apple cake for Rosh Hashanah
Viktoria Hodos/Shutterstock

19 Rosh Hashanah Recipes for a Sweet, Spectacular Meal

L’shanah tovah!
apple cake for Rosh Hashanah
Viktoria Hodos/Shutterstock

Rosh Hashanah, one of the most joyful holidays in the Jewish calendar, , is also one of the most delicious. Food symbolism abounds in Judaism, and the New Year is no exception. Apples and honey are de rigueur, of course, but a meal they do not make. Use this guide to pick and choose recipes for your holiday feast, whether you want to go traditional or get a little creative. No matter your choice, it will certainly  be a sweet start to the new year.

Traditional Matzo Balls

Traditional Matzo Balls
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

It’s not a Jewish holiday without matzo ball soup. The ultimate simple and nourishing comfort food is one of the best — and most traditional — ways to start a festive meal. If you make your own chicken soup, you can freeze it ahead of time so there’s less to do on the big day.

For the Traditional Matzo Balls recipe, click here.

Beet Soup

Beet Soup
Anna Puzatykh/Shutterstock

Not feeling matzo balls? Then turn to another traditional Rosh Hashanah food, beets. Selek, the Hebrew word for beets, is similar to the verb “to remove,” so consuming beets on the new year symbolizes the hope that adversaries or obstacles will be removed from our lives. This soup has apples in it and you can use honey in place of the brown sugar if you want to go all in on the holiday symbolism. You can also go with simple roasted beets.

For the Beet Soup recipe, click here.

Our Classic Challah Bread

Our Classic Challah Bread
Beth Ebin

From Shabbat to the holidays, challah is a crucial part of Jewish food culture and the Rosh Hashanah table. For the new year, it’s typical to make round challahs to represent the cyclical nature of the calendar. Feel free to add raisins for a sweet touch.

For Our Classic Challah Bread recipe, click here.

Apple Butter Challah

Apple Butter Challah
monkeybusinessimages / iStock / Getty Images Plus

For a fall-friendly bread that truly speaks to the symbolism of Rosh Hashanah, try this apple butter challah. It incorporates both apples and honey into the bread for a sweet and special treat. If you want to take it over the top, make your own apple butter for the filling.

For the Apple Butter Challah recipe, click here.

Tzimmes

Tzimmes
Courtesy of Ronnie Fein, provided by Kosher.com

Although tzimmes can be found at many holiday tables, this sweet root veggie side is most commonly associated with Rosh Hashanah. If you want to go the extra mile, slice the carrots into coins to represent the hope for prosperity in the new year. Roasted caramelized carrots make a great alternative if tzimmes isn’t your cup of tea.

For the Tzimmes recipe, click here.

Shredded Apple Kugel

Shredded Apple Kugel
Liliya Kandrashevich/Shutterstock

Kugel is a must, and at Rosh Hashanah, a shredded apple kugel is the perfect accompaniment to the meal. Of course, no one would blame you for going with a traditional potato kugel or noodle kugel instead. Bubbe would approve.

For the Shredded Apple Kugel recipe, click here.

Easy Homemade Hummus

Easy Homemade Hummus
Jacqui Wedewer / The Daily Meal

Add a taste of the Holy Land to your holiday table with this easy homemade hummus. Serve it with raw veggies for dipping as a snack before the big meal or pass it alongside everything else.

For the Easy Homemade Hummus recipe, click here.

Mujadara

Mujadara
rodrigobark/iStock/Getty Images Plus

If you’re struggling to pick an interesting side and don’t want to go with plain rice or potatoes, try mujadara. This Middle Eastern specialty combines rice, lentils and caramelized onions for a flavorful dish that will complement any number of mains. Saffroned barley is another fun grain option.

For the Mujadara recipe, click here.

Herb Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Quince

Herb Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Quince
LauriPatterson/E+ via Getty Images

This Brussels sprouts recipe features a coating of dried basil and thyme for the savory elements while apples and quince or pear add sweet-tart notes that are just right for Rosh Hashanah. If you prefer your Brussels in salad form, consider a Brussels sprout salad with pear and pomegranate.

For the Herb Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Quince recipe, click here.

Kale and Apple Salad With Maple Mustard Dressing

Kale and Apple Salad With Maple Mustard Dressing
Courtesy of Karen Kelly/Seasonal Cravings

To bring a burst of nutrition to the table, include this kale and apple salad that looks as beautiful as it tastes. Don’t skimp on the pomegranate and pistachios. You can use honey instead of maple syrup in the dressing if you want to skew traditional. For a different take on this combo, try an apple kale slaw, which makes great leftovers. 

