Best Noodle Kugel Recipes

Best Noodle Kugel Recipes

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Noodle Kugel Shopping Tips

If you're looking for a smoother texture in your finished product, try using confectioners' sugar (also known as 10x sugar) instead of granulated sugar.

Noodle Kugel Cooking Tips

Allow the baked product to cool prior to slicing into it. This will help keep it intact.

Essential Kugel Recipes

Kugels, originally simple starchy mixes cooked like dumplings in Shabbat stews, have evolved over the centuries in style, cooking method, and variety of ingredients. They're casseroles made with noodles and other ingredients but can be based on potatoes or pieces of bread, with sweet or savory additions that can also include eggs.

From the popular dairy lokshen (noodle) kugel to potato kugel to versions filled with fruits, vegetables, or both, you'll find various options in the following 12 recipes for everything from Shabbat or holiday dinners to brunches or potlucks.

What is Noodle Kugel?

Kugel is a Jewish dish, mostly eaten in Ashkenazi households, and while sometimes it is made from potatoes, it is often made with noodles, which is what my family always had. It is typically served on shabbat, and also on Jewish holidays, like breakfast for Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashana (regular noodle kugels can’t be served on Passover, as noodles fall into the leavened wheat category, which is not ok during the 8 days of Passover).

Jewish noodle kugel is usually at least slightly sweet, sometimes quite sweet, and involves noodles, eggs, sour cream, and cottage cheese. Egg noodles are usually the noodles of choice.

A classic kugel recipe, just the right amount of dense and rich, with a sprinkling of raisins and a slightly secret ingredient from my grandfather.

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Yup, We Hosted a Noodle Kugel-Off

If you didn't grow up eating noodle kugel , the concept probably sounds a little strange to you. Noodle kugel is a casserole of noodles bathed in a creamy, buttery, and sweet sauce then baked until soggy, crispy, or a combination of both. It sounds like dessert, but this Jewish dish is staunchly savory (well, at least it's served with the main course). "Whenever someone tries kugel for the first time," explains associate food editor Claire Saffitz ____, "They're like, 'Why is this macaroni and cheese so sweet?'" One thing's for certain: Every family that has a traditional kugel recipe is convinced theirs is not only the best, but the only one.

The funny thing is, beyond the presence of sugar and noodles, there isn't much that kugelers can agree on. Some contain raisins, some have apples. Most have dairy, like sour cream or cottage cheese, but some don't. Some are baked until the top layer of noodles gets crunchy and crispy, and some are protected by a moist crust. When Saffitz , senior web editor Carey Polis , and assistant to the editor-in-chief Emma Wartzman were discussing their family's epic kugel recipes, it became immediately clear: They may share the same name and same 9 X 13 glass Pyrex casserole dish, but beyond that, they were vastly different.

There was only one thing to do: A noodle kugel-off. Each contestant prepared her family's original recipe, and then they were put to the test by judges and senior editors Meryl Rothstein and Julia Kramer (both kugel aficionados, if not enthusiasts) and kugel-newbie and food director Carla Music . Here's how the three kugels fared.

The Upgraded Traditional: Claire Saffitz

Claire's kugel looked overwhelmingly "kugel-like," according to the judges. It was tall, with deeply browned noodles cresting from the top like the jagged mountain tops of the Tetons. Made with a whole stick of butter, as well as full-fat cottage cheese and cream cheese, it was moist and creamy in the interior. The kugel was also studded with raisins, which is admittedly a controversial move. ("If anyone uses raisins, they're disqualified," said editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport , before refusing to attend.)

Upon further inspection, it was revealed that Saffitz did not entirely stick to the original recipe. The golden raisins were plumped in Calvados, a flurry of lemon zest was added to the interior, and the top was dusted with demerara sugar before being put under the broiler. The changes were welcome additions, most notably the boozy fruit. "I don't hate the raisins. Why does everyone hate the raisins?" wondered Rothstein.

The Fruit-Forward: Carey Polis

Polis's recipe comes from her mother, who traditionally mixes the cooked egg noodles with melted margarine—and no sour cream, cottage cheese, or cream cheese. Polis swapped out the margarine for butter, but beyond that, stayed true to the original recipe—right down to the canned apple pie topping. It added another element of sweetness to the noodles, which were flavored with sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.

