Jewish Noodle Kugel

I have such nostalgia for noodle kugel, specifically the one my father’s mother used to make it. This is particularly notable because she wasn’t much of a cook, though her kugel was really quite good. My grandfather would hold up his pinky (a thing he did for emphasis) and ask us, “Can you guess what’s in here that makes it special?” “Orange,” we’d sigh. We had been down this road before. “Orange!” he’d say triumphantly, finger poking into the air. He never seemed to notice our lack of proper admiration for this smart addition to a plain old kugel. Now I get it.

a piece of Noodle Kugel in front of a pan of kugel

A Proustian Noodle Kugel

I tested kugel after kugel recipe for months, chasing the memory of my grandmother’s kugel for my new cookbook, Dinner Solved!  And I finally got to the kugel I was searching for.  However, there is a coda to this story of nostalgia and food. When I made it for my mother, after finally feeling like I nailed it, she said to me: “You know your grandmother never made that kugel. Her housekeeper did.” Apparently I have nostalgia for my Nana’s housekeeper’s kugel. I think I’m okay with that; it’s the best noodle kugel.

Noodle Kugel

What is Noodle Kugel?

Kugel is a Jewish dish, mostly eaten in Ashkenazi households, and while sometimes it is made from potatoes, it is often made with noodles, which is what my family always had.  It is typically served on shabbat, and also on Jewish holidays, like breakfast for Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashana (regular noodle kugels can’t be served on Passover, as noodles fall into the leavened wheat category, which is not ok during the 8 days of Passover).

Jewish noodle kugel is usually at least slightly sweet, sometimes quite sweet, and involves noodles, eggs, sour cream, and cottage cheese.  Egg noodles are usually the noodles of choice.

cutting Noodle Kugel

A classic kugel recipe, just the right amount of dense and rich, with a sprinkling of raisins and a slightly secret ingredient from my grandfather.

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Make Ahead Kugel Recipe

The kugel can be baked up to 2 days before serving; reheat in a 300°F oven for 15 minutes or so. You can also make the kugel and refrigerate it unbaked for up to a day, and then bake it right before serving.

What to Serve with Noodle Kugel

Pair this with Beef Brisket with Wild Mushrooms or Jewish Brisket for a lovely Friday night or Rosh Hashana dinner (not a kosher meal, though!  I hasten to add…).  Or even Hanukah, though that’s not necessarily a traditional kugel holiday.  You could start with Favorite Crispy Potato Pancakes (Latkes).

piece of Noodle Kugel on a plate

Other Recipes for the Jewish Holidays:

removing a piece Noodle Kugel

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Noodle Kugel

A classic kugel recipe, just the right amount of dense and rich, with a sprinkling of raisins and a slightly secret ingredient from my grandfather. Perfect for Rosh Hashana or the break fast meal on Yom Kippur.
Yield: 10 People
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Diet: Vegetarian


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter cut into pieces, plus extra for buttering the pan
  • 1 cup raisins
  • Grated zest and strained juice of 1 orange
  • 1 package 12 ounces wide egg noodles
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or coarse salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.
  • Combine the raisins and the orange juice and set aside to soak. Cook the noodles according to the package directions.
  • Whisk together the orange zest, eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt in a medium-size bowl. Add the plumped raisins and up to 1 tablespoon of any remaining juice.
  • Drain the noodles and return them to the pot. Add the butter in pieces and toss until melted. Add the cottage cheese mixture and stir gently until well combined. Transfer the noodles to the prepared pan.
  • Bake the kugel until a bit bubbly around the edges, well set, and pretty well browned, 1 hour and 15 minutes. Broil it for 1 or 2 minutes if you like a really crunchy top.
  • Transfer the kugel to a wire rack and let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. It is great warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 370mg | Potassium: 335mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 852IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 166mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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  1. Made it , it looks beautiful. Only had one lunch box size of raisins , used 2 tangerine s ,(I had no oranges) so I chopped an apple , and added some walnuts. And 1/2 a teaspoon almond extract also . I’ll let you know how it tastes after today

  2. Never made a noodle kugel in my life, but have good memories of my grandmother’s (like everyone else!). Your recipe was very good, however I made a few changes. Used 2% milk, used a larger glass pan (only one I had) and increased the amount of ingredients appropriately and cut the butter a little. Also, to be true to my grandmother’s version (only from memory as she passed away in 1969) added a corn flake topping from another recipe I found on line and a jar of marachino cherries (drained) along with the golden raisins. Everyone raved about it! Thanks for posting!

  3. This may be a great kugel, but you cannot pair it with brisket for Rosh Hashanah (or anytime) if you keep kosher.

    1. I’ve not tried it, but I think it would work, though of course be less rich. If you do try it, please let me know how it turns out!

    2. I use nonfat Greek yogurt, nonfat cottage cheese, and nonfat milk but real butter. Still tastes great!

    1. yes, uncovered, but wow I would love to try it in a bundt pan! what a cool idea! It might not be as “clean” as you might wish, becauseof the boodles, but worth a shot!

  4. My first try at noodle kugel and of course, it’s good – it has a cup of butter in it! Really, how can it taste bad with all of the fat in the ingredients?

  5. This recipe is amazingly delicious. I’ve made it three times. The first one to test it for a brunch; it went so fast I had to make a second batch. A third one for a special dinner. All three times were fantastic! (Think guests screaming for the recipe lol). The orange flavor is a nice addition. If it’s too overpowering, try again using a tablespoon of juice and a smaller amount of zest for a more delicate orange taste.
    Good point about a larger bowl for the egg mixture. It filled up more than I realized. A large bowl with a spout would be perfect. Outside of the baking time, the recipe comes together really quickly and easily.

  6. I was so disappointed in the orange flavor, it overpowered the whole dish. I had been craving the noodle kugel of my childhood, would’ve loved to taste the custard and cinnamon flavors instead of being assaulted by way too much orange. If I was going to make this recipe again I would leave out the orange altogether. This is a classic dish that doesn’t need a ‘special ingredient’

  7. This sounds best of all especially orange juice. Tried other recipes. Too thick. This should do it Let you know after I cook it. Milk will thi It out. Thank you.

  8. This is just great!! tastes just like what my grandma’s used to make…. one note though, I wish I had used a large bowl to mix the eggs, milk, cottage cheese etc.. my medium bowl wasn’t big enough,,, Really delicious- Thanks for sharing!!

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