30 Traditional Jewish Food Recipes (2024)

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30 Traditional Jewish Food Recipes (1)Risa LichtmanUpdated: Feb. 14, 2024

    From fluffy loaves of challah to crispy potato latkes, here are the traditional Jewish food recipes that everyone should learn to make.

    Some of the best comfort food is traditional Jewish food. They don’t call matzo ball soup “Jewish penicillin” for nothing! Thankfully anyone can enjoy classic Jewish food. Here are 30 recipes that will taste like they’re straight out of Bubbe’s kitchen.

    Matzo Ball Soup

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    This recipe is worth the time and effort it takes for such a delicious and comforting meal. With the fluffy matzo balls, chicken, carrots, celery and onions, it’s got everything you want in a bowl of soup. Make it to help fight off a cold or just to have something cozy for a winter night.

    Matzo ball soup is also a popular holiday food, from Shabbat to Passover, and can be served at your Seder alongside one of these Passover chicken recipes.

    Also, here’s everything you need to know about Matzo, this humble bread that is most often served on the Jewish holiday of Passover.

    Passover Popovers

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    This substitute for bread is perfect for sharing around the table during Passover. Made with only five ingredients, it’ll use up any leftover matzo cake meal you have in your pantry. Check out other dishes to serve alongside your popovers with these classic Jewish cookbooks.

    Easy Smoked Salmon

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    Taste of Home

    Gravlax, smoked salmon, lox…whichever iteration you love, there’s no denying this salt-cured fish is a welcome addition to any bagel, cracker or slice of toast. You can easily find different versions of the beloved salmon at your local grocer, but why not try your own hand at it with this shortcut recipe.

    Rainbow Cookies

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    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 bake three thin cakes, spread jam between them and coat with smooth melted chocolate.

    Potato Latkes

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    Whether you eat them with applesauce, sour cream or both, potato latkes are a staple that are enjoyed throughout the celebration of Hanukkah and beyond. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, try topping them off with smoked salmon or poached eggs.


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    Carving into a juicy, tender roast for family dinner will never get old. Especially when it’s a brisket that’s been braising for hours, so it basically melts in your mouth. Use the leftovers for delicious sandwiches all week long!


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    Two words: one pot. That’s the only dish you’ll need to make shakshuka, a Middle Eastern and North African dish that features eggs cooked in a spicy tomato sauce. And you can make it any time since it’s great for breakfast, lunch and dinner!


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    Taste of Home

    There are a lot of delicious Jewish desserts out there, thankfully you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy any of them! Filled with fruity, sugary goodness, rugelach is a must-make for anyone with a sweet tooth. Grab a cup of coffee and try some of our favorite rugelach varieties.

    Chocolate Babka

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    Every grandmother has her own take on babka, and they’re all delicious. But we’re suckers for chocolate, so we had to try this special chocolate and cinnamon recipe flecked with orange zest. Other traditional fillings include nuts or dried fruits.


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    Serve this classic dish for holiday meals and everyone will be raving about how good it is. Its sweet flavor comes from sweet potatoes, prunes, honey and brown sugar. This side is a great accompaniment to any of our Passover lamb recipes.

    Pickled Cucumber Salad

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    Taste of Home

    Jewish cuisine has always included lots of pickles. From homemade pickles to a jar from the grocery store, they can zest up any meal. This sweet and tart pickled cucumber salad makes a great side dish while giving a nod to the classic kosher dill.

    Honey Challah

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    This sweeter honey challah is studded with raisins and perfect for your Rosh Hashanah meal. The leftovers of this sweet bread are also great for challah French toast or bread pudding.

    If you’re curious about other Rosh Hashanah foods, learn more about them here.


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    Taste of Home

    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.

    Homemade Bagels

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    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!

    Beet Borscht

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    TMB Studio

    Some people call it fall; we call it “soup season.” And what better way to warm up when the temperature drops than with a piping-hot bowl of borscht? Add a dash of horseradish to the bright red soup for extra heat.


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    Taste of Home

    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!).

    Rustic Rye Bread

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    This rustic rye bread has an added sweetness to it from brown sugar and molasses, perfect as a side to a classic Jewish dish. Just add a touch of butter to a slice of bread and your meal will be complete.

