25 Recipes Ready for Every Rosh Hashanah Meal

25 Recipes Ready for Every Rosh Hashanah Meal

Tami Weiser
Oct 2, 2016

This year Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown October 2. Traditionally, that night family and friends share a festive meal that's really quite a feast. For Jews of Eastern European and Russian descent (Ashkenazi), an old-world inspired meal would feature round challahs, chicken soup, a slow-roasted brisket or roast chicken, sweetened roasted root vegetables that always include carrots, and a wide variety of side dishes. For Jews of North African, Near Eastern, Indian, or Middle Eastern descent (Sephardi and Mizrachi), there is often a Rosh Hashanah seder, with specific symbolic foods that are interwoven into the array of dishes.

No matter your background, the first full day (after services), families and friends gather again for informal meals that were made ahead and are often accompanied by bagels, pita bread, more challah (of course!), and plenty of dips and salads.

Here's a list of the top 25 recipes from Kitchn, ready for every Rosh Hashanah meal.


Why not start with desserts? It's a holiday about sweet foods, so let's go for it.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

1. Honey Apple Layer Cake

This recipe falls under what I call "casual cakes," meaning cakes that are perfectly suitable for Sunday brunch, afternoon tea, or any random Wednesday night when you need to fulfill a relentless cake craving without having to make something completely over the top.

2. Honey Apple Baby Bundt Cakelets

These honey apple cakelets are great for any fall occasion, really, but they also happen to contain symbolic ingredients for a good and sweet Jewish New Year.

(Image credit: Michelle Peters-Jones)

3. Carrot Halwa

Carrot halwa, also known as gajar ka halwa, is made with grated carrots, whole milk, dried fruit, and nuts, and it has a light and fudgy texture.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

4. Individual Cinnamon Kugelhopf

Fresh from the oven on a weekend morning, these kugelhopf rolls are absolute show-stoppers. And that's even before you dip them in melted butter and roll them in cinnamon and sugar!

(Image credit: Quentin Bacon)

5. Classic Carrot Cake

Good carrot cakes balance many variables. They have to be sweet, yet spicy; moist, yet delicate; and beautiful, but not pretentious. Finding a recipe that embraces all of these and holds its own under a mountain of fluffy cream cheese frosting is a challenge — but we've done it!

Soups: Chicken and Beyond

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

6. Chicken Noodle Soup

This recipe is miles better than anything from a box or a can, but isn't quite so laborious as starting with a whole chicken and making stock from scratch.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

7. Vegetarian Matza Ball Soup

This recipe is easy enough and can be adapted to accommodate any extra favorite vegetables or flavors. Obviously, you can make this same thing with chicken stock and soup.

(Image credit: Emily Han)

8. Lentil, Swiss Chard and Pomegranate Soup

When cooking lentil soup, stirring in something tart and tangy can add vibrancy and complexity to the earthiness of the beans. Lemon juice, yogurt, and apple cider vinegar are old standbys. Another seasonal possibility is pomegranate.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

9. Pumpkin and Coconut Soup

The lime and the tomato paste also brighten things up and bring the soup together. If you're craving a good pumpkin soup with warmth and a bit of spice, as I was, give this one a try.


Add these to your classic family kugels and pumpkin turnovers. Not only will they get gobbled up, but vegetarians and vegans will also have plenty of eat.

(Image credit: Emily Han)

10. Buttery Potato and Leek Galette

One of the remarkable things about this savory potato and leek galette is that it looks fancy, yet the ingredients are simple and inexpensive. The potatoes are plain old russets, the fat is olive oil instead of butter, and even though it's gluten-free and vegan, the galette is pleasantly starchy and creamy — a perfect cross between comfort food and an elegant, company-worthy dish.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

11. White Wine and Chicken Broth Braised Leeks

This time of the year we are looking for easy, delicious yet not-too-heavy comfort food. Comfort food is often rich and heavy, but we think that these silky braised leeks are comforting yet light.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

12. Bowtie or Farfalle Pasta with roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Butternut squash, garlic, sage, pine nuts — these are classic groupings, especially with pasta. One of the reasons that butternut squash is so good with pasta is its softness and richness; it smears through like a creamy sauce.

(Image credit: Emily Han)

13. Farro Salad with Peas

Composed of whole grains and seasonal vegetables and herbs, cool grain salads make a satisfying side dish. I sub the yogurt with mayo and use black-eyed peas or pigeon peas for my Jewish New Year version.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

14. Swiss Chard Slaw with Creamy Avocado Dressing

This easy slaw, dressed with a creamy blender avocado dressing, hits all the things I love about slaw; it's crunchy, tangy, and refreshing! Add two tablespoons of honey and the zest of the limes, not the juice, for a Jewish New Year version.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

15. Fresh Date, Pomegranate and Asian Pear Salad

Asian pears, fresh dates, and pomegranates are some of early fall's jewels. We couldn't resist combining them in a fruit salad — a refreshing dessert on its own or over ice cream.

Salads, Dips and Make-Aheads

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

16. Black-Eyed Pea Salad

This recipe is also completely adjustable to what's in your kitchen. Have some fresh peas from the farmers market? Use those! Don't have cider vinegar? Try using red wine vinegar. Only have a green pepper and white onion? Whatever. Just don't hesitate to suit this to your taste.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

17. Couscous salad with Chickpeas, Roasted Butternut Squash and Cranberries

The recipe makes a lot, can be served warm or cool, and keeps well, so this is the perfect make-ahead potluck dish. The sweet flavor of the roasted squash make it equally fitting to serve for brunch or a side dish at dinner.

(Image credit: Andrea Bemis)

18. Carrot and Roasted Chickpea Salad with Tahini Honey Dressing

This light and crunchy salad is such a welcome change. The sweet raisins pair exceptionally well with the spiced chickpeas for a wonderful combination of sweet and savory.

(Image credit: Andrea Bemis)

19. Moroccan Spiced Carrot Hummus

This hummus is so irresistible, both in flavor and in color — bright orange! The Moroccan spices add such a lovely dimension, too. This is the kind of warm-and-spicy flavor combination I crave as the days get shorter and chillier.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

20. Roasted Garlic Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Ricotta

The garlic's best aromas come out overnight, and the chunks of tomatoes and olives tuck themselves into the pasta shells. The yogurt gives tang, and the ricotta is simply delicious.

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

21. Smoked Salmon Dip

Holiday entertaining means pulling out all of the stops and serving up recipes that are truly worthy of the joyous occasion. Thankfully, dazzling your friends doesn't mean you have you break the bank, or your back.


Be sure to make them into circles and serve with plenty of honey for dipping.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

22. How To Make Challah Bread

At its root, challah is a very straightforward bread to make. The dough is enriched with eggs and oil, while a few tablespoons of sugar add some sweetness. It doesn't require any fussy techniques and can be made from start to finish in the space of an afternoon.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

23. Apple Butter Challah

Slicing into this loaf reveals swirls of sweetness and a moist, almost cake-like crumb that takes holiday tradition to delicious new heights.

Main Dishes

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

24. A Quicker Braised Pot Roast with Carrots

Serve this quite simply with just the carrots, making it a true one-pot meal. The carrots get tender, but not mushy; they maintain the faintest bit of snap inside. But of course, you can also ladle the meat and its sauce over pasta or rice.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

25. Classic Whole Roasted Chicken

Never underestimate the power of a roast chicken. It's an infallible Sunday dinner — holiday or not — and the leftovers (if you're so lucky) can be used for sandwiches, salads, and quick meals all week long.

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