Kosher Traditional Meat Cholent Recipe

A bowl of meat cholent

Becky/Flickr/CC By-SA 2.0

Ratings (10)
  • Total: 4 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 4 hrs
  • Yield: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
342 Calories
8g Fat
44g Carbs
24g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Cholent is the quintessential Jewish food. Jewish law prohibits lighting a fire and cooking on the Sabbath. So how can an observant Jewish family eat a hot, nourishing meal on the Sabbath? Cholent, a slow-cooked, bean-barley stew, has been the answer for centuries. Legumes are not only suited for slow cooking and nutritious, but they are also economical. While today there are a great variety of ethnic-influenced cholent recipes, this recipe is for traditional meat cholent.


  • 1/2 lb. dried beans (lima, navy, great northern, chickpeas, or a mix)
  • 3 lbs. potatoes
  • 1-1/2 lbs. lean flanken, cut in cubes
  • 3 onions
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 4 qts. of water

Steps to Make It

  1. Soak the beans in water overnight. Drain.

  2. Place the remaining ingredients, along with the soaked and drained beans, in a large Dutch oven.

  3. Bring to a boil. Skim froth from the top.

  4. Lower heat and cover tightly. Cholent may be baked for 24 hours at 250 F. For quicker cooking, bake at 350 F for 4-5 hours.


  • Water should cover throughout the cooking process so the cholent won't become dry. Check the water before going to bed on Friday night and add more if necessary. Recheck the water in the morning and add more if necessary.

  • Before the Sabbath begins, lay 4-6 hard boiled eggs in their shells on top of the stew in the pot. Cover. The eggs will turn a light brown color and absorb the flavor of the stew. At the meal, gently remove the eggs from the stew, peel away the shells, cut into quarters and serve along with the cholent.

  • Eat a small portion of cholent. This stew is heavy and legume-rich, which can be hard on one's digestive system.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Pickles are a traditional accompaniment with cholent.

  • Serve cholent for the Saturday Sabbath lunch. It's heavy, and sleep-inducing qualities put everyone in the mood for a Sabbath nap.