Unsexy Jewish Food – Noodle Kugel


I am totally on a roll.

First it was the Ugly but Delicious Sweet Potatoes and now it’s the unsexiest of all Jewish foods, the Noodle Kugel (koo-gl).  If you say kugel with a nasal tone, it’s even more unsexy than ever.  The word kugel reminds me of kegel, another unsexy term.

However, let me just go on the record and say this kugel has about the sexiest taste ever.  Just take a gander at the ingredients…hello…how could it taste bad….it’s like dessert.

Kugels have been a staple of Jewish cooking for centuries.  They are basically a starch (noodles or potatoes) with a thickening agent (oil, eggs, flour) and can be sweet or savory.  This is the best side dish ever.  Seriously, it goes with everything and your religious affiliation makes NO DIFFERENCE.  You have to make this…yes, I’m twisting your arm.

With the impending celebration of Hanukkah, this will go perfectly with the EASIEST, MOST FOOLPROOF, BEST TASTING BRISKET you could ever make..

If Christmas is what you are celebrating, set this dish right next to your Baked Ham with Rum and Coke Glaze…it will wow your guests.  The sweet yumminess will surprise them.

This is a very decadent recipe…it is “holiday food”.  Partaking in too much will leave you unsexy, as your pants will no longer button.

Come on, I’ll show you…

Here is what you will need: Unsalted butter, egg noodles, eggs, sour cream, sugar, cream cheese, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and Granny Smith apples.  Ohhh… the decadence here.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add 1 pound broad egg noodles; cook al dente to package directions, about 6 minutes.  Drain noodles and return to pot; set aside.

Put 6 eggs and 2 cups sour cream into the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until combined. 

Mix in 3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup butter and 12 ounces cream cheese.  Set aside.

Heat 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Stir in 2 Tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg.  Add 3 cups chopped Granny Smith apples and gently toss to coat.  Cook, tossing occasionally, until soft and caramelized, 10 to 12 minutes.

Stir apples into egg mixture.

Pour the apples over the noodles, tossing gently to combine.  Pour into a buttered 13 x 9 baking dish.  Drizzle the remaining 2 Tablespoons butter over noodles and sprinkle with remaining 2 Tablespoons sugar.  You can make one day ahead up to this point. Refrigerate and bring to room temperature before baking if you do.

Bake at 350 degrees until set and top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack and let stand 15 minutes before serving. 

You will soooooooo love this.

Give it a chance.

Noodle Kugel
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and divided, plus more for buttering dish
1 pound broad egg noodles
6 large eggs
2 cups sour cream (16 ounces), room temperature
1 cup sugar, divided
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces (about 3 cups)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add noodles; cook al dente to package directions, about 6 minutes.  Drain noodles and return to pot; set aside.

Put eggs and sour cream into the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until combined. 

Mix in  3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup butter and cream cheese.  Set aside.

Heat 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Stir in 2 Tablespoons sugar, ground cinnamon and 1/4 ground nutmeg.  Add apples and gently toss to coat.  Cook, tossing occasionally, until soft and caramelized, 10 to 12 minutes.  Stir apples into egg mixture.   Pour the apples over the noodles, tossing gently to combine.  Pour into a buttered 13 x 9 baking dish.  Drizzle the remaining 2 Tablespoons butter over noodles and sprinkle with remaining 2 Tablespoons sugar.  You can make one day ahead up to this point.  Refrigerate and bring to room temperature before baking if you do.

Bake at 350 degrees until set and top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let stand 15 minutes before serving.  

Post a Comment

68 Comments and 1 Reply

  1. Paula 1

    You had me at kegel! Ha! I laughed out loud when I read that! I’ll give this KUGEL a try! I’ve never had it before, but have heard wonderful things about it. YUM!

    Reply
  2. Laura 2

    I’ve never had it before either. Thank you for broadening my world of food. It looks delicious.