For the Kale and Apple Salad With Maple Mustard Dressing recipe, click here.

Spinach Salad with Apple Vinaigrette

Spinach Salad with Apple Vinaigrette
Lilechka75/iStock/Getty Images Plus

If cruciferous kale isn’t your thing, opt for a base of baby spinach. Sliced apples, red onion, mushrooms and dried fruit upgrade this salad by adding color and textural contrast. 

For the Spinach Salad with Apple Vinaigrette recipe, click here.

Brisket Braised in Pomegranate Juice With Onion Confit

Brisket Braised in Pomegranate Juice With Onion Confit
Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

Is it a Jewish holiday without brisket? Of course, that depends, but many would say no. If you’re short on bandwidth, then slow-cooker brisket with just 10 minutes of prep is the way to go. But if you want a truly elegant centerpiece, this robust, sweet, tart and savory version that is braised low and slow in the oven is more than worthwhile.

For the Brisket Braised in Pomegranate Juice With Onion Confit recipe, click here.

Everything Bagel Roast Chicken With New Potatoes

Everything Bagel Roast Chicken With New Potatoes
Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune; Shannon Kinsella/food styling

Roast chicken makes a great main for weeknights and holidays alike, but it’s extra fun when it’s coated in everything bagel seasoning. Want even more of, well, everything? Serve everything roasted cauliflower, too. If you prefer to stick with the sweet theme, apricot glazed chicken is a good bet.

For the Everything Bagel Roast Chicken With New Potatoes recipe, click here.

Citrus Teriyaki Salmon

Citrus Teriyaki Salmon
Photography and Styling by Chavi Feldman, courtesy of Kosher.com

If you prefer to go the pareve or pescatarian route, salmon is an easy and popular option for a crowd. Here, salmon is coated in a mixture of orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, ginger and garlic before being baked.

For the Citrus Teriyaki Salmon recipe, click here.

Apple Cider Mimosa

Apple Cider Mimosa
Courtesy of Jason Goldstein

Who doesn’t love a little bubbly to start the new year? Instead of the usual OJ, this recipe mixes apple cider and Prosecco for an autumnal treat. A pumpkin-spice rim adds a layer of flavor and an apple slice makes the perfect garnish. If you prefer something harder, try the cider mill cocktail instead.

For the Apple Cider Mimosa recipe, click here.

Jewish Apple Cake

Jewish Apple Cake
Viktoria Hodos/Shutterstock

If a tree falls in an empty forest, does it make a sound? And if you don’t eat apple cake on Rosh Hashanah, have you even celebrated? This is a fairly traditional recipe with layers of fresh apple and batter baked in a bundt pan. If you don’t like chunks of apple in your cake, then an applesauce spice cake will solve that problem.

For the Jewish Apple Cake recipe, click here.

Baklava Bites

Baklava Bites
Natalia Van Doninck/Shutterstock

Baklava is the perfect Rosh Hashanah dessert and a fun alternative to apple cake. The honey-soaked pastry, made of layers of phyllo dough, is a sweet treat you may not think to make at home. But once you do, it will earn a permanent place at your celebrations.

For the Baklava Bites recipe, click here.

Honey Lavender Ice Cream

Honey Lavender Ice Cream
Salt & Straw

If you’re serving a dairy meal or don’t keep kosher, this honey lavender ice cream is a special way to end a special holiday meal. Be sure to plan ahead so you have time to fully chill it. As a big bonus, this dessert won’t heat up the kitchen or take up valuable oven space as you’re trying to prepare the rest of the meal.

For the Honey Lavender Ice Cream recipe, click here.

Apple Burekas With Silan Sesame Drizzle

Apple Burekas With Silan Sesame Drizzle
Photography and Styling by Jennifer Chetrit, provided by Kosher.com

Burekas are typically savory, filled with everything from cheese to tuna. But with this recipe, the pastry takes a sweet turn with an apple pie filling and tahini-and-date-syrup drizzle. It’s a true Israeli-American mash-up of flavors and a fun way to ring in the new year. If this doesn’t take the cake, there are plenty of other amazing dessert recipes to make at home.

For the Apple Burekas With Silan Sesame Drizzle recipe, click here.

More from The Daily Meal:

Our Best Holiday Recipes

A Handy Guide to the Most Popular Apple Varieties and Their Uses

Apple Cider Doughnuts, Apple Crisp and More Apple Recipes Perfect for Fall

Where to Find America’s Best Apple Pies

Pumpkin Cocktails Perfect for Fall