Comfort Food Meets Nutrition
This delicious Savory Noodle Kugel Style Pasta is an effortless side dish that uses six essential items most households have on hand. If you take the extra step to brown the butter and infuse it with garlic, the reward is a nutty, rich taste. I developed this recipe years ago with help from a kugel recipe on the back of an egg noodles package. I never considered using cottage cheese with noodles or pasta, which intrigued me. Cottage cheese is a high-protein food, so I always keep it handy. It was a supplement when my children were growing up when they didn’t eat their dinner. Adding cottage cheese and vegetables to a pasta dish enhances its nutritional value.
What is Noodle Kugel?
A kugel or noodle kugel is a Jewish side dish consisting of egg noodles, sugar, eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese, and sometimes raisins. The word kugel comes from the German word for ball or sphere. It is typical to bake it in a round casserole dish and serve it on Shabbat. Noodle kugel is also at Yom Kippur break fast, Rosh Hashana, or holidays that allow leavened wheat and dairy. During the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana also has a tradition of eating apples and honey; Crisp Apple Salad perfectly pairs with Savory Noodle Kugel. Watch this video for a traditional noodle kugel recipe from Howcast.
Enjoy this savory recipe version with egg noodles (left) or rotini pasta (pictured above).
Notes on Ingredients and Substitutions
I’ve altered the recipe considerably, which by no means dilutes the historical significance of this honored Jewish casserole by simplifying the ingredients, adding spinach, and eliminating the oven baking.
- Savory Noodle Kugel Style Pasta tastes fantastic on any noodle or pasta: egg noodles wide or narrow; rotini, including tri-colored and gluten-free pasta.
- Cottage cheese – I use 2% milkfat, and that’s what the nutritional values at the end of the recipe are using, but nonfat or 4% can be a substitute.
- Fresh garlic is best – you can use garlic from a jar, but the flavor will not be as vibrant.
- There is a step to brown the butter and infuse it with garlic. It takes a few extra minutes, but if time is limited, merely melt the butter and sauté garlic. Watch the video in the tip box below but don’t discard the garlic unless you want a subtle garlic flavor.
TIP: Brown Butter Infused with Garlic
Watch this video from The Stay at Home Chef to learn the nuances of browning butter. She discards the garlic, but I recommend adding the tasty bits to the pasta. If you brown the butter in a stainless-steel pan, you can see the color transformation. A nonstick or dark pan will make it challenging to know when the butter will brown.