27 Traditional Jewish Dishes

With such a rich culture, it’s not surprising that Jewish people have some incredible traditional dishes.

From chocolate babka to homemade bagels, there are plenty of recipes you can try at home, Jewish or not! 

27 Traditional Jewish Dishes

We’ve compiled a list of over 20 tasty Jewish recipes for you to try at home or during the Hanukkah season.

After trying these dishes, you’ll want to eat them every day of the week!

1. Chicken Matzo Ball Soup

A traditional Jewish comfort dish is matzo ball soup (see also ‘23 Of The Most Popular American Soups‘).

Dumpling-like matzo balls are warm and comforting when steamed in a delicious chicken broth.

This dish tastes best when it’s loaded with chicken and finely chopped vegetables.

This soup is good all year round, but it’s especially delicious at Passover Seders.

Ingredients

  • Chicken wings
  • Carrots
  • Celery stalks
  • Onion, cut into wedges
  • Cold water
  • Black peppercorns
  • Flat-leaf parsley
  • Bay leaf
  • Club soda
  • Canola oil
  • Eggs
  • Matzo meal
  • Fresh dill
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Chicken legs 
  • Fresh chives

2. Chocolate Babka

Every Jewish grandmother has her own variation on babka, but we prefer this chocolate, cinnamon, and orange zest recipe.

Nuts or even dried fruit fillings are also traditional in babka. Whatever your taste, this versatile recipe is bound to please.

Ingredients

  • Water
  • Dry active yeast or fresh yeast
  • Bread flour
  • Sugar
  • Table salt
  • Eggs
  • Canola oil or melted butter
  • Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread
  • Dark chocolate chips

3. Potato Knishes

If you love savory flavors and the texture of pastry, then you’ll love this potato knish recipe.

They are warm balls wrapped in flaky pastry and packed full of potatoes, caramelized onions, and seasoning.

This recipe is so flavorful that you’ll definitely be going back for seconds.

Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Sour cream
  • All-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt
  • Potatoes
  • Onion
  • Instant mashed potatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Hot sauce
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Egg
  • Water
  • Yellow food coloring

4. Latkes

These crispy potato pancakes are delicious and are an essential part of any Jewish meal.

They are simple to make with a short list of ingredients, so even the most inexperienced cook can give this recipe a try.

Deep-fried and flavorful, these latkes make an excellent side dish.

Ingredients

  • Baking potatoes
  • Yellow onion
  • Egg
  • Matzo meal or unseasoned dry breadcrumbs
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Canola oil or chicken schmaltz, or a combination of both
  • Applesauce
  • Sour cream

5. Shakshuka

A fantastic one-pot dish, shakshuka is a delicious and hearty meal for any day of the week.

The soft eggs and spicy tomato sauce in this dish make it a genuine taste sensation. Serve with pita bread and tuck in!

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Red bell pepper
  • Garlic cloves
  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggs
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Fresh parsley

6. Tzimmes

This traditional side dish makes a great addition to any holiday feast, no matter which one you celebrate!

It is a fantastic complement to chicken, turkey, or classic Passover lamb.

It’s a chunky dish made with root vegetables and dried fruit, combining deliciously sweet and mouth-wateringly savory flavors.

Ingredients

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Pitted dried plums
  • Orange juice
  • Water
  • Honey
  • Packed brown sugar
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Dairy-free margarine or butter

7. Honey Challah

It may be a bit more complicated than other Jewish recipes, but making this honey challah bread is definitely worth the work!

This braided loaf has the stunningly sweet flavor of honey and makes a perfect addition to your dessert course at any meal.

Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour
  • Instant/rapid-rise yeast
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Honey
  • Eggs
  • Egg yolk

8. Beet Borscht

This beet borscht is absolutely perfect for the fall months. A piping hot bowl of borscht is all you need to keep you warm as the temperature drops.

What’s amazing about this dish is that it can also be served cold! Serve it at your next summer barbecue too!

Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • Bone-in beef shank or beef stew meat
  • Onion
  • Beef broth or beef stock
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Russet potato
  • Cabbage
  • Fresh dill
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Sour cream
  • Salt 
  • Ground black pepper

9. Mandelbrot

Mandelbrot translates to “almond bread” and is similar to the Italian biscotti.

