Hanukkah is just around the corner, and while you’re unlikely to be on the hook for all aspects of the eight-day celebration, chances are hosting duties (or a potluck dish at minimum) will fall on you once or twice.
If you’re looking for healthy Hanukkah recipes — or at least healthier — you’re in luck. From the traditional to the reimagined, here’s a look at some fabulous foods for the Festival of Lights. Don’t worry, these dishes follow Kosher guidelines, so all guests will be able to enjoy the feast, worry-free.
Just because the miracle of oil is central to Hanukkah’s origins doesn’t mean you need to lean into an unhealthy oil binge. Try baked sufganiyot or veggie-centric latkes. They still use oil, in keeping with tradition, but you don’t need to choose between celebration and abstinence.
Latkes, beloved and ready for all manner of toppings are certainly a delight in their traditional, potatoes-only form. However, for those seeking to cram some extra veggies into these tasty potato pancakes, we’ve changed things up a bit. With a little zucchini, sweet potato and carrots, it’s never been more fun to get your “five-a-day.”
Oh yeah, and they’re still the perfect vessel for sour cream, Greek yogurt and homemade applesauce. Dig in!
- 2 medium zucchinis, peeled and shredded
- 2 large carrots, grated
- ½ pound of sweet potatoes, grated
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 beaten eggs
- Grapeseed oil for frying
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place your grated vegetables in a bowl and mix together. Grab a clean kitchen towel and wring out any excess moisture from the vegetables.
In a separate bowl, add flour, salt and pepper. Stir together.
Add eggs and whisk to combine.
Line your counter with several paper towels and place a wire cooling rack over the towels—try to place this configuration near your stovetop for less mess.
Add eggs to the vegetable mixture and combine thoroughly.
Then, in a large skillet, add about ¼ inch of grapeseed oil and heat over medium-high.
Drop the vegetable mixture into the pan in ¼ cup increments. Flatten each cake with a spatula or two forks.
Fry for two to three minutes on each side and transfer to the wire rack.
Continue until all latkes are cooked. Serve with topping of your choice — applesauce, sour cream, Greek yogurt or your own secret ingredient.
Apple Cinnamon Sufganiyot
One of our favorite Hanukkah desserts and a long-standing tradition, these mini donuts are the epitome of fried foods. We’ve taken a classic fried dish and transferred it to the oven for a slightly healthier indulgence.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 stick of vegan butter, slightly melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup of almond milk
- 1 teaspoon of almond extract
- 1/3 cup of water
- 1 cup of apple butter
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons of vegan butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
- 3/4 cup of brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, mix dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, add almond milk, almond extract, egg, and vegan butter. Combine thoroughly. Then fold in dry mixture.
Grease a large baking sheet and divide dough into 24 even pieces, placing on the sheet. Place in the oven for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine apple butter, cinnamon and water in a small dish and whisk together.
Melt the additional vegan butter in a small dish. In another dish, combine cinnamon and sugar. Set dishes aside and remove the donuts from the oven.
If you’ve got a meat-filled feast planned, you might be fretting over the preparation, but it doesn’t have to be a big to-do. Here are a few options sure to impress anyone in attendance.
The Perfect Roasted Brisket
A Hanukkah tradition, the brisket is to the Festival of Lights as turkey is to Thanksgiving. This recipe is just as good — if not better — the next day, so feel free to make it ahead of time to mitigate the inevitable day-of stress.
- 4 pounds of beef brisket
- 2 pounds of onions, loosely chopped
- Kosher salt and ground peppercorns
- 1 bulb of garlic—minced
- 4 cups of beef stock
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of cumin
- ¼ cup of paprika
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high.
Add onions and turn the heat down to low.
Cook for about 20 minutes or until the onions are caramelized.
While onions are in process, remove brisket from wrapping and pat it dry.
Mix oregano, salt, pepper, cumin and paprika in a small bowl and stir gently.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Then, generously season the meat with the dry mixture.
Then, in a large skillet, turn burner to medium high and sear the brisket on all sides.
You’ll know it’s done by the golden-brown crust that develops.
In a large Dutch oven, combine soy sauce, beef stock, garlic, caramelized onions and maple syrup.
Stir to combine, then remove the meat from the pan and place in the Dutch oven.
Place your brisket in the oven and cook for about 4 hours.
Beef is done when you can easily pull it apart with a fork.
Remove from oven and transfer to serving platter.
Serve with onions and juices, if desired.
Duck with Berry Sauce
Turkey is sometimes contested in the realm of kosher laws — seriously, turkeys weren’t considered back when the Torah was written. Plus, it’s a little dry and time consuming. So, we’ve got a duck recipe that’ll take your Hanukkah feast to the next level. A tart, berry-forward relish rounds out this dish and goes perfectly with beautifully roasted veggies.
Main Course Ingredients:
- 4 boneless duck breasts, fat trimmed
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
Delicious Sauce Ingredients:
- 2 cups of raspberries, frozen and thawed
- 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
- 1½ cups of red wine
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
In a small bowl, mix the salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme.
Then, place duck on a working surface and make several tiny incisions all over with a paring knife. Season with salt, then add the herb mixture, pressing firmly so it stays attached.
Set duck breasts on a large baking sheet and let sit for about an hour.
Add raspberries, red wine, mustard and sugar to a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally, dissolving sugar.
When the mixture begins to thicken, stir in the vinegar and remove from heat.
