23 festive recipes for your Rosh Hashanah feast
Smaller-batch gefilte fish, apple noodle kugel and more dishes fit for celebrating the New Year
This article was originally published September 15, 2020 and was updated August 30, 2021 with our most recent recipes.
Many Jewish holidays are invariably tied to the festive foods eaten to mark their occasion, but Rosh Hashanah may bring out the best menus of them all. Both a joyous celebration to signify the start of the Jewish New Year and an opportunity for deep reflection and intention setting, Rosh Hashanah inspires meals that feel special, abundant and nostalgic — to put it plainly, they just hit different. Maybe it's that first sip of steaming chicken soup after a humid summer, or the influx of fall harvest vegetables. Or maybe it's the lush, pillowy challah that's served in place of the matzah eaten on Passover. Whatever it is, one thing is certain — there will be enough apple-and-honey-scented dishes served to wish you a sweet New Year and then some.
While the specific foods always vary from table to table, and between Ashkenazi, Sephardic and Mizrahi traditions, it's likely that most meals will look a little different in this strange, unprecedented time. Below is a collection of recipes you can pick and choose from to fill out your menu — whatever it may look like this year. They are curated to suit a meat-based meal, and are almost entirely dairy-free, aside from a butter glaze that can be subbed with margarine, a few Parmesan garnishes that can easily be left off, and a couple desserts that make use of cream and butter. There are simplified takes on staples like challah, brisket and gefilte fish, and plenty of nods to symbolic ingredients, like apples, honey, beets, pomegranate and dates. The majority are built to serve between four to eight people, so they're ideal for a pared down feast, but can easily be doubled or halved to suit your celebration's needs. Pair them with a batch of Bubbe's chicken soup and you're all set. Shana Tova!