As Sukkot is a festival celebrating the fall harvest, Sukkot menus typically include dishes with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season. But traditional Ashkenazic dishes also make their way to the holiday table that is often set under the sukkah, a temporary outdoor hut decorated in autumnal foliage. Stuffed vegetables are also commonly served for this Jewish holiday, and some say the stuffed foods, like small cornucopias, represent a bountiful harvest.
Choose from a variety of dishes to create a colorful and flavorful menu for a dinner or lunch under the sukkah.
An evening meal under the sukkah just feels special—dining under the stars in a beautifully decorated hut surrounded by family and friends. Complete the experience with any of these delicious recipes.
- Gefilte Fish -- This classic recipe for homemade gefilte fish is an Ashkenazi menu fixture not just for Sukkot, but also for Shabbat and other holidays like Passover. Whitefish, along with vegetables, herbs, eggs, and seasonings are ground and blended together and formed into small loaves or balls. The gefilte fish is then boiled in a flavorful broth and chilled.
- Chicken Matzo Ball Soup -- Since Sukkot is celebrated in the fall, there's often a nip in the air. Soups like this one are the perfect way to keep guests comfortable while dining al fresco in the sukkah. This soup begins with a whole chicken and includes lots of vegetables. The matzo balls are made from scratch, but you can use a mix if you like.
- Meat Stuffed Peppers -- Stuffed foods are a traditional addition to Sukkot menus, so these peppers are a natural fit. You can use ground beef or turkey according to your preference, or if you'll be hosting vegetarian guests, consider replacing the meat with a ground beef substitute, cheese, or beans.
- Roast Chicken With Vegetables -- This traditional Shabbat entree is perfect for Sukkot since you can surround the chicken with vegetables that are at their peak. Use a whole chicken or chicken parts to eliminate the need for carving.
- Sweet Potato Kugel -- Sweet potatoes are prevalent fall produce and make for family-friendly side dishes. This potato kugel combines sweet and Yukon Gold potatoes in a dairy-free recipe filled with apples and carrots with a hint of lemon and cinnamon.
- Fruit Compote -- This simple dessert features stewed apricots, plums, and raisins and makes a nice alternative (or complement) to heavier sweets. The dried fruit is simmered and then combined with sugar, lemon rind, cloves, and allspice and cooked until a thick syrup develops.
- Classic Kosher Apple Cake -- Apples seem only fitting at the Sukkot table, and not just because fall is apple season but also since Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is roughly two weeks before Sukkot. A symbol of a "sweet new year" is the apple, and one of the most traditional desserts is the Jewish Apple Cake. This recipe features layers of cinnamon apples in the batter that bakes into a beautiful tube or Bundt cake.
Sukkot Lunch Meal
What better way to enjoy a beautiful fall day than to have lunch in the sukkah? From fresh, seasonal salads to flavorful fruit crisps, there are wonderful recipes for your celebratory mid-day meal.
- Pomegranate Apple Salad With Poppy Seed Dressing -- Fall fruits shine in this simple but beautiful seasonal salad of apples and pomegranates. The tangy homemade poppy seed dressing featuring mustard and onion is the ideal foil for the sweet fruits.
- Butternut Squash and Leek Lasagna -- This vegetarian lasagna calls for roasting the butternut squash, which brings out its nutty flavor. When layered with a leek bechamel (white sauce) in between noodles, you've got a delicious lasagna the whole family will enjoy.
- Oven-Fried Breaded Chicken -- This kid-friendly recipe is quick and easy, and delicious eaten warm, room temp, or even cold, making it a great make-ahead dish. These breaded chicken strips are also egg-free, perfect for anyone with an allergy.
- Tzimmes With Honey -- Tzimmes is a mixture of fruits and vegetables that is cooked slowly until soft and tender. In this recipe, roasted carrots, sweet potatoes, and prunes combine with the flavors of orange, honey, and cinnamon, perfectly showcasing the flavors of fall.
- Classic Potato Kugel -- Sometimes called potato pudding, this Eastern European Jewish dish is a staple at Shabbat and holiday tables, and a great warm side to serve in the sukkah. Grated potatoes and onions are mixed with eggs, oil, flour, and seasonings and baked in a casserole until golden brown and crispy on top. Delicious served with a dollop of sour cream.
- Apple and Dried Cherry Crisp -- Whether you went apple picking or grabbed some at the farmers market, this fruit crisp is a great way to showcase the quintessential fall fruit. And when combined with dried tart cherries, oats, cinnamon, ginger, maple syrup, and pecans, you have a dessert that is sweet and tart with warm spices and a wonderful crunch.