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Comfort Food: Jewish Noodle Kugel Recipe


Noodle Kugel recipe

Noodle kugel is one of my favorite childhood dishes. It’s a classic side dish that is served in just about every Jewish family.

It’s also one of those dishes that every cook makes slightly different. Recipes get handed down from generation to generation. Just like every Italian grandmother has her own spaghetti sauce, every Jewish grandmother has her own noodle kugel recipe.

Some make it sweet by adding raisons or pineapple with a little cinnamon. Most noodle kugel recipes are loaded with dairy – butter, cottage cheese, sour cream and maybe cream cheese. Jews who keep kosher, meaning they don’t mix meat and dairy in the same meal, usually have a non-dairy version of noodle kugel too so it can be served with a brisket dinner.

Noodle kugel is often served for company dinners because it’s easy to make a large amount and doesn’t take much preparation time. Actually, it’s best made just before dinner is served. Don’t mix up the kugel and then wait to put it into the oven for a while…the noodles will soak up the liquids and it will turn out dry. While it is good reheated, it’s best when served piping hot out of the oven.

Anyone who likes quiche and fettucine alfredo should like this dish. It’s basically noodles with butter, dairy and eggs whipped together and then baked into a custardy noodle dish.

Keep in mind this is a really mild dish. In it’s classic form, there isn’t any spice added to it. No garlic. No pepper. No onions.

That’s not to say you couldn’t add these things. But it wouldn’t be classic Jewish noodle kugel anymore.

I’ve modified my grandmother’s recipe only by changing the topping. Sometimes she made it with no topping at all. Sometimes she topped it with corn flakes cereal. She did have another version of noodle kugel with cream cheese added, but I like this one much more.

This definitely isn’t a low fat dish, but you can choose light versions of the sour cream, milk and cottage cheese to cut out a few calories and it won’t have an impact on taste.

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Ingredients:

12 ounces wide egg noodles, cooked
4 tablespoons butter
4 ounces light sour cream
16 ounces cottage cheese
4 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar

Topping
1/2 cup corn flakes (crushed)

or

3/4 cup oatmeal (uncooked)
3 tablespoons butter (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)

Directions:

The first step is to cook the noodles. This classic dish is ALWAYS made with wide egg noodles. The noodles lay flat together and allow the other ingredients to seep between them, creating a solid kugel with no gaps. If you just can’t find wide egg noodles, then you need to use something like bow ties or linguine that you’ve broken into short pieces before cooking, definitely not anything that has a hole in the center like penne or macaroni. But if you can get the wide egg noodles, stick with them. There shape is perfect for this dish.

To get started, follow the instructions on the noodle package for cooking the pasta.

While the noodles are cooking, start preheating the oven to 350 degrees.

The next step is to get the baking pan ready. You can use either a glass or metal rectangular baking pan (9 x 11 or 11 x 13), but since you will serve the kugel out of the dish on the dinner table, I think glass is much better.

Take the stick of butter and rub it all over the bottom and sides of the baking pan.

Butter the noodle kugel baking pan

Save the rest of the butter to be added to the hot noodles as soon as they are done cooking.

Noodle kugel recipe ingredients

In a large bowl, combine the sour cream and cottage cheese. In a separate bowl, combine the beaten eggs with the milk and sugar.

As soon as the noodles are finished cooking, drain them and then put them back into the pot. Add the butter and mix it together until the butter is melted.

Noodle kugel recipe - add butter to noodles

Once the butter is melted, then add the sour cream and cottage cheese mixture to the noodles.

Noodle kugel recipe - add sour cream and cottage cheese

Pour the combined cheesy noodles into the baking dish. Give the egg mixture a good stir since the sugar has likely settled to the bottom of the dish, and then pour it over the noodles so that it covers the entire mixture.

Now you are ready to decide how to handle the topping.

You can bake it plain with no topping at all, and it will be fine. Expect the noodles sticking out of the top to get a little crusty if you bake it this way, since you bake it uncovered.

Noodle kugel - cold

Noodle kugel without any topping served cold the next day – yummy this way too!

If you make it without any topping, watch it towards the end of the cooking time and take it out when the egg mixture on the top is firm and the top noodles are slightly brown.

Noodle kugel with cornflakes

Noodle kugel just out of the oven with cornflake topping

If you opt for corn flakes as your topping, you can leave them whole or crush them slightly. The topping will keep the noodles at the top from getting crusty, but you still have to watch it closely so the cornflakes don’t burn.

Noodle kugel with oatmeal topping

Noodle kugel with oatmeal and brown sugar topping

I couple of years ago I attended a family event and tasted my cousin Susie’s noodle kugel. Her version had a sweet topping that I just loved. The next time I cooked up kugel, I created this oatmeal topping and it’s now the way I make it all the time.

