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Noodle Kugel

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Noodle kugel is a traditional Jewish dish made from egg noodles baked in a sweet or savory custard. Much like a French toast or egg casserole, kugel can be made in advance, refrigerated and baked before serving, making it perfect for big family get-togethers. It is typically served as part of a brunch or breakfast-for-dinner buffet with bagels, lox, and spreads. There are literally as many recipes for kugel as there are Jewish grandmothers who make it. Flip through any spiral-bound synagogue cookbook and you’ll find variations with raisins, apples, crushed pineapple, spinach, and so on — and, of course, every family claims “the best” one. Since we’re in the midst of the Jewish high holidays, I thought I’d throw my kugel recipe into the ring. It’s a traditional-tasting kugel with a few updates that, I think, make it just a little bit better than the old-fashioned version (sorry, Grandma!)

how to make noodle kugel

Most kugel recipes call for some combination of eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese, and cream cheese as the base for the custard. I replace the cottage cheese with half & half because I don’t care for curds in my kugel, and the cream makes for a silkier custard. Many kugel recipes also call for a retro crushed cornflake topping. I cover the pudding with a thick and crunchy cinnamon streusel instead; it not only tastes better than cornflakes, but it also takes care of the problem of all those hard-to-eat crunchy noodles on top. Finally, I cook my kugel at a low temperature so that it’s ultra-creamy.

how to make noodle kugel

Begin by boiling the noodles.

how to make noodle kugel

Drain them well.

how to make noodle kugel

Make the streusel topping: combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.

how to make noodle kugel

Using your fingers, mix until no lumps of brown sugar remain.

how to make noodle kugel

Add the butter.

how to make noodle kugel

Rub the butter in with your fingertips until the mixture has a clumpy, crumbly texture.

how to make noodle kugel

Refrigerate until ready to use. (FYI: The kugel bakes initially without the streusel, so you can also make the streusel during that time.)

how to make noodle kugel

Next, make the custard. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl.

how to make noodle kugel

Add the sour cream and softened cream cheese.

how to make noodle kugel

Whisk well, then add the half & half, sugar, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon.

how to make noodle kugel

Whisk until completely smooth.

how to make noodle kugel

Spread the cooked noodles evenly in the prepared baking dish.

how to make noodle kugel

Pour the custard mixture evenly over top.

how to make noodle kugel

Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. The custard should be just set.

Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the top, making sure to cover all the noodles.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes more, until the streusel topping is crisp.

how to make noodle kugel

Let cool for about 20 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.

how to make noodle kugel

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My Recipe Videos

Noodle Kugel

Servings: 12
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 70 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Streusel Topping

  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

For the Kugel

  • One 12-oz bag wide egg noodles
  • 4 large eggs
  • One 8-oz container sour cream
  • One 8-oz package cream cheese, softened (microwave for 15-20 seconds to soften)
  • 2 cups half & half
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

For the Streusel Topping

  1. Combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Using your fingers, mix until no lumps of brown sugar remain. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture has a clumpy, crumbly texture. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Kugel

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (I use 2 teaspoons salt for 3 quarts water). Cook the noodles for 6 to 8 minutes, or according to package instructions, until tender. Drain well.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the sour cream and softened cream cheese and whisk to combine. Add the half & half, sugar, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon, and whisk until completely smooth.
  4. Spread the cooked noodles evenly in the prepared baking dish. Pour the custard mixture evenly over top. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove and discard the foil. The custard should be just set. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the top, making sure to cover all the noodles. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes more, until the streusel topping is crisp. Let cool for about 20 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.
  5. Make Ahead: The kugel and topping can be assembled and stored separately in the fridge up to a day ahead of time, and then baked before serving. (The kugel with the streusel topping may also be fully cooked a day ahead of time and reheated, however the texture will be denser than if baked fresh. To reheat, cover with foil and place in a 325°F oven for 25 minutes; remove and discard the foil, and continue baking for 20 to 25 minutes more, or until warm throughout and crisp on top.)

