Whether you spell it Hanukkah, or Chanukah, this Jewish holiday is a special time for families to celebrate with lots of delicious food. If you follow a vegan diet, or will be hosting vegan eaters during the Festival of Lights, we've got you covered with our egg-free, dairy-free, and meat-free holiday menu. Brisket may be out, but we've got plenty of delicious dishes for every course of your feast, include veganized versions of traditional Jewish holiday foods. From matzo ball soup and latkes, to egg-free challah, vegan kugel, dessert doughnuts, and the moistest-ever vegan honey cake, here are the best vegan recipes for your Hanukkah table.
Note: In Kosher food, all vegan recipes such as these are considered pareve, a Yiddish word meaning "neutral." This refers to foods that are prepared with neither dairy nor meat products.
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Easy Vegan Baba Ganoush Hummus
Creamy, dreamy, thick, and smooth, this baba ganoush hummus is proof that the holidays don't have to be filled with fattening foods. It is full of flavor and richness from tahini, with a hint of garlic, and nice brightness from lemon, and offers a little protein boost for vegan eaters. Serve it with crudites or vegan flatbreads as an appetizer before the holiday meal.
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Herbed Vegan Mushroom Pate
This appetizer spread isn't chopped liver—it's a vegan pate lover's dream. Made from savory mushrooms, and fresh herbs, it is the ideal smooth and rich-tasting topper for vegan crackers. You can also enjoy it for a protein-rich vegan breakfast or lunch, slathered generously on slices of toasted vegan challah bread.
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Vegan Challah Bread
Vegan water challah is a throwback kosher bakery trend that deserves a revival. Our amazingly egg-free challah recipe yields a spectacular and delicious loaf. Crusty, chewy, and just a hint sweet, it's sure to become your go-to challah bread. The dough is easy to work with, rises beautifully, and comes together in a stand mixer (or use a bread machine if you've got one).
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Vegan Matzo Ball Soup
Your bubbe would approve of this heart-warming matzo ball soup, even though it includes no chicken. The secret to its savory, aromatic, umami-rich broth is mushrooms, which lend the soup a complex depth of flavor. With fluffy matzo balls, it's an essential addition to any vegan Hanukkah feast.
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Split Pea Lentil Soup
Wholesome and comforting, this easy vegan split pea and lentil soup is made for cooler days. It is especially nice for a family Hanukkah celebration or Shabbat dinner. It cooks up in an hour, and is mostly hands-off, for a nourishing starter. Leftovers make a great, protein-rich thermos lunch for vegan kids.
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Pomegranate Apple Salad With Poppy Seed Dressing
Not only is the pomegranate an ancient biblical symbol steeped in Jewish tradition — it is also desirable for its healthy, anti-oxidant benefits, and sweet-tart flavor. We combine juicy, ruby-red pomegranate seeds with sliced green apple, lettuce, and an easy, homemade poppy seed dressing to create this salad you'll make again and again when your family gathers.
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Traditional potato latkes are a must-have for any Hanukkah feast, so we've gone ahead and made them vegan. For the crispiest latkes, choose a high-starch potato such as Russets. It's also a good idea to place the grated potato and onions in a clean tea towel, or cheesecloth, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible before combining them with other ingredients and frying.
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Slow Cooker Applesauce
Create the most magical combination of fall flavors by cooking up a pot of fresh applesauce for topping your Hanukkah potato latkes. Our slow cooker applesauce needs just a short prep time, and cooks hands-free while you prepare the rest of your holiday meal. It also freezes beautifully for making ahead.
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Vegan Couscous Salad With Chickpeas
Filled with chickpeas, and plenty of fresh diced vegetables, all mingling in a light lemon, olive oil, and Dijon vinaigrette, this vegan couscous salad is a healthy side dish that won't weigh you down. Feel free to add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast on top for a cheesy, Parmesan-like finish.
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Lemony Greek Potatoes
Soft and tender on the inside, and crispy on the outside, our lemony Greek potatoes are the bomb. This clever recipe lets you skip the usual parboiling of potatoes, instead of adding water to the roasting pan to produce the fluffiest, most delicious spuds. Just a little olive oil, lemon juice, and dried spices are all you need to maximize their flavor.
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Honey-Glazed Baby Carrots
Honey-glazed carrots are simple to prepare on the stovetop and make a nice addition to Shabbat and holiday meals. Kids especially love their sweet flavor, especially when you toss in plump golden or dark raisins. They also taste good either hot or warm.
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Vegan Sweet Potato Kugel
Sweet potatoes and apples are sweetened with raisins, boosted by matzo meal, and nicely spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg in this homey Jewish kugel. You don't need to squeeze out any liquid from sweet potatoes (as you would with regular spuds), making the prep easier. Simply use a food processor to grate sweet potatoes and apples, combine with a few other ingredients, and bake in a casserole dish until nicely browned and heated through.
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Tzimmes is a traditional and tasty Jewish holiday dish made by cooking down carrots and other root vegetables with dried fruits. The name of the dish means "a big fuss", likely due to all the chopping involved, but it's actually simple to make and can be prepared a day ahead, and reheated. Our Hanukkah-worthy version includes sweet potatoes, carrots, prunes, and cinnamon, all sweetened with orange juice and brown sugar.
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Vegan Wild Rice and Mushroom Pilaf
Quintessential fall ingredients, such as mushrooms and almonds, combine in this wild rice pilaf. It is an excellent vegan and vegetarian entree for your holiday dinner table, and a great, savory side dish for every day. Feel free to vary the herbs to suit your tastes (fresh thyme and parsley would be nice additions).
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Vegan and Gluten-Free Lentil Loaf
While you may not think of mock meatloaf when it comes to the high holidays, it is a clever vegan alternative to the traditional meat brisket often served at Hanukkah. Packed with fiber, and healthy plant-based protein, and smothered in a tangy, tomatoey sauce, this flavorful lentil loaf is sure to become a new favorite in your vegan household.
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Fried doughnuts are an iconic Hanukkah dessert. Like other traditional foods enjoyed around this holiday, our vegan doughnuts are fried in oil to pay homage to the miracle of Hanukkah, when a small portion of oil kept the menorah in the Jewish temple lit for eight days instead of one. Enjoy them plain, drizzle on a vegan glaze, or fill them with jelly or jam for a vegan version of sufganiyot.
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Vegan Jewish Honey Cake
Honey cake is an essential dessert to serve at festive Jewish meals. This vegan honey cake doesn't skimp a bit on moistness, thanks to applesauce and oil in the batter. It will fill your home with cozy fall baking aromas and is a sweet way to wind up your holiday meal.