Noodle Kugel

This kugel is the follow-up post to the Honey Cake from yesterday, the two recipes that I contributed to our little Rosh Hashanah dinner celebration (non-Jewish folk that we are). The first time I had ever seen or heard of noodle kugel was while watching an episode of Barefoot Contessa. I don’t remember what else Ina made in that episode, but the kugel definitely struck me. There were noodles, but they were baked in a creamy mixture casserole-style and it was kind of sweet. I honestly didn’t know what to make of it. I was intrigued, but not sure that I would actually like it. I tucked it away inside the foodie portion of my brain for another time. Well, after seeing noodle kugel on a sample Rosh Hashanah menu, I knew I definitely wanted to give it a try after remembering that episode. I am SO glad I did because this one insanely fabulous dish.

I envisioned that this might be a bit like a bread pudding, but it’s even better than that, believe it or not. While assembling it and mixing together the cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla and eggs, it dawned on me that the mixture was suspiciously similar to a cheesecake batter. I think this is basically a cross between a sweetened baked macaroni and cheese (but firmer, not gooey) and a noodle-laced cheesecake. So in summary, one of the most delicious things I’ve come across in a long, long time.

We originally ate it at room temperature with our dinner, and then busted out some chilled pieces from the refrigerator the next day, and… bam! Dessert! Very, very similar to cheesecake. With noodles ;-) The buttery brown sugar and walnut topping is to-die-for. I might even double it next time so it covers most of the top.

I thoroughly enjoyed trying new and different ethnic foods while getting a taste of Rosh Hashana this week. Love exploring new tastes!

Three years ago: Cream of Mushroom Soup
Four years ago: Cinnamon Rolls

Noodle Kugel

Yield: 10 to 12 minutes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 to 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Topping:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the Filling:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon salt
1 pound extra-wide egg noodles
2 cups sour cream
2 cups cottage cheese
1 pound cream cheese
2 eggs, plus 2 yolks
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup golden raisins

Directions:

1. For the Topping: Mash the butter, sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon together in a small bowl, using a rubber spatula; set aside.

2. For the Filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish (or shallow casserole dish of similar size) with 1 tablespoon of the butter; set aside.

3. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the noodles. Cook until almost tender but still a little firm to the bite, about 6 minutes. Drain the noodles, transfer them to a large bowl, and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Allow the noodles to cool, tossing them occasionally.

4. Meanwhile, combine the sour cream, cottage cheese, and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the eggs and yolks, sugar and vanilla; continue to beat until combined, stopping the mixer and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, as needed.

5. Add the cream cheese mixture and raisins to the cooled noodles; toss to combine. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Dot the walnut topping evenly over the noodles.

6. Bake until the noodles on the surface are golden and crispy, 40 to 45 minutes. Allow the kugel to cool for 5 minutes. Serve hot or warm, at room temperature, or refrigerate and serve cold.

(Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated)

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51 Responses to “Noodle Kugel”

  1. Patricia on September 30, 2011 at 12:23 am

    For several years I have made a version of this Noodle Kugel with apples OH.SO.GOOD.!
    Can’t remember from where I got the original but quite possibly Bon Appetit? It was something the family tried with trepidation but ended up loving it.

    Reply

  2. NerdyBaker on September 30, 2011 at 12:29 am

    Loved seeing your Rosh Hashanah menu. I am SO going to make your Challah bread and possibly the honey cake. Yummy!

    Reply

  3. CouponClippingCook on September 30, 2011 at 2:23 am

    What a different blend of flavors. This dish sounds really good. The cinnamon and brown sugar sound especially good with this combination of ingredients.

    Reply

  4. Jenny @ Practically Perfect... on September 30, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Oh my word, this looks so good! It does kind of remind me of a bread pudding based on the ingredients, but I’ll take your word that it’s more like a cheesecake. I’ll have to give this one a try :-)

    Reply

  5. ELIZE on September 30, 2011 at 3:17 am

    One of those receipt’s love it or hate it will make this over the weekend and deceid

    Reply

  6. Kathryn on September 30, 2011 at 3:45 am

    I think noodle kugel is one of those dishes that you have to taste to really understand how it all works – this sounds like an absolutely delicious version.