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (12 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 506
  • Fat: 25 g
  • Saturated fat: 14 g
  • Carbohydrates: 60 g
  • Sugar: 30 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Sodium: 403 mg
  • Cholesterol: 152 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Reviews & Comments

  • A bit disappointed in this fine. This was fine but certainly wasn’t won’t replace our usual kugel.

    • — LisaR on December 5, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi I want to serve a parve version of this kugel is there any way to make this sans milk or milk products?

    • — Tzviki on November 29, 2018
    • Reply
    • This kugel has so much dairy that, unfortunately, I don’t think this would translate well to a dairy-free version. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on November 29, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi there!

    I love Kugel as a dessert more than anything else, and I’m bringing one to Thanksgiving at my sister in law’s gathering.

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. I was thinking of a variation for the topping, however. Rather than corn flakes or the strussel, what about Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal? Am I totally nuts? Please tell me if I’m off the wall here….I can take it if I am! Thanks!

    Jonathan

    • — Jonathan on November 15, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Jonathon, It definitely sounds like a different take, but it should work. (And I think it’s good that you’ll be serving it as a dessert as using Cinnamon Toast Crunch on top may make it feel pretty dessert-y.) I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on November 15, 2018
      • Reply
      • Alright I’ll go for it and keep you posted! Todah rabah!

        • — Jonathan on November 15, 2018
        • Reply
        • It worked, thanks! And I love the half and half vs. cottage cheese.

          • — Jonathan on November 25, 2018
          • Reply
      • It worked! It was delicious. I don’t think it was too much different than the recipes with Corn Flakes where they mix in cinnamon and sugar.

        Unfortunately I think that Kugel is lost on a gentile family (my wife’s side).

        Thanks for the great recipe!

        • — Jonathan on November 22, 2018
        • Reply
  • Is this a dessert or a side dish?

    • — Pat Hendricks on October 7, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Pat, This is typically served as a side dish for brunch or breakfast-for-dinner, but it’s sweet enough that you could get away with having it for dessert. 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 7, 2018
      • Reply
  • I’ve made kugel following a different recipe the past few years but never really loved it. Found this recipe and made for Rosh Hashanah this year. A world of difference! My family loved it! This is the one I’ll be sticking with! The topping is so good!

    • — Hilary on September 19, 2018
    • Reply
  • Do you prepare the pan w/softened butter and at what temperature do you bake the kugel?

    • — Gerrie Dubit on September 7, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Gerrie, yes, you should grease the baking dish with butter and the kugel gets baked at 325°F. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 11, 2018
      • Reply
  • Love your recipes, and particularly the Jewish “soul food” ones like noodle kugel.
    Not having grown up with this cuisine, I never knew when to serve kugel — as a potato substitute w/ meat? Or as a dessert because it’s sweet?? Thanks to you, now I know. It’ll be on my Christmas buffet along w/ a roast beef tenderloin, and various veggies for my vegetarian kids.

    • — Lois on September 6, 2018
    • Reply
  • How would you substitute flour with passover flour or something that would be fine for Passover. Cant wait to try this for Rosh Hashana…Happy New Year!

    • — Meredith Wyman on September 6, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Meredith, You could try using matzo meal in place of the flour (but I haven’t tried it, so I can’t say for sure how it would work). Keep in mind, though, that this has noodles (which are not kosher for Passover) in it.

      • — Jenn on September 7, 2018
      • Reply
  • After making does this need to be refrigerated?

    • — Nicole on May 25, 2018
    • Reply
    • Yes, if you’re not eating it shortly after baking it, I’d refrigerate it. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 26, 2018
      • Reply
  • Just made this and your Mac n Cheese for Shavuot. My Israeli family LOVED it! They thought it was dessert, but who cares! Crumble topping instead of cornflakes was a brilliant update!

    • — Rebecca on May 22, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn. Can I make this on a Friday, if I want to serve on Sunday? Can I just put in fridge until Sunday morning and then reheat?

