Recipe Review

I Tried Poppy Seed Noodles and It’s One Dish That Gave Me a Lot of Thoughts

published Jul 9, 2022
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I Tried It Poppyseed Noodles
Credit: Cheryl Fenton

If you were to ask me what dish reminds me most of my childhood, I would immediately say my grandma’s Italian wedding soup. A bowl of this piping-hot goodness with teeny-tiny meatballs bobbing up and down in rich homemade chicken broth was always waiting on the table whenever I went over for a meal-time visit.  

Carolina Gelen, known by her more than 800,000 Instagram followers for providing “cool, easy recipes,” also knows a thing or two about a good ol’ throwback meal. The Food52 resident’s recipe for poppy seed noodles is a dish that — to her — tastes exactly “like childhood.” A popular Hungarian comfort food similar in concept to noodle kugel (an Eastern European favorite), it features hot buttered pasta covered in sugar and poppy seeds.

I decided to give this simple dish a try because who doesn’t love a good throwback? Not only did it look pretty, but it was also incredibly easy to make. Add in that it’s reminiscent of a dish known as baked “dessert macaroni,” and you have my attention. 

Get the recipe: Poppy Seed Noodles

Credit: Cheryl Fenton

How to Make Poppy Seed Noodles

This dish couldn’t be simpler. Cook your pasta of choice in a pot of salted, boiling water according to the directions until it’s fully done (read: put your love of al dente on the back burner). Drain and put into a bowl, mixing with 2 tablespoons of poppyseeds, 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of butter until melted. Taste, and add more sugar as your sweet tooth dictates.

My Honest Review of Poppyseed Noodles

Although this was sweet and tasty, comparing this to kugel was a stretch. While kugel can take upwards of an hour to bake, this is a quick dish that definitely has a similar sweetness. It was easy to make, but not the cleanest of bowls. Cooking with poppy seeds is never fun (one misstep and you’re finding them all over the kitchen counter for weeks), and the melted butter pooled at the bottom for a bit of a mess, taking most of the poppy seeds with it. It was sweet enough for a breakfast or snack, but this is one pasta dish that doesn’t belong at the dinner table. Side note: I’ll be picking poppy seeds out of my teeth forever. As nostalgia dishes go, I would like to leave this one in my past.

Credit: Cheryl Fenton

Tips for making Poppy Seed Noodles

  1. You can grind the poppy seeds if you want (or not). She mentions poppy seeds are commonly ground with sugar first, but you can leave them whole.
  2. It’s important to cook the pasta past al dente. Cooking the pasta all the way through, not al dente, gives it a softer texture that more closely resembles kugel.
  3. You’ll need more if you love it. The recipe itself makes enough for only one serving, so definitely double or triple if you need.  
  4. Eating it warm isn’t the only option. Try the dish cold — it’s a great next-day snack.

Get the recipe: Poppy Seed Noodles

Have some leftover poppy seeds? Try this lemon poppy seed skillet pancake recipe.