Sweet Noodle Kugel

by Nava Atlas
A red bowl featuring cooked noodle kugel on a dark wood table surrounded by red currants, a gold ornate napkin, a gold spoon, and small red serving plates.

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’s 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. 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, Bittersweet Blog.


Ingredients

12 ounces egg-free ribbon-style noodles (see Notes)
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
cup dark or golden raisins
1 medium apple or pear, peeled, cored, and finely diced
¼ cup vegan butter, melted
cup natural granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon


Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
  2. Cook the noodles according to package directions, then drain.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mash the tofu and cream cheese together until finely crumbled.
  4. Stir in the cooked noodles and all the remaining ingredients. Transfer the mixture to an oiled, shallow round or rectangular 2-quart casserole dish.
  5. 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.

Notes
  1. 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.
  2. Find more of Nava’s recipes at The Vegan Atlas and follow her on Facebook and on Instagram.

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