Savory Cheese Kugel Recipe - Pechluck's Food Adventures (2024)

December 19, 2016 by Pechluck 6 Comments

My sister mentioned a show called My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend to me, and I ended up binging on the entire first season in one weekend when I found it on Netflix (it’s also available on Hulu). If you haven’t heard of this show, it’s about a girl who runs into her childhood first love and moves to California to follow him. The episodes tend to center around her schemes how to get together with him, believing he is her destiny. You can see where the “crazy” part of this comes in, but the show did a good job in the first season of balancing the realistic fact a woman can be smart yet a bit unsound about love at the same time, fed by unrealistic messages about how true love can rationalize lots of wackiness. There are also lots of humorous musical numbers in each episode with fun lyrics. In a recent episode in the current season, the main character Rebecca makes kugel, and suddenly I wanted it.
Savory Cheese Kugel Recipe - Pechluck's Food Adventures (1)

Kugel is a Jewish egg noodle casserole dish with a custard of eggs, milk, and cheese. It may be sweet by adding sugar and cinnamon and perhaps vanilla and fruit, but there are also versions that are savory which is what I think the character Rebecca made. They are baked in rectangular pans that are then served in squares.
Savory Cheese Kugel Recipe - Pechluck's Food Adventures (2)

This dish is my twist on this version by Farm to Table LA who followed her grandmother’s worn, faded, and well loved recipe card. It used a lot more butter, eggs, and cheese than others, but trust a recipe card that looks like that straight from any grandma. The butter helps create the crispy edges that are 40% part of the highlights of this dish, and the egg and cheese once cooled makes this hold together well.
Savory Cheese Kugel Recipe - Pechluck's Food Adventures (3) Savory Cheese Kugel Recipe - Pechluck's Food Adventures (4)

I did add additional vegetables with sauteed onions and I had some leftover peas, but you could add any vegetable: if I had it I would have loved sauteed spinach and mushrooms too.

This recipe makes 9 servings.


  • 16 ounces of wide egg noodles, cooked al dente
  • 1 stick butter
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 32 ounces small curd cottage cheese
  • 5 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 1 cup diced sautéed onions (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen peas, or you can use sauteed spinach, mushrooms, etc. (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper and more to taste
  • Grated Parmesan (optional) to serve
  • Chopped parsley to garnish (optional)


  1. Cook the egg noodles until al dente, drain the water and set aside. If you want, you can put in a teaspoon of butter and mix it so the noodles don’t stick to each other while you complete the other steps if not doing them simultaneously.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Put a stick of butter in a 13 x 9 pan and let it melt in the oven as it preheats.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the 5 eggs, 1 cup milk, 32 ounces of cottage cheese, and 5 tablespoons of sour cream. Season generously with the 1/2 teaspoons each of salt and pepper. Optionally also combine in the 1 cup of sautéed diced onions or peas. Instead of peas you could also add other savory ingredients like mushrooms and or sautéed spinach.
  4. Add the cooked egg noodles into the egg and cheese mixture and stir.
  5. Pour the noodles with eggs and cheese mixture directly over the melted butter: no need to further stir.
    Savory Cheese Kugel Recipe - Pechluck's Food Adventures (5) Savory Cheese Kugel Recipe - Pechluck's Food Adventures (6)
  6. Cover and bake at 350 F for 45 minutes
  7. Uncover and bake for approx another 15-30 more minutes – keep checking until you see the sides and top of the dish are golden brown and there are lots of browned edges and top, but not so dark brown it is burning.
    Savory Cheese Kugel Recipe - Pechluck's Food Adventures (7)
  8. Garnish with the chopped parsley (optional). You can serve the dish warm, but I think it’s best after an hour when the Kugel has set and is firmer. Otherwise when you cut it into the squarish pieces it will not hold together.
    Savory Cheese Kugel Recipe - Pechluck's Food Adventures (8) Savory Cheese Kugel Recipe - Pechluck's Food Adventures (9)

Serve with salt, pepper, and grated Parmesan to top per each individual’s taste. The best pieces are the corner pieces of course since they offer more crunchy parts. It tastes fine without the grated Parmesan, but I love making it snow cheese.
Savory Cheese Kugel Recipe - Pechluck's Food Adventures (10)Savory Cheese Kugel Recipe - Pechluck's Food Adventures (11)Savory Cheese Kugel Recipe - Pechluck's Food Adventures (12)

Have you ever heard of or had kugel before, or any other Jewish dish? Do you watch My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend?