Polis's was a delightful combination of dense-and-crunchy and light-and-soft noodles in the interior, a textural feat which, admitted Polis, may have been a happy accident. "I'm not sure I meant to do that," she said. Intentional or not, it was a joy to eat and achieved at being both dry and wet at the same time, which, according to Kramer, is an important hallmark of Jewish cuisine.

The Wild Card: Emma Wartzman

Wartzman's kugel, originally from her Great Aunt Helen, was made with purposefully over-boiled fine egg noodles for a pudding-like, ultra custardy consistency. It was covered with a crumb topping made from crushed graham crackers and butter. This is not traditional. ("Have you ever seen another noodle kugel like this, anywhere?" inquired Kramer. "No," replied Wartzman.") It resembled a coffee cake, which immediately won digital food editor Dawn Perry's heart. In fact, the crumb topping threw our judges for a loop—everyone present at the tasting noted that the kugel was much less sweet than they were anticipating.

Meryl Rothstein, Julia Kramer, and Carla Music judged the kugel-off. Belle Cushing recorded for the BA podcast.

The Results: Frankenkugel

Once it was all said and tasted, our tasting panel found it impossible to choose a favorite. Instead, plans were implemented for another round of baking that would produce the ideal Frankenkugel. What would make the ideal casserole? Wide egg noodles, as in Polis's and Saffitz's kugels. And also Wartzman's crumb topping. The raisins dotting the interior would be swapped for apples, as in Polis's, but this time they would be fresh. The butter, dairy, vanilla, and sugar would, of course, remain present.

"This is good," exclaimed editorial assistant Belle Cushing as she took a bite. "I just keep wanting it to be savory."

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Whisk sour cream, cottage cheese, 6 tbsp. butter, and eggs in a bowl set aside. Bring a 4-qt. pot of salted water to a boil cook noodles until al dente. Drain stir into cheese mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Heat remaining butter in a 12″ cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions cook, stirring, until lightly caramelized, about 8 minutes. Stir in noodles, and bake until browned, 35-40 minutes.


Bhaji Dana (Parsi-Style Fenugreek Leaves with Peas)

Bitter greens are an elegant foil to the sweetness of onions and green peas.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for dish
  • Coarse salt
  • 12 ounces wide egg noodles
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, and cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together cream cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, milk, sugar, and eggs until smooth. Toss mixture with noodles, coating evenly. Season with salt. Transfer noodle mixture to prepared dish dot with butter. Bake until golden, 45 to 50 minutes.


    • 1/2 lb. wide egg noodles
    • 1 lb. creamed or whipped cottage cheese
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • 1/4 lb. unsalted butter, melted
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 3/4 cup golden raisins
    • 2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced thin
    • pinch of salt
    • pinch of cinnamon
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • butter for greasing baking pan
    • sour cream and fresh berries as an accompaniment, if desired

Myrna’s Apple Raisin Kugel (Noodle Pudding)

First of all, I was going to title this “Two Tablescapes and a Kugel” but then I thought nah, too confusing.

Although I’m going to talk about tablescaping in this post, by no means should the decor overtake what’s really the star of the show here, and that’s my late mother-in-law’s Apple Raisin Kugel.

As most of you know, we just did a major renovation on the main floor. Before everything began, packing ensued. And when I mean packing, I mean PACKING. As organized as I usually am, there was an issue with the items that were placed in large rubber containers. As we placed our entire kitchen and dining room into the containers, I asked Steve to be sure to label each one so it would be effortless finding things after the reno was complete. Would you like to know how he labelled almost 20 large containers?

“Where’s the wine glasses Steve”?

“In one of the 15 containers that says dining room”.

Okay, this didn’t work out for me AT ALL. I have scoured through most of the containers to find the necessities that were placed back into the kitchen, but I’m missing about 100 things.

One thing in particular was a collection of my mother-in-law’s recipes that were typed up and neatly placed in a binder. WHERE IS IT? I dunno. All I know is this, I have her old recipe box which had her hand written recipes inside. Lucky, lucky me!

So today I’m going show you how I set the table for two separate occasions over the past two weeks – Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur AND of course, share this unbelievable kugel recipe with you.

When I decided to host both dinners for the high holidays, I wanted to include an edible component to the centrepiece. And by edible, I mean, your guests can actually graze on the runner. Yes!

