25+ Recipes for a Memorable Rosh Hashanah Meal

updated Sep 15, 2023
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Chocolate pecan babka sliced on counter.
Credit: Photo: Tara Donne | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

This year Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown September 15. For Jews of Eastern European and Russian descent (Ashkenazi), an old-world-inspired celebratory feast 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) we’re here to help you put together a memorable Rosh Hashanah menu. Here’s a list of our favorite recipes for a delicious Rosh Hashanah meal.

Challah Bread

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

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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.
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Apple Honey Challah Pull-Apart Bread
Tearing into this glossy honey-glazed loaf reveals generous floods of lightly sugared apples and a plush crumb that sweetens the new year festivities to delectable new heights.
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Round Challah with Dukkah Recipe
This loaf of challah has both honey and sugar for sweetness, and it gets topped with dukkah, a crunchy spice-tinged seed and nut blend that hails from Egypt and the Middle East.
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Pull-Apart Challah Rolls
Don’t be deceived by their pretty appearance; there’s actually no braiding involved when forming the rolls. In fact, if you can tie a knot, you can make these soft and pillowy rolls.
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Main Dishes

As for the star of your holiday table, a hearty braise, slow-cooked brisket, or classic roast chicken are all guaranteed to receive rave reviews.

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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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Pomegranate Molasses-Roasted Skillet Chicken Recipe

Thick, tart pomegranate molasses instantly upgrades chicken and potatoes this oven-roasted skillet dinner.

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Crispy Skillet Salmon with Mustardy Cabbage
Crispy-skinned salmon fillets with tangy sautéed cabbage come together in this one skillet main-and-side-dish-in-one dinner.
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Individual Pot Roasts with Thyme-Glazed Carrots
Serve this quite simply with just the carrots, making it a true one-pot Rosh Hashanah feast. 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.
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Soups: Chicken and Beyond

A warming pot of soup is a welcome addition to any holiday spread. Some of our favorites include classic chicken noodle, a meat-free riff on matzo ball soup, and hearty lentil soup with pomegranates.

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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.
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Vegetarian Matzo 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.
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Pomegranate Lentil 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.
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Roasted Red Kuri Pumpkin & 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, give this one a try.
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Cauliflower Soup
This garlicky, thyme-infused cauliflower soup flavored is naturally dairy-free and vegan, which makes it well-suited for anyone at your Rosh Hashanah celebration.
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Salads and Side Dishes

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 to eat.

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Spinach Salad with Apples, Walnuts, and Feta
Here’s a fun twist on the classic pairing of apples and honey. Slices of the fruit add tart crunch to the salad while honey sweetens the tangy mustard vinaigrette.
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Roasted Carrot and Chickpea Salad
This warm roasted carrot and chickpea salad is flavored with cardamom and citrus, and finished with wilted arugula, almonds, and an herb-packed dressing.
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Couscous Salad with 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.
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Carrot Tahini Salad with Spiced Chickpeas
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.
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Jam and Poppy Seed Noodle Kugel
This custardy pudding, threaded with poppy seeds and dollops of sweet-tart jam, is a Hungarian variation of classic noodle kugel.
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Sautéed Beet Greens
Hearty beet greens and stems hit a hot skillet and relax into a garlicky tumble of wilted greens.
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Pomegranate Salad
This pomegranate salad livens up humdrum winter salads with tang and color.
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Braised Lentils and 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.
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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.
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How To Make Fluffy Potato Kugel
In this dish, earthy potatoes mingle with mellow yellow onions and golden, savory chicken schmaltz in a casserole as light and fluffy as a perfectly tender baked spud.
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Farro Salad With Peas and Leeks
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.
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Appetizers

Start this year’s celebration with some small bites before you roll out the main course.

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Medjool Date and Apple Charoset
This bicoastal charoset, made with a paste of nuts, stick dates, and tart apples is sure to be a celebrated dish on your Rosh Hashanah spread.
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Borscht Crostini
All the components that make classic borscht so delicious – the roasted beets and carrots, pickled onions, fresh dill and garlic, and crème fraîche – are piled atop of toast round for a cool appetizer that can be prepped in advance.
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Moroccan-Spiced Roasted 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 you'll crave as the days get shorter and chillier.
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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.
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Beet-Pickled Deviled Eggs

This recipe for a classic appetizer involves glowing up the eggs in a jar of beets, vinegar, brown sugar, and pink peppercorns. The result is a platter of deviled eggs that are saturated in both a punchy flavor and a gorgeeous deep purple-blue color.

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Vegetarian Chopped Liver with Shallots
This vegetarian and kosher chopped liver starts with kidney beans and gets a big wallop of flavor from sautéed mushrooms and walnuts.
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Desserts

Who can forget about dessert? It’s a holiday about sweet foods, so let’s go for it.

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Chocolate Pecan Pie Babka
This fun twist on babka boasts a chocolate-y fudge-like filling reminiscent of a gooey pecan pie.
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Honey Apple Cake

This layer cake boasts a rustic type of elegance and Rosh Hashanah is the perfect time to make it. With layers of fresh apple cake, honey buttercream, and a touch of crunchy oat crumble, don't be shocked if the cake disappears in an instant.

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Gluten-Free Fresh Fig and Almond Cake
This light and tender cake is naturally gluten-free, thanks to almond flour. It's the perfect sweet treat to celebrate the new year.
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Vegan Carrot Cake

Your Rosh Hashanah dinner guests won't miss the dairy products in this spice-packed vegan carrot cake.

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Honey Apple 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.
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Carrot Halwa
Carrot halwa is an Indian dessert made with grated carrots, whole milk, dried fruit, and nuts, and it has a delicious light fudgy texture.
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Kugelhopf Breakfast Rolls
Fresh from the oven on in the 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!
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Classic Rugelach
This recipe provides you with a decadent cream cheese-based cookie dough. Honey-walnut or chocolate are only the starting point for how this treat can be filled.
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