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What is Kugel and Why is it so Good?

Posted by Sara on Apr 8, 2016


Kugel. Never heard of it? You’re not alone. Most of the time, when I say kugel, people either look at me with a strange expression, or they say, “Bless you”.

The important holiday of Passover is coming up, and it’s a nostalgic time for me. Growing up in a Jewish household, my mom would spend hours upon hours preparing for the Seder. The Seder is a ceremonial dinner that takes place during the holiday.

While busily polishing the silver, turning our cloth napkins into pretty fans, preparing the matzo ball soup, slow cooking the brisket in my grandmother’s ancient slow cooker, and getting all the fixings ready for my great uncle Robert’s gefilte fish, the house would fill with amazing smells, and end up looking beautiful.  

One staple that was always on the table was a baking dish filled with kugel. This was the most anticipated dish of the year for me.


So, let’s get down to the details. Kugel is a sweet, egg noodle casserole. The noodles are boiled and then baked with some sugar, eggs, sour cream and cottage cheese. It’s our family tradition to also add raisins.


Be advised that egg noodles are not kosher for Passover, but Manischewitz does make a gluten-free variety that are ok to serve during the holiday.


There are so many different variations of this recipe, and I’m sure each and every one of them is delicious in it’s own right, but my mom’s is really the best. So, I called her up to get the recipe, thinking she would have to recover it from the depths of our great ancestors artifacts. But that wasn’t the case. She said “It’s Shelley Long’s recipe!” You know, the actress from Cheers? Ha! Go figure.

Noodle Kugel

½ pound wide egg noodles

½ stick unsalted butter cut into small pieces, room temperature

2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

2 ounces sour cream

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

8 ounces cottage cheese

2 cups milk, warmed

3 eggs, well beaten

½ cup raisins

  1. Preheat the oven to 325˚, and butter a 9x13 inch-baking dish.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add a generous pinch of salt.
  3. Boil the egg noodles until they are al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl.
  4. Add the butter and cream cheese. Stir well, allowing for the warm noodles to melt the butter and cream cheese.
  5. Stir in the sour cream, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cottage cheese, warm milk, eggs and raisins.
  6. Pour the noodle mixture into the prepared baking dish, and bake until the kugel is set, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

kugel delilah

Are you longing to learn how to make other Jewish delicacies? Attend our Jewish Deli cooking class at the Merchandise Mart location this month where we will teach you how to make matzo ball soup, pastrami-filled knishes, kugel, and potato pancakes. Yum!

The Chopping Block's May class calendar is now available. See what we have in store for you this spring!

View our calendars



Topics: Jewish, Recipes

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