Hanukkah, for many of us, is the most wonderful time of year. Having some really amazing, delicious recipes from around the world to celebrate this holiday only makes it that much better. So, this year as I’m planning our feasting schedule for these eight nights of light, I’m collecting some of the most interesting, tasty, and fun recipes from around the world.
I thought I’d share those recipes I find with you to help you on your quest for the best Hanukkah dishes this year, too. Enjoy!
So, apparently Jewish people in Italy aren’t as into latkes as the rest of us, so they do a sort of fried eggplant version instead all year, but especially for Hanukkah. With the delicious dish, you can layer in tomato, mozzarella, and other Italian-themed deliciousness to get the full experience.
Zengoula (Iraqi Funnel Cakes)
In Iraq, Jewish folks enjoy a variety of funnel cakes instead of the traditional jelly donuts. Often they’ll get topped with lemon syrup for a citrusy twist to the decadent dessert.
Sfenj (Moroccan Doughnuts)
And speaking of donuts, apparently the Jewish community in Morocco (the Maghrebi Mizrachi from North Africa) enjoy their own variety of Suganiyot, called Sfenj, which they adopted in the 1920s to give Jewish bakers more work around the holidays. These are actually, apparently, a lot easier than the traditional donuts. That sounds like a great choice to me!
For those who love a cheese pastry, the Delkelekh cheese pastry from Hungary could be the perfect way for you to celebrate Hanukkah this year. I know my husband’s eager to give it a try!
Sfenj – Algerian-Style
Similar to the Sfenj from Morocco is the Algerian style of the Hanukkah donut. It’s simple to make and absolutely delicious, lightly dusted with sugar.
From India comes the unique Gulab jamun for Hanukkah. These are balls of cheese-infused dough. They’re fried and then – here’s the twist – soaked in rose syrup! I am not sure what they taste like, but that combination actually sounds pretty amazing to me. I might just give them a try this year.
You might have heard of bunuelos previously. They’re a popular treat in Latin America, usually with honey. This recipe is pretty simple and celebrates their use in Hanukkah celebrations in Sephardic (Spain) tradition in the Iberian peninsula. They can be made vegan and either drizzled with honey or dusted in powdered sugar – whatever you prefer!
Sufganiyot (Jelly Donuts)
Probably the most well-known Hanukkah treat is Sufganiyot, the traditional Jewish jelly donut. That might sound a little intimidating – making donuts from scratch – but the right recipe actually makes it super easy. And they’re amazingly delicious. You can fill them with jelly, preserves, cream, or custard, too – whatever you like best.
Rugelach is another traditional Jewish sweet treat found on holiday tables, especially Hannukah. The crescent-shaped sweets are flaky and filled with cream cheese, cinnamon, and raisins. They’re incredibly delicious. Look for alternative fillings at the bottom of the recipe.
While babka isn’t necessarily served at Hanukkah specifically, it is a firmly Jewish dish that deserves consideration this Hanukkah season. It looks intense, but it’s actually pretty easy for braided bread. And chocolate. Need I say more?
Caramel Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Coins
Gelt is and always will be a huge part of the Hanukkah tradition. But let’s be honest – most of what you can buy tastes like cheap chocolate and isn’t worth the money. So, instead, make your own – and everyone will enjoy receiving these gold coins made with caramel sea salt and dark chocolate, not just the littles.
Coconut macaroons are often served during Hanukkah because they’re not leavened with flour, baking soda, or yeast. The eggs in them do the trick, making them a kosher delight. And since they’re made of coconut, well, they win the day – at least in my household!
Chocolate Chunk Mandel Bread
This chocolatey-sweet, wonderful mandel bread is the perfect addition to your Hanukkah table. The bread turns into perfectly crisp, crunchy slices that are sort of like biscotti. Perfect for dunking, snacking, and enjoying together as you celebrate the season.
Chanukkah Sugar Cookies
Sugar cookies aren’t just for Christmas! These Chanukkah sugar cookies are the perfect way to have some cookie-cutter (and frosting!) fun with the kids or by yourself without a lot of extra work or significant planning.
Crispy Ginger Scallion Latkes
Not everything we serve during Hanukkah needs to be sweet or traditional. I love the idea of these crispy ginger scallion latkes as a switch-up for the holiday. They’re a great way to add some real punch to the menu without a lot of extra work.
Sometimes called zalabia, bimuelos are an Egyptian take on the traditional fritters we enjoy around the Hanukkah season. They’re drenched in sugary syrup and sold on the streets in Egypt – but we can make them at home with a few tweaks of our own.
Polish Apple Cake
This cake was developed as a kosher alternative to the many European pastries served in the holiday season that usually contain dairy products. Instead, using oil and eggs, we have this delightful Polish apple cake with a golden, crumbly sweet crust. Yum!
Keftes de Prasa
For savory fritters this Hanukkah season, these amazing Keftes de Prasa from Spain are a delight! They’re made with leeks and other savory ingredients, adapting from the Ashkenazi potato latkes most of us are familiar with to these delightful, flavorful savory dishes we can serve the whole family.
Coming in from Morocco is this delectable couscous dish: Seffa. It’s made with sweet ingredients and dairy and served with wooden spoons.
Cooking note: You don’t want to skip the wooden aspect of the recipes. They impact the flavor of the food!
Cheese and Lemon Blintzes
Blitzes are a hugely popular treat found in Jewish delis all over America and central Europe (think Poland and Slovakia). They’re absolutely delicious – whatever the flavoring – but these are particularly delightful, focusing on cheese and lemon in that tasty blintz.
This recipe from Delish for potato knishes is the perfect savory delight for your Hanukkah feast. Go with traditional potatoes and caramelized onions or tweak it with spinach and cumin or something else entirely. The choice is yours!
For your basic apple fritter for your holiday feast, check out this simple recipe made with basic ingredients you probably already have on hand for a delicious fried, sweet treat using Granny Smith apples. Yum!
Sweet Noodle Kugel
For a unique twist on Kugel, this recipe uses egg noodles, sour cream, cinnamon, and eggs for a rich buttery side you’ll love serving this Hanukkah.
Beef Bourguignon Brisket
Of course, what Jewish holiday feast would be complete without some beef brisket? Well, this slow cooker recipe is the perfect way to make some easily for the holiday so you don’t have to worry about staying in the kitchen all day.
Everyone who’s celebrated Hanukkah knows that challah is an important part of the season. But if you’re looking for something a little different from the usual, this chocolate and orange challah is a beautiful version of the already wonderful delectable treat.
Bite-Size Potato and Chard Knishes
For another twist on the traditional potato knish, check out these bite-sized beauties made up with chard. They’re the perfect appetizer for your Hannukah feast or the extra special addition to the sit-down feast you’re planning. Make them up ahead of time to save cooking time the day of.