A muffin twist on an iconic Jewish dessert served with maple-like brown sugar syrup and pecans. This noodle kugel recipe is super easy; just throw ingredients in a pan, heat up, pour into muffin pan, bake. That’s it! The syrup and pecans makes this kugel recipe extra fancy.
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What is the BEST thing about muffins?
They are the ultimate take-and-go food.
Kugel muffins? Your new favorite take-and-go dessert, I promise. OK, maybe second to donuts, just because.
What is Kugel?
A kugel is a Jewish traditional casserole or pudding dish made with noodles, potatoes or matzah (an unleavened cracker). The original kugels from more than 800 years ago were made with bread and flour. German cooks replaced the bread and flour with noodles or potatoes.
There are many variations of this iconic dish which is traditionally served during the Sabbath and Jewish holidays.
The noodle Kugel is usually baked in a casserole dish and is often dressed up as a dessert with the addition of sugar, cinnamon and raisins. It can be made savory though.
I went into a kugel deep dive and was impressed with the variety of recipes and techniques used to make this dish. Somehow, the kugel batter ended up in my muffin pan. Funny how that happens. I added a syrup made from butter and brown sugar and sprinkled some chopped pecans. The result was pretty darn good. My family loved it and darling daughter noticed the different texture from the vermicelli. We had a good laugh. I have never cooked or baked with vermicelli so this was new to both of us.
When is Noodle Kugel served?
Noodle Kugel is served almost anytime. It is popular during Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath) and holidays.
Noodle Kugel is not usually served during Passover. Only unleavened bread are kosher for Passover. There is a potato noodle that is made within the strict kosher guidelines and that noodle is OK for Passover. If you can find it then yes, you can eat Noodle Kugel for passover.
How to Store Kugel
You may store sweet kugels overnight, wrapped in plastic on the kitchen counter. The sugar acts like a preservative. For longer term storage, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and either refrigerate up to one week or place the wrapped kugel in a freezer bag, squeeze the air out and freeze up to 6 months. Simply thaw and microwave to warm up.
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The types of kugel can be quite inventive. There are vegan, vegetable and noodle kugels (lokshen). One creative recipe uses zoodles and another one uses corn flakes as a topping. Explore more of these creative recipes from The Spruce Eats Essential Kugel Recipe Collection.
Vegetables I have seen in kugels:
- sweet potato
- starchy potato
- butternut squash
As you can see, kugels take on many forms. For it to be a traditional kugel, it must be kosher. So for instance if you are going to make a kugel with milk or cheese, you can’t serve it with meat. Milk and cheese aren’t served with meat. Milk and cheese-free recipes are noted as ‘parve’.
You can make a parve kugel and serve it with meat however.
A Kugel by any other name…
kugel – Germany and Russia, means sphere or ball
kigel – Poland and Ukraine