25 Jewish Foods Everyone Should Learn to Cook
From buttery loaves of challah to crispy potato latkes, here are the traditional Jewish foods that everyone should be able make at home.
Matzo ball soup is a classic, Jewish comfort food. Steeped in a flavorful chicken broth, matzo balls—similar to dumplings (but made with matzo meal) are cozy and warming. We love this recipe full of chicken and chopped veggies.
Gravlax, smoked salmon, lox… call it what you want, there’s no denying this salt-cured fish is a welcome addition to any bagel, cracker or slice of toast. A little goes a long way, though, so just a couple of thin slices will do. You can make your own shortcut version at home with this recipe. Then repurpose any leftovers with these lox-centric recipes.
Shannon Sarna, a home cook and editor at The Nosher, shares her family’s most beloved dessert: rainbow cookies. These classic New York treats are traditionally served in synagogues and at Jewish celebrations, but actually have Italian roots. To make, you’ll bake three thin cakes, spread jam between them and coat with smooth melted chocolate. Get the full DIY here.
Whether you eat them plain or with applesauce, potato latkes are a staple that’s enjoyed throughout the entire celebration of Hanukkah. Learn how to make these tasty fritters from scratch.
Two words: one pot. That’s the only dish you’ll need to make shakshuka, an Israeli dish that features eggs cooked in a spicy tomato sauce and served with pita wedges.
Who says you have to be Jewish to enjoy the doughy dessert that is rugelach? Filled with fruity, sugary goodness, it’s a must-make for anyone with a sweet tooth. Try some of our favorite rugelach varieties.
Tzimmes, a mixture of carrots, dried fruits and other root vegtables, is a traditional part of Rosh Hoshhannah. The dish is sweetened with honey—sweetness is a big part of the foods for this holiday.
Pickles and other pickled veggies play a big part in Jewish cuisine. Sure, you can make pickles at home, but this pickled cucumber salad makes a great side dish at the dinner table while giving a nod to the classic kosher dill.
Eaten during the holiday of Purim, these flaky pastries are as easy to make as they are delicious. Fill the center pockets with whatever you’d like, from apricot preserves to the traditional poppy seed jam.
Bagels are a staple at Jewish bakeries and delis. While they take some time and effort, they are a satisfying bake to try at home. Top them with some lox and cream cheese and you’re set!
If loving sufganiyot is wrong, we “donut” want to be right. The fluffy jelly doughnuts are filled with tart raspberry preserves, sprinkled with sugar and served warm. You’ll definitely be reaching for seconds (or even thirds!).
Every sandwich savant knows that your final product is only as good as the bread you make it on. Which is why this homemade rye bread, full of caraway seeds and molasses, is exactly what you need for your next gooey, melty Reuben.
Mandelbrot (translated from German means “almond bread”) is similar to an Italian biscotti but uses no butter. These twice-baked cookies use oil instead and can be filled with the mix-ins of your choosing.
The Irish aren’t the only ones who make a mean corned beef. Jewish chefs have mastered the art of simmering and curing brisket—and so should you. Simply set it and forget it, just like you would with our 100 most-shared slow cooker recipes.
Made with noodles or potato, kugel is a classic Jewish side dish. Kugel is rich—full of butter, cheese and carbs—which makes it a nice treat to have on holidays and special occasions. Learn how to make it from scratch the way Bubbe might.
Imagine the filling of a cheese danish rolled up in a pillowy pancake and drizzled with a sweet cherry sauce… and you’ll be thinking about one of these brunch-worthy blintzes. In Jewish culture, they’re often served for Shavuot but we’ll take one every day, please.