Impress your guests with these delicious recipes
Hanukkah is an amazing time of year to share with family and friends. There is delicious food, fun games, and of course, the presents! Even as an adult, there’s something so exciting about lighting the Menorah and sharing special moments with the ones closest to you.
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with 8 whole nights of celebrations that need to include food for all of your guests, you’ve come to the right place. Parties are fun…but someone’s gotta do all of the cooking!
I scoured the internet for the best recipes that are sure to awe anyone you celebrate with. Keep reading for a round up of our favorite dishes to serve up at your Hanukkah celebrations!
Latkes are pretty synonymous with Hanukkah, and these days there are so many different varieties to choose from! Whether you’re more of a classic potato fan, or are looking to spice it up, I’ve found a few recipes that are making my mouth water just by looking at them…
Adam and Maxine’s Famous Latkes recipe
I found this one on Bon Appetit, so you know it’s going to be good! Say goodbye to adding flour to your latkes in order to make them stick together. The secret? Use russet potatoes for their high starch content!
Spicy Carrot and Spinach Latkes
Are you hoping to stick to your diet during the holiday season? Introducing, the healthy latke! Found on New York Times Cooking, this spicy carrot and spinach version of this OG traditional Hanukkah dish should be on your “to make” list.
Chipotle Cheddar Potato Latkes
If you are NOT interested in eating healthy this time of year (treat yo’self guys!), then you are going to love this latke variation. Okay, so they aren’t terribly heavy for you, but the cheddar definitely adds a little something to the recipe.
If you’re lucky, you eat challah every week for Shabbat. If you aren’t as fortunate, you probably wait for the major holidays to stuff your face with this savory and sweet braided bread! There are many variations on challah because well…if it’s not broken don’t fix it! But I did find a few interesting recipes that are sure to impress your guests.
Bon Appetit is at it again! If you’re looking for a traditional challah recipe, you’ve found it here. Don’t leave your braiding skills at home. If you’re a little rusty, try braiding someone’s hair first. I promise I won’t tell anyone!
Fennel and Orange-Scented Challah
This recipe from chef Joan Nathan is definitely one of the most unique that I found. Joan is an expert on Jewish cooking, so trust me (and her) on this one! Fennel and orange brings some life back to the traditional challah recipe. We’re dying to try this one!
Strawberry challah bread pudding
Want to really switch it up and serve challah as a dessert? Hey, why not?! This is a great way to use some day old challah that you really don’t want to throw away. The addition of strawberries will make you feel like you’re eating strawberry shortcake…but better!
Brisket is another very traditional Hanukkah dish. Let’s be honest, you’ve probably eaten it for Passover and Rosh Hashanah too! Nothin’ wrong with that, people. Historically, it has always been popular with Ashkenazi Jews, so again…if it isn’t broken and all that jazz!
Brisket with Horseradish Gremolata
I can’t be the only one here that LOVES horseradish. The flavor of this dish comes from searing the meat to create a sort of caramelized sauce, with the addition of horseradish and lemon to give it a little bit of bite.
Busy Day Barbecue Brisket
If you’re throwing a party for Hanukkah, but don’t want to spend valuable socializing time in the kitchen, this barbecue brisket recipe is for you! This is another unique take on a traditional Jewish recipe, so get ready for the compliments that are sure to come your way if you decide to serve this one up.
The secret to the best brisket? Ask for the “point cut,” it’s the fattier end of the brisket and is much more tender. Plus, the marbling on the meat makes it even more delicious.
Matzo Ball Soup
Matzo ball soup may not be the fanciest Hanukkah dish you can serve up, but let’s be honest…it’s a definite crowd pleaser! Plus, there are a few changes you can make to the recipe to give it a little more holiday pizazz.
Matzo Ball Soup with Dill-Horseradish Pistou
I told you I was crazy about horseradish! Rather than adding the traditional sprinkle of fresh dill, change things up with a horseradish and dill “pistou,” which is a homemade condiment made up of basil, garlic and olive oil. Oil is a huge part of the Hanukkah tradition, so why not add it to your dish?
BA’s Best Matzo Ball Soup
Schmaltz anyone? For any of my gentile readers out there, schmaltz is the Yiddish word for “rendered animal fat.” You’ll find plenty of schmaltz in this matzo ball recipe, and if that’s not really your thing, there are instructions on how to take it out.
Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup
Never fear my fellow vegetarians, you can enjoy matzo ball soup, too! The secret ingredient to getting the savory flavor and golden coloring you’ll find in traditional matzo ball soup? Saffron! Trust me on this one.
Rugelach can honestly be eaten any time of year, any time of day and for any occasion. It’s also a great addition to your Hanukkah dessert table! There are so many different things to add to this dish to make it special!
Raspberry Rose Rugelach
I used to be so hesitant about eating flower flavored anything. Flowers are for looking at and smelling, not ingesting…end of story! That is until I tried rose flavored rugelach! The rose flavor is very subtle, and is complimented nicely by the raspberries. Consider me converted!
If you want to keep it simple, try this traditional rugelach recipe by Ina Garten. Save a few to snack on for breakfast for the next day! Hey, it’s the holidays…I won’t tell anyone 😉
Jewish Apricot-Cranberry-Walnut Rugelach
This is another unique take on this traditional Jewish pastry. The addition of cranberries add a festive touch – perfect for Hanukkah!
The Jewish answer to jelly donuts, ladies and gents! Along with latkes, sufganiyot is a very traditional Hanukkah dish. It is deep fried, stuffed with jelly and sprinkled with powdered sugar. I’d be lying if I said I prefer jelly donuts to sufganiyot!
Hanukkah Sufganiyot recipe – in a bag
It doesn’t get much easier than this, folks! Did you know that you could make sufganiyot in a bag? Me neither, until I discovered this recipe. Bonus points for the easy clean up.
Chai Sufganiyot with Orange-Pumpkin Buttercream
My mouth dropped when I found this one. Chai, orange, pumpkin, fried dough…all in one?! Consider me impressed. Your guests will be too if you can whip up this variation on sufganiyot.
Sufganiyot with Dulce de Leche filling
I was also wowed by this take on sufganiyot. Creamy, caramelly (is that a word?) and sweet, you and your loved ones won’t go hungry with these on the dessert spread. Perfect for those of you who want a change from the traditional strawberry filling.
Sugar cookies are traditional to Hanukkah per se, but if you have children at your parties (and grown ups too to be honest), you may want to think about putting them on the menu! You can also get creative about how you decorate them. Use blue food coloring, and make the cookies into shapes like the Star of David and a dreidel!
The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies
Consider making these cookies with your guests at the end of your main course. Its a great way to get the kids involved and entertained. You could even make the cookies yourself beforehand, and then set up a cookie decorating station!
Get out a notebook and a pen, and start making your shopping lists for Hanukkah! It’s a time to spend with friends, family and loved ones, around a spread of delicious food. Most, if not all, of these dishes can be served at any holiday celebration, so take notes even if you don’t celebrate this Jewish tradition!
Do you have any other recipes that I’ve forgotten? Maybe a super secret grandma’s recipe that has been passed down generation after generation?! Okay, I’m not asking you to spill the beans on a family secret…but if you have any recipes to share I’d love to hear them! Comment below with any suggestions, and until then…happy cooking!
Learn more about Hanukkah by reading our blog, Everything You’ve Wondered About Hanukkah Explained!