Place the duck breasts in a large skillet — you’ll likely have to do two at a time — skin side down, and cook duck for about 15 minutes. The skin should be a crisp, golden-brown.
Flip duck and cook for another two to three minutes and remove from heat.
Repeat with two remaining duck breasts, if needed.
If you have two skillets, it may be worthwhile to do all four at one time.
Let duck cool for about 10 minutes, slice, and serve with raspberry glaze.
Hanukkah Recipes for the Dairy Route
If meat’s not your speed — or if you’d like to partake in the Hanukkah tradition of eating a dairy-based meal — we’ve got some recipes that are cheesy and creamy without going overboard on all things milk-based.
Winter Vegetable Quiche
Quiche can certainly feel more at home at the breakfast table served alongside pancakes and coffee, but with butternut squash and leeks, this cheesy dish has a decidedly dinner kind of feel.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- ½ of a yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
- 1 cup chopped butternut squash
- ½ cup of chopped leek
- 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup of mozzarella
- 1 cup of grated parmesan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
In a large non-stick skillet, add heat olive oil on medium. Add onions and butternut squash.
When onions begin to turn a light brown, add mushrooms, garlic, and leeks.
Cook for about seven minutes.
In a separate mixing bowl, add eggs and milk, whisking together.
Add salt and pepper, plus vegetable mixture and stir in the mozzarella.
Lightly grease a round baking dish. You can use olive oil, butter, non-stick spray and add the mixture.
Top with parmesan cheese and place in the oven.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is a light golden brown.
Cheesy Vegetable Polenta
If you’re looking for easy Hanukkah recipes, this cheesy polenta may be a bit of a challenge. But trust us, the extra diligence will be well worth it — you’ll have a warm, cozy vegetable dish that’s sure to be the star of any dairy-based dinner.
- 4 cups of vegetable stock
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 2 cups of polenta
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup of whole milk
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
Ingredients for Veggies:
- 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1 cup of grated Brussels sprouts
- 2 bell peppers, chopped
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 2 cups of chopped mushrooms
- Salt and pepper
First things first — make the polenta. Add the vegetable stock to a heavy pot. Then add butter, milk, parmesan, and polenta. Gently stir and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer.
From there, you’ll need to stir constantly for 20-30 minutes to prevent the mixture for lumping. If you have time, you can do this for up to an hour.
The polenta is done once it no longer has a grainy consistency — rather, it has a creamy texture. When finished, stir in parsley and place in a large baking dish to cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let cool for a few hours. Cut into smaller squares when ready to serve.
In a large mixing bowl, start by whisking together balsamic vinegar, olive oil and garlic. Toss with vegetables and add salt and pepper, if you wish.
Add vegetables to a large skillet and turn heat to medium-high. Cook until tender and remove from pan. In that same pan, add polenta pieces and cook one to two minutes on each side for an added crispiness. Remove from heat and arrange on a serving platter. Pile veggies over the top and serve.
Whether you’re doing meat or dairy for your Feast of Dedication, you’ll need some tasty sides to round things out. We’ve opted to keep these recipes within Kosher guidelines to make it easier for those with limited diets to find something to feast on, whether you go with meat, dairy or neither.
Lemon Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Hearty and simple, these little potatoes are the perfect companion to any meat dish, as well as something a little cheesier. In short, they’re great for any type of Hanukkah get together.
- 2 pounds of mixed fingerling potatoes
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- ¼ cup of lemon juice
- ½ cup of extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup of water
- 1 tablespoon of thyme
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Arrange potatoes in a baking dish, in one even layer.
Add olive oil, water, garlic, lemon juice, fennel seeds and thyme to a small mixing bowl and whisk until combined.
Add salt and pepper, to taste, then pour over the potatoes. Gently toss until all potatoes are covered. Top your dish with foil and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove the dish and increase the heat to 425 degrees.
Remove the foil cover and put the dish back in the oven.
Cook for an additional 25 minutes, turning a few times.
Remove from heat and serve.
Roasted Root Vegetable Casserole
This is a simple dish. It’s warm-hued, easy to make, and adaptable if you feel like changing the vegetable game to suit your needs — or whatever happens to be in your pantry.
- ½ cup of dried cranberries
- ½ cup of grated golden beets
- 3 pounds of medium sweet potatoes
- 6 large carrots, cut into small medallions
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 1 cup of packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup of orange juice
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
In small bowl, cover the dried cranberries with hot water and let sit for about 30 minutes.
Fill a large pot with water and cover. Bring liquid to a boil and cook sweet potatoes and carrots on medium heat for about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Arrange the sweet potatoes and carrots in a lightly greased baking dish, then top with shredded beets.
Drain the cranberries and add to a small saucepan.
Turn heat to medium-high and add vegan butter, brown sugar and orange juice.
When sugar has dissolved, pour the mixture over the vegetables.
Place the dish in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes. The sauce should be bubbling.
Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes and stir before serving.
Kitchen Supplies for the Best Hanukkah Recipes
Before the holiday season gets under way, you’ll want to check out Ceramcor for some new supplies to help you have a happier, healthier Hanukkah. Need a Dutch oven that can handle your Hanukkah brisket? A non-stick skillet for legendary latkes? Or, maybe a fresh set of bakeware that can handle both the sweet and the savory? We’ve got it covered. Check out our extensive list of product categories and get the tools you need to make your favorite Hanukkah dishes today!