These twice-baked cookies are an incredible treat, perfect for dipping in hot coffee or a glass of dessert wine!

They are versatile, so feel free to choose any filling you like!

Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Golden raisins 
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Walnuts
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon

10. Kugel

This Jewish classic is a side dish made with noodles or potatoes, filled with carby goodness!

Kugel is filled with butter and cheese, so while it might not be the healthiest recipe, we all need to treat ourselves from time to time! 

Ingredients

  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Eggs
  • Vegetable oil
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Sour cream
  • Chives

11. Bourekas

Another popular Jewish pastry is the tasty boureka. It’s filled with cheese and made with puff pastry for a flaky, light taste.

Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and you’ve got a boureka! You can grab one during many Jewish holidays, so give it a try!

Ingredients

  • Russet potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, or non-hydrogenated margarine, or unsalted butter
  • Onion
  • Garlic cloves
  • Sea salt or kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Eggs
  • Puff pastry sheets or precut squares
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

12. Charoset

What a perfect dish for the fall season. Charoset is made with baked apples, cinamon, and walnuts, making for a delicious, warm dessert during those cold nights.

It’s the perfect way to finish off any meal, especially during Passover.

Ingredients

  • Gala or Fuji apples
  • Walnuts
  • Sweet red wine
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Packed brown sugar

13. Cherry Cheese Blintzes

These cheesy danish roll-ups drizzled in cherry sauce may sound odd, but trust us when we say that they are delectable!

Traditionally served during Shavuot, these cherry cheese blintzes are the perfect treat. Don’t judge it before you try it!

Ingredients

  • Milk 
  • Eggs 
  • Butter 
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Cottage cheese 
  • Cream Cheese 
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cherries 
  • Water 
  • Sugar
  • Cornstarch

14. Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is a fresh-tasting grain salad. It’s traditionally made with bulgur, but other grains and starches, like couscous or quinoa, work perfectly in this dish too!

It’s a perfect side dish during the summer and complements any meal, Jewish or not.

Ingredients

  • Bulgur
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Fine sea salt
  • Curly parsley
  • Fresh mint
  • Green onion
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic clove

15. Hamantaschen

These lovely little pastries are usually eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim.

They are simple to make and you can fill them with any jam you like. Our personal favorites are apricot jam and strawberry jam.

Ingredients

  • Sugar
  • Margarine
  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Poppy seed filling, prune, apricot preserves, or Nutella

16. Rugelach

Rugelach is a sugary pastry filled with fruity goodness that can satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth! It looks similar to a French croissant, but this pastry is both doughy and chewy.

Serve up a plate at your next family gathering!

Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Egg yolk
  • Light brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Walnuts
  • Raisins
  • Cinnamon

17. Israeli Salad

Ideal for vegans and those who are gluten-free, this fresh, colorful salad is a fantastic option for a healthy lunch and makes the perfect summer side dish.

It’s full of fresh vegetables that are dressed with herbs, lemon juice, and olive oil.

Cool, crisp, and delicious, an Israeli salad is perfect for the health nuts out there!

Ingredients

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Red onion
  • Red bell pepper
  • Yellow bell pepper
  • Parsley
  • Mint
  • Cilantro
  • Lemon
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

18. Jewish Apple Cake

This rich Jewish apple cake is easy and quick to make, while still being incredibly tasty!

It’s made with a huge amount of apples that have been enhanced with cinnamon for a classic apple pie flavor.

This cake is crumbly on the outside and moist on the inside, just how a cake should be!

Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Baking powder
  • Vegetable oil
  • Eggs
  • Orange juice
  • Vanilla extract
  • Apples
  • Ground cinnamon
  • White sugar

19. Farfel

Farfel is made with tiny round egg noodles that look like rice at first glance. It’s common in Jewish homes as it is easy to make in large batches and tastes incredible!

It works great with any meat, and most vegetables can go into this dish without issue.

Ingredients

  • Farfel
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic or onion powder 
  • Sugar
  • Water

20. Kichel

These bow-tie shaped cookies are a staple in every Jewish household. Kichel is a light snack that’s covered in sugar.