    Reply

  7. Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen on September 30, 2011 at 3:58 am

    I’ve never had this before, but I think I’d really enjoy it…carbs + cheesecake? Sign me up!

    Reply

  8. linda on September 30, 2011 at 5:22 am

    lovely recipe…i make a version using small noodles (i think it serves up better).
    after all of this wonderful food…it’s exercise time!

    Reply

  9. Rodzilla on September 30, 2011 at 6:09 am

    I’ve never had one, but it looks amazing. Maybe I can find a few places in Squirrel Hill specializing (other than people’s homes :D)

    Reply

  10. Katrina on September 30, 2011 at 6:43 am

    Sooo…is this a dessert? Or just a regular side? Sounds yummy whatever it is!

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 30th, 2011 at 10:58 am

      Hi Katrina, The beauty of this dish is that it can be either. The recipe from Cook’s Illustrated says it be served hot, warm, room temperature or cold. If you serve it as a side dish, I would recommend warm or room temperature. Eaten cold, it tastes like dessert. YUM!

      Reply

  11. Kristen M. on September 30, 2011 at 6:46 am

    Kugels are the BEST!!!

    Reply

  12. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on September 30, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Sweet noodle kugel is one of my favorite holiday foods!

    Reply

  13. Jennifer@Peanut Butter and Peppers on September 30, 2011 at 8:48 am

    You make the most interesting dishes. I am very intrigued by this and I must make it!

    Reply

  14. Leah from Sweet and Sour Showers on September 30, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Looks delicious! In the version I’ve made, I use crumbled graham crackers on top instead of nuts. Need to do it again soon!

    Reply

  15. Curt on September 30, 2011 at 9:15 am

    I especially love that topping!

    Reply

  16. Jennifer K on September 30, 2011 at 9:51 am

    We grew up eating a very similar dish, and I just made it recently. I used whole wheat noodles, and it was great, since the noodles have a “nutty flavor”. The recipe I have you simply top with raisin bran cereal. So delicious!

    Reply

    • Cat on September 30th, 2011 at 9:57 am

      Oy, so geshmak! Make this, and you’ll kvell and plotz. Happy Rosh Hashana to all.

      Reply

  17. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite on September 30, 2011 at 10:04 am

    looks and sounds amazing! I do not celebrate this holiday, but I’d happily partake in some of the food :)

    Reply

  18. Erin on September 30, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Ooo I only get this once a year – at Christmas! A friend of the family brings it every year for the holiday party my god parent’s host. Even though I got the recipe from her, I only think of it at Christmas when I am eating hers. I really need to work on that because yours looks splendid!

    Reply

  19. Margaret on September 30, 2011 at 11:20 am

    This is a combo iwould never have even considered. Guess I live a sheltered life. Def going to give this a try. Too curious not to. Looks delish.

    Reply

  20. Jen on September 30, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    I have seen it before on menus but have never tried it. Looks quite good!

    Reply

  21. janet@fromcupcakestocaviar on September 30, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    I have always wanted to try kugel but just never have for some reason. Maybe now that I see a recipe and endorsement from a trusted source, I’ll give it a whirl. Thanks!

    Reply

  22. Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat on September 30, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Yum I grew up on challah! I’m glad you gave it a try!

    Reply

  23. Christine on September 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Great recipe… love it.

    Reply

  24. Cucina49 on September 30, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Thanks for posting the kugel recipe–I have a lot of Jewish cookbooks, but I’m always looking for the “perfect” one.

    Reply

  25. Natasha on September 30, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    looks delicious! my mom makes its every year! even though it already is super sweet, if you want a little more sweetness, sprinkle frosted flakes when you bake it! it adds a nice, sweet crunch

    Reply

  26. mrsyakafluss on September 30, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Your recipe looks very tasty, but it is for a dairy meal and not for a meat/chicken dinner. Maybe you can find one that doesn’t use cheese in it.