    • — Karen on February 9, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Karen, Yes and yes. 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 11, 2018
      • Reply
  • I made this for a party last week and not a morsel was left. I was reluctant to replace the cottage cheese with 1/2 and 1/2 but the results were a great hit.

    Love and trust your recipes.

    Thanks!

    • — Marilyn on December 21, 2017
    • Reply
  • This is the best kugel ever according to my Israeli born husband who is 73 yrs old! And he tried many over his lifetime.
    Thank you for the great recipe and making me the best kugel maker ever!!

  • Looks great! Do you think this would freeze well?

    • — Daryl on September 29, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Daryl, I haven’t frozen it so I can’t say for sure, but I suspect it would freeze nicely. The texture may be a bit different after defrosting, though (not quite as light). I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on September 29, 2017
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn.

    Looking forward to making this recipe.

    My regular kugel recipe usually has diced apples. Do you think apples would work with this recipe?

    • — Marcy on September 28, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Marcy! I do think apples would work beautifully here. Lmk how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on September 28, 2017
      • Reply
  • Interesting recipe. I eliminate the white sugar in the custard and add yellow raisins which add enough sweetness. One serving with a side green or melon salad makes a nice meal.

    • — Marcia on September 28, 2017
    • Reply
  • Jenn, my background is Italian, so I don’t know from kugel, but this sounds delicious. Do you serve this after a meal or with the meal? What types of things would you traditionally serve with it? Thanks!

    • — Bernadette on September 28, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Bernadette, I just updated the headnote since so many people had questions about this but we serve it as part of a brunch or breakfast-for-dinner buffet, usually with bagels, lox, and spreads. Think of it like a French toast casserole. Hope you enjoy it if you try it — it’s great comfort food.

      • — Jenn on September 28, 2017
      • Reply
      • We will definitely try it soon. Thank you!

        • — Bernadette on September 28, 2017
        • Reply
  • Is this meant to be served as a dessert? I don’t know anything about kugel.

    • — Patti on September 28, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Patti, It’s definitely sweet enough to be dessert but we serve it for brunch.

      • — Jenn on September 28, 2017
      • Reply
  • Sounds delicious! Is this served as a dessert, a side dish, for breakfast? This is completely new to me and I’d love to try it.
    Any suggestions for what to serve with it would be appreciated.

    • Hi Maryalice, We serve it with bagels, lox, and spreads – usually as part of a brunch or post-fast breakfast-for-dinner buffet. Think of it like a French toast casserole. Hope you enjoy it!

      • — Jenn on September 28, 2017
      • Reply
  • Quick question (and pardon my confusion), is this meant to be a main dish or a dessert (or both)?

    Thanks!

    • — Ryan on September 28, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Ryan, No worries – it is confusing! I’ll add this to the headnote to clarify but we serve it as part of a brunch or breakfast-for-dinner spread, usually with bagels and lox. Think of it like a French toast casserole – sweet but part of the main meal.

      • — Jenn on September 28, 2017
      • Reply
      • Thanks! It’s on my list.

        • — Ryan on October 2, 2017
        • Reply
  • This is fantastic for a sweet kugel. How do I adjust the recipe to a savory kugel? Could I simply omit the sugar, vanilla and streusel?

    • — Allison G on September 28, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Allison, I’m afraid you’d really need a whole new recipe. This one can’t be adapted for a savory kugel. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on September 28, 2017
      • Reply
  • I can’t wait to try this! Our standby has both cottage cheese and cornflakes (and a dozen eggs) but this looks/sounds so much better! I’m sure grandma will forgive you. 🙂 Happy new year to you and your family!

    • — Sheri on September 28, 2017
    • Reply
    • Ha! Thanks, Sheri…same to you 😊.

      • — Jenn on September 28, 2017
      • Reply
  • Do you think the streusel would work well with GF flour?

    • I do, Karen. Please lmk how it turns out if you try it :).

      • — Jenn on September 28, 2017
      • Reply

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