The Ultimate Hanukkah Party Menu

Delicious Dishes for the Festival of Lights

Hanukkah Potato Latkes

The Spruce Eats

Hanukkah is a joyous, annual eight-day holiday for Jewish people around the world. Known as the Festival of Lights, it's the perfect time to gather your family and closest friends for a Hanukkah party complete with festive foods, drinks, gifts, and games.

While the date of the holiday kickoff varies yearly with the Hebrew calendar, a few Hanukkah party rituals are absolute musts. Lighting the Menorah candles (only after sunset), delighting the children with holiday gelt (chocolate coins), playing spin the dreidel, and preparing those traditional Hanukkah foods that many Jewish families wait eagerly all year round to enjoy.

Plan your own holiday event to remember with our ultimate Hanukkah dinner party menu. You'll find easy, delicious recipes here for traditional Hanukkah foods, including latkes, brisket, kugel, and matzo ball soup, plus a few that put a gourmet twist on the usual holiday fare. There are also plenty of make-ahead recipes that get you out of the kitchen so you can spend more time schmoozing with guests. Chag Sameach!

  • 01 of 23

    Chocolate Almond Cocktail

    Chocolate Almond Cocktail

    Anita Schecter

    Let the kids have their chocolate gelt. Grown-ups can get their Hanukkah party on with our creamy, indulgent chocolate almond cocktail. With three layers of chocolate, two layers of almond flavor, and a boozy kick from vodka, it will get everyone doing the Hanukkah dance. Garnish glasses with chocolate syrup and slivered almonds for a festive presentation.

  • 02 of 23

    Sapphire Martini

    Sapphire Martini

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    The sapphire martini is a special occasion cocktail with a soothing blue hue that perfectly matches the blue, white, and silver Hanukkah color palette. You don't even need a shaker for this festive martini made with well-chilled gin, a little orange-flavored blue curaçao, and just a hint of dry vermouth. A twist of lemon peel is the classic garnish.

  • 03 of 23

    Braided Challah Bread

    Braided Challah Bread

    The Spruce Eats

    Challah back! Eggy, braided, and beautiful, this Sabbath challah is the traditional loaf you know from the holiday dinners of your childhood. It also makes fantastic French toast, and is a great sandwich bread. This foolproof recipe requires no bread machine, and is one you will use again and again.

  • 04 of 23

    Jewish-Style Chicken Liver Pate

    Jewish-Style Chicken Liver Pate

    The Spruce Eats

    Jewish-style chicken liver pate is an economical spin on foie gras. This tasty appetizer spread for crackers comes together in the food processor with chopped liver, hard-boiled eggs, sautéed garlic and onions, nutmeg, and black pepper. Plan ahead for overnight refrigeration to let flavors blend.

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  • 05 of 23

    Hummus

    Hummus

    The Spruce Eats

    The Mexicans have guacamole, Japan has ponzu, and the Jewish people have hummus. Our classic hummus dip made with chickpeas and tahini is nicely lemony, and you can add as much garlic as you like to suit your palate. Smooth, tasty, and high in protein and fiber, it doubles as an excellent sandwich spread. Garnish with a drizzle of sesame oil, a sprinkling of chopped parsley, and a dusting of cumin or paprika.

  • 06 of 23

    Instant Pot Matzo Ball Soup

    Instant Pot Matzo Ball Soup

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

    Technology meets tradition in this genius recipe that uses the Instant Pot to make a matzo ball soup even your bubbie will approve. In just 30 minutes, the pressure cooker creates a rich broth that tastes like it simmered all day on the stove. Simmer matzo balls right in the soup to infuse them with chicken flavor.

  • 07 of 23

    Hanukkah Potato Latkes

    Hanukkah Potato Latkes

    The Spruce Eats

    No Hanukkah menu would be complete without traditional potato latkes. This recipe uses a food processor to shred the potatoes and onions, giving your arm muscles a break, while yielding latkes with a smoother, more uniform texture than hand-grated versions. Serve with sour cream and applesauce on the side for dipping.

  • 08 of 23

    Rainbow Slaw

    Rainbow Slaw

    The Spruce Eats / Preethi Venkatram

    This crunchy and colorful Asian-style slaw has a brightness that provides a great balance for heavier Hanukkah entrees, including beef brisket. It's easy to toss together in minutes, and tastes even better after chilling in the fridge for an hour or two.

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  • 09 of 23

    Beet Salad With Walnuts and Cheese

    Beet Salad With Walnuts and Cheese

    The Spruce Eats

    Combine boiled or oven-roasted beets with fresh spinach leaves, tangy feta cheese, and a lightly sweet honey balsamic vinaigrette to create a pretty, refreshing salad starter for your holiday meal. Feel free to assemble the salad ingredients well ahead of dinner time, and add the dressing just before serving.

  • 10 of 23

    Instant Pot Kugel

    noodle kugel slice on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

    When the oven is occupied with other Hanukkah foods, this Instant Pot kugel recipe will sure come in handy. Traditional ingredients such as egg noodles, cottage cheese, sour cream, eggs, cinnamon, and sugar are mixed together and pressure cooked. A cornflake crumb mixture is placed on top and the kugel is broiled until crispy.