    Thanks

    Reply

  27. andrea rivette on September 30, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    I can’t wait to make this. I just want to make everything you post!! Everything has been SOOO good! No fail amazing recipes! Thank you!

    Reply

  28. Ann on September 30, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    I use an authentic receipt from a synagogue cookbook and use orange marmalade for the topping!

    Reply

  29. Jackie on September 30, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Do you think you could substitute ricotta cheese for the cottage cheese? Sounds great!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 1st, 2011 at 9:31 am

      Yes, absolutely. In fact, a few recipes I looked at used ricotta.

      Reply

  30. Viviane Bauquet Farre on September 30, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Looks great! A great way to start off the new year. I particularly like the abundance of walnuts!

    Reply

  31. Ann on September 30, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    I’ve always loved this dish….I think it’s great that you made a couple of traditional Jewish dishes. I’ve never had this, but it always sounds delicious!

    Reply

  32. Sasha (The Procrastobaker) on October 1, 2011 at 4:38 am

    This looks wonderful! Ive always wanted to try something like this but this is by far the best recipe I think ive seen, gorgeous! :)

    Reply

  33. Amy @ Gastronome Tart on October 1, 2011 at 7:24 am

    I have yet to try kugel. Like you, I have heard about it and have wanted to try it. Looks delicious!

    Reply

  34. Nadiya on October 1, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    I love noodles, This looks delicious….

    Reply

  35. Rosemary on October 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I can’t believe I’ve never made this classic! It’s on the list . . . thanks for the wonderful inspiration.

    Reply

  36. Lourdes Cervantes on October 1, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Interesting! Looks good and I love your description!

    Reply

  37. Vibey @ Yumbo McGillicutty on October 2, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Man, that looks good! I haven’t made a noodle kugel in many years, but when I did, it didn’t have that topping! That pushes it over the top, I reckon.

    Reply

  38. Karen on October 2, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Looks very delicious! Any recipe with cinnamon and walnuts will make me go straight to the kitchen :)

    Reply

  39. ZC on October 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Michelle, what a phenomenal looking kugel! But did you know that on Rosh Hashana there’s a tradition not to eat nuts??

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 2nd, 2011 at 8:28 pm

      I did not know that (I’m not Jewish, just took the opportunity to try some new ethnic dishes).

      Reply

  40. Miriam @ Overtime Cook on October 2, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    This looks delicious. A friend of mine used to make a delicious cheese based noodle kugel, so good! I’ve always made a non-dairy noodle kugel, which is more traditional. (As an observant Jew, I can’t eat a dairy Kugel with a meat meal.) In fact, I just posted a recipe for my non-dairy noodle kugel. Generally, they are mostly egg based- and surprisingly delicious!

    I’m excited that you are getting into Jewish food. I’ve grown up with it, but it will be great to see a whole new take on it!

    -Miriam

    Reply

  41. Ally on October 3, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    I have never seen a recipe for kugel – I feel like I’ve been missing out big time! I really want to try to make this.
    xo
    http://allykayler.blogspot.com/

    Reply

  42. Dea on October 4, 2011 at 9:19 am

    The name sounds so funny to me, because “Kugel” is the german word for “ball”. You know, like “bowling ball” for example…

    Reply

  43. ZC on October 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Made the kugel for supper, it was amazing! And the topping makes the whole thing! Next time I think I’ll double it too :)

    Reply

  44. easyfoodsmith on October 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    this recipe is surely interesting! and looks delicious…

    Reply

  45. anickh on January 5, 2013 at 6:27 am

    4 some reason, doesn’t seem as though .5 c sugar (in the filling) would be sweet enough considering the large amounts of other ingredients used for the filling. could it possibly use more sugar??

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 5th, 2013 at 9:43 pm

      Yes, 1/2 cup of sugar is the correct amount.

      Reply

  46. Averie @ Averie Cooks on September 4, 2013 at 12:12 am

    Thank you for relinking this. I love kugel and yours is beautiful. Pinned!

    Reply

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