Savory Cheese Kugel Recipe - Pechluck's Food Adventures (13)

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Savory Cheese Kugel Recipe - Pechluck's Food Adventures (2024)


What is a substitute for farmers cheese in kugel? ›

Should you find a brick or two of old-fashioned farmer cheese, you can substitute it for the cottage cheese. It makes for a slightly firmer, milkier kugel with a mild tang. As for a topping, some kugel cooks like to sprinkle cornflakes, breadcrumbs or chopped nuts over the pudding.

Do you serve kugel hot or cold? ›

Kugel is traditionally served as a side dish alongside something meaty like brisket or roast chicken. In this case it would normally be served warm, but it can also be refrigerated and eaten cold the next day. Sweeter versions can also be eaten hot or cold, and taste great with fresh cream or vanilla ice cream.

What does kugel have in it? ›

Kugel is basically the Yiddish/Jewish word for casserole. Sweet noodle kugel is typically made from eggs, noodles, sour cream, and cottage cheese, all baked inside a casserole dish.

Is kugel sweet or savory? ›

Noodle kugel is a traditional baked dish that's usually served during Jewish holidays, but this version is so good, you're going to want to make it any time of the year for any occasion. It can be sweet or savory, and this one most definitely goes the savory route.

What is the closest cheese to farmers cheese? ›

What's a good substitute for farmer's cheese? We've already mentioned that cottage cheese is a good alternative, but Indian paneer and ricotta work too. That said, certain Slavic recipes (like pierogis, blintzes, and vareniki) are simply not as authentic without it.

Why is my farmers cheese rubbery? ›

There are two possible causes for rubbery cheese. First, this can happen when an excess amount of rennet is used. Use a bit less rennet next time. It can also happen if cheese is overworked or overcooked, and all the butterfat runs down the drain.

Why do Jews eat kugel? ›

As Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz once said, “Jews eat lots of lokshen on Shabbat because noodles are symbolic of the unity of the people of Israel: They are so tangled that they can never be separated.” Noodle kugel may not actually be eaten by all Jews, but it has clearly reached far beyond mere Ashkenazi cuisine.

Why does my noodle kugel fall apart? ›

Once it's baked, a kugel needs to cool, otherwise it will fall apart when slicing. Give it at least an hour to cool and set up, then slice and serve it warm or at room temperature.

What do you eat with kugel? ›

The best side dishes to serve with kugel are Jewish brisket, cholent, shakshuka, Caesar salad, chicken soup, gefilte fish, zucchini fritters, applesauce, cucumber salad, pickled beets, tzatziki sauce, potato latkes, roast vegetables, matzo ball soup, coleslaw.

Why do people eat kugel? ›

Jewish festivals

Some Hasidic Jews believe that eating kugel on the Jewish Sabbath brings special spiritual blessings, particularly if that kugel was served on the table of a Hasidic Rebbe.

Why do Jews eat egg noodles? ›

History. "Jews eat lots of lokshen on Shabbat because noodles are symbolic of the unity of the people of Israel: They are so tangled that they can never be separated."

What does kugel symbolize? ›

And then I read in The Jewish Kitchen: Recipes and Stories from Around the World of a Hasidic rabbi, Pinchas of Koretz (in Galicia), who claimed that lokshen kugel itself symbolizes Jewish unity, since the noodles are all tangled together and are really inseparable, just like the unified Jewish people.

What does kugel mean in Yiddish? ›

The name of the dish comes from the Yiddish word kugel meaning 'sphere, globe, ball'; thus the Yiddish name likely originated as a reference to the round balls of dough that were placed in the center of the cholent, a traditional Shabbat stew, to cook alongside it and absorb its flavors for its later use as a side dish ...

Should I refrigerate kugel? ›

Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate until you're ready to serve. Serve cold, at room temperature, or and reheat covered with aluminum foil in a 350ºF oven until warmed through. Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

How much sugar is in kugel? ›

Nutrition Info Per Serving
Total Carbs54g
Dietary Fiber2g
4 more rows

What is another name for farmers cheese? ›

Also called twaróg, tvorog, or syr, among other names. Found in almost every Slavic, Baltic, and Germanic country. American-Style Farmer's Cheese. This is basically cottage cheese that has been pressed to remove water.

Is farmer's cheese the same as ricotta? ›

Though very similar and interchangeable in most recipes; ricotta is made from whey, whereas Farmer's cheese is made from milk.

Is ricotta cheese like farmers cheese? ›

Cottage cheese and Farmer's cheese are casein cheeses produced from using an acid like vinegar, while ricotta is a whey cheese made from the leftover sweet whey after making rennet based cheeses.

What is considered farmers cheese? ›

What is farmer's cheese? Farmer's cheese, a fresh cheese variety, is a pressed cottage cheese that is slightly more acidic and has a firmer texture, thanks to a lower moisture content. Farmer's cheese can be made from the milk of cows, sheep, or goats and can be rolled in different herbs or seasonings for extra flavor.

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