Photo of Kasha varnishkes by WW

Kasha varnishkes

Total Time
36 min
10 min
26 min
Kasha varnishkes is a traditional Jewish comfort food from Eastern Europe and Russia. Kasha is buckwheat groats, and varnishkes is Yiddish for bowtie egg noodles. You can find both kasha and varnishkes in the kosher section of large supermarkets or in health-food stores. We use farfalle instead of the varnishkes, but you can use whichever is available. Toast the kasha until you start smelling its aroma. This step gives the groats a nutty flavor and crunchy texture—a nice complement to the soft pasta. This recipe, made without the pasta, makes an excellent vegetarian stuffing for cabbage, bell peppers, or eggplant.


Canola oil

1 Tbsp

Vidalia onion

2 large, chopped

Table salt

½ tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp, freshly ground

Uncooked kasha

½ cup(s), or buckwheat groats

Egg whites

1 large, lightly beaten


1½ cup(s)

Cooked pasta

2 cup(s), farfalle (bowtie) variety

Fresh parsley

2 Tbsp, fresh, chopped


  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very tender, about 10 minutes; transfer to a bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the kasha and egg white in a small bowl, stirring with a fork until the kasha is well coated. Set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the same skillet, then add the kasha mixture. Cook, over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the egg is cooked and the kasha kernels have separated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the kasha is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 6 minutes. Stir in the onion mixture, cooked pasta, and parsley. Serve at once. Yields 1 1/3 cups per serving.