Hanukkah Dinner Recipes to Celebrate the Festival of Lights

From the mouth-watering aroma of brisket to the satisfying sweet finish of jelly donuts, we've got all the Hanukkah dinner recipes you need this year.

Updated November 29, 2023
Hanukkah dinner

Settle into all the flavors and aromas of Hanukkah this year with traditional dishes that celebrate the festival of lights. From the crispy latkes to a sweet jelly donut finish, these Hanukkah dinner recipes offer a perfect taste of the season. 

Must-Have Staples for Hanukkah

No Hanukkah table is complete without these traditional favorites. With a celebratory beef brisket so tender and savory you'll swear it was your mother's to a delicately powdered sufganiyot, get ready to savor the flavors of Hanukkah.

Beef Brisket

There's nothing like the smell of a brisket cooking to let you know it's time to celebrate. This dish is also great to make early and reheat in the oven. In fact, many people prefer when it's been reheated.

Beef Brisket
Serves: 10 Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 3½ hours Total time: 3¾ hours


  • 4 pounds beef brisket
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 yellow onions, thickly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 6 carrots, peeled and sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Season the brisket with salt and pepper while you heat the oil in a large skillet on medium heat.
  3. Place brisket in the skillet and cook until the meat is a rich brown on the bottom.
  4. Flip the meat over and cook on other side until the meat is browned all over.
  5. Once browned, put brisket, fat side up, in a roasting pan and fill with enough beef broth to almost cover the roast.
  6. Add garlic and onions to the pan.
  7. Cover and bake for about 3 hours.
  8. Add carrots, replace the cover, and bake for 30 more minutes.

Potato Latkes

Potato Latkes

No Hanukkah meal is complete without these potato pancakes. This latke recipe is a traditional one, producing warm, crisp latkes. The Kitchn has a classic recipe for crispy latkes.


Homemade potato kugel

This classic egg noodle casserole is a staple of Jewish holiday meals. With sugar and cottage cheese, it's both sweet and satisfying.

Serves: 10 Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 1 hour Total time: 1½ hours


  • 12 ounces dried egg noodles, cooked according to package instructions and drained
  • ½ cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 8 eggs, separated
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  2. Put the noodles in the baking dish.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, eggs, sugar, cottage cheese, sour cream, vanilla, and sea salt.
  4. Pour the mixture over the noodles.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until the custard is set, 50 minutes to an hour. Allow to rest for 20 minutes before cutting into slices.


With sweet jelly and a soft golden donut, sufganiyot is a perfect end to a Hanukkah meal.

Serves: 12 Prep time: 1 hour Cook/rise time: 2 hours Total time: 3 hours


  • ¼ cup milk, at 105°F to 110°F
  • 1 packet of yeast
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for sprinkling
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 cup currant jelly or jam
  • Powdered sugar


  1. In a small bowl, add the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar to the warm milk. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, until bubbly.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar with the egg and the egg yolk. Beat in the sour cream, vanilla, salt, and milk-yeast mixture.
  3. Working ¼ cup at a time, stir in the flour until an elastic ball of dough is formed.
  4. Sprinkle flour on your work surface and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about five minutes.
  5. Coat a bowl with oil, brush the dough with oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to rise until doubled, about an hour.
  6. Punch down the dough and knead on a floured surface four or five times. Roll out the dough to ¼-inch thickness.
  7. Use a cutter to cut into 2-inch rounds. Cover the rounds and allow them to rise for 30 minutes.
  8. Heat 3 to 4 inches frying oil in a large pot to 375°F. Working in batches, fry the dough until it is golden on the outside, about 3 minutes. Turn and fry an additional minute.
  9. Drain on paper towels and cool until you can easily handle them.
  10. Use a dowel to make holes in the donuts and make space for the jelly. Pipe in the jelly. Sprinkle with powdered sugar as garnish.

More Hanukkah Main Dish Recipes

Even if brisket is the main attraction, add a second main or try one of these in place of the beef. 

Apricot-Roasted Chicken

This recipe adds a sweet twist with apricots and cherries. The onions help keep the dish savory, and it pairs perfectly with latkes.

Apricot Chicken
Serves: 8 Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 1 hour Total time: 1¼ hours


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • ½ cup dried apricots
  • ¼ cup dried cherries
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Dash of seasoned salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the stove on high and sauté the onions lightly for about five minutes.
  3. Once onions are done, lay them across the bottom of a roasting pan, fully covering the bottom.
  4. Brush the chicken with the remaining olive oil and season with sea salt and a dash of seasoned salt. Put chicken in a roasting pan on top of onions.
  5. Roast the chicken in the oven for 20 minutes, then sprinkle apricots and cherries on top. Cover the pan and put it back in the oven for about 20-30 more minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

Braised Lamb Shanks

This warm and nourishing dish is special enough that it's the perfect hearty Hanukkah main. 

Lamb Shanks
Serves: 6 Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 3 hours Total time: 3¼ hours


  • 6 lamb shanks
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher (coarse grained) salt
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 bottle robust red wine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 cups water or beef broth
  • 4 bay leaves


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Coat a large cast-iron pot with olive oil, place on a burner at medium, and heat on the stove until hot. Season the lamb shanks with salt and then put them in the pot and brown them on all sides.
  3. Purée the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic into a paste.
  4. Remove the lamb shanks and discard the fat from the bottom of the cast-iron pot.
  5. Add more olive oil and the puréed vegetables. Season with salt to taste and sauté until they are brown and crust the bottom of the pot, but don't let them burn.
  6. Add the can of tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the wine, rosemary, and thyme. Cook until the wine has reduced to half, stirring frequently.
  7. Put the shanks in the pot and add in the water so that the shanks are submerged. Add the bay leaves, cover, and put the pot in the oven for 2 to 2.5 hours. Turn the shanks over halfway through cooking. 
  8. Take off the lid and continue cooking for another 30 minutes.

Side Dish Recipes for Hanukkah Dinner

We know you're going to have kugel and latkes, but one or more of these delicious sides are the perfect accompaniment. 

Couscous Pilaf

A well-known dish in Middle Eastern countries, you can flavor pilaf a variety of fruits, vegetables and spices. Try The Nosher's tasty recipe for Israeli couscous pilaf.

Braised Turnips and Radishes

Make a braise of roasted root vegetables for a delicious veggie side. Roasting them in the oven lends deep, caramelized flavors to the veggies. 

Glazed Carrots

Honey glazed roasted carrots

Glazed carrots also make a delicious traditional holiday side dish. Try this sweet honey-roasted carrots recipe from The Jewish Kitchen. 

Dessert for Your Hanukkah Dinner

We know you have a little room left for dessert! Along with jelly donuts, offer one or both of these sweet endings to your meal. 


Babka is the perfect sweet finish to a Hanukkah meal. Try this elegant babka recipe from Rouses Markets

Hanukkah Gelt

No Hanukkah is complete without gelt, and it's not terribly difficult to make your own. Put a personal touch on your gelt this year with this homemade gelt recipe from Taste of Home

Home for Hanukkah

If you don't eat all the delicious foods and wind up stuffed, is it really a Hanukkah dinner? Share the holiday with your loved ones and put some beautiful foods on the table to celebrate Hanukkah this year. 

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Hanukkah Dinner Recipes to Celebrate the Festival of Lights