As we sat down to our Rosh Hashanah meal, I was asked if the grapes on the runner were “real”.

Never in a trillion years would I put plastic fruit on the table. NEVER EVER, NO HOW, NO WAY, NOT HAPPENING.

I told them to feel free to go wild with the centrepiece and guess what? They had a wonderful time eating those fresh blue grapes, in fact they even got to take home leftovers. There were a ton of grapes on the table along with fresh blue plums and apples.

The look and feel of an edible runner is both chic and organic at the same time, not to mention a perfect excuse to nibble at while the courses are changing over.

For both meals, I used apples and pears as placecards, to seamlessly combine the look and feel of a market fresh tablescape.

You may be wondering what I did with the leftovers? Well, you’re looking at it right here. I used the apples in the kugel and the rest of them in a strudel (not shown). This week, I’m going to use the pears in a recipe too. It’s safe to say that they served two purposes and were recycled into something delish.

There you have it. Fall inspired and super easy to do.

Celebrate Hanukkah with this noodle kugel recipe

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Welcome to Best Bites, a video series that aims to satisfy your never-ending craving for food content through quick, beautiful videos for the at-home foodie.

If you like to skip dinner and go straight to dessert, you clearly haven’t tried this noodle kugel recipe.

Here, we soak wide egg noodles in a creamy, buttery sauce, then bake them in the oven until they’re slightly crispy on top. While it’s a savory dish and usually served alongside the main course, you’ll definitely feel like you’re treating yourself to an after-meal treat.

We use Breakstone’s sour cream, which is triple churned to make it extra creamy, and Breakstone’s cottage cheese. Together, they’ll give you the noodle kugel your Hanukkah celebration deserves.

Every family has their preferred recipe for kugel, but if yours is in need of a revamp or you simply want to try something new, you can’t go wrong with this noodle kugel recipe.

Jake Cohen’s Kugel and Cheese

We know it&rsquos only March, but we think Jake Cohen&rsquos new cookbook, Jew-ish, might be our favorite of the year. It&rsquos an enticing collection of modern Jewish recipes, yes, but it&rsquos also funny, sweet and drool-inducing. We&rsquore making his kugel and cheese&mdasha play on mac and cheese&mdashfirst.

&ldquoI love noodle kugel,&rdquo Cohen writes, &ldquoand I&rsquom not ashamed of it. It&rsquos a dairy-packed dish that doesn&rsquot know if it&rsquos a side or a dessert. As a kid, how couldn&rsquot you love an excuse to eat dessert with dinner? As an adult, the tables have turned. If I&rsquom cooking a meal, I want every dish to work together, and somehow the thought of brisket and sweet noodle kugel on the same plate just makes me gag. So welcome to my whimsical world of modern kugel, where I break all the rules to get my peers hyped about Jewish casseroles.

&ldquoWith a base of cottage cheese, sour cream and eggs,&rdquo he continues, &ldquokugel can venture in whatever direction you want. Toss in mounds of grated Gruyère and cheddar for a Jewish mac and cheese that my husband accurately describes as 'dank.'&rdquo

Strapped for time? Cohen&rsquos kugel can be assembled and baked a few hours in advance, then set aside until you&rsquore ready to serve&mdashall you&rsquoll have to do is reheat.

Excerpted fromJew-ish: A Cookbook: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch © 2021 by Jake Cohen. Photography © 2021 by Matt Taylor-Gross. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

8 ounces Gruyère cheese, coarsely grated

8 ounces fresh mozzarella, coarsely grated

2 cups full-fat cottage cheese

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

12 ounces dried wide egg noodles

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2. In a medium bowl, toss the cheddar, Gruyère and mozzarella to combine.

3. In a blender, combine the cottage cheese, sour cream, rosemary, thyme, nutmeg, 2 teaspoons salt and eggs. Blend until smooth.

4. Add the egg noodles to the boiling water and cook until al dente, 4 to 5 minutes, then drain and transfer to a large bowl.

5. Add the egg mixture and two-thirds of the grated cheeses to the bowl with the noodles and toss to combine. Pour the mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and spread it in an even layer.

6. Add the panko to the bowl with the remaining grated cheeses and toss to combine. Sprinkle the panko mixture over the noodles and drizzle with the olive oil.

7. Bake until the kugel is golden brown and set, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve immediately.