Essential Kugel Recipes

Kugels, originally simple starchy mixes cooked like dumplings in Shabbat stews, have evolved over the centuries in style, cooking method, and variety of ingredients. They're casseroles made with noodles and other ingredients but can be based on potatoes or pieces of bread, with sweet or savory additions that can also include eggs.

From the popular dairy lokshen (noodle) kugel to potato kugel to versions filled with fruits, vegetables, or both, you'll find various options in the following 12 recipes for everything from Shabbat or holiday dinners to brunches or potlucks. 

  • 01 of 12

    Sweet Cottage Cheese Kugel

    A slice of Jewish noodle kugel made with cottage cheese and garnished with apple slices on a plate.

    The Spruce / Miri Rotkovitz

    This kugel recipe is very simple and requires about 1 hour to make. A casserole of egg noodles and cottage cheese, it features basic ingredients to create a mild-flavored dish that's great for brunch or dessert.

    The decidedly mid-century American addition of a cornflake crumb topping makes this kugel extra crunchy, and the raisins, cinnamon, and vanilla delicately spice the dish. Use sour cream, or gvina levana (Israeli cream cheese), for that extra especial dairy tang.

  • 02 of 12

    Lemon Ricotta and Cherries Kugel

    A portion of kugel made with ricotta cheese and dried cherries on a plate

    The Spruce / Miri Rotkovitz

    This deliciously festive twist on a sentimental favorite is infused with the zest and juice of aromatic Meyer lemons and studded with dried cherries and golden raisins. Ready in about 1 hour, it tweaks the classic grandma sweet noodle casserole with the addition of a couple of new ingredients.

    Italian ricotta, sour cream, eggs, and sugar form the base of a custard that gives shape to the kugel, while raisins, cherries, and vanilla extract perfume and give a chewy texture to this delicious dish.

  • 03 of 12

    Cream Cheese Kugel With Cornflake Topping

    Jewish noodle kugel made with cream cheese and a cornflake topping hot out of the oven

    The Spruce / Miri Rotkovitz

    For many, cottage cheese is a deal breaker when it comes to kugel, so our recipe skips the grainy texture and tang of cottage cheese in favor of the rich taste and silkiness of cream cheese.

    This basic sweet kugel uses plenty of dairy from milk, butter, and cream cheese, and a sweet and crunchy cinnamon-cornflake topping. Raisins are optional but always a welcome addition.

    It only takes 1 hour and 30 minutes to prep and bake this dish.

  • 04 of 12

    Yerushalmi Kugel

    Jewish Yerushalmi kugel made with angel hair pasta cut into serving portions on a plate

    The Spruce / Miri Rotkovitz

    History has it that this recipe was brought to the city of Jerusalem by Eastern European Hasidic Jewish immigrants in the 18th century, hence the name Yerushalmi kugel. Making the caramel can be tricky, but the payoff is a uniquely delicious kugel still popular in Israel today. 

    Use angel hair pasta or similar, or stick with egg noodles (but cut them in thirds to be able to handle the mixture with ease). Ready in about 1 hour and 45 minutes, don't miss the chance to make this classic, beloved kugel.

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    Sweet Potato Kugel

    Crispy sweet potato kugel on a white serving dish

    The Spruce / Miri Rotkovitz

    It's not often you come across a kugel recipe that doesn't involve eggs or dairy, but our sweet potato kugel also is free of nuts and ideal for people with food allergies or sensitivities. Bound only by a bit of whole wheat flour and lemon juice, this kugel has a nice chew to it thanks to apples and carrots added to the sweet potato and Yukon Gold potato mix.

    Elevated by a hint of bright lemon zest and cinnamon, this is a nice alternative to heavier potato kugels. Use oat flour instead to make it gluten free. It is ready in 1 hour and 15 minutes.

  • 06 of 12

    Honey-Carrot Kugel

    Carrot kugel made in a Bundt pan without noodles

    The Spruce / Miri Rotkovitz

    Sweetened with honey and brightened with lemon zest, this dairy-free kugel is reminiscent of carrot cake but still can hold its own as a side dish for a savory feast.

    Whipped egg whites lighten the texture and make it less pudding-like. Be careful when folding the whites so you can keep as much air in the mix for a fluffy texture. This dairy-free delight is ready in less than 50 minutes.

  • 07 of 12

    Butternut Squash Kugel (Pareve)

    Creamy butternut squash kugel topped with pecans in a casserole dish

    The Spruce / Miri Rotkovitz

    With a smooth, light texture that straddles the line between flan and a soufflé, this dairy-free, maple-sweetened kugel is silky, delicious, and a great addition to any celebratory meal.

    Butternut squash is roasted for 45 minutes and cooled, processing it with the rest of the ingredients. After a 45-minute bake, you can enjoy a slice of this mildly sweet casserole. Use oat flour for a gluten-free version.

  • 08 of 12

    Zoodle Kugel Recipe

    Jewish kugel made with zucchini instead of noodles
    Sam Stowell / Getty Images

    If you've jumped on the spiralizer bandwagon, you'll adore this zoodle kugel recipe, which makes brilliant use of zucchini "noodles." Brightened with lemon zest and fresh herbs, the dish can be made totally free of gluten if using gluten-free matzo meal.

    The kugel is ready after 20 minutes of prep and 1 hour in the oven.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Classic Potato Kugel

    A portion of crispy potato kugel on a plate

    Karen / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    This classic dairy-free potato kugel recipe is tender on the inside, crispy on the outside, and makes the perfect side dish for roast chicken or brisket. Easy to make, it's a great recipe to learn, so once you've mastered it, feel free to add other vegetables of your liking and make your own version.

    Potatoes, spices, onions, flour, and eggs are all that you need to make this casserole. Use a food processor to speed up the prep or manually grate potatoes and onions.

  • 10 of 12

    Broccoli Kugel

    Golden brown broccoli kugel in a casserole dish

    The Spruce / Miri Rotkovitz

    This recipe for a dairy-free, wheat-free, and potato-free broccoli kugel is ideal for people with allergies or food sensitivities. It does, however, use eggs to bind the preparation. Fresh broccoli and onion add a homey, wholesome feel to this kugel. Its mild flavor and creamy texture, thanks to the addition of mayonnaise, make it a good complement for all sorts of entrées.

    This souffle-like broccoli kugel is easy to throw together and requires about 45 minutes of oven time.

  • 11 of 12

    Spinach Noodle Kugel

    A slice of spinach noodle kugel on a plate

    The Spruce / Miri Rotkovitz 

    Noodles, spinach, onions, and plenty of eggs make this kugel hearty and filling. The fresh spinach can be sautéed or blanched, and the recipe requires very few steps to come together.

    Add your favorite shredded hard cheese to the noodle mixture before baking for an extra-cheesy casserole, or add panko crumb or processed matzo and olive oil to make a crunchy topping that's also dairy free.

  • 12 of 12

    Vegan Sweet Potato Apple Kugel (Pareve)

    Baked sweet potato apple kugel in a casserole dish

     The Spruce / Jolinda Hackett 

    This allergy-friendly kugel is egg free, dairy free, and can be made nut free. Best of all, it can be ready in 1 hour.

    Grated sweet potatoes and apples are mixed with raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The recipe uses matzo meal, but you could use oat or another gluten-free flour for people with wheat sensitivities. Top with walnuts or use sunflower seeds or pepitas for an even more inclusive dish suited for all dietary needs.