14 Hanukkah Side Dishes So Tasty You'll Want to Make Them the Main Event

Mochi Latkes
Photo: Blaine Moats

A classic Hanukkah dinner menu is within your grasp, even if it's your first time hosting the holiday meal. From latkes and kugel to brisket and challah, these traditional Hanukkah side dish recipes will spark old memories and new traditions—and leave only empty plates behind).

01 of 14

Best Basic Challah

Best Basic Challah
Andy Lyons

Save room on your Hanukkah table for a stunning braid of challah. Yes, you can make a braid at home! If this is your first attempt, our how-to video along with the recipe will lead you to a perfect plait. Adventurous chefs can reach for our flavorful adaptations, such as garlic-herb, parmesan, or chocolate.

Test Kitchen Tip: For sheen, brush the loaves with an egg wash before baking.

02 of 14

Mochi Latkes

Mochi Latkes
Blaine Moats

Potato pancakes are a must on any Hanukkah menu. After you've had the classic version on night one, switch things up! For a modern upgrade, try adding mochi flour for a showy texture that holds up well to toppings.

03 of 14

Jerusalem Noodle Kugel

Jerusalem Noodle Kugel
Andy Lyons

The twist on this classic sweet kugel recipe is its shape. Instead of cooking in a rectangular dish, our noodle kugel is baked in a round springform pan ($11, Walmart). This way, it's easy to pop out and display on your Hanukkah dinner table! Garnish with fresh parsley leaves, then slice wedges as you would a cheesecake.

04 of 14

Sticky Roasted Carrots with Citrus

Sticky Roasted Carrots with Citrus
Blaine Moats

Sweet, spicy, tangy, and nutty all at once, these carrots will leave everyone rooting for another serving of this sheet pan Hanukkah side dish. Honey, chiles de arbol, citrus, and tahini deliver on those flavor notes, while in-season carrots get even sweeter once you roast them. To save time and oven space as you prep the rest of the meal, complete this vegetable recipe a few hours ahead and refrigerate until it's time to dine. The carrots taste just as amazing chilled.

05 of 14

Matzo Ball Soup

Matzo Ball Soup
Blaine Moats

One of the quintessential Passover and Hanukkah foods, this hearty yet healthy soup is so packed with delicious elements we have a tough time picking our favorite. The homemade chicken stock? Wait, no. The caramelized onions. Or what about the light and fluffy club soda-spiked matzo balls? Let's just say all of the above is what we love most (and think you will to) about this classic Jewish recipe.

06 of 14

Classic Potato Latkes

Classic Potato Latkes
Andy Lyons

Shredded potato latkes are a traditional Hanukkah dinner item, and we love how versatile they are. (Not to mention quick: A batch takes less than 30 minutes!) This easy holiday recipe is flavored simply with garlic and salt, but can be topped with applesauce or remixed with sweet potato, beets, or carrots.

07 of 14

Spiced Applesauce

Cans of applesauce with whole apple
Jason Donnelly

Whether you pile it on top of latkes, swipe it up with your meat entrée, or slather it on a Brie-topped toast, this applesauce will steal the show the moment you add it to your Hanukkah dinner buffet. The warm fall spices help each spoonful taste like the all-American pie. Have extra jars? Gift them to friends, neighbors, or coworkers for a Hanukkah present that will keep on giving for days to come.

08 of 14

Fresh Citrus and Cranberry Salad

Fresh Citrus and Cranberry Salad
Andy Lyons

Balance out brisket's richness with a crisp and refreshing salad. Tart cranberries, seasonal citrus, and peppery arugula pack a massive flavor punch in a well-balanced side dish. It tastes best chilled, so toss it together before you start roasting your entrée and refrigerate until it's time to light the menorah.

09 of 14

Pressure Cooker Potatoes with Tarragon Butter

Pressure Cooker Potatoes with Tarragon Butter on green dish with cheese grater
Jason Donnelly

Craving a break from latkes come days seven and eight of your holiday celebration? Try this easy Instant Pot recipe that still features plenty of spuds but in a different format. Smashed rather than shredded, the potatoes in this Hanukkah side dish are loaded with flavor by way of butter, garlic, Parmesan, and fresh herbs.

10 of 14

Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts and Apple

Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts and Apple
Andy Lyons

This dressed-up sprouts recipe, ideal for sharing around the holidays, offers a lovely sweet-savory combo platter thanks to apples, walnuts, and Brussels sprouts.

11 of 14

Popovers

Tyler's Popovers
Squire Fox

There's no wrong time to serve pillowy popovers with an airy center: with a plate of eggs at brunch, alongside slow-braised soups and stews, or next to your entrée of choice. Kitchen staples including flour, sugar, eggs, milk, cheese, and salt—seriously, that's all you need for this Hanukkah side dish—magically transform when you follow celebrity chef Tyler Florence's easy instructions.

Buy It: 6 Cup Popover Pan ($15, Bed Bath and Beyond)

12 of 14

Crispy Latkes

Crispy Latkes
Jason Donnelly

Seri Kertzner, the blogger behind Little Miss Party, has perfected her extra-crispy latke recipe. She's also sharing topping ideas like honey-nut, salmon-dill, and sour cream-onion. This easy Hanukkah latke recipe is best served warm.

13 of 14

Honey Fruit Salad

Honey Fruit Salad
Blaine Moats

Master it now; serve it again at Passover. This honey-drizzled fruit salad can be customized for the season. For a Hanukkah side dish, try apples, grapes, and pears. Come spring, opt for a blend of berries and melon.

14 of 14

Crispy Potatoes with Rosemary Salt

Crispy Potatoes with Rosemary Salt
Carson Downing

Thinly sliced russet potatoes baked until golden make a simple but elegant side for your traditional Hanukkah dinner menu. A pinch of fresh rosemary salt is the final step for this easy recipe.

Test Kitchen Tip: Use a mandoline slicer ($50, Williams Sonoma) to make even slices of potato.

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