Your Complete Guide to Hanukkah Entertaining

Serve immediately

​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

With eight nights to celebrate Hanukkah, there's plenty of opportunity to experiment with new recipes, entertain guests, or start new family food traditions in honor of the Festival of Lights. Whether you want to play with new latke recipes, track down the perfect gelt, need edible gift ideas, or want help on the menu front, this planner is full of recipes and tips to help your Hanukkah festivities shine. 

  • 01 of 11

    Traditional Hanukkah Potato Latkes (Parve)

    Traditional Hanukkah Potato Latkes

    The Spruce

    For many, it's just not a Hanukkah celebration without crisp, golden potato latkes. If you don't have a favorite family recipe, this one, made with grated potatoes and onions, will do the trick!

  • 02 of 11

    Beyond Basic Latkes - 10 Fantastic Latke Recipes

    Zucchini and Feta Latkes
    Zucchini and Feta Latkes. Credit: Arx0nt / Getty Images

    Potato latkes may be a Hanukkah tradition, but if you plan to make them throughout the eight-day holiday, it's definitely more interesting to mix things up a bit. You'll find lots of fresh takes on traditional latkes here, from Zucchini Feta Latkes (perfect if you're playing up dairy foods in honor of the heroine Yehudit, aka Judith) to Curried Sweet Potato Latkes. There are even some vegan potato latkes featuring corn, leeks, broccoli, or cauliflower.

  • 03 of 11

    Latke Making 101: How-to Tips For Making Perfect Potato Pancakes


    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Having lots of latke recipes is all very well and good, but if you don't fry food regularly, making them can be a daunting task. These tips will have you frying delicious Hanukkah latkes like a pro (and should also help you improve your general frying technique, too - perfect if you want to try your hand at sufganiot)!

  • 04 of 11

    Sufganiot aka Israeli Jelly Doughnuts (Parve)

    Hanukkah doughnuts sufganiot recipe

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Especially popular in Israel, sufganiot are deep-fried doughnuts traditionally filled with jelly, though bakeries have gotten increasingly creative with their fillings in recent years. Of course, freshly made doughnuts are hard to beat, so why not give this recipe for yeast-raised jelly doughnuts a try?

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    A Fun, Festive Hanukkah Menu (Meat)

    Brisket on the barbecue
    Brisket on the barbecue. Credit: Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

    Sure, you could throw a Hanukkah party with nothing but latkes and sufganiot. But if you want to offer a more substantial menu, this one features crowd pleasers like brisket with mango barbecue sauce, lots of veggies, and latkes (of course!), followed by a refreshing olive oil infused lemon sorbet and cookies. 

  • 06 of 11

    Cut-Out Decorated Hanukkah Cookies (Dairy or Parve)

    Hanukkah cookies
    Hanukkah cookies decorated with sanding sugar. Tamelyn Feinstein/Getty Images

    If you've got Hanukkah cookie cutters on hand, put them to good use with this cut out cookie recipe. The dough doesn't need to be chilled before rolling, so it's ideal if you're short on time, but in the mood to do some holiday baking. 

  • 07 of 11

    Hanukkah Dreidel Surprise Loaf (Dairy)

    Hanukkah dreidel surprise cake recipe

    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

    Want a Hanukkah dessert that travels well to parties, or that's sturdy and crafty enough for gifting? This Hanukkah Dreidel Surprise Loaf is just the ticket. Slice into the vanilla pound cake loaf to reveal an impressive surprise - a contrasting dreidel-shape baked right in!  

  • 08 of 11

    Hanukkah Gelt Thumbprint Cookies (Dairy or Pareve)

    Hanukkah gelt thumbprint cookies recipe

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Want a Hanukkah dessert that doesn't involve deep-frying and jelly-filling yeast-raised dough? These Chocolate Gelt Thumbprint Cookies are proof that sufganiot (jelly doughtnuts) aren't the only game in town!

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    Baked Olive Oil Doughnuts (Dairy)

    Baked olive oil doughnuts

    The Spruce

    Love the idea of Hanukkah doughnuts, but don't relish the time commitment a yeast-raised, deep fried dough requires? These baked cake-like doughnuts are quicker and simpler to make, and thanks to the addition of olive oil in both the batter and the topping, they still resonate as a dessert worthy of the Festival of Lights.

  • 10 of 11

    Stuffed Potato and Cheese Latke Cups (Dairy)

    Stuffed Potato Cheese Latke Cups
    Potato Cheese Latke Cups, stuffed with salsa and goat cheese, with a variety of toppings. Miri Rotkovitz

    Latkes you can eat with your hands and don't need to fry? Yes, please! These two-bite potato and cheese latkes are baked in mini muffin cups, so they're tender on the inside, a little crispy on the outside, and super-easy to make. They work with all sorts of creative toppings, from smoked salmon and goat cheese, to salsa and avocado. Best of all, you can eat them with your hands, so they make great party fare paired with cocktails, wine, or beer.

  • 11 of 11

    The Best Kosher Wines Under $20

    Selection of Kosher Wines
    A selection of kosher wines under $20. © Miri Rotkovitz

    Speaking of wine, it not only livens up party menus, it also makes a perfect Hanukkah gift. This roundup of affordable kosher wines offers a little something for everyone, and features varietals from around the world.