Savory Noodle Kugel


Comfort food in a baking dish is a good way to describe kugels—and this savory, nondairy noodle version from my new book, The Essential Jewish Cookbook, fits right in. A tangle of pappardelle noodles set in eggs with some onion and spices welcome you into the kugel repertoire with something at once easy and adaptable.

But let’s back up. Kugels are steamed or baked puddings of starch and eggs hailing from Ashkenazi Jewish traditions from Eastern Europe. Back when home ovens were rare, these homey dishes would be placed in a special pot over the open fire to steam. Earliest versions featured bread or noodles and were savory. Rice versions appeared later, and when the potato became cheap and ubiquitous in Europe, potato versions surged in popularity (just like potato versions of latkes became fan favorites).

When sugar became more affordable, sweet versions also arose, often featuring farmer’s or cottage cheese, sugar, and dried fruits (and don’t worry, there’s a decadently sweet noodle kugel recipe in The Essential Jewish Cookbook as well).

These special dishes, which could be served warm or room temperature, remained mainstays of Shabbat lunches and special gatherings when Jews relocated to the United States. The kugel’s comfort status never faded and it holds a special place in the world of essential Jewish foods.

The recipe below is from The Essential Jewish Cookbookwhich is now available for ordering on Amazon.

Savory Noodle Kugel

Prep Time:

Cook Time:

Savory Noodle Kugel

Here's a simply delicious take on the Ashkenazi tradition of steamed puddings featuring eggs and starch. My nondairy noodle kugel stars pappardelle (wide noodles) that look beautiful as they brown on top and provide substance and texture to the dish, spiced up from a liberal sprinkling of pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. This recipe comes from The Essential Jewish Cookbook.


  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces pappardelle pasta, broken roughly in half
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 eggs


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-by-9-inch baking dish with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. Warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until softened, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then fold in the noodles, onion mixture, remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste.
  5. Transfer to the baking dish and spread in an even layer.
  6. Bake until golden and slightly crispy, about 30 minutes.Let rest for about 5 minutes, then serve warm or at room temperature.


Variation Tip: For extra crunch, sprinkle panko breadcrumbs on top before baking.



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