    Coconut Macaroons

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    With only six ingredients, these chewy coconut macaroons are a beginner baker’s dream. Just stir everything together, drop dollops onto a cookie sheet and toss them in the oven. If you really want to indulge, dip the cooled cookies in melty chocolate. Yum!


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    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.

    Slow-Cooked Corned Beef

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    Put this in the slow cooker in the morning, and it’ll be ready by dinner time. Packed with red potatoes, carrots and onions, this corned beef dish will leave you with a full and satisfied stomach.


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    Tabbouleh is a grain salad popular in Israel. It’s traditionally made with bulgur, but you can easily substitute other grains and starches like couscous, farrow or quinoa.


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    Taste of Home

    Made with noodles or potatoes, kugel is a classic Jewish side dish. Sweet noodle kugel is rich and creamy, which makes it a nice treat to have on holidays and special occasions. Make it the way Bubbe might with this recipe.

    Cherry Cheese Blintzes

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    In only 30 minutes, you’ll have creamy blintzes you can serve for breakfast or dessert. Its sweet taste comes from a surprising filling of cottage cheese and cream cheese. Not a fan of cherries? No worries, this recipe is customizable to incorporate your favorite fruits like blueberries, strawberries or peaches instead.


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    Ahhh, charoset. We don’t know if it’s the sweet apples, the crunch of the walnuts, or the scent of the spicy cinnamon that we love most. But what we do know is that it’s the perfect last bite to any meal, though it’s traditionally served during Passover.


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    30 Traditional Jewish Food Recipes (26)

    Jamie Thrower For Taste Of Home

    Filled with cheese, bourekas are popular Sephardic Jewish pastries made from puff pastry or phyllo dough and often topped with sesame seeds. You can find them at many Jewish holidays, including Shavuot.

    Matzo Brei

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    Matzo brei is a favorite Passover food, but it’s definitely not just for Passover! This egg and matzoh scramble is the Jewish version of chilaquiles, and it can be strictly savory or a sweet-and-savory combo. Though usually served as a breakfast dish, matzo brei is so tasty and easy that I’d eat it any time of day.

    Matzo Meal Pancakes

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    Sometimes the week of Passover can feel more like a month, so it helps to have some classics to get you through. Enter matzo meal pancakes—like regular pancakes, but with kosher-for-Passover matzo meal. Whip up a batch of these for breakfast during Passover or any other time of year that you’re craving pancakes.


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    30 Traditional Jewish Food Recipes (29)

    Lauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

    There’s something so nostalgic about bialys. They take me back to the bagel stores in Detroit on Sunday mornings, the smell of fresh bagels and bialys wafting out the door. And while bialys may not be as well known as bagels, they are certainly beloved by those who do know them.


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    Knishes, the elusive puffy dough balls stuffed with savory fillings, are the epitome of comfort food. They’re sold in Jewish neighborhoods across the world, though you may not have heard of them if you’re not Jewish. Try your hand at the humble knish and see what all the fuss is about.

    We have also curated a list of the best Jewish cookbooks so that you have recipes handy for holiday comfort foods, easy kosher meals, Israeli dishes and more!

    Originally Published: June 02, 2020

    30 Traditional Jewish Food Recipes (31)

    Risa Lichtman

    Risa Lichtman is a chef and writer living in Portland, Oregon. In addition to writing and developing recipes for Taste of Home, she's the chef/owner of Lepage Food & Drinks, a small food company featuring Jewish seasonal fare, providing takeaway all around Portland and running a soup group—like a CSA but for soup! Risa weaves her passion for local, sustainable and ethically sourced food into her writing. She lives with her wife, Jamie, their dogs, Cannoli and Reuben, their cat, Sylvia, and four chickens.

    30 Traditional Jewish Food Recipes (2024)


    What are some traditional Jewish dishes? ›

    The typical components of the traditional Jewish meal include gefilte fish, chicken soup with matzo balls (also called Kneidlach), brisket, roasted chicken, a potato dish such as kugel or latkes and tzimmes.

