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Celebrate the Jewish New Year and High Holy Days with this collection of recipes for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Start with apples dipped in honey to ensure a sweet new year, then move on to brisket and chicken, challah, latkes, and more.
Rosh Hoshanah means “Head of the New Year” and celebrates the birthday of the universe, the day God created Adam and Eve. This the first of High Holy Days which ends 10 days later with Yom Kippur.
Rosh Hashanah Celebrations include lighting candles, prayer services, blowing the shofar (ram’s horn), and renewing one’s spiritual relationship with God. Feasting includes foods such as challah, Matzo ball soup, brisket, and apples dipped in honey.
Yom Kippur is a fasting day, so the menu involves no food or drink and also no work, bathing, or other worldly pleasures. In the evening, it’s customary to break the fast with light dairy foods, eggy dishes, or fish.
As I mention in my Passover and Hanukkah guides, I am not Jewish, but food is always a fun way for the curious to learn about other cultures. Here are the best Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur recipes on Culinary Hill.
Table of Contents
Cut Apples and Honey
Perhaps the most symbolic of all Rosh Hashanah foods is apples dipped in honey. Eat the sweets to ensure a sweet year!
On the second night of Rosh Hashanah, it’s traditional to eat “new fruit,” as in fruit that is new for the season and hasn’t been enjoyed before. Pomegranates are the most popular “new fruit” (and they make an appearance in other cultures as a Lucky New Year’s Food, too).
How to Cut Apples
This easy Beef Brisket recipe is kosher and made right in a slow cooker. The simple marinade adds layers of flavor and then brisket is braised until it’s meltingly tender.
An actual “head of the fish” is often served for Rosh Hashanah, although smoked salmon works too. Just avoid pork and shellfish which aren’t kosher. Be sure to avoid mixing meat and dairy, too.
Slow Cooker Beef Brisket
How to Make Rotisserie Chicken
Harissa Chicken with Rice
For Rosh Hashanah, Challah should be braided in a round shape to symbolize the “eternal circle of life.” Sometimes, it is studded with raisins or other dried fruits to up the sweetness for a sweeter new year.
It’s also common to eat challah with honey. Or, try apple butter on your challah this year.
Sweet desserts, especially round cakes, are also popular for Rosh Hashanah. Honey Cake is the most traditional (honey for sweetness!), but any apple dessert will do.
Cinnamon Apple Cake
There are several popular vegetables for Rosh Hashanah including carrots, leeks, spinach, and chard. These are due to linguistic meanings of Hebrew words. There is also a popular couscous dish called Couscous with Seven Vegetables which features cabbage, turnips, summer squash, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, and chickpeas.
Hummus with Za’atar Butter
To toast the New Year, look for sweet, fruity beverages featuring apples, honey, pomegranates, and grapes. Apple Cider is a great cozy beverage that can be enjoyed by the faithful of all ages.
Sangria and other wine beverages are popular, too.
Apple Cider Recipe
After a day of fasting on Yom Kippur, it’s customary to break the fast in the evening with dairy and egg dishes, smoked fish, bagels, and salads.
A Bagel Bar is a great way to feed the family and let everyone customize their own bagel.
Challah French Toast
L’Shana Tovah tikatevu!
Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.