30 Traditional Hanukkah Foods to Complete Your Holiday Dinner

Celebrate the Festival of Lights with these dishes.

hanukkah honey balls on a serving platter
Mike Garten

The Festival of Lights would not be complete without delicious Hanukkah foods to keep the celebrations going (for all eight nights!). Observed on the Hebrew calendar date of 25 Kislev — Sunday, December 18th this year — the holiday recognizes the rededication of Jerusalem's Holy Temple during the second century B.C. As the story goes, the Maccabees revolted against Greek occupiers and recaptured the temple. They needed to burn a candelabra for eight days in succession in order to rededicate the temple, but they only had enough oil for one day. Miraculously, the candles stayed lit the entire time, which is why we celebrate the "Festival of Lights" today.

Traditional Hanukkah recipes use oil to commemorate that same oil that kept the lights burning, which often means fried food — and lots of it! In the spirit of the holiday, we rounded up our favorite crisp latkes and fluffy, jelly-filled sufganiyot — and because one cannot live off fried food for all eight nights — we also gathered mains like juicy roast chicken, salmon and brisket. Low on time? There are plenty of easy Hanukkah dishes — try our 3-ingredient applesauce — in addition to the more involved projects that are well worth the effort.

So brush up on your Hanukkah facts and make the most of the holiday with an abundance of snacks, Hanukkah appetizers and Hanukkah desserts. (Pro tip: You can never have too many!)

crispy carrot latkes in cast iron pans
Mike Garten
1 of 30
Crispy Skillet Carrot Latkes

Serve up the traditional Hanukkah food — but with a twist! Baked in mini cast iron skillets, these carrot-and-potato pancakes don't require frying.

Get the Crispy Skillet Carrot Latkes recipe.

salmon rillette with slices of pumpernickel bread on the side
Mike Garten
2 of 30
Salmon Rillette

Kick off the festivities with a savory spread that features salmon two ways: poached and smoked.

Get the Salmon Rillette recipe.

slow cooker brisket with cooked red onions on top
3 of 30
Slow-Cooker Brisket

Just set the brisket in your slow cooker in the a.m., and you can forget about it all day. It'll be ready to eat when it's time to light the menorah.


Get the Slow-Cooker Brisket recipe.

sufganiyot jelly donuts on a white cake stand
Mike Garten
4 of 30
Sufganiyot (Jelly Donuts)

Sufganiyot are a traditional Hanukkah dessert, and with a little effort, you can save a trip to the bakery. To save time, prep the dough and let it rise overnight then finish right before serving.

Get the Sufganiyot recipe.

orange ginger roast chicken with fennel and radicchio salad
Mike Garten
5 of 30
Orange-Ginger Roast Chicken with Fennel and Radicchio Salad

This stunning main stars in-season produce like citrus and fennel, so you're in for the freshest flavor.

Get the Orange-Ginger Roast Chicken with Fennel and Radicchio Salad recipe.

everything bagel crusted salmon on a blue plate
Mike Garten
6 of 30
Everything Bagel-Crusted Salmon

Usually made with poppy seeds, toasted sesame seeds, dried garlic, dried onion and salt, everything spice blend (plus a squeeze of lemon!) provides fast flavor for flaky roasted salmon.

Get the Everything Bagel-Crusted Salmon recipe.

jammy walut rugelach on a pink background
Mike Garten
7 of 30
Jammy Walnut Rugelach

These crisp, light treats are delicious with post-dinner coffee.

Get the Jammy Walnut Rugelach recipe.

potato latkes with a variety of toppings
mike garten
8 of 30
Easy Potato Latkes

If you've never made classic latkes, try your hand at this easy-to-follow recipe that comes together in just 30 minutes.

Get the Easy Potato Latkes recipe.

apple sauce in a glass jar with a spoon
9 of 30

This 3-ingredient applesauce is the perfect partner to crisp fried latkes.

Get the Applesauce recipe.

RELATED: The 80 Tastiest Apple Recipes to Try for Fall

spinach and artichoke dip on blue plate
Mike Garten
10 of 30
Best Ever Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Every holiday needs a nice selection of apps. Start the party off right with a lightened up version of this classic dip.

Get the Best Ever Spinach and Artichoke Dip recipe.

RELATED: 50+ Easy Appetizers and Snacks to Get the Party Started

mendiant chocolates with a mix of dried fruits and nuts on top
Mike Garten
11 of 30

Melt chocolate, create circles and top with your favorite toppings (we like chopped dried fruit, nuts and sea salt) for the perfect Hanukkah dessert!

Get the Mendiant recipe.

potato kugel in a clear baking dish
iStockphotoGetty Images
12 of 30
Potato Kugel

Kugel is typically made with egg noodles, but we swapped in grated potatoes for a gluten-free version that's every bit as comforting.

Get the Potato Kugel recipe from Woman's Day.

RELATED: 30 Best Gluten-Free Products of 2022, According to a Registered Dietitian

shaved carrot and radish salad on a white plate
Mike Garten
13 of 30
Shaved Carrot and Radish Salad

This bright and colorful salad makes a vibrant match for your heavier dishes.

Get the Shaved Carrot and Radish Salad recipe.

grilled spatchcock chicken with lemons
Mike Garten
14 of 30
Grilled Spatchcock Chicken

Save space in the oven and take your roast chicken to the grill.

