Wintertime sparks all kinds of meaningful moments–from creative play outside and cozy family movies by the fireplace inside, to engaging in eagerly-anticipated holiday traditions. As a buoyant holiday centered around the magic of kindling lights, we love Hanukkah’s connection to miracles, quality family time, delicious and classic Hanukkah recipes, and the exchanging of thoughtful gifts. Plus, the celebration gets to be savored and enjoyed for eight days in a row.
One of my favorite parts are the traditional Hanukkah recipes that define the holiday, like latkes, noodle kugel, and matzo ball soup. They can certainly add their own charm for indulging in a complete Hanukkah experience. And while not everyone chooses to integrate specific foods when celebrating this unique occasion also known as the Festival of Lights, we wouldn’t want the uncertainty of what to make or fear that you won’t do it ‘right’ hold you back.
So, don’t worry if you don’t have a bubbie who will be dishing up a tasty menu for your Hanukkah celebrations this year, because we’ve compiled a collection of 17 of the best Hanukkah recipes you can create yourself. Not only do they capture the flavors and aromas of this beloved Jewish holiday, but many of them are easy to make and can generously provide leftovers that will make at least several nights feel special. L’chaim as you taste and share them!
The Best Hanukkah Recipes to Serve This Year
The ultimate Jewish comfort food, this classic chicken broth-based soup with soft, doughy matzo balls is a winning way to jumpstart any memorable Hanukkah meal.
Why not pair a delicious matzo ball soup or another favorite winter soup with this beautiful style of bread found at nearly every Jewish bakery? With its braided golden exterior and delightfully fluffy interior, it will easily surpass any average bread basket offering.
A must-eat at Hanukkah, latkes—i.e. potato pancakes—are a cherished tradition. It is believed that, because they are cooked in oil, they are a reminder and celebration of a key part of Hanukkah’s origin story: the oil that miraculously lasted for eight days as the Jews fought to preserve their religion.
A flavorful twist on potato pancakes, you can try this zucchini and sweet potato version that packs extra servings of veggies and nutrients.
No potato latke dish would be complete without offering a pairing of sweet and juicy applesauce to complement a latke’s savory flavor profile.
6. Noodle Kugel
Forget the mac and cheese for a moment and try queuing up a hearty, decadent noodle kugel instead. This iconic Jewish side dish receives plenty of fanfare for its creamy noodle-laden filling and crispy cinnamon sugar topping.
Besides serving potato latkes, mouths will definitely water when these fragrant and scrumptious smashed potatoes drizzled with truffle oil are passed around.
Any home cooked Hanukkah meal, which is often filled with wholesome protein and carb options, can be enhanced with the refreshing addition of gently softened green beans.
This noodle pie is a yummy play on noodle kugel, replacing its traditional creaminess with the rich flavor and texture of mushrooms instead.
10. Roasted Carrots
As a prized root vegetable during wintertime, carrots make for a lovely beta carotene-rich addition to whatever else you plan to serve during mealtime. Plus they’re easy to make!
A flavor-packed brisket is the meat of choice if you’re going for that classic Hanukkah meal feel. Though it can take a bit of extra time and TLC to get it done right, its resulting tenderness and distinct taste will be worth it!
If you don’t have a slow cooker on hand, this brisket recipe is a fantastic option. Since it’s cooked alongside potatoes and carrots, it will also provide you with nourishing veggies to serve on the side—a two-in-one win!
When red meat isn’t your preferred protein for a main course, you can’t go wrong by serving a juicy, tender roasted chicken dressed with melted butter and tasty seasonings.
If there’s one dessert Hanukkah is known for, it’s these gorgeous deep-fried doughnuts—sufganiyot—filled with ruby-colored jam. If you’re going for a real wow-factor, try serving them slightly warmed with the option for vanilla ice cream a la mode.
In Yiddish, ‘rugelach’ means ‘little twists,’ and these pleasantly buttery treats could be considered semi-cookie and semi-pastry, filled with fruit preserves, chopped nuts, and/or chocolate.
A heavenly yellow cake whose cinnamon, brown sugar, and creamy icing make each and every bite a true pleasure!
This gooey and fudgy cake layered with chocolate buttercream frosting is a surefire route to pleasing anyone at the table with a sweet tooth that adores chocolate.