Everyone celebrating Hanukkah likely has slightly different food traditions and recipe favorites, but the staples are frequently the same: perfectly cooked brisket and crispy latkes, plus a dessert spread that preferably includes as much rugelach, sufganiyot, and babka as possible. No matter which dish is your favorite, these festive recipes are perfect for Hanukkah and guaranteed to please a crowd. From tried-and-true originals to new spins on classics, there's something here for everyone.
Brisket is the natural choice for any Hanukkah dinner, but braising can be time-consuming and kind of a hassle when there are so many other things to do before the big meal. Take the pressure off by using a slow cooker instead. Prepare your braising liquid on the stovetop for maximum flavor, then just toss everything together in a slow cooker and let it cook until it's fall-apart tender.
There are a few key steps to perfect latkes. First, wring the moisture completely out of the shredded potatoes so they can get crispy instead of soggy. Second, keep your oil at the proper temperature to ensure that each latke will cook through without burning.
3. Maple-Dijon Roasted Carrots from Closet Cooking
Glazed carrots are an old favorite, but they benefit from a little makeover in this gorgeous dish. The mixture of maple and mustard adds a real depth of flavor, and garnishing the cooked carrots with plenty of chopped carrot greens or parsley livens things up.
Since these doughnuts are yeast-based, the dough takes a little while to put together. Make it a day in advance and let it rest in the fridge, then fry your doughnuts and fill them with jelly right before dinner.
There are plenty of decked-out challah recipes floating around, but simple is best when it comes to a big holiday meal. This recipe is easy to follow, and comes with a detailed step-by-step of how to get that perfect challah braid.
Pomegranate molasses is sweet with just a hint of tang. Instead of coating your sprouts with brown sugar and/or vinegar, swap in this two-for-one.
7. Chocolate Tahini Challah Buns from Smitten Kitchen
These buns are the perfect not-too-sweet dessert, and any leftovers will taste great for breakfast the next morning.
Matzo ball soup may be a Passover thing, but that hasn't stopped it from carrying over to plenty of Hanukkah tables. This version is perfect for vegetarians who can't partake in the brisket but still want something cozy and comforting.
If you've had great rugelach, you know that the cookies are the perfect mix of flaky and dense. Follow this easy dough recipe, then choose from three filling options: fruit and jam, nut, or peanut butter and chocolate. Or better yet? Make them all.
Fact: Brisket and latkes taste better with applesauce. The store-bought stuff is fine, but this homemade slow cooker version is tastier, and almost as easy.
11. Sweet Lokshen Kugel from Tori Avey
The combination of egg noodles, cream cheese, cottage cheese, sugar, eggs, and raisins in a single casserole might be an acquired taste, but it's a Hanukkah staple. This version is simple enough for beginner cooks, and can be made a day in advance and reheated before serving.