Oatmeal brown sugar topping preparation

It really is very easy to make the topping. Simply melt the butter in a small frying pan, then add the oatmeal and brown sugar. Mix it together until the oatmeal is coated and slightly toasted.

Noodle kugel sweet oatmeal topping

Then spoon the oatmeal topping over the noodle kugel.

Whichever topping you choose, bake the kugel for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees.

I got great feedback when I posted this recipe on Recipezaar (now Food.com).

Hint hint: if you try this recipe, please leave a comment and tell me what you thought and if you made any changes!

Here are some of the comments I got about the recipe:

I think this is my first noodle kugel so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. However, it is a great comfort food, and I found it to be very filling. I didn’t think it was overly sweet with the sugar, but I could definitely taste some sweetness. I enjoyed the crunchiness from the crushed cornflakes. Thank you for sharing.

Well, I did NOT grow up eating kugels and I think this one is wonderful and really tasty! The sweetness surprised me, but it was a great balance with the creaminess of the sour cream, cottage cheese and the light crunch of the top noodles. Loved it! (Didn’t use corn flakes.)

This is soooo great! Although it’s a relatively plain-looking dish, it is great-tasting, & for me, at least, stirred old memories of my own grandmother making kugel! Thanks for sharing, & I’ll be making this one again & again!

Great comfort food! I didn’t use the corn flakes and I used full-fat sour cream; otherwise I followed the recipe closely. This made a mild, creamy casserole with a good texture. I have to admit, this made less than 8 servings for us (we took some pretty huge servings). 🙂 Thanks for posting this one.

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Want nutritional information?

Click on the + sign in the recipe card below for complete nutritional information.

Jewish Noodle Kugel

From Future Expat | Side Dishes

This classic Jewish dish is a great side dish for dinner or brunch, and easy enough to make for a crowd.

For step by step directions with pictures, see this recipe at: http://futureexpat.com/2013/09/jewish-noodle-kugel-recipe/

01:05
00:20
00:45

cal Calories 289kcal

High fat Total Fat 13g

High sat-fat Saturated Fat 7g

High chol Cholesterol 115mg

sodium Sodium 249mg

carbs Total Carbohydrate 31g

Serving size 126g Calories from fat 117kcal Fiber 1g Protein 12g Sugar 6g
12 servings

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces wide egg noodles, cooked
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 ounces light sour cream
  • 16 ounces cottage cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • TOPPING (optional):
  • 1/2 cup corn flakes (crushed)
  • 3/4 cup oatmeal (uncooked)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Use the butter to grease a 9 x 11 glass baking dish.
  3. Add the rest of the butter to the hot noodles, and stir until melted.
  4. Add sour cream and cottage cheese to the noodles.
  5. Pour the noodles into the baking dish.
  6. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Add milk to the eggs and beat. Add sugar and stir. Pour over the noodles.
  7. If using oatmeal topping, melt butter in frying pan, then add oatmeal and brown sugar. Still until brown sugar dissolves and oatmeal is coated.
  8. Sprinkle either the crushed cornflakes (eliminate the butter & brown sugar) or oatmeal topping over the noodles.
  9. Bake for 40-45 minutes. It is done when some of the noodles on the top are just barely starting to lightly brown.
  10. Serve immediately.

Tips

  • Do not make in advance of when you plan to bake. The noodles will absorb the liquids and it will come out dry. It is done when some of the noodles on the top are just barely starting to lightly brown. It’s also great cold the next day as leftovers!

 


6 Responses

  1. G’day! As a former New Yorker, I was drooling today, true!
    I haven’t had Noodle Kugel in a very long, long, long time too!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Viewed as Party of Foodie Friends Friday Breakfast + Lunch Brunch Party

  2. AnnMarie says:

    I have had this with raisins in it….I think this is what I had! It was fabulous and never thought of making it myself. Thanks for the recipe! Pinned! Thanks for visiting my blog. Loved your story about the stool in your grandmother’s kitchen. How could I not keep my stool after that?!

    • Karen Goodman says:

      A lot of people to make Noodle Kugel with raisins or chopped canned pineapple, but I’ve never been a fan of either. You could easily toss some in with a little cinnamon though if you think that is your style. If you like custardy comfort food things, you’ll definitely like kugel.

      So glad you are keeping the stool.

  3. Nancy says:

    Made this kugel today and although still hot and just out of the oven, I dove right in as I couldn’t resist. Nice and moist and not overly sweet. I chose the cornflake/brown sugar topping. I made one small addition — just a tiny bit of vanilla. Sooo good.

    • Karen Goodman says:

      Ohhh…vanilla sounds like a wonderful idea. I’ll have to try that!

      And piping hot right out of the oven is the best way to eat it.

  1. October 4, 2014

    […] grandmother’s kugel recipe, which is what I’m bringing to tonight’s dinner, has butter, eggs, milk, sour cream, […]

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