Sweet noodle kugel, the Jewish classic, is made dairy free, but it’s just as luscious as the original. Noodle kugel, a staple Eastern European comfort food, is a cross between a side dish and a dessert — a rich, substantial one at that.
Noodle kugel is often served at holidays and is especially appropriate for the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah), when sweet foods are favored.
What is a kugel?
Basically defined, a kugel is simply a casserole. In the Jewish tradition, one that’s built around a specific food, like this one featuring noodles.
Another famous one is potato kugel, and we’ve got a recipe for that one, too.Here’s more on the origins of noodle kugel, for you food history nerds! And there’s more on its history here.
The traditional recipe for noodle kugel features egg noodles bathed in lots of dairy (in the form of cottage cheese, cream cheese, farmer’s cheese, or a combination). Often, eggs and lots of butter are part of the mix, adding up to a crescendo of cholesterol.
This vegan version proves that it doesn’t have to be that way. It tastes just as decadent, with less fat and no cholesterol. Your bubbe might think it’s weird to make lokschen kugel with silken tofu, but once she tastes it, she’ll kvell.
Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
Explore more …
- Jewish New Year recipes and menus
- Vegan Silken Tofu Recipes — Savory and Sweet
- Cozy, family-friendly vegan casseroles
Sweet Noodle Kugel
Sweet noodle kugel, the Jewish classic, is made dairy free, but it’s just as luscious as the original.
- 12 ounces egg-free ribbon-style noodles (see note)
- 12.3-ounce container firm or extra-firm silken tofu
- 8-ounce container vegan cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup lightly drained crushed pineapple
- 2/3 cup dark or golden raisins
- 1 medium apple or pear, peeled, cored, and finely diced
- 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted
- 2/3 cup natural granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Cook the noodles according to package directions, then drain.
- In a large mixing bowl, mash the tofu and cream cheese together until finely crumbled.
- Stir in the cooked noodles and all the remaining ingredients. Transfer the mixture to an oiled, shallow round or rectangular 2-quart casserole dish.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top begins to turn golden. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. This is also good served at room temperature.
This is traditionally made with wide egg noodles, but look for egg-free ribbon noodles, which really do exist! Others to consider are quinoa ribbons or rombi pasta. For a gluten-free option, try wide rice noodles, the kind used in Thai cuisine. Look for these in the Asian foods section of well-stocked supermarkets.
See more Jewish vegan recipes and other ways to veganize classic recipes.
Your sweet noodle kugel looks great, except for the pineapple. Can it be omitted? Or is there a not quite so sweet fruit, maybe peach or nectarine?
Ruchama — you know my recipes well enough to know that they can easily be messed with! Of course, feel free to omit the pineapple and add any fruit you’d prefer, or none at all. Hope you’re doing well!
Hello, can you point me to a good brand of vegan cream cheese for the recipe?
Hello! There are three stand-out brands for this type of sweet dish — Daiya, Violife, and Wayfair. Daiya is the brand you’d most likely find in local supermarkets and natural foods stores; the other two may be more easily found online. Enjoy!