The holidays are a beautiful time when people of all faiths and creeds come together to celebrate joy, and the Hebrew Festival of Lights, also known as Hanukkah, is no different. While meals are a cornerstone of so many end-of-year holidays, Hanukkah’s tie to fried foods—honoring the story of the miracle flask of oil that stayed lit for eight days instead of one—is deep-seated, making those seasonal indulgences like latkes and doughnuts so much more cherished this time of year.
Today, we decided to spotlight recipes that offer a twist on those treasured flavors, a way to extend the life of your favorites and produce plates sure to impress your guests at any time of year. One key to that formula is versatility. Want to throw a brunch party? Try babka French toast on for size. Looking for something sweeter? You may enjoy double-filled doughnuts with strawberry jam and vanilla cream. Of course, any of these would be welcome at a traditional Hanukkah feast as well. For them and more, browse our eight easy Hanukkah-inspired recipes below, and be sure to make time to enjoy your creations with friends and family during this special time of year—and beyond.
This beautiful, knotted loaf is a delicious take on the Hanukkah tradition. Hola Jalepeño’s Kate Ramos even provides a recipe for adobo-lime butter to give this snack a kick.
Latkes are one of the easiest foods to make during Hanukkah, so try out this twist on the recipe from Hello Glow. Sweet potatoes can turn your latkes a warm, orange color and add a hint of sweetness, too.
What could be easier than throwing everything into a slow cooker and letting your meal prepare itself? If you’re celebrating Hanukkah this year, the appearance of brisket is a distinct possibility, so consider using this recipe from Carlsbad Cravings to simplify your kitchen duties when the time comes.
Adding Nutella to this traditional Hanukkah dessert is a game-winning home run. “The Nutella filling was incredible paired with the pastry dough and walnut mixture,” Brittany Mullins from Eating Bird Food adds. “However, I also really liked the apricot/chocolate filling.”
Oftentimes, symbolism dictates a traditional Jewish meal; around Rosh Hashanah and Hanukkah, horseradish represents the bitterness of slavery that their ancestors endured. Follow this hybrid recipe from Melanie Makes to take full advantage of the root’s distinct flavor.
Fennel and dates are popular ingredients for Jewish dishes throughout the year, so this salad from Eating Bird Food is a spiritual compromise. It does not lack in taste, though, with fresh celery to balance the flavors.
Don’t mind that this recipe was written for Mardi Gras festivities; filled doughnuts are a time-honored dessert for Hanukkah. As a bonus, Sugar Salted’s strawberry jam vanilla cream doughnuts offer two fillings for the price of one.
You could easily make French toast out of the more traditional Hanukkah starch, challah, but if you’ve got babka, flaunt it with this recipe from Half Baked Harvest. Babka is another generously fluffy bread that will soak up your egg batter beautifully making for one delicious plate.