Every year as the winter holidays approach, I look forward to my Aunt Deni’s sweet noodle kugel. She brings it to all the holiday gatherings (and brings a broccoli version too because that’s my sister’s favorite kind) and it evokes strong memories of family gatherings. Now that we’re at the point of hosting the gatherings for our growing families, I wanted to share my twist on this family favorite– baked in the Traeger, of course.
HOLIDAY FOODS CAUSE MEMORIES
It’s amazing how holiday dishes can evoke such strong memories. My wife’s family never had Thanksgiving together with her grandparents as a kid (they lived on the east coast) so her nana always made a turkey dinner in June when they got to Connecticut for their family vacation. If you ask her, the smell of her Nana’s house will always be roasted turkey.
JEWISH HOLIDAY DISHES
In my family, for all the Jewish holidays like Yom Kippur and Hannukah, we get together with whatever part of the family is available (sometimes we’re up to 20+ at dinner) and have a big family meal. There’s always a few favoties that everyone insists upon– my mom’s potatoes, matzoh ball soup, and my Aunt Deni’s kugels.
Oh, and don’t forget the meat. For a long time holiday dinners included my mom’s brisket (there’s a post coming on that soon) and it was well… like Jewish brisket. Since 2017 when I started really getting into grilling, the meat has become my responsibility, and we have totally spoiled our families with amazing grilled meats.
Let’s be honest, there’s nothing like a moist Texas-style brisket when compared to a Jewish braised brisket. It’s sort of no wonder I’m assigned “meat” every time now.
But I digress… today is about one of my favorite side dishes that just screams holiday meal to our family. I present to you: sweet noodle kugel, baked on the Traeger.
In yiddish, “kugel” means casserole and is a pretty general category of foods. However, traditionally a kugel in Jewish cuisine is some variation on a baked noodle dish. It’s somewhere between a macaroni and cheese dish and a baked eggy custard.
We are preferential to sweet kugel– which ends up somewhere between a breakfast dish and a dessert. But is not usually served as either. Rather, in our family it’s served as a side dish along with all the other foods of a holiday dinner.
But there are many different ways to make a kugel, and some variations include:
→ broccoli kugel (like this one, but not sweet and chopped broccoli included)
→ challah kugel (sweet like this one, but with torn bread instead of noodles)
→ latke kugel (using shredded potatoes in the eggy custard, so it’s like an oversized latke)
→ rum raisin kugel (this version, plus raisins and rum)
- Wide egg noodles
- Sour cream
- Cottage cheese
- White sugar
WHY COOKING SWEET NOODLE KUGEL ON THE TRAEGER WORKS
A traditional noodle kugel is baked in the oven. As with all recipes that are commonly cooked in the kitchen’s oven, a kugel adapts super well to cooking in the Traeger. The consistent temperature control of the Traeger grill, paired with the slight flavor addition provided by the wood-fired fuel of the grill makes for the ideal cooking environment.
We love to use our Traeger grills for cooking everything– from steaks and chicken to cookies and kugels– because it’s easy, clean and fun. There’s nothing quite like surprising dinner guests with a meal cooked entirely in the Traeger in the backyard.
Because Traegers are designed to be super-efficient convection cookers, they adapt super well to cooking a variety of dishes. Cooking a traditional Jewish sweet noodle kugel in the Traeger is the perfect blend of my life– my Jewish heritage and my unbridled love of cooking on the Traeger.
- Cook the egg noodles in salted boiling water until just al dente.
- Drain the noodles and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking.
- Set the cooked noodles aside.
- Preheat your Traeger grill to 350*.
- While the grill heats, make the kugel.
- Grease the 9×13 glass baking dish with butter.
- Melt the remaining butter in the microwave.
- In a large bowl, combine the eggs, melted butter, sour cream and cottage cheese.
- Use a whisk to combine well.
- Stir in the granulated sugar.
- Fold the cooked noodles into the egg mixture and stir to coat.
- Transfer the noodles to the buttered baking dish and spread in an even layer.
- Sprinkle the top liberally with cinnamon.
- Place the casserole in the center of the preheated Traeger and close the lid.
- Bake the sweet noodle kugel for 45-60 minutes, until set.
- Carefully remove the dish from the grill and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
OTHER JEWISH RECIPES TO SHARE
Sweet noodle kugel cooked on the Traeger is a traditional Jewish dish that I’ve given a Traeger spin to. Especially as the holidays approach, I am looking back at recipes my family has passed down from my grandparents and am finding ways to make them blended with my passion for cooking on the Traeger.
Here are some other recipes that bridge my Jewish heritage with Traeger cooking:
- Jewish Apple Cake
- Traegered Sufganiyot (doughnuts!)
- There are also some good dessert recipes in my cookbook, which you can get here.
Products used in this cook:
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Sweet Noodle Kugel on the Traeger
- Stock pot
- Traeger grill
- 9×13 glass baking dish
- Bowl and whisk
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 16 ounces wide egg noodles uncooked
- 5 eggs
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
- Cook the egg noodles until al dente
- Drain the noodles and rinse them with cool water
- Set the noodles aside
- Preheat the Traeger grill to 350*
- While the grill heats up, assemble the kugel
- Using some of the butter, grease the baking dish
- Melt the remaining butter in a microwave-safe bowl
- In a big bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter, sour cream and cottage cheese
- Stir in the white sugar
- Fold the noodles into the egg mixture and stir to combine
- Pour the noodles to the buttered baking dish and spread evenly
- Sprinkle the top liberally with ground cinnamon
- Put the casserole in the center of the preheated Traeger and close the lid
- Bake the sweet noodle kugel for 45-60 minutes until just set
- Remove the dish from the grill and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving
- Sweet noodle kugel can be scooped with a spoon or cut into squares
- It’s also delicious leftover!
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