Nothing says “Jewish holidays” quite like a delicious slice of noodle kugel! Kugel is a quintessentially Jewish dish similar to a thick noodle casserole. Kugels can range from sweet to savory, dry to moist, dense to fluffy. Some people like it topped with cornflakes, some with graham crackers, some with cinnamon sugar. Some people like no topping at all, preferring to let the top noodle layer brown and harden to a crunchy texture.
No matter which way you like your kugel, a good basic recipe is important. This is my favorite go-to dairy noodle kugel recipe. It creates a sweet (but not cloying) kugel that is rich, creamy, moist and tasty. If you’ve never made kugel before, this is the recipe to start with. I encourage you to use this recipe as a guide. Experiment with it as much as you like. You can omit the raisins or pineapples, add dried fruit to the noodle mixture, add ricotta cheese in place of cottage cheese, change the topping or eliminate it completely. You can even substitute nonfat or sugar-free ingredients if you’re watching your waistline. The only limit is your imagination!
Note: I have improved and simplified this recipe since it was originally posted. I have increased the sugar for added sweetness, cut down on the amount of crumb topping, and subbed whole eggs for simplicity (originally it included both whole eggs and whipped egg whites– the whipping didn’t do much for the texture, so I got rid of that step). I am always working to improve on my recipes, and this one is no exception. If you prefer a less sweet kugel, you can cut the sugar to 3/4 cup (the amount originally posted). Enjoy!
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- 1 bag (16 oz.) wide egg noodles
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 6 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup sugar (use 1 1/4 cup for a sweeter kugel)
- 2 packages (8 oz. each) lowfat cream cheese
- 1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup lowfat sour cream
- 1 can (16 oz.) pineapple chunks in juice
- 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
You will also need
- large pot, 3 quart or 9x13 baking dish, food processor or blender
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add egg noodles, stir, and boil until tender. Drain. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in the hot noodles and stir to coat.
- Place raisins in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let the raisins soak for 10 minutes while you are blending the creamy mixture (next step). Drain thoroughly.
- In a food processor or blender, combine eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar, cream cheese, cottage cheese and sour cream. Blend the ingredients until creamy.
- Add creamy mixture to the noodles in the pot along with the drained raisins. Drain the pineapple chunks and dice them into small pieces, then add them to the pot. Stir all ingredients until thoroughly mixed.
- Pour the noodles into a greased 9×13 baking dish.
- Combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl to form a crumbly topping.
- Sprinkle the topping evenly over the top of the kugel.
- Cover dish with foil and place in the oven. Bake the kugel for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 20 minutes more until the top is golden brown.
- May be served warm or cold; refrigerate if you don’t plan on serving it the same day you make it. If you want to reheat your kugel, place it in a 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes; it will warm up more evenly if you cut it into individual pieces prior to reheating.