    Reply
  3. Deeba 3

    You’re making serious business of food cathy…first ugly, then unsexy! LOL…this is very funny indeed. But seriously, with all the ‘ooomph’ that’s gone into it…I think it’s very very sexy in small portions! Thanks for the introduction to Jewish food; a first for me, & I’m lovin’ it!

    Reply
  4. Philly 4

    Thank god for all my Jewish neighbors and for bringin Kugel into my life!!

    Reply
  5. Julia 6

    Don’t you love how such a sweet yummy dish is considered part of the main meal and not dessert! Must be the sour cream and noodles. Gotta love the Jewish heritage. And Clearly you didn’t enter this into the Boston Globe Kugel contest, because this recipe so would have won!

    Reply
  6. OK…so now for Christmas I’m making pecan pie, gingerbread cookies & kugel. If you show one more dessert, I don’t think I’ll make a main dish!

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  7. yes, i’ve heard all about the kuh-gull (as my jewish friends call it here in the nyc metro area) and am not really a fan. i much prefer LATKES (potato pancakes for the uninitiated).

    as a kid, my mom would serve up potato pancakes as a side with PORK chops. the ultimate jewish dinner. :) lolz.

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  8. Breakfast of champions.

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  9. YUM!! I’ve been looking for a good noodle kugel recipe for a few years now, and this one looks amazing! Thanks!! And happy holidays to you–whether that means ham or brisket or festivus. LOL

    Reply
  10. Comfort food at it’s best. What a great dish. Yum.

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  11. Wow – this is such a winner! Love this!

    Reply
  12. Kugel may not be sexy, but it sure is delicious! Your version looks fab! I usually make mine with cherries, but I love the apples and spices.

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  13. I don’t think i’ve ever tried that before! Sounds totally delicious and I’m sure the kids will love it too!

    Reply
  14. Barbie with a T 15

    You got this from Martha Stewart? I cannot believe that I never saw this recipe. I am a MS fan and faithfully subscribe! Anyway, that is a very interesting recipe. That sure was a pretty plate on which it was served. Again, good photography.

    Reply
  15. In the growing up days my Mom would make this all the time – She would use pineapple, cottage cheese and raisins as well – No matter what version you make this is such a great dish and always a winner.

    Reply
  16. Becky 17

    I have never eaten any kind of kugel but those pictures sure make me want to try it!

    Reply
  17. marcy 18

    , Wow thanks Cathy! I have always wondered what kugal was – knew it was a Jewish sidedish, but didn’t know for sure what was in it. I just might have to try some, it looks delish!

    Reply
  18. Oh, we love kugel in this house. Mine has graham cracker crumbs on top, but other than that is similar to this one. Love it!!

    Reply
    • Hi, I make a dairy kugel with crushed cornflake crumbs mixed with brown sugar; I add a little cinnamon for my husband who loves it. I wondered what your topping is like. Care to share? Ro

      Reply
  19. I think I gained 8 pounds just reading the recipe! I’ll have to think about it… noodles and apples… It could work!

    Reply
  20. I worked at a Jewish school for three years and got to sample all of the food of all of the Jewish holidays (as well as fresh challah every Friday!) You’re right, kugel doesn’t always win the pretty-prize, but you made it look fabulous!

    Reply
  21. Holy cow…I’ve never had kugel (I did think kegel when I first read it so you’re not alone) but this looks really good. How am I going to decide what to make on Christmas?!

    Reply
  22. I guess I’ll have to stick with kegel as your kugel is off limits for me. BUT, I’ve totally enjoyed your blog. I’ve never been here before. Found you via Lo!

    I snickered all the way through kugels, bad hair, and cheap whiskey. Great writing!

    I’ll be back, regardless of whether I can eat the food.
    :-)

    Melissa

    Reply
  23. Marjie 25

    I was convinced of the goodness with all that butter and sour cream. Add the apples so it can pretend to be healthy, and you’re really peddling some unsexy goodness, aren’t you? But, to quote a recent commenter, that’s what January’s for!

