Savory Spinach Kugel ♥ Noodles with Sour Cream & Spinach

Savory Spinach Kugel, an easy noodle casserole ♥ A Veggie Venture, just noodles, fresh spinach, eggs and sour cream. Vegetarian. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special.
A savory noodle casserole (also called a "noodle kugel") made with fresh spinach, flat noodles, sour cream and cheese, extra delicious served hot from the oven. Savory Spinach Kugel is super simple to make and would be easy to scale up to serve a crowd.

Fresh & Seasonal. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Scales from Small Casserole to a Large Baking Dish. Vegetarian.

What Is Kugel?

Jewish cuisine is not part of my own tradition. In fact, when I first shared this family recipe back in 2005, I called it "Noodles with Sour Cream" – it was only years later that I realized that the savory baked noodle dish is actually a "kugel" and because I make it with fresh spinach, that makes it a "spinach kugel".

What I do know is that cooked noodles baked with spinach, sour cream and cheese turns out really delicious!

So what is "kugel" anyway? The straight word-for-word translation is simple, Kugel = Noodles. In fact, to call something Spinach Noodle Kugel is sort of like stuttering spinach noodle noodle.

But over time, a "kugel" has come to mean a noodle casserole or hot dish that's often sweet, buttery and creamy and some times studded with raisins, apple. Culturally, kugel is a thing of both tradition and wisecracks, something adored and despised.

In contrast, my recipe is savory (no sugar) and compared to other recipes, positively spartan in the dairy department. To my taste, it's super rich so for anyone who's after a lighter spinach kugel that still hews to traditional savory versions, this may well be your recipe.

Ingredients for Spinach Kugel

Like all my recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. It's not that an ingredient can't be substituted by something else but when choosing the substitute, it's important to understand why the original ingredient was present in the first place.

For Body – flat ribbons of egg noodle are traditional, "kluski" noodles are narrower, I'm amused by egg noodles with curly edges
For Thickening – whisked eggs
For Creaminess – here, sour cream, but other options are cottage cheese, cream cheese, ricotta and Greek yogurt
For Cheesiness – here, cheddar cheese, but other options are gruyere, smoked gouda, any cheese that melts well and has good flavor
For a Slight Bite – just a touch of dry mustard, a teaspoon or two regular mustard would be a fine substitute
For Nutrition & Color – here, ribbons of fresh spinach, but frozen spinach would work too if thoroughly thawed, chopped and cooked before adding
More Vegetables – none here, but it's easy to imagine adding chopped artichokes, cooked leeks, sautéed mushrooms, sautéed or roasted red peppers, even steamed broccoli or cauliflower florets

Is Savory Spinach Kugel Pareve?

No. To be pareve, it would have to be prepared without dairy.

Is Spinach Kugel Comfort Food?

Yes! It definitely belongs in the recipe boxes of those who appreciate savory comfort food. In fact, I first made Spinach Kugel when I was cooking for a neighbor who needed both calories and cancer-fighting vitamins and minerals. As our parents, and then we ourselves, age, those of us who love to cook (and even those who don't) will be called upon to cook like this on occasion. From experience, I offer assurance that while it may be a special challenge, it's also a special honor.

Just updated. First published way back in 2005.


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes with ramekins, 60 minutes in a casserole
Makes 5 cups

8 ounces (225g) egg noodles
Table salt

2 large eggs
1 cup (8oz /225g) sour cream
1 cup grated cheddar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Hot Noodles
About 4 ounces (112g) fresh spinach, stems removed, cut into ribbons
Egg Mixture

PREP Heat the oven to 350F/180C. Spray five one-cup ramekins or a casserole dish with cooking spray. Fill a pan slightly bigger than the ramekins or casserole dish halfway with very hot tap water and place the pan in the oven even as it heats up.

NOODLES Cook the noodles in salted water according to package directions.

EGG MIXTURE While the noodles cook, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the sour cream, then stir in the cheese, salt and dry mustard.

KUGEL Drain the noodles and return the Hot Noodles to the hot pan. Stir in the spinach, stirring gently to let the Hot Noodles slightly cook the spinach. Stir in the Egg Mixture. Transfer the mixture to the ramekins or a casserole dish.

BAKE Place the ramekins/casserole in the water-filled container in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes for the ramekins or 30 minutes for the casserole dish.

OPEN QUESTION I have the idea that cooking the ramekins/casserole dish in another dish filled with hot water (that technique is called a "hot water bath") is probably not required. If anyone skips that step, let me know how it goes.

A Veggie Venture - Printer Friendly Recipe Graphic

Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005 & 2019

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I'm always looking for easy recipes for my busy daughter and this one is great for sneaking veggies into the kids meals.


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna