Foods to Celebrate
Hanukkah, the weeklong festival of light, is a time for family and friends to get together, exchange gifts, gamble with the dreidel for coveted chocolate coins, and of course, eat. Here, we offer entrees, sides, and desserts to mix and match for the perfect holiday menu. Kosher law prohibits serving meat and milk in the same meal—all the options here are dairy-free or come with ideas for substitutions.
Classic Potato Latkes
Spiced Beet and Carrot Soup
Slow-Roasted Salmon with Dill Cream
Give fish time to absorb aromatic herbal and citrus essence while it cooks, in an ovenlike environment, to the perfect tenderness. And because it stays covered, the fishy odors won't fill the house.
Fried Cauliflower with Tahini and Pomegranate Seeds
Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Golden Raisins
Beer-Braised Brisket with Onion Jam
The secret to a succulent grand finale for this brisket recipe starts with low, moist heat. After braising, the meat is chilled in the cooking liquid overnight; then the brisket is sliced and reheated in the rich, meaty cooking liquid to guarantee that every savory bite is juicy.
Chicken-Matzo Ball Soup
For a shortcut version of this dish, use unsalted chicken stock instead of making your own.
Rustic Apple Tart
Shredded apple in the pancake adds moisture and a traditional apple flavor (latkes are typically served with applesauce).
Beef Pot Roast with Turnip Greens
Baked Chocolate Mousse
Spicy Maple Turkey Breast with Quick Pan Sauce
Easy Braised Brisket
Forget your aunt’s boiled shoe leather brisket, this brisket is simmered until meltingly tender in tomatoes and kalamata olives. With only 5 ingredients, it’ll be a go-to favorite.
Golden Potato Latkes
A touch of lemon juice keeps the raw shredded potato from oxidizing and lends extra flavor to the latkes.
Upside-Down Fudge-Almond Tart
Coconut Cardamom Macaroons
Winter Citrus, Escarole, and Endive Salad
Curried Butternut Squash Latkes
This beautifully braided, chewy egg bread is a mainstay of the Jewish Sabbath table, but few have time to make one from scratch every week. The holidays are a great time to put in the extra effort and give this wonderful recipe a try―you won't regret it. Go ahead and get braiding, and then slowly pull apart this sweet, fluffy bread piece by piece when it's fresh out of the oven. It's a large loaf, but don't worry; leftovers make some of the best French toast you've ever had.
Greek Cod Cakes
Try cod cakes instead of crab cakes for dinner. This delicious Mediterranean-riff tastes great and takes only 45 minutes to prepare.
Moroccan-Spiced Baby Carrots
Warm spices like cumin and cinnamon play deliciously off the sweetness of the carrots.
Grilled Fig Toast
Who knew toast could be so delicious? Brushed with butter, dipped in sugar, and grilled, the bread (a nice enriched challah) becomes almost brûléed.
Loukoumades with Honey-Orange Sauce
Light and airy morsels of dough bathe in a citrus- and spice-infused honey syrup. These irrestistibly tender Greek fritters fry up delicate and light, making for a delicious breakfast or dessert.
Green Beans with Shallots and Hazelnuts
Cheese and Chive Challah
The traditional yeasted egg bread is enriched even more by adding cheese and fresh chives to the dough. We love the flavor of fontina, but Gruyère or another Swiss cheese would also work. Allowing the dough to rise 3 times provides a fluffy, airy texture just like the breads you can buy at the bakery. At only 160 calories a slice, this festive bread is a great option when you're looking to mix things up without going too overboard. Get the kids involved when it's time for braiding, as the best part is watching the dough come to life.
Winn's Fig and Pecan Rugelach
This is a gluten-free variation of the traditional Jewish pastry. Filled with fig preserves, pecans, and brown sugar, they are the perfect treat for a Hanukkah celebration.
Quinoa with Dried Cherries and Pistachios
You can serve this herby, fruity side at room temperature or chilled.
Date and Almond Truffles
This dessert is for those at the table who want just a little something sweet. Store truffles in an airtight container for up to five days.
Swoon over our deceptively lighter version, which removes a pound of butter and 2 cups of sugar from the original.
Chicken with Olives and Lemons
Winter Salad with Roasted Beets and Citrus Reduction Dressing
Root Vegetable Latkes with Beet Puree
Fennel and Spinach Soup with Roasted Pepper Yogurt
You can serve this light, bright-tasting soup hot or at room temperature–or if you want to get a head start, make it ahead and serve chilled.
The vivid garlic-and-herb vinaigrette contrasts with the sweet carrots.
Israeli Cauliflower with Panko
You can use the garlicky panko mixture in this recipe to dress up other steamed vegetables, like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, or green beans. But we like it especially in this cauliflower dish.
Butternut Squash Leek Soup
Parsnip-Potato Latkes with Horseradish Cream
The bite of horseradish in the sour cream is a perfect contrast for the sweet carrot and parsnip in this latke variation, but skip it if you prefer a strictly kosher menu that doesn’t mix meat and milk.
Because Hanukkah commemorates a miracle involving oil, fried foods are traditional. In Israel, jelly donuts called soufganiyot are one of the most popular Hanukkah treats. But deep-frying isn’t exactly the Cooking Light way, so we created this baked version―essentially a fluffy sweet roll filled with jam and topped with powdered sugar. Use your favorite flavor of jam, or try a more exotic filling like chocolate ganache or dulce de leche.