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29+ Best Hanukkah Recipes

The best Hanukkah recipes are decadent. It’s a holiday all about celebrating the miracle of oil, after all.

Low angle photo of a stack of 5 potato latkes on a white rectangular plate. There is a bowl of sour cream on the plate and both the sour cream and potato latkes are garnished with sliced green onions.

Hanukkah is all about surviving against the odds, and what better way to celebrate that than to feast on latkes with sour cream and applesauce, rich chopped liver, your grandmother’s famous brisket, and fluffy, sweet, jelly-filled donuts?

What is Hanukkah all about anyway?

Hanukkah is also called The festival of Lights. It’s when Jews celebrate the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabees triumphed over a tyrant king who forced them to worship Greek gods.

The Maccabees, a small but mighty rebel army, came along to defeat the king and regain religious freedom for the Jews.

When the Jews returned to the temple to rebuild it, there was only enough lamp oil to burn for one day. But by a miracle, that oil burned for 8 days, until they could replenish their oil supply.

That’s why we celebrate Hanukkah by lighting candles for 8 nights. Because the oil was the star of the miracle, we also celebrate it by eating foods fried in oil.

Sufganiyot or Israeli jelly donuts for hannukah dusted with powdered sugar. This is a low-angle shot that shows 3 donuts stacked on a white plate iwth one donot leaning against the stack that has a bite taken out of it so that you can see the jelly filling.

What are traditional Hanukkah foods?

Remember, we’re celebrating the heck out of that oil, so a Hanukkah meal doesn’t shy away from including all the fried foods.

The most common Hanukkah recipes are latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (Israeli jelly donuts).

But you can’t make a meal of just potato pancakes and donuts (okay, well, of course you CAN, but should you?). So most Hanukkah menus also include things like brisket, salad, challah, roasted vegetables, and other not-fried foods.

29+ Hanukkah Recipes for Celebrating

From potato latkes to salads and brisket to noodle kugel, challah bread pudding, and of course Israeli jelly donuts, Hanukkah is a time for feasting!

We start with latkes

Potatoes on their own may not make a meal, but make them into latkes and no one's going to complain if there's no meat or green vegetable alongside.

Bring on the Brisket

Growing up, I had no idea that people other than Jews ate brisket, that's how connected it is to Jewish holidays in my mind.

And the sides dishes...

From salads and rice to noodle kugel, the Hanukkah table is loaded with delicious sides.

And of course, the desserts!

Hannukah is a time of celebration, and what's a celebration without desserts?! Sufganiyot are a traditional Hanukkah dessert because they are fried in oil, but there are plenty of other options!

Yield: 16 potato latkes

Potato Latkes

Low angle photo of a stack of 5 potato latkes on a white rectangular plate. There is a bowl of sour cream on the plate and both the sour cream and potato latkes are garnished with sliced green onions.

You can make a gluten-free version by substituting gluten-free brown rice flour for the flour. You can also jazz up the recipe by adding thinly sliced scallions or substituting sweet potatoes, parsnips, or apples for some (or all) of the potatoes. This recipe serves about 4 people and is easily doubled or tripled.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds large thin-skinned potatoes or peeled russet potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • Applesauce or sour cream, for serving

Instructions

  1. Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan and just cover with cold water. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, cook for 6 to 7 minutes (less if the potatoes are small) until the potatoes are just barely tender but not soft.
  2. Drain the potatoes, cover with cold water. Drain again, cover with cold water again and let sit for 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let them sit in a colander until ready to proceed with the recipe (the longer the better).
  3. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the potatoes (you can leave the skins on, discarding any pieces that come off in large sheets). Grate the onion on the same holes.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the grated potatoes and onion with the eggs, flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper.
  5. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Form the potato mixture into patties about ¾ inch thick and 3 inches across and arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheet (use additional baking sheets if necessary). Chill the patties for at least 30 minutes, or until ready to cook, as long as 24 hours. If chilling for more than 30 minutes, cover with plastic wrap.
  6. Heat about 2 inches of oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. When the oil is very hot, add several of the patties, being careful not to crowd the pan. Cook until browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes, flip and then cook until browned on the second side, 2 to 3 minutes more.
  7. Transfer the cooked patties to a paper towel-lined platter and serve immediately. If you’re cooking a large amount, place the cooked
    patties on a baking sheet and keep them warm in a 250ºF oven.

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

4

Amount Per Serving Calories 250Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 188mgSodium 1000mgCarbohydrates 34gFiber 3gSugar 7gProtein 10g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.

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