These cookies melt in your mouth with every bite! With hints of rum and vanilla, your cookie plate will be empty in minutes!

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Egg yolks
  • Vegetable oil
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Rum flavoring
  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar

21. Brisket

We all know how good brisket is, but the Jewish recipe is by far the best! This recipe leaves you with an authentic brisket that is juicy and tender.

You can make a complete main course that’s full of flavor with this recipe, and it is delicious with sautéed onion, tomatoes, celery, brown sugar, and heaps of seasoning.

It takes a while to cook, but the outcome will not disappoint! 

Ingredients

  • Whole beef brisket
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • Yellow onions
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Garlic cloves
  • Dry red wine
  • Tomatoes
  • Ketchup
  • Thyme
  • Bay leaves

22. Homemade Bagels

One of the best foods you can buy at a Jewish deli, homemade bagels are perfectly simple and tasty.

It may take some effort to make them yourself at home, but you will be satisfied with the outcome.

This versatile bread tastes amazing when topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon. 

Ingredients

  • Active dry yeast
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Honey
  • Sesame seeds
  • Poppy seeds

23. Sufganiyot

These fluffy jelly doughnuts are a Jewish speciality during Hanukkah!

Highly anticipated during the holiday season, sufganiyot is loved by children and adults alike.

They are filled with deliciously tart raspberry jam and sprinkled with powdered sugar. What more could you ask for in a doughnut?

Ingredients

  • Active dry yeast
  • Water or milk 
  • White granulated sugar
  • Canola oil
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Unbleached all purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Vodka, brandy, ouzo, or arak
  • Fruit jelly or jam
  • Oil with a high smoke point
  • Powdered sugar

24. Hummus

Perfect with chips, pita bread, or vegetables, hummus is a well-known dip that makes a perfect snack or addition to your mezze platter.

It’s a chickpea-based spread that makes everything taste better!

It is also versatile, so you can add any flavor to it, such as sweet chili or caramelized onion.

Ingredients

  • Chickpeas or cooked chickpeas
  • Lemon juice
  • Lemon
  • Tahini
  • Garlic clove
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Ground cumin
  • Salt
  • Water or aquafaba
  • Ground paprika or sumac, for serving

25. Coconut Macaroons

A Jewish twist on the traditional macaroon, these coconut macaroons are perfect for beginner bakers and always turn out delicious!

They are chewy with a distinct coconut flavor, and all you have to do is throw a dollop of mix on a tray and bake! It couldn’t be easier.

Ingredients

  • Sweetened flaked coconut
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • vanilla extract
  • Egg whites
  • Salt
  • Semi-sweet chocolate

26. Matzo Brei

This dish is perfect for breakfast time! Matzo brei is a classic Jewish dish made up of just four ingredients.

At its core, it is scrambled eggs with fried matzo, so you can add anything you like to it!

You can experiment with this dish by adding different herbs, proteins, vegetables, and dairy to it.

Taking just 10 minutes to make, matzo brei is perfect when topped off with cheese and green onions.

Ingredients

  • Eggs
  • Matzo or egg matzo
  • Milk or water
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper

27. Rustic Rye Bread

The perfect sandwich isn’t complete without this delicious rustic rye bread.

This Jewish bread is full of caraway seeds and molasses and is so tasty whether you dip it in gooey Camembert or make the best Reuben sandwich.

This bread will be gone in minutes at the dinner table.

Ingredients

  • Active dry yeast
  • Water
  • Packed brown sugar
  • Light molasses
  • Caraway seeds
  • Canola oil
  • Salt
  • Rye flour
  • Whole wheat flour
  • All-purpose flour

Final Word

There you have it! 23 traditional Jewish recipes that will perfect any family dinner at any time of the year.

Refer to this guide if you want to mix it up during dinnertime and get some Jewish inspiration!

27 Traditional Jewish Dishes

27 Traditional Jewish Dishes

Recipe by Jenna

There are many traditional Jewish dishes that can be made in the home. This collection of 20+ traditional Jewish recipes will help you to find new ways to cook your favorite Jewish dishes.

Course: Side Dishes
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Directions

  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review

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