vegan kasha varnishkes with mushrooms and tomatoes in a bowl.

Vegan Kasha Varnishkes with Mushrooms and Tomatoes

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Vegan Kasha Varnishkes with mushrooms and tomatoes is a comforting, homey side dish. Kasha is a favorite Ashkenazic (Eastern European) Jewish dish with Russian and Ukrainian origins. I tend to make it for Rosh Hashanah, but it’s a great meal any time of the year!

Why You Will Enjoy This Recipe

This version of kasha varnishkes (or kasha and bowties) is made without eggs or chicken broth. And the addition of mushrooms, tomatoes, and onions with the bowtie noodles gives it flavor and freshness. Then, add some fresh herbs – an easy way to spruce up this classic dish.

In the last century, this recipe evolved with immigration to the U.S. Homemade egg noodles were replaced by commercial bowtie or farfalle pasta. Instead of frying the kasha in schmaltz, or chicken fat, vegetable oil was used (but not usually butter – a dairy food can’t be consumed with a meat meal in Kosher cooking).

Traditionally, this recipe is simply seasoned with a little onions, salt, and pepper.

Most recipes call for mixing the kasha with beaten eggs and then cooking it in oil for a few minutes. This is an important step to prevent it from getting too dense. Aquafaba can be used in place of the eggs. Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas (or you can use the cooking liquid if you made cooked dried chickpeas).

Then instead of using chicken broth, choose vegetable broth or water.

Use medium or coarse kasha for this recipe. Fine kasha is used for hot cereal.

More About Kasha

Kasha is a favorite staple grain in Ukrainian, Russian, and Eastern European cooking. It is toasted buckwheat. Some other foods containing buckwheat are blinis, Russian pancakes made with buckwheat flour, and Japanese udon noodles.

Buckwheat is considered a grain as far as the food groups, but it is not in the wheat family and is naturally gluten-free (but check the labels to be sure in case of cross-contamination). This recipe is not gluten-free due to the farfalle, but gluten-free pasta could be substituted.

Nutrition in Kasha

¼ cup serving size (uncooked)

150 calories

Fiber: 2 grams

Protein: 4 grams

Fat: 1 gram

0 sodium

0.7 milligrams iron

Learn more about the health benefits of buckwheat from this WebMD article.

You can buy kasha in the Kosher section of a grocery store, a European market, or online.

How to Make Vegan Kasha Varnishkes

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the farfalle for 13 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.
  • Meanwhile, mix the kasha well with the aquafaba in a medium bowl.
kasha in a bowl.
  • Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to high heat for a minute. Add the kasha to the pan. Stir constantly and cook for about 3 minutes until the kasha is fragrant and lightly browned.
  • Remove the kasha from the pan. Add the other tablespoon of olive oil and the chopped mushrooms, white parts of the green onions, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Sauté for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the vegetable broth and kasha to the pan. Bring to a boil, Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Check the mixture in 7 – 10 minutes. It is done when the kasha is fluffy.
  • Stir in the cooked farfalle, green onions, and chopped fresh rosemary.

Kasha Tips

Choose medium or coarse kasha, not fine

Don’t forget to toast the kasha with aquafaba in a pan with oil first. Otherwise, it becomes too dense and too fluffy.

Watch my video about how to make this recipe here: made for the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group.

Storage

You can store this dish in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Considering the fresh tomatoes, freezing vegan kasha varnishkes would change in the consistency of the tomatoes, If you don’t mind that, freeze for up to 3 months.

More Recipes to Enjoy

vegan kasha varnishkes with mushrooms and tomatoes in a bowl.

Vegan Kasha Varnishkes with Mushrooms and Tomatoes

Melissa Altman-Traub MS, RDN, LDN
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 29 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Jewish, Mediterranean
Servings 8

Equipment

  • Large pot
  • Colander
  • Medium bowl
  • Frying pan
  • paring knife
  • Cutting board

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups farfalle noodles uncooked
  • 1 cup medium kasha uncooked
  • cup aquafaba
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 cup baby bella mushrooms chopped
  • 4 green onions, divided into white and green sections chopped
  • 1 cup fresh tomato chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable broth low sodium
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary chopped

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the farfalle for 13 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.
  • Meanwhile, mix the kasha well with the aquafaba in a medium bowl.
  • Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to high heat for a minute. Add the kasha to the pan. Stir constantly and cook for about 3 minutes until the kasha is fragrant and lightly browned.
  • Remove the kasha from the pan. Add the other tablespoon of olive oil and the chopped mushrooms, white parts of the green onions, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Sauté for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the vegetable broth and kasha to the pan. Bring to a boil, Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Check the mixture in 7 – 10 minutes. It is done when the kasha is fluffy.
  • Stir in the cooked farfalle, green onions, and chopped fresh rosemary.

Notes

Use medium kasha.
Aquafaba is the liquid from canned chickpeas.
Cut the tomato in half and remove the seeds before chopping it
Keyword Kasha
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