25 Essential Recipes for Epic Hanukkah Feasting

Fill those eight glorious nights with latkes, donuts, and bubbe-approved braises.

By SAVEUR Editors

Updated on December 8, 2023

It’s time to break out the menorah—the Jewish Festival of Lights is here! Hanukkah is an eight-day party commemorating the victory of a small group of Jews over Syrian armies in the second century BCE. According to tradition, when the Jews reentered their temple, a single day’s supply of oil burned for eight days and nights, amounting to a miracle. That’s why Jews the world over celebrate the holiday with mounds of oily—ahem, fried—foods both sweet and savory. 

Eight nights is barely enough time to make all of our favorite Hanukkah recipes, from classic latkes (topped with chopped liver, perhaps?) to brisket to a boozy Southern riff on sufganiyot. So bust out the cast iron, light the Hanukkah candles, and get that oil nice and hot.

These fluffy, brioche-like rolls are traditionally served on Jewish holidays, but they’re perfect for any occasion. Get the recipe >

Potatoes are hand-grated and shallow-fried to crispy perfection in this recipe from the iconic New York deli. Get the recipe >

Classic babka gets an update with a double dose of raspberry: A few spoonfuls of jam add a tart edge to the cocoa filling, while a simple syrup infused with fresh berries adds a pink-tinged, lacquered shine to the final loaf. Get the recipe >

What’s better than crispy potato latkes? Crispy potato latkes topped with chopped liver, fried duck eggs, and pickled onions. Get the recipe >

These flaky pastries made with cream cheese dough ooze with sweet raspberry jam. Get the recipe >

This recipe by renowned cookbook author Joan Nathan will hold your hand all the way to crackly latke perfection. Get the recipe >

According to The 100 Most Jewish Foods author Alana Newhouse, anyone who’s frequented an American synagogue or been in the past half-century is familiar with kiddush cookies—a motley crew of sweet, pasty mounds, dabbed with chocolate or colored sprinkles—served after Saturday-morning services. This superlative version is cakey, moist, and can be made up to 5 days in advance, just in time for Hanukkah. Get the recipe >

Braised in an aromatic tomato-based broth, this Jewish holiday staple tastes even better the next day, after the flavors have had more time to mingle. Get the recipe >

In this robust recipe from Edith’s Eatery & Grocery in Brooklyn, a whole chicken simmers with parsnips, kombu, and roasted bones to make a belly-warming broth. Matzo meal dumplings get a surprising, unconventional hug of heat from dried ginger. Get the recipe >

At Montreal’s Arthurs Nosh Bar, buttermilk fried chicken cutlets are seasoned with the peppery local steak spice and stacked high on challah toast. Add go-to toppings like honey, crunchy kosher dills, and iceberg lettuce slaw. Get the recipe >

Use a tart, firm apple variety like Granny Smith, which holds its shape well and releases minimal liquid during cooking, for these golden hand-held treats. Get the recipe >

Rösti and latkes are birds of a feather: they’re both essentially grated and fried potatoes. In the dish's native Switzerland, recipes include bacon, rosemary, caraway seeds, eggs, pasta, cheese, and even coffee, but our favorite version hails from Bern, at Restaurant Della Casa—golden, impeccable, ideal. Get the recipe >

The glaze on these airy old-timey donuts is gorgeously shiny thanks to a combination of clarified butter and evaporated milk. Get the recipe >

These long, fluted fritters—a celebration of oil in their own right—are best served with thick hot chocolate for dunking. Get the recipe >

Named for their twisted shape, these honeyed donuts get their airy texture from choux pastry—the same basic dough used to make éclairs, cream puffs, and gougères. Get the recipe >

Coconut milk gives these donuts from Seattle's Top Pot donut shop a super-moist interior and a gratifying crust. Get the recipe >

Kugel—the creamy egg noodle casserole that's a staple of Jewish holiday cooking—gets a Midwestern topping of crunchy cornflakes here in a welcome departure from tradition. Get the recipe >

For his Israeli-style rugelach, wunderkind chef Eitan Bernath rolls rich yeasted babka dough around a sweetly spiced pistachio-date filling, then gilds the lily with a drizzle of rosewater honey. Get the recipe >

Baking powder in the batter makes this donut recipe quicker and easier than old-school yeasted versions; so does a quick drizzle of boozy orange jam (no piping bag needed!). Get the recipe >

Who says Ashkenazi-style kugel has to be plain mashed potatoes or egg noodles? The quintessential bubbe meal gets a meaty makeover in this updated recipe. Get the recipe >

This traditional Iraqi-Jewish vegetable stew hits complex spice notes, thanks to cumin, coriander, cayenne, and paprika. It’s all spooned over turmeric-infused rice and ground lamb meatballs. Get the recipe >

Everything but the feathers winds up in this frugal, homey braise, brimming with pan-seared offal and matzo-meal meatballs and tempered by a sweet-and-sour tomato sauce. Get the recipe >

Adapted from Arthur Schwartz's Jewish Home Cooking: Yiddish Recipes Revisited, these “potted,” or covered, rice-and-beef chuck meatballs simmer in a citrusy tomato gravy. Get the recipe >

Because no Hanukkah spread is complete without a loaf of the classic braided egg bread. Get the recipe >

This flavorful Syrian recipe, in which tender artichoke bottoms are fried and served with an intense, tahini-based sauce, comes from Damascus. Get the recipe >

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