9 Comforting Hanukkah Recipes


Four plates: potato latkes, candied carrots, brisket, and jelly doughnuts.

Say hello to these Hanukkah recipes that will help you celebrate each day (and night) of the holiday in style. We have side dishes, desserts, and even brunch items. Because there is so much for you and your loved ones to celebrate.

Four plates: potato latkes, candied carrots, brisket, and jelly doughnuts.Four plates: potato latkes, candied carrots, brisket, and jelly doughnuts.

For most of my life, I was convinced I was partly Jewish. Even though no one in my family is Jewish nor married into a Jewish family, I knew inside–just knew–I was mishpachah. I loved the food, the holidays, the food, the traditions, and the food way too much not to be Jewish.

Once home DNA testing made it possible to discover my ancestry, I ordered a kit. When it arrived, I ran to the bathroom and discreetly expectorated into that little vial. A few weeks later my inbox dinged with the long-awaited email, and I pored through my results.

At the top of the page, it read: “Southern European 97.3%.” Natch. Beneath that: “Portuguese, Highly Likely Match.” Well, that makes sense. And on a third line: “Spanish, Possible Match.” Not surprising, I guess. After all, I did feel an affinity for Madrid when we visited.

Yet the farther down the page I traced my finger, the more my heart sank. Finally, there–at the very bottom–was my answer. “Ashkenazi Jewish: 0.00%.” How could that be?! Granted, my only evidence of kinship was my love of Jewish food, but that was enough for me.

In the end, you can’t argue with chromosomes.

Since then, our friend Ginger has christened The One and me “Junior Jews.” And we’ve been blessed to be guests at her and others’ holiday tables, as well as host our Jewish friends at ours.

I guess you could say, if you can’t join ’em, eat with ’em.

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful and delicious Hanukkah. May it be a season of true peace, understanding, and love.

The word The word A cheddar and potato latke topped with chives and applesauce on a plate with a spoonful of sour cream beside the latke.A cheddar and potato latke topped with chives and applesauce on a plate with a spoonful of sour cream beside the latke.

These Cheddar and potato latkes are made like a traditional latke but with the notable (and indulgent) addition of plenty of gooey melted Cheddar. They’re served with a homemade brown sugar applesauce to complete this easy Hannukah (or weeknight) meal.

Recipe

This was as simple a latke recipe as you can make. Excellent.–Alex

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Rating: 5 out of 5. Oval dish with noodle kugel, a cheese and pepper casserole with fettuccine and ricotta and Pecorino cheeses baked golden.Oval dish with noodle kugel, a cheese and pepper casserole with fettuccine and ricotta and Pecorino cheeses baked golden.

This modern take on noodle kugel combines the flavors of Rome’s famous pasta dish with the comfort of a rich baked kugel. Cooked linguine is mixed with ricotta, mascarpone, Pecorino Romano, and plenty of black pepper and baked until crisp and golden.

Recipe French onion brisket in an oval enamel casserole dish on a white background.French onion brisket in an oval enamel casserole dish on a white background.

This recipe is my way of taking poetic license with brisket, drawing inspiration from French onion soup for a braising liquid of caramelized onions and garlic, deglazed with apple brandy.

Recipe White plate filled with orange, purple, and yellow candied carrots.White plate filled with orange, purple, and yellow candied carrots.

These candied carrots are lightly seared in olive oil then tossed in honey, turning out sweet veggies that taste almost like candy…even to picky eaters of all ages.

Recipe Four cream cheese rugelach in a glass jar with twine wrapped around it.Four cream cheese rugelach in a glass jar with twine wrapped around it.

These cream cheese rugelach with a cinnamon-raisin filling are drawing raves as being “flaky,” “tender,” “easy,” even “perfect.”

Recipe

I made this recipe using the orange/apricot filling. They were so delicious, and very, very easy to make. The dough is really beautiful to work with. I topped each piece with demerera sugar, and they looked great, tasted great, and stayed fresh for quite a long time. This recipe is a definite keeper.–Paula

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Rating: 5 out of 5. A basket of fried chicken with a jar of honey on the side.A basket of fried chicken with a jar of honey on the side.

This method, which is in many ways the simplest, is now my go-to method. Season the chicken with just salt and pepper, giving it some time to seep into the meat, then dip it in water, roll it in flour, and fry it in very hot oil.

Recipe Cheese blintzes in a cast-iron frying pan, one being lifted up by a metal spatula.Cheese blintzes in a cast-iron frying pan, one being lifted up by a metal spatula.

A sweet, creamy cheese filling gets wrapped inside a soft, crepey pancake (bletlach), before being fried in clarified butter. There’s nothing like it for a filling and satisfying breakfast.

Recipe A white plate with two jelly-filled sufganiyot doughnuts.A white plate with two jelly-filled sufganiyot doughnuts.

Sufganiyot, the classic Hanukkah jelly doughnuts, are a delight year round. For this recipe, you don’t fill the cloud of dough with jelly, you simply spoon some on top. Genius.

Recipe

YES! Oh my goodness – DOUGHNUTS! I made these tonight and they were outrageously good. I filled 1/2 with jam and 1/2 with dulce de leche. These would be so great tossed with cinnamon and sugar – next time!–Alena

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Rating: 5 out of 5. A selection of frosted cookies decorated for Hanukkah, on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.A selection of frosted cookies decorated for Hanukkah, on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Hanukkah cookies are traditional this time of year. For these, use your favorite sugar, gingerbread, or shortbread cookie dough and whip out your decorating tips.

Recipe

FAQs

Why are so many fried foods served during Hanukkah?

The fried foods are symbolic of the miracle of Hanukkah, when the oil burned in the temple of Jerusalem for 8 days.

Are there any food restrictions during Hanukkah?

Pork and shellfish are forbidden, and to keep kosher, meat or poultry must not be mixed with dairy in the same meal.

We hope these recipes bring you comfort, joy, and happiness as you share them and celebrate with your loved ones. If you’re entertaining lots and need more recipes to fill out the 8 days, check out our collections of beef brisket recipes and fried chicken recipes.

© 2020 Leite’s Culinaria. All rights reserved. All materials used with permission.

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