Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all! Originating centuries ago, these cherished holidays have now become customary in many cultures, with families passing on traditions generation after generation. And while Christmas and Hanukkah remained mostly separate from each other in past times, nowadays many families celebrate both through the beauty of interfaith marriages.
Thanks to our partners at Food52 and Popsugar, we have traditional and modern recipes to share with you for a one-of-a-kind holiday menu. If you and your family celebrate these two holidays together, or you’re simply looking for new recipes to serve at your dining room table, we’ve narrowed down 10 delicious ideas perfect for Christmas and Hanukkah—especially helpful since the holidays fall so close together this year. Hanukkah starts on December 24, and Christmas is the very next day.
Warm up your palate with these hearty soups that offer comfort in every spoonful. Whether your family likes something more savory or something sweeter, we have both options to appeal to the crowd.
Tomato soup is a quintessential comfort food and quite popular in America due to the great branding of the Campbell’s Soup Company and pop art icon Andy Warhol. Though, for many of us tomato soup might have come from a can that was heated in the microwave, our recipe makes things fresher with wholesome, natural ingredients that slowly simmer on the stove.
The other unique attribute of this dish is that, even though it’s creamy, it doesn’t contain any milk products. In fact, chickpeas are what provides the texture. They mix perfectly with diced tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, onion, vegetable stock, black pepper, and a touch of olive oil for the perfect holiday first course.
Let’s get down to business—the main course. Made up of savory veggies, hearty potatoes, and tender meat, you won’t be leaving the table hungry. In fact, you may be praying for hunger the next day because these dishes make quite the spread. Get your pots and pans ready to rumble because the real cooking is about to begin.
When bellies are ready for more, move on to the next course with these vegetable dishes that deliver savory flavors along with good texture. They don’t have to be eaten alone, however; serve them up with a bit of dijon or a light Ricotta cheese for melt-in-your-mouth effect.
These oven-roasted mushrooms are lusciously coated with butter, garlic, and Dijon mustard. Their earthy flavors are further enhanced (but not overwhelmed) by the fresh herbs, shallots, and lemon juice. They're a perfect dish to serve after soup, especially alongside hot toasty bread. But, if you want to make this course a bit lighter, serve with a side salad, and instead of cooking with butter, opt for lactose-free ghee (also known as clarified butter).
Fresh-steamed green beans with a sprinkle of salt are hard to beat. But this amped up version is worth a try at your holiday feast. First, cook the beans until crisp yet tender and toss with a nutty walnut oil vinaigrette, creamy ricotta, and toasted hazelnuts. The different flavors, textures, and colors come together beautifully, making it a great option to serve as your second course.
This root vegetable finds its ways into many different recipes, which is why it’s considered a staple in many holiday feasts. Make them into latkes, potatoes gratin, or mashed potatoes—however you choose to make them, they’re sure to be a hit.
Hanukkah means one important thing when it comes to potatoes—latkes! Crispy on the outside, soft and hot on the inside, they're traditionally made with shredded potatoes, but you can vary it up with other vegetables and reduce the amount of starches. This twist on the basic latke recipe fuses potatoes and zucchini. To take these pancakes to the next level, pair with a delicious chutney of your choice or warm, fruity applesauce.
Potatoes gratin is a classic French dish loved by many. Although this dish is traditionally made with golden russet potatoes, this recipe calls for vibrant sweet potatoes. A thick cream sauce mixed with garlic, sage, pepper, and nutmeg provides a decant touch of milkiness and subtle spice that mixes perfectly with the natural sweetness from the yams.
Get to the meat of the dinner by cooking up these amazing beef and turkey recipes that are staples at Hanukkah and Christmas tables. From juicy, tender brisket to slow-cooked, succulent turkey we have two knock-your-socks-off dishes that will fill everyone up.
Brisket is a traditional Hanukkah must-have, but you can mix things up by trying this recipe that combines sweet and savory elements. The reason this recipe is so good is because the brisket is slow-braised with wine and apricots, bringing out fruity and aromatic notes that mix perfectly with the natural juices of the meat.
Thanks to a slathering of ghee, this tender and juicy turkey is what holiday dreams are made of. What makes this recipe stand out amongst others is that it offers lemon and garlic flavors that brighten up the mild taste of the turkey. You can also baste the bird as it roasts, which adds extra flavor and helps the skin turn crisp and golden.
You’ve made it to the last course, but that doesn’t mean it’s anything less delicious than the previous dishes. These dessert recipes are sweet, fruity, and chocolatey. Serve with mugs of hot tea or proper espresso to finish of the holiday feast with pinkies up.
Joan Nathan, a James Beard Award–winning cookbook author and expert on Jewish cuisine, claims these jelly doughnuts are oh-so delicious and have a remarkable combination of flavor, as well as texture. A spoonful of sweet berry preserves is surrounded by warm doughy bread and coated with powdered sugar, making them the perfect way to wrap up your meal.
Chocolate lava cake is a staple at fine dining establishments for a reason: It's absolutely decadent. This rich dessert is also remarkably easy to adapt for Paleo eaters since the original doesn't use much flour. In this recipe, almond flour gives the cake just enough structure to cradle the gooey, chocolatey molten center.
Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah
We hope you find this recipe guide helpful as you begin to prepare your family feast. Whether you're celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, or both, these staples are sure to provide just what you need at your dining room table to make everyone feel at home.
Photo credits: Paul Delmont