Noodle Kugel
Noodle Kugel

This sweet, noodle-based ball is what you would typically see on the table at a Shabbat dinner or Passover.

In this recipe

  • Celebrate with a ball
  • Development of a Kugel recipe through family tradition
  • How to make bullets
  • Bullet Swaps and Substitutions
  • Make Ahead Ball
  • Be sure to cool down your ball
  • How to store ball

Kugels are dense, deliciously high-carb casseroles that come in many flavors, savory and sweet. They can be pasta-, potato-, or even matzo-based, depending on your family’s tradition and when they’re served.

This sweet, noodle-based ball is what you would typically see on the table at a Shabbat dinner or holiday gathering. Sweetened with sugar, loaded with sour cream and cottage cheese, and studded with raisins and apples, you might think it was meant for dessert, but Kugel is firmly entrenched in side dishes and/or breakfast leftovers. (Side note: if you follow a kosher diet, a dairy-filled scoop won’t be served alongside a meat-based main course.)

Celebrate with a ball

Kugel is rich, sweet, and tastes like family reunions to me, when people come from near and far to celebrate together. For some it’s a typical Shabbat dinner, but for me it’s more of a holiday dish. While Kugel is easy to put together, it takes time to bake and cool, and all that waiting makes serving feel celebratory.

Fragrant cinnamon spices up the pasta filling and crunchy, buttery cornflake topping, giving it some serious holiday vibes. Kugel would be home for a Rosh Hashanah, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or even (dare I say it!) Christmas dinner. In my own interfaith household, good food knows no boundaries.

Development of a Kugel recipe through family tradition

When I started developing my own Kugel recipe, I looked to the traditions of my extended family and family friends. My Aunt Marla kindly shared with me her Kugel recipe, which comes from the mother’s side of the family. They make both a noodle ball and a matzo ball – on Passover ball cannot be made from noodles as they are not kosher to serve during this holiday. Marla actually prefers the matzo variety. Both versions are loaded with grated apples and contain no creamy dairy, likely due to their function of accompanying meat dishes in kosher dishes.

I love the inclusion of apples in Kugel, but I really wanted to bring out their flavor and texture, so I diced mine instead of grating them like Marla usually does. I also couldn’t resist the siren song of creamy, rich dairy, so cottage cheese and sour cream are in here, too. As for the crunchy cornflake topping, that’s all Marla’s recipe. I add a little butter so the cornflakes get even crunchier in the oven, like a crumble topping.

This Kugel recipe is easy. Follow these steps and you will be happy. All you have to do is:

  1. Cook a pot of egg noodles
  2. Mix the noodles with the remaining ingredients
  3. Place everything in a casserole dish and bake until set in the center and browned on top.

The cornflakes topping is really optional, but definitely worth the little extra effort. I make mine while the pasta cooks so everything comes together easily.

The most time-consuming part of making a kugel is the baking, which takes over an hour if your kugel is as generously thick as this one. Mine cooks through in about 1 hour and 20 minutes. I like to leave it covered in foil for the first hour to keep it from drying out, then remove the foil to ensure the topping gets crispy for the rest of the oven time.

If you’d like, you can check the internal temperature of your ball with an instant-read thermometer to test for doneness — it should be around 150-160°F at the center.

Bullet Swaps and Substitutions

If you like, you can put your own spin on the kugel and swap out the raisins and apples for other dried or fresh fruit. Some tasty dried fruit options would be chopped dried apricots, dried cranberries, or dried blueberries.

As a substitute for fresh fruit, try diced pears in the fall and diced stone fruit like peaches or plums in the summer.

You can also change the spices if you like. A pumpkin spice mix could stand for cinnamon during the winter holidays, or you could make inspo full gingerbread cookies including some nutmeg and ground black pepper in the mix.

While plain cinnamon is the most traditional and typical kind, all the baking spices would be right at home in a sweet pasta ball.

Make Ahead Ball

Kugel can be made the day before — you mix the pasta and filling, pour into the casserole dish, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before you plan to bake.

When it’s time to bake the kugel, prepare the cornflake topping, remove the plastic wrap from the casserole, sprinkle the topping over the kugel, cover with foil and bake as directed. It may take an additional 10 minutes to bake.

Be sure to cool down your ball

After baking, a ball needs to cool down or it will fall apart when cut. Allow to cool and serve for at least an hour, then slice and serve warm or at room temperature. It’s also delicious when eaten cold straight from the fridge the next morning, although you can give it a minute in the microwave to reheat if you’d like. Kugel and coffee should not be missing at breakfast.

How to store ball

To store the ball, you can either cover the whole casserole or cut it into individual pieces and wrap. It keeps in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. You can also freeze sphere slices for up to 3 months, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and store in gallon size freezer bags.

More recipes to enjoy during Passover

  • matzo ball soup
  • Instant Pot Beef Brisket
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar
  • Charoset with apples, dates and walnuts
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Mazo Toffee

noodle ball

preparation time
30 minutes

cooking time
80 minutes

cooling time
80 minutes

total time
3 hrs 10 mins

12 servings

12 (3 inch) square ball pieces


For the ball:

  • 12 ounces wide egg noodles

  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 2 apples (Fuji, Gala or other firm apples), peeled, cored and diced

  • 6 big eggs

  • 2 cups (1 Lb) sour cream

  • 2 cups (1 Lb) cottage cheese

  • 2/3 Cup granulated sugar

  • 2/3 Cup raisins

  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinammon

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For covering:

  • 2 cups Cornflakes muesli

  • 1/4 Cup Brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinammon

  • 2 tablespoon unsalted buttermelted


  1. Preheat the oven and prepare the casserole dish:

    Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter. Set aside until ready to use.

  2. Cook pasta:

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes, or according to package directions.

    When the noodles are done cooking, drain in a colander and place in a large bowl.

  3. Prepare the cornflakes topping:

    While the noodles are cooking, prepare the topping. In a large bowl, crush the corn flakes into coarse crumbs with your hands. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter and stir to combine. Set aside until ready to use.

  4. Assemble ball:

    After draining the pasta, while the pasta is still hot, add the butter to the large bowl and stir until the butter has melted. Add diced apples, eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese, sugar, raisins, cinnamon, and salt and stir until evenly combined.

  5. Transfer to a casserole dish:

    Place the pasta mixture in the greased casserole dish, then sprinkle the cornflake mixture evenly over the pasta mixture.

  6. Bake ball:

    Cover the bowl tightly with aluminum foil. Bake the ball for 1 hour, then remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes. You’ll know your kugel is done when an instant-read thermometer reads 150-160°F in the center of the casserole, the topping is lightly browned, and the noodles have turned golden brown around the edges of the casserole dish.

  7. Cool ball, cut, then serve:

    Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the ball to set.

    Cut the ball into squares or rectangles – this casserole makes 8 or 9 generous servings (about 4 inches by 3 inches) or 12 smaller ones (about 3 inches square). Serve warm or at room temperature.

nutritional information (per serving)
337 calories
16g Fat
40g carbohydrates
10g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!