  • 11 of 23

    Lemon Ricotta Noodle Kugel With Dried Cherries

    Lemon Ricotta Noodle Kugel with Dried Cherries

    Miri Rotkovitz

    Makeover the traditional noodle kugel with this gourmet-inspired variation that uses light and fluffy ricotta in place of cottage cheese. Lemons add brightness to the custard, which is studded, with tart-dried cherries and sweet golden raisins for fabulous color and flavor.

  • 12 of 23

    Broccoli Kugel

    Broccoli Kugel

    Miri Rotkovitz

    Guests who are cutting carbs can enjoy this noodle- and potato-free kugel that doesn't skimp on flavor. Nutritious broccoli is the main ingredient in the baked casserole, which includes eggs, onion, mayonnaise, and whole wheat flour.

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  • 13 of 23

    Israeli Couscous

    Israeli Couscous

    Anita Schecter

    Classic Israeli couscous makes a festive holiday side dish. Combine the steamed grains with roasted chickpeas and cherry tomatoes, seasoning generously with traditional Middle Eastern spices. Decorate the finished dish with crumbled fresh feta cheese to add tangy flavor and a salty kick.

  • 14 of 23

    Roasted Carrots With Za'atar

    Roasted Carrots With Za'atar

    Anita Schecter

    Carrots take on a delicious sweetness when roasted in a hot oven, adding a depth of flavor that is unknown to the raw vegetable. Flavor roasted carrots simply with olive oil and Middle Eastern za'atar seasoning for a gorgeous side dish that pairs well with roasted chicken and baked fish dishes.

  • 15 of 23

    Slow Cooker Beef Brisket With Potatoes

    Slow Cooker Beef Brisket With Potatoes

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

    For many Jewish families, Hanukkah means tucking into a plateful of saucy, fork-tender beef brisket, surrounded by roasted vegetables. This beef brisket pot roast with potatoes, carrots, and onions cooks-hands free in the crockpot, leaving your oven free for other dishes, and delivers all the saucy, slow-cooked flavor you crave.

  • 16 of 23

    Moroccan Chicken Tagine

    Moroccan Chicken Tagine

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    Cook tender chicken pieces with preserved lemons, olives, and onions for an impressive, flavorful Moroccan-style Hanukkah entree. Don't worry if your kitchen lacks a tagine. A regular baking dish also works—just use the tips included in the recipe.

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  • 17 of 23

    Spinach Matzo Lasagna

    Spinach Matzo Lasagna

    Leah Maroney

    Spinach matzo lasagna is so much like the real thing, you may have to convince guests you made it with pasta. When baked, the Jewish crackers have a soft, noodle-like texture that is a dead ringer for noodle sheets, especially when you layer them with creamy white sauce and three types of cheese. Bake the lasagna up to three days ahead, and keep covered tightly in the fridge until ready to reheat.

  • 18 of 23

    Baked Flounder With Lemon and Butter

    Baked Flounder With Lemon and Butter

    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska

    Flounder is a kosher fish with a delicate texture that is easily enhanced with simple seasonings. This flavorful baked flounder in a seasoned lemon-butter sauce is simple to prepare and makes an elegant entree at your holiday meal. The recipe includes tips for making a delicious garlic aioli to serve on the side.

  • 19 of 23

    Kosher Apricot Chicken

    Kosher Apricot Chicken

    Stacie Peterson / Getty Images

    Kosher apricot chicken is so delicious, your family may demand that you make it all year-round. Season tender chicken pieces with paprika, cover them in a garlicky apricot jam and mayonnaise marinade, and place in the fridge to take on flavors all day. When guests arrive, pop the dish into the oven to bake for a sweet delectable main course.

  • 20 of 23

    Baked Salmon Steaks With Sour Cream and Dill

    Baked Salmon Steaks With Sour Cream and Dill

    The Spruce Eats

    Bake salmon steaks with a creamy sour cream and dill topping for a healthful Hanukkah dinner, with a satisfyingly creamy taste. Serve atop a bed of vegetable-studded couscous for a complete main dish.

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  • 21 of 23

    Hanukkah Jelly Doughnuts (Sufganiyot)

    Hanukkah Jelly Doughnuts

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

    Deep-fried jelly doughnuts (sufganiyot) are one of the true joys of celebrating the Festival of Lights. You will need to set aside a couple of hours for the dough to rise before rolling, cutting into rounds, and filling with preserves. Leave doughnuts for another hour to puff up some more before pan-frying and topping with powdered sugar to serve.

  • 22 of 23

    Jewish Chocolate Babka

    Jewish Chocolate Babka

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    Bake up a sweet and delicious Hanukkah dessert with this bakery-style chocolate babka. A streusel topping adds crunch to the sweet and fluffy loaf. Enjoy it after the Hanukkah meal, and then snack on it for breakfast the next day.

  • 23 of 23

    Whole Grain Jewish Apple Cake

    Whole Grain Jewish Apple Cake

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

    If you adore your bubbe's Jewish apple cake recipe, but want to cut back on heavy desserts, look no further. Our genius whole grain apple cake has less sugar, and half the fat, of classic versions, and uses white whole wheat flour for a healthy nutrient boost. You'll still get a sturdy cake with a dense crumb, and all that delicious apple flavor.