We’re sharing 12 of our favorite Hanukkah Recipes to ensure you have a festive and delicious time! Celebrate the 8 days of the Festival of Lights with these recipes.
The Festival of Lights, Hanukkah, is truly one of my favorite times of the year. Ever since the twins were born, it not only gave our family the opportunity to develop our own traditions, but also make some of our favorite foods and lasting memories.
Part of what makes the time so special is sharing it with family and friends. Alas, not this year…
History lesson…Hanukkah is actually not a holiday, but rather a Festival of Lights. It is a celebration of Jewish life, history, and tradition. It celebrates a military victory, after many years of struggle, of the Maccabees over the Greek-Syrian army who wanted to crush the Jewish religion.
After the last battle, the survivors went back to the Temple. To light the flame of the Menorah, a specially prepared pure olive oil was required. But the amount of oil remaining was only enough to burn for one day, and it would take eight days to produce a new batch.
Miraculously, the flame burned for eight days. Hence, the eight days of Hanukkah.
Traditions of Hanukkah include lighting of the Menorah, singing songs, playing dreidel, and eating foods fried in oil like latkes and jelly filled doughnuts.
The traditional gift was gelt (money), but switched to gifts in the late 19th century. Hence, why you may have heard the term, “Jewish Christmas”.
Back to the food…I’ve rounded up some of our favorite Hanukkah Recipes to cook and bake. I am sharing recipes for both sweet and savory dishes, plus others we simply enjoy.
Some are traditional recipes, while others have a more modern twist. After all, Hanukkah gives us 8 wonderful nights to enjoy!
My family has two foods we eat each Hanukkah no matter what…Latkes (potato pancakes) and Sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts). But, latkes are the family favorite.
Over the years, we have tried many different types of latkes including sweet potato and zucchini. But we are always sure to have the traditional potato latkes no matter what.
We have developed a method that serves up the most delicious and crispy latkes. Here is our secret.
The secret to a perfect latke.
Two to three days before you will be serving your latkes, you need to prepare the potatoes. I use a plain old russet potato. I start with the largest bowl I have and put a little ice in the bottom.
I peel the potatoes and use my Cuisinart to grate them. As I empty each Cuisinart full of grated potatoes into the bowl, I add another handful of ice.
Once I have all the potatoes grated, I make sure they are covered with ice and cold water and weigh down with a plate and cover. Every twelve hours, I drain the water and ice and fill with fresh water and ice. This takes away the starch and creates the best latkes.
When you are ready to make your latkes, drain all the water. I first strain, then I use cheese cloth and squeeze all the water out. Now you know my secret.
No, I do not make fresh latkes each night. I simply cook them all one night and warm them in the oven for the other nights. Our favorite way to serve them is with homemade applesauce and whole milk Greek yogurt.
Here are a few other ways we serve our latkes.
- Topped with mushroom and spinach with cheese melted on top
- When we get fancy we use creme fraise and caviar
- Cream cheese, smoked salmon and capers
- Spinach and a poached egg
- Caramelized onion and bacon
- Fresh greens tossed in a light vinaigrette and a hand boiled egg slice
We hope you enjoy some of these Hannukah recipes and use your own inspiration and traditions for Hanukkah. And if you are short on ideas for what to gift over the course of the 8 nights, be sure to check out our creative ideas for Hanukkah gift giving.
I am a home cook that does things my way. In my kitchen, I make breakfast, pack lunches, prepare snacks, and cook dinner. During the week, we eat real food that is homemade, organic, and local. On the weekends we do explore more of our local restaurants. I bake my own bread, juice fresh oranges every other day, and make my own kombucha and other weekly favorites.