Spinach Noodle Kugelby Liz Madsen
A twist on traditional sweet kugel, this is a savory kugel with spinach. Dairy and egg-free, easy and quick to make, and a crowd pleaser that's perfect for any Jewish holiday or even a weeknight dinner. This vegan spinach noodle kugel recipe was contributed by Liz and Paul Madsen of Zardyplants, a vegan food blog.
12 – 16 ounces short pasta (see note 1)
16 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained (or 2 cups cooked spinach)
2-3 tablespoons breadcrumbs for topping, optional
2 – 16 ounce blocks (396 grams each) firm tofu, drained but not pressed (see note 2)
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk or water
½ cup unfortified nutritional yeast (see note 3)
Juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1+ teaspoons salt (to taste)
Fresh cracked black pepper (to taste)
- Cook pasta according to package instructions, but stop the cooking process when the noodles are ALMOST there — until they’re lightly chewy. They’ll finish cooking in the oven.
- While the pasta cooks, make the sauce. Throw the ingredients into the blends and blend it until smooth. Now is a good time to taste it and make any necessary changes.
- Next, take your thawed frozen spinach or your cooked fresh spinach and squeeze as much liquid out as possible.
- After the pasta is cooked, drain the water from it and return it to the pot. Pour the sauce from the blender into the pasta (but don’t pour it all in right away; depending on the size and shape of your pasta you may not need all the sauce) and mix it well. You’re looking for the pasta to be completely saturated by the sauce but it should not look soupy. Using your fingers or two forks, separate the wads of spinach into little pieces and gently stir them through the pasta.
- Add the whole mixture to a deep square or rectangular baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs if you like.
- Bake the kugel for 15-20 minutes at 400 Fahrenheit (205 Celsius) until the sauce has set and the noodles have finished cooking. The top may get a little brown. If you’d like it more browned, you can broil it if you have a broiler.
- Serve it up and enjoy!
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- I found “egg-free wide ribbon pasta” at Walmart (Great Value brand, and I’ve also seen it at Target) that looks just like egg noodles. If you can’t find those, any pasta will work — I recommend fusilli or rotini for a similar shape. Use gluten-free pasta if needed. Use whole wheat pasta on Shavuot if you can!
- The base of the sauce for the kugel is tofu. Firm tofu (just drained, not pressed) is what I used, but medium, soft, silken, or extra firm will work as well. If using extra firm, use more liquid. Anything softer, use less liquid to blend. None, in the case of silken tofu. If you don’t want to use tofu at all, you can use soaked cashews, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, or even white beans.
- I used unfortified nutritional yeast here for a certain color. Fortified will work just fine.
- Find more of Liz’s recipes at Zardyplants. This particular recipe is reprinted with permission from their e-book, Plant Based Jewish Recipes by Liz and Paul Madsen. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.