    Reply
  24. tipper 26

    Looks amazing!

    Reply
  25. Lara 27

    Mmm. That sounds AND looks delicious.

    Reply
  26. Louise 28

    Beeeeee-uuuuuuuuuuuu-tiful!

    Reply
  27. ELRA 29

    OMG, Cathy
    I also made this earlier, and planning on post about it today. What a coincidence. Yours look so moist and delicious!
    Cheers,
    Elra

    Reply
  28. Sold! I am so making this for Mr. Clairol’s birthday. He’s not Jewish, but those Swedish boys love them some noodles and apples!

    Reply
  29. Bob 31

    I think that looks wicked good. And it’s no where near as unsexy as Gefilte fish. At least I don’t think so. Heh.

    Reply
  30. Well – I have tried this for the very first time earlier this year – it was a wild interesting dish – and as I prepare for a Hanukkah dinner next week before my fellow goes off to Israel for 6 weeks on business…I just might end up making this, along with serving it next to the ham and other interesting dishes I made during passover that I might repeat – I am learning more about Jewish food than my own guy who was born in Israel…but lucky for us – he eats bacon too… lol – along with my gorgeous bodacious baked ham…

    Reply
  31. KAYOLA 33

    That looks so good…I will be for sure trying this!

    Reply
  32. dawn 34

    you are so funny…glad you didn’t umm mix up the terms in writing this.
    I love this dish, hubby hates it–only because there are apples in there. If I hadn’t told him there were apples in there I bet he would eat it. I have to wait about 2 years before making it and say to him “…it’s all pasta, and so tasty..” Then he’ll eat it. Oy!

    Reply
  33. Shelly 35

    Looks yummy.

    Reply
  34. this one-handed (left-handed, at that) blogger leaves few comments these days, but you wowed me with this recipe. had it once at a co-worker’s jewish wedding. delish!! love the blue plate. too!

    Reply
  35. I had to click through my email reader because this looks wonderful! I’m going to make it! Or try anyhow!

    My mom is Jewish and she’s forever talking about Kugel and those potato pancakes, I can’t recall what they’re called. But kugel always stands out because her Rabbi’s wife supposedly makes a kugel that’s to die for. I think this recipe here is gonna give Mrs. Rabbi a run for her money!

    Reply
  36. I’m gonna try it! We’re a Hanu-mas celebrating family, so it’s definitely time I made a Kugel. :-)

    Reply
  37. Mary 39

    Food can’t be un-sexy and your Kugel is a siren luring the innocent to the table. Great recipe. I have an award for you on my site – to take or not. I just wanted you to know I’m a fan and why.

    Reply
  38. Lisa 40

    If you have some of that over there and don’t bring me some, consider our friendship over. This is my absolute favorite thing you make – remember how much of it I ate last year at dinner? I think I am still working it off but it was soooooooo worth it. Bring. It. Over. Please.

    Reply
  39. actually, this looks quite good!

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  40. Yum! I need both vegetarian and Jewish dishes for my Christmas dinner, so this is going on the menu. Thanks!

    Reply
  41. Kugel is sexy, however if you eat it too much, YOU WILL NOT BE TOO SEXY!
    because it is so fattening!

    Cath, I love your recipe. I grate an apple into mine, and instead of cream cheese, I use cottage cheese. It is my favorite of all holiday dishes!
    Stacey Snacks

    Reply
  42. I snorted at the title and had my co-workers staring at me.

    Reply
  43. Now I have so many of your recipes swaved we will have to make choices for Christmsas. This looks great.

    Reply
  44. Pam 46

    I’ve never had anything like it before. It may not be sexy but it sounds delicious!

    Reply
  45. ALF 47

    How do you take such beautiful pictures of food? I feel as though if I were to take a picture of ingredients people would look at it and think, “gross”.

