cup kasha to 1/2 lb mini-farfalle and it was plenty. Otherwise, pretty good


Toasted the groats with a beaten egg, boiled with good homemade veggie stock. Sauteed mushrooms with caramelized onions in butter and added a bit of thyme, caraway seed, and dill. Reserved a bit of the pasta water to loosen up when mixing, glugged in a bit of heavy cream. Delicious.


Saute the kasha groats in an egg before cooking. Makes it so much richer and nuttier. And even better if you sautee mushrooms with the onions.


I always toast the Kashi with egg before adding chicken stock. I wonder if this can be made in an instant pot?

Euphemia Thompson

Many insist on toasting the kasha with an egg. I toast in a hot pan, no egg. Stir constantly until it becomes fragrant, then turn off the heat. Let cool a bit, and then start adding hot broth (as for risotto) and as the groats (I use whole, not ground) absorb the liquid, keep adding till they've softened to your desired consistency.

Lynde Paule

I cannot have any oil or dairy so the dish was made without it. It tasted very different from how I traditionally have made it for decades, but it was heart healthy. I am not sure I will make it again because I cannot have oil.


Mushrooooooooooooms!Ya mustAnd toast those lovely little groats in egg.Ya must


Add egg first to raw kasha


To really make this recipe luscious, use more kasha (we use one box to 5 cup of cooked pasta), yes the egg and kasha of course, caramelize the onions as others have said AND use leftover (defatted) brisket juice as the liquid instead of so much oil. After it is done cooking, add leftover brisket minced.

David Parker

Soaking the kasha for at least two hours before you cook it reduces the cooking time exponentially. 10 minutes tops, and less if you've soaked it over night. I also caramelized the onions over low heat for about 40 minutes.


Toast the kasha so the end result is fluffy and not a mush: beat an egg (or two egg whites) and mix with raw kasha, then toast in a dry non stick pan until the groats are golden and dry.Add less fat (e.g. extra-light olive oil), and use a broth, e.g. chicken, to bring this up a notch. Toasting the kasha with egg is also a great addition; also caramelize sweet onions, and sauteed mushrooms.


There's a Craig Claiborne recipe on this site for "Kasha or Buckwheat Groats", which agrees with many of these comments that (a) the kasha should be toasted with an egg and (b) some bird stock is a good idea. Craig likes quail stock.

Ann O’Neill

Made this using duck fat (which I had instead of schmaltz) and it was amazing. I agree with others about toasting the kasha in egg first. When serving leftovers I drizzled on some pomegranate molasses (see Martha Rose Shulman kasha recipe) and some Japanese chili garlic crisp and all I can say is wow. How great fusion can be!


My mother never made it. Her mother and father were born in Lithuania, and the cooking traditions were different than those in the heart of eastern Europe. I missed out on brisket too! Never heard of either dish until I ate at a boyfriend's house in high school. I made my kasha in my instant pot. No egg, and it was fine.

Cook from Chapel Hill

Is there a way to toast the kasha without using egg? (Vegan family)


Maybe try aquafaba? I haven't tried it but suspect it would work.


Cooking the kasha in egg is a must, otherwise it gets mushy. Use a fork to press down on the kasha in a dry pan. It help create that nutty taste and smell. Definitely use broth, either chicken or vegetable for more flavor. I cooked this last week as my mother did. Add large cubes of green pepper while it is steaming. Then she would add a scrambled egg (I use 3). My daughter called it Jewish fried rice.

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Kasha Varnishkes Recipe (2024)


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