Noodle kugel is a favorite sweet dinner casserole among many Jewish families. Unfortunately, traditional noodle kugel is one of the least vegan-friendly dishes around. It’s typically made with egg noodles, cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, butter, milk—pretty much every type of dairy there is.
We got to work perfecting this classic Jewish comfort food—which was no small feat. But friends, we nailed it! This is hands-down the best vegan noodle kugel recipe we’ve ever made and will bring you right back to those celebratory family dinners you enjoyed in your pre-vegan days.
The BEST Super-Easy Vegan Noodle Kugel
Wanna know the best part about this recipe? We were able to create a perfect copycat kugel without calling for a bunch of hard-to-find specialty items like vegan sour cream. We did our best to keep this recipe as simple and accessible as possible, while still making a spot-on replica of the kugel of our dreams. You will need the following ingredients though:
- plain vegan cream cheese (any brand)
- vegan yogurt (plain or vanilla, sweetened or unsweetened)
- vegan butter (any brand—we used Flora Plant Butter)
- silken tofu (you can find this in shelf-stable packaging in the asian section of most grocery stores)
Other than that, you can lean on pantry staples you likely already have at home! Easy peasy.
New to Noodle Kugel?
Kugel, pronounced “KOO-gel” or “KUH-gel”, comes from the German meaning “ball or something round”. In the Jewish culture, it refers to a sweet casserole with noodle (or potato) base. Either way, it’s super rich, creamy, and covered with a scrumptious layer of sweet cinnamon sugar crunch.
All you need to know is that noodle kugel is encouraged to be eaten all year round.Print
This is the best vegan noodle kugel recipe! It’s perfectly sweet and decadent with a crispy cinnamon sugar topping, all without a drop of dairy. It’s a perfect match to the noodle kugel my family served at celebratory Jewish gatherings while I was growing up. Enjoy!
- 1 pound of fusilli pasta
- 12.3 oz of silken tofu
- 8 oz of vegan cream cheese
- ⅓ cup of vegan yogurt (vanilla or plain, sweetened, or unsweetened)
- ½ cup of vegan butter
- ½ cup of granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of crispy rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies)
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of vegan butter, softened
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions (about 10 minutes). Drain, rinse, and set aside.
- In a food processor, add the silken tofu, vegan cream cheese, vegan yogurt, vegan butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt and blend on high until fully combines and creamy. It’s okay if some texture remains. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add the crispy rice cereal, cinnamon, sugar, and softened vegan butter and mix until mostly combined, using the back of a spoon to gently mash the butter into the cereal.
- In a 9 x 12 baking dish, add the cooked pasta and pour the cream sauce from the food processor over it. Mix it together with a spoon until all the pasta is evenly coated. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar cereal topping evenly over the top.
- Bake for 1 hour at 350° F. The top should get slightly crispy but shouldn’t burn. Serve hot and enjoy!
Store any leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for months. Reheat in a microwave or oven when you’re ready to enjoy your leftover noodle kugel.
Keywords: Jewish, holiday, dinner, vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, pasta, casserole, kugel
Noodle Kugel, where have you been all my life? As a die hard dessert lover, I can’t believe I haven’t tried a single vegan noodle kugel recipe before now. After hearing that it’s most like a mash up of cheesecake and pasta with a crispy cinnamon topping, all I could think was fill my belly––now!
Equipment You’ll Need
- Large baking dish (approximately 9″ x 12″)
- Food Processor
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Cooking Pot
- Medium Mixing Bowl
- Mixing Spoon
What’s Different About This Vegan Noodle Kugel Recipe?
Traditionally, this casserole is made with as much dairy as possible––eggs, milk, cottage cheese, sour cream, and butter––oh, my! It was a small feat to re-create a recipe that has the same texture, flavor, and spirit of the dish. Difficult, but entirely possible.
Here are the smart swaps that Michelle made in order to ditch the dairy:
- Regular noodles instead of egg noodles
- Vegan butter for dairy butter
- Vegan yogurt to substitute for sour cream
- Plant-based cream cheese instead of cottage cheese
- Silken tofu exchanged for the mixture of eggs and dairy milk
Vegan Noodle Kugel—So Many Ways!
Every family makes their noodle kugel a little differently. Some make it with raisins, some make it with fruit (such as pear or pineapple), and some keep the base simple without add-ins. Some make really thick creamy kugels that taste like pudding or even cheesecake and are served for dessert, while others make dinner-style kugels that are a little less decadent. Some add a crispy corn flake topping, while others leave their kugel bare.
This noodle kugel is inspired by World of Vegan founder Michelle Cehn‘s favorite noodle kugel from her family’s Jewish holiday gatherings. It’s a lighter noodle kugel that can be served for dinner (still decadent though, don’t get us wrong) and is topped with a crispy cinnamon sugar encrusted cereal topping. It’s divine. Shout-out to Carrie Lande who brought kugel to Michelle’s family dinners and inspired this recipe!
How To Serve It Up
For this sweet-topped holiday casserole, here are a few suggestions for how you can serve vegan noodle kugel recipe that will make it extra special:
- Comin’ in Hot – This dish is best served hot, warm, or at room temperature.
- Cool & Creamy – Want to transform this sweet dish into a dessert? Top it with coconut cream or homemade dairy-free ice cream.
- Oodles Of Noodles – Brown rice noodles would also work well, or you can try some fun pasta shapes. But steer clear of other alternative pastas—they may not vibe well with this kugel.
- Pass On The Flour for Passover – If you were hoping to delight your dinner guests with vegan noodle kugel at Passover, keep in mind that you’ll need to swap out the fusilli noodles (which contains flour) for shredded potatoes or noodles made with matzo meal instead. On Passover, no leavened grain is permitted during the eight holy days.
Store any leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for a few months. Reheat in a microwave or oven when you’re ready to enjoy your leftover vegan noodle kugel.
When Do You Eat Noodle Kugel?
Noodle kugel can be served up any time of year. This dish is not passover friendly, but it’s a sweet celebratory meal on any other holiday or day of the week. Some popular occasions include:
- Rosh Hashanah
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More Jewish Holiday Recipes To Try
Vegan Noodle Kugel recipe by Michelle Cehn for World of Vegan. Copyright of World of Vegan™, all rights reserved. Article written by Gina House and edited by Amanda Meth. Please note that this article contains affiliate links that help support our work at World of Vegan!