    Reply
  46. Flea 48

    Oh my word. How many times have I told you that you’re evil? I’m telling you again. That looks positively SINFUL. But yummy. Oh heavens.

    Reply
  47. Cathy, you are so amazing! Another delicious-looking dish!

    Reply
  48. Leslie 50

    kegel!! you make me laugh woman!!!!

    Reply
  49. Cheryl 51

    Served on such a vibrant blue surface, it looks downright gorgeous. Think I may just have to get in touch with my inner Jewish mother.

    (and on an odd front, I had JUST typed the word “kegel” within minutes of reading this post. Not a purty word.)

    Thanks for the well wishes. Feeling infinitely better. (and 5 pounds lighter…the hard way.)

    Reply
  50. Amber 52

    This is sort of like Jewish macaroni and cheese with out macaroni or orange powder. You won me with every ingredient required. You call this a holiday food. Do Saturdays count as holidays?

    Reply
  51. Bunny 53

    Sour cream, cream cheese, apples…Yeah this is dessert!!

    Reply
  52. sharon 54

    so you’re right. Kugel doesn’t sound sexy, but it sure looks it! :)

    Reply
  53. I have made a savoury kugel in the past..its time to move over to the seeet side.

    Reply
  54. KathyB. 56

    This looks like a ‘comfort food’ recipe. I am big on comfort foods, they get me by quite well sometimes, and most people love them. Looks like a recipe I will make for a potluck, and we go to potlucks several times a month !

    Hmmm, kugel, kegal! Thought provoking.

    Reply
  55. shonda 57

    LOL @ kegal. I thought that before I read where you wrote it. AWESOME!

    Also, the second photo from the top is beautiful. Looks totally Martha.

    Reply
  56. megan 58

    If that picture of the eggs and sour cream doesn’t convince someone to try it, then the picture of the apples well. I think my arm has been twisted!

    Reply
  57. I’m of two minds about making this for my husband. It’s sweet and it’s starchy – two things that make him happy. OTOH, it has sour cream. He probably won’t notice the sour cream when he eats it, but if he accidentally finds out – there will be hell to pay. So many dairy products just gross him out. It’s not just the lactose intolerance. If he likes the dairy, he’ll eat a Lactaid, but sometimes creamy stuff just turns his stomach.

    Other than latkes, I have so few ideas for traditional Hanukah foods for him. I would love to make a brisket, but that’s not going to happen with Sir Pickypants and the “I can’t handle red meat” tummy.

    Reply
  58. grace 60

    unsexy? perhaps. awesome name and delicious components? absolutely. i wouldn’t push it away. :)

    Reply
  59. I never think of any of the Jewish food I grew up with as sexy food — but it is the ultimate comfort food, isn’t it?

    Reply
  60. vanessa 62

    Oooh I’ve had this but never with apples. Mmmmmmm unsexy amazing noodle kugelllll.

    Reply
  61. YAY unsexy & tasty Jewish food.

    There are actually lots of different flavored kugels – similar to quiches. A classic is the potato kugel. My favorites are broccoli or Spinach noodle.

    Reply
  62. Greg 64

    Cathy,

    Jewish food is sexy by definition alone :)

    In my family we called this Lockshen pudding. Still one of my favorite Jewish comfort food, along with my mom’s brisket.

    Reply
  63. Katie 65

    I made this for our tacky Christmas sweater party tonight, and it rocked. Every loved it. It was delicious. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  64. My mother’s version also had golden raisins.

    Gotta love the kugel.

    Reply
  65. They are basically a starch with a thickening agent and can be sweet or savory. This is the best side dish ever. Seriously it goes with everything and your religious affiliation makes NO DIFFERENCE. You have to make this I’m twisting your arm…………..
    http://www.losangelesconstructiongroup.com

    Reply
  66. krissa moscone 68

    I made this last year and it was so good! The kids loved it!!!!

    Reply
  67. A family favorite! My Aunt always added pineapple chunks which were yummy!

    Reply

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