A Modern Twist On A Jewish Classic

Anyone who has a Jewish grandma, knows a Jewish grandma or has even read about a Jewish grandma, knows that her way of cooking things is the ONLY way of doing it. So let me preface this post by saying, I'm sorry grandma, but I'm shaking things up.

When I was growing up, there was no better cook than my grandma Adele. Her latkes were perfect, golden-crispy on the outside and tender with a hint of onion on the inside. Her kreplach, tortellini-like meat filled dumplings, were practically transparent, with the meat tucked inside always perfectly seasoned. And her blintzes were sublime little clouds, crisped on the outside in butter and bulging from within with tangy-sweet cinnamon scented farmer's cheese. Those are recipes I've never messed with. This is in part out of respect, but mostly because they need no altering, they are exactly as they should be.

There are other recipes, however, that I think lend themselves quite well to a bit of tweaking and, oh, how I love to reinterpret those.

One such recipe is kugel, which, simply put, is a Jewish casserole. Kugels typically consist of cooked noodles (although they’re sometimes made with potatoes), eggs and a creamy cheese, all baked together until they meld into one large mass that is ultimately sliced into wedges, like lasagna. Kugels can be either sweet or savory. The sweet versions are usually made with the addition of sugar, raisins and cinnamon and the savory versions usually contain onions, sour cream and some type of seasoning such as paprika. I had always grown up eating sweet kugels, but when I was invited to a Hanukkah party the other night and the host was in need of a savory entree to complement the latkes, I decided that it was time to get creative with a savory kugel.

After scouring my cookbooks and the Internet for ideas, I ultimately decided to use a recipe from Joan Nathan's book, Jewish Cooking in America. Her recipe calls for spinach and onions, which sounded good, but I decided to throw in an even bigger twist and added sauteed mushrooms, hunks of roasted butternut squash and big, globs of goat cheese. I also caramelized the onions first, to add a hint of sweetness to the dish. Eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese and some fresh chopped thyme and parsley rounded things out.

I was pleased at the way the dish turned out, but I knew it was a true success when I saw many of the children at the party not only enjoying my kugel, but going back for seconds. Even though I strayed from tradition, I know that my grandma would still be proud.

Savory Kugel

2 tsp. soft butter
2 cups peeled and cubed, butternut squash
4 Tbs. olive oil
1# wide egg noodles
1 medium onion, sliced
2 Tbs. chopped Italian parsley
10 medium brown mushrooms, quartered
8 oz. baby spinach leaves
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup shredded jack cheese
1/2 cup ground Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled into large pieces
2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and butter a 9 x 13 inch glass or metal pan.
  2. Place a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. When it boils, cook the noodles to al dente and strain. Toss noodles quickly with cold water to stop cooking and then place in a large bowl.
  3. While the water is coming to a boil, toss the butternut squash in 2 Tbs. of the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place on a sheet tray.
  4. Roast squash in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on the outside and soft, but firm.
  5. While the squash is cooking, heat a saute pan on medium-high heat and add 1 Tbs. olive oil.
  6. Add the onions to the pan and cook until they just start to get color on the outside.
  7. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let the onions caramelize slowly.
  8. When the onions are just about done, add the parsley and cook another few minutes, then add to the noodles in the bowl.
  9. Place the saute pan back on the stove again and reheat it with another Tbs. of olive oil.
  10. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and saute them over high heat until they are brown on the outside and have shrunken in size. Add the cooked mushrooms to the bowl with the noodles and onions.
  11. When the squash is ready, add it to the bowl as well.
  12. Combine the eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese, thyme, salt and pepper and pour over the noodles.
  13. Add the spinach and cheeses to the noodles and mix everything together, then pour the mixture into the buttered pan.
  14. Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven.
  15. Reduce oven heat to 350 and cook for 45 minutes, then remove foil, and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes or until it is golden brown on top.
  16. Remove from oven and let sit about 15-20 minutes before slicing.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
            Show more [+]
            3 Program(s) Found
            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
            • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found

            Lackawanna College is the premier, private, accredited two-year college serving the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. With a focus on keeping higher education affordable and accessible to our immediate community, Lackawanna draws 80 percent of its student population right from our own region.

            With a main campus situated in downtown Scranton, Lackawanna’s expanding footprint also includes satellite centers in Hawley, Hazleton, New Milford, and Towanda.