This is not your bubbe’s noodle kugel.
If you have no idea who or what a bubbe is, then there is also a chance that you’re scratching your head over what exactly kugel is.
Allow me to enlighten you (although I’m hardly the best person to educate you about Jewish tradition; we celebrated Hanukkah for a handful of years during my childhood in recognition of my dad’s side of the family, but we never made Jewish food or went to temple).
Noodle kugel is a traditional Jewish baked casserole consisting of egg noodles, butter, cottage cheese, sour cream, eggs, sugar, and raisins.
It sounds completely bizarre if you’ve never heard of it, but trust me… it is delicious! Just think bread or rice pudding with noodles instead of bread or rice ;).
Despite the fact that kugel is not the food most associated with Hanukkah – that spot is reserved for latkes – I’m sharing this non-traditional version with you.
Classic noodle kugel has zero redeeming qualities when it comes to nutrition. Loads of butter, full fat cottage cheese & sour cream, and a ton of sugar do not a healthy side dish make. I guess one could argue that the eggs (protein) and raisins (fruit) are healthy additions, but overall the sweet dish is pretty indulgent.
For my version, I cut way down on the butter and sugar, used 0% fat Greek yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, added nutrient-packed sweet potato puree, and subbed in apple juice-sweetened dried cranberries. The natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes allowed me to use a mere 1/4 cup sugar, and the resulting kugel is just sweet enough for my taste buds. I love the tart bite from the dried cranberries, but you can omit them if you prefer.
Here’s to new traditions!
Sweet Potato Noodle Kugel
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Keywords: bake side vegetarian sweet potatoes dried cranberries cottage cheese pasta
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 4 cups wide egg noodles
- 1 Tbsp butter, melted & cooled
- 2 large eggs, preferably organic
- 1 cup low fat cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup 0% fat plain Greek yogurt
- 3/4 cup sweet potato puree (roast a large sweet potato at 400°F for about 1 hour, or until very soft, then peel and puree until smooth)
- 1/2 cup 2% milk, preferably organic
- 2 Tbsp unrefined cane sugar (such as evaporated cane juice)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, preferably apple juice sweetened
- 2 Tbsp Turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9 inch pie plate or baking dish of similar size.
Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and cooled melted butter. Whisk in the cottage cheese, yogurt, sweet potato puree, milk, cane sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Fold in the dried cranberries and cooked noodles.
Spread mixture into prepared baking dish and sprinkle the Turbinado sugar evenly over the top.
Bake until lightly browned and set, about 40 minutes. If the top starts to burn or turn too dark, cover with aluminum foil. Let sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Nutritional Info Per Serving:
258.9 calories, 5.5 grams fat, 2.4 grams saturated fat, 1.9 grams fiber, 18 grams sugars, 13.2 grams protein
Oh, and “bubbe” is a term of endearment for a Jewish grandmother!