Tzimmes

Tzimmes

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni 

  • Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Yield: Serves 8-10
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
586 Calories
15g Fat
119g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: Serves 8-10
Amount per serving
Calories 586
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 128mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 119g 43%
Dietary Fiber 13g 47%
Protein 7g
Calcium 165mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Tzimmes is a traditional and delicious Jewish dish that usually includes carrots and other root vegetables, dried fruit such as prunes or raisins. It's cooked over low heat and typically sweetened with honey or sugar. It's often served at Rosh Hashanah when it is traditional to have sweet and honey-infused dishes in honor of the New Year. Sweet foods symbolize the wish for a good, sweet year ahead. It is also customary to eat foods whose names in the vernacular allude to blessing and prosperity and the Yiddish word for carrot, or "meren," means to multiply. Tzimmes is also often served at Hanukkah and Passover, but when a dish is this delicious, it certainly doesn’t need to be a holiday to make it!

In Yiddish, the word tzimmes means “a big fuss,” probably due to the large amount of chopping, slicing, and mixing required. It is also often served alongside brisket or roast chicken. In fact, sometimes the meat is stirred into the stew itself. Tzimmes is one of those traditional Jewish dishes that seem to have dozens of variations. Carrots and honey are standard, but beyond that, you might find sweet potato, butternut squash, apricots, raisins, cinnamon, orange juice, brown sugar, nutmeg, prunes, maple syrup, stew meat, apples, and even broth. 

To make things easier when cooking for a crowd, this dish can be made the day before and reheated. Tzimmes is a wonderful addition to any festive meal, any time of the year. 

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 2 pounds medium carrots
  • 2 cups prunes (pitted)
  • 3 teaspoons orange zest (freshly grated)
  • 1 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (cold and cubed)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch pan or 5-quart baking dish and set aside. 

    Tzimmes ingredients
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  2. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes and carrots into 1 1/2-inch chunks.

    Peel and chop the sweet potatoes and carrots
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  3. In a large bowl, combine the chopped sweet potatoes and carrots with the prunes.

    combine the chopped sweet potatoes and carrots with the prunes
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  4. Zest one of the oranges to measure 3 teaspoons of orange zest. 

    Zest
    The Spruce /  Kristina Vanni
  5. Squeeze the juice from the remaining oranges to measure 1 cup of orange juice.

    Squeeze the juice
    The Spruce /  Kristina Vanni
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the orange zest, orange juice, water, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, Kosher salt, and black pepper. 

    combine the orange zest, orange juice, water, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, Kosher salt, and black pepper
    The Spruce /  Kristina Vanni
  7. Place the vegetable mixture into the prepared pan or baking dish, and pour the liquid over the vegetables. 

    Place the vegetable mixture into the prepared pan or baking dish
    The Spruce /  Kristina Vanni
  8. Cover with foil or top with a lid and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.

    Cover with foil or top with a lid and bake
    The Spruce /  Kristina Vanni
  9. Uncover and dot with butter. Bake 45 to 60 minutes longer, carefully stirring every 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and sauce is thickened.

    Tzimmes Recipe
    The Spruce /  Kristina Vanni
  10. Enjoy!