We use these noodles for many of our favorite comfort foods, from chicken soup to tuna casserole. Does it matter which one you buy?
Published Oct. 1, 2018.
Egg noodles are at the heart of many of our favorite comfort foods, whether they're swimming in chicken soup, laced through a casserole, or supporting an ample serving of beef stroganoff. Unlike most boxed pastas you find in the supermarket, these noodles have a deeper yellow color and slightly savory flavor from the addition of eggs to the dough and are most commonly found in a broad, loose corkscrew shape (though other shapes and styles do exist).
In search of the best egg noodles, we tried seven top-selling products priced from $2.50 to $4.15 per package ($0.21 to $0.27 per ounce). If a company made more than one shape, we picked its “wide” or “broad” noodle, which we call for most often in recipes. All the products in our lineup are available nationally, except for one; our former winner from Pennsylvania Dutch is a major seller but must be mail-ordered if you live on the West Coast. We sampled the noodles boiled and tossed with butter, in Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup, and in Skillet Tuna Noodle Casserole.
Ultimately we can recommend all the noodles we tried, but there were some key differences that set our favorite products apart. The first was shape. Though all the noodles are sold as “wide” or “broad,” these terms aren't standardized. In fact, the noodles in our lineup ran the gamut from thin, wispy corkscrews to long, thick, flat planks. Shape had no bearing on the noodles' flavor, but we found that it did make a difference in the overall texture and cohesiveness of a dish.
The products also ranged in length, from 1½ to 4½ inches, and the longest two fell to the bottom of our rankings. When we used these noodles in casserole, tasters thought the dish was less cohesive—the lengthy strands didn't hold the other ingredients together very well—and when we ate them in soup, they slipped off our spoons. But shorter wasn't always better. One corkscrew-shaped product was the right length yet too narrow: Less than ¼ inch wide, these noodles evaded our forks when we ate them plain and disappeared among the other ingredients in tuna-noodle casserole. The noodles we liked best were a thick corkscrew shape, about ½ inch wide and 1½ inches long when dry. Once cooked, these noodles were easy to scoop up with a spoon in soup or pierce with a fork when eaten plain or in casserole—no chasing noodles around our plates. Their gentle curves also held on to sauce, tuna, and peas in casserole, providing perfectly cohesive bites.
The factor that had the biggest impact on flavor was the amount and type of egg used in each noodle. Some of the companies tout their no...
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