Get the Grilled Spatchcock Chicken recipe.

RELATED: 7 Best Gas Grills of 2022, According to Kitchen Experts

beet latkes on a cast iron
Mike Garten
15 of 30
Rainbow Latkes

Use a variety of veggies to add color to your go-to latke recipe. Try zucchini, beets and carrots (which are all easy to grate!).

Get the Zucchini Latkes recipe.

Get the Beet Latkes recipe.

Get the Carrot Latkes recipe.

hanukah honey balls on a serving plate
Mike Garten HBO
16 of 30
Hanukkah Honey Balls

Feast on these sweet, honey-glazed puffs of dough all eight nights.

Get the Hanukkah Honey Balls recipe.

golden spatchcocked chicken
Mike Garten
17 of 30
Butterflied Chicken

Introducing the best chicken recipe to add to your Hanukkah dinner menu. Our method is a serious time-saver!

Get the Butterflied Chicken recipe.

spinach with garlic and lemon in a white bowl
Mike Garten
18 of 30
Sautéed Spinach with Garlic and Lemon

This 15-minute side dish is light and fresh, complete with caramelized slivers of garlic and pungent strips of lemon zest.

Get the Sautéed Spinach with Garlic and Lemon recipe.

RELATED: 35+ Healthy Sides Dishes That Go With Any and Every Protein

parsnip potato latkes on a white plate
mike garten
19 of 30
Parsnip Potato Latkes

Adding parsnip to the traditional shredded potato gives these latkes an earthy sweetness while matzo meal helps hold it all together. Top with lightly caramelized apples for a classy presentation.

Get the Parsnip Potato Latkes recipe.

apple fritters with a sugar spice mixture dusted on top
brian woodcock
20 of 30
Apple Fritters

Yes, you can make these sweet fried donuts at home! Just mix the ingredients in a bowl and drop spoonfuls into oil until crisp and golden-brown. Easy!

Get the Apple Fritters recipe.

bbq salmon and brussels sprouts on a baking dish
Mike Garten
21 of 30
BBQ Salmon & Brussels Sprout Bake

Two ingredients combine into one healthy holiday meal (that only uses one pan to cook!).

Get the BBQ Salmon and Brussels Sprout Bake recipe.

RELATED: 18 Easy Sheet Pan Dinners That Make Cleanup a Breeze

crispy ginger scallion latkes on a plate
Mike Garten
22 of 30
Crispy Ginger Scallion Latkes

We boosted this recipe with scallion and ginger to give your Hanukkah spread a dash of unexpected flavor.

Get the Crispy Ginger Scallion Latkes recipe.

RELATED: 58 Easy Potato Recipes For Weeknight Dinners, Thanksgiving and More

pecan apricot rugelach
23 of 30
Pecan-Apricot Rugelach

These delicious rolled holiday cookies aren't nearly as difficult to make as they look. Filled with a blend of chopped pecans, apricot preserves and cream cheese, their fruity, nutty flavor will top off any Hanukkah meal.

Get the Pecan-Apricot Rugelach recipe.

braided challah bread
24 of 30
Challah Bread

Bake an extra loaf of this eggy, slightly sweet bread. Leftovers make the best French Toast.

Get the Challah Bread recipe from Delish.

potato knishes
yossy arefi
25 of 30
Best-Ever Potato Knishes

Keep the filling classic with potatoes and caramelized onions or switch things up with cumin seeds or spinach... the possibilities are endless!

Get the Potato Knishes recipe from Delish.

peanut butter fudge dreidels
Steve Giralt
26 of 30
Peanut Butter Fudge Dreidels

Kids will love snacking on these dreidels made of peanut butter, chocolate and pretzels while watching the real ones spin.

Get the Peanut Butter Fudge Dreidels recipe from Woman's Day.

sweet noodle kugel in a baking dish
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Sweet Noodle Kugel

This sweet casserole uses egg noodles, cinnamon, sour cream and plenty of eggs and butter for a rich side dish that rounds out your Hanukkah table. Not your typical pasta recipe!

Get the Sweet Noodle Kugel recipe from Delish.

beef bourguignon brisket on a blue plate
Con Poulos
28 of 30
Beef Bourguignon Brisket

Bring the flavors of traditional Beef Bourguignon — red wine, tomatoes, and root veggies — to your holiday brisket.

Get the Beef Bourguignon Brisket recipe from Woman's Day.

dusting gold on chocolate medallions
Oh Nuts
29 of 30
Homemade Chocolate Gelt

No Hanukkah celebration is complete without gelt to trade as you play dreidel. Sure, you can buy some at the store, but they wouldn't be nearly as delicious (or fun to make!).

Get the Homemade Chocolate Gelt recipe from Oh! Nuts.

tzimmes carrots, sweet potatoes, shallots and prunes
Peg's Home Cooking
30 of 30
Colorful Tzimmes

A twist on the classic dish of tzimmes, this blend of carrots, sweet potatoes, shallots, orange juice and prunes creates a sweet and savory side that you'll want to enjoy all year long. It's also both vegan and parve, so it suits several dietary considerations.

Get the Colorful Tzimmes recipe from Peg's Home Cooking.

RELATED: 70 Vegan Recipes so Good, You'll Forget About Meat and Cheese

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