    What are the top 8 Jewish foods? ›

    The Top Ten Jewish Foods You Need To Learn to Cook
    1. Get Flaky with Borekas. ...
    2. Latkes, a Hannukah Favorite.
    3. The Sweet and Sugary Sufganiyot.
    4. Spice it Up With Bazargan. ...
    5. Challah Your Way. ...
    6. The Classic Kugel Casserole. ...
    7. Rugelach, the Perfect After Dinner Treat.
    8. You'll Dig Tahdig.
    Feb 21, 2019

    What is the national dish of the Jews? ›

    Israel does not have a universally recognized national dish; in previous years this was considered to be falafel, deep-fried balls of seasoned, ground chickpeas.

    What are 2 Jewish foods? ›

    Popular Ashkenazi dishes are matza brei (crumbled matza with grated onion, fried with scrambled egg), matza latkes (pancakes) and chremslach (also called crimsel or gresjelies, matza meal fritters). Wined matza kugels (pudding) have been introduced into modern Jewish cooking.

    Why do Jews not eat pork? ›

    The Torah explains which animals are kosher and which are not. Kosher animals are ruminants, in other words they chew cud, and they have split hooves, such as sheep or cows. Pigs are not ruminants, so they are not kosher. Animals that live in water can only be eaten if they have fins and scales.

    Can Jews eat pork? ›

    Both Judaism and Islam have prohibited eating pork and its products for thousands of years. Scholars have proposed several reasons for the ban to which both religions almost totally adhere. Pork, and the refusal to eat it, possesses powerful cultural baggage for Jews.

    What do Jews say before they eat? ›

    Blessing prior to food

    Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam, hamotzi lehem min ha'aretz. Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.

    What do Jews eat for breakfast? ›

    The Israeli breakfast is a dairy meal, and a variety of cheeses are offered. Fish is pareve and so is permitted with a dairy meal, and herring is frequently served. Other smoked or pickled fish dishes are also common, including sprats, sardines and salmon.

    Can Jews eat lobster? ›

    Lobster is not kosher: Jewish Scriptures prohibit eating all shellfish. Nevertheless, Maine's Jews have developed a pronounced fondness for one of this state's signature dishes. Many Jewish Mainers eat lobster even though they would never eat pork, another forbidden food.

    Can Jews eat shrimp? ›

    The Torah commands Jews not to eat certain foods. Food that we are allowed to eat is called Kosher. For a fish or seafood to be Kosher, it must have fins and scales. All seafood such as shrimp that do not have those Kosher signs are not Kosher.

    Can Jews eat rice? ›

    Rice itself is kosher for Passover for everyone. The reason Ashkenazim can't eat it, is because in the winter, in Europe, a few wheat grains used to be mixed in with rice and certain legumes.

    Can Jews eat corn? ›

    During Passover, Ashkenazi Jews traditionally stay away from not only leavened foods like bread, namely barley, oats, rye, spelt, and wheat, but also legumes, rice, seeds, and corn. The ban has been in place since the 13th century, but it's always been controversial. In fairly recent history, it's been overturned.

    What 2 food items can Jews not mix? ›

    The mixture of meat and dairy (Hebrew: בשר בחלב, romanized: basar bechalav, lit. 'meat in milk') is forbidden according to Jewish law.

    What two foods Cannot be eaten together in Judaism? ›

    In Jewish tradition, the prohibition on mixing dairy and meat products has been interpreted in several different ways. Some see it as an implementation of the same principle of separating animals authorised for consumption from those that are forbidden.

    Do Jews believe in Jesus? ›

    Judaism does not accept Jesus as a divine being, an intermediary between humans and God, a messiah, or holy. Belief in the Trinity is also held to be incompatible with Judaism, as are a number of other tenets of Christianity.

    What are the 3 rules to eating kosher? ›

    Kosher rules
    • Land animals must have cloven (split) hooves and must chew the cud, meaning that they must eat grass.
    • Seafood must have fins and scales. Eating shellfish is not allowed.
    • It is forbidden to eat birds of prey. ...
    • Meat and dairy cannot be eaten together, as it says in the Torah.

    What is a common dish in Israel? ›

    In a region renowned for fantastic street food, local vendors and hole-in-the-wall eateries, you'll be served up national favorites like hummus, falafel, shawarma, and shakshuka. Food is at the epicenter of Israeli identity and a force that unites so many nationalities.


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