30 Rosh Hashanah Recipes For A Sweet New Year

Roasted Chicken with Apples and Herbs
PHOTO: VICTOR PROTASIO; PROP STYLING: GINNY BRANCH; FOOD STYLING: CHELSEA ZIMMER

Rosh Hashanah, translated into English as “head of the year,” is the Jewish New Year. It is a major holiday on the Jewish calendar, one of the High Holy Days. It’s a time of prayer, reflection, and repentance for actions of the last year. It is observed by attending religious services as a community but also with several traditions observed at home. Since every Jewish holiday begins on sundown the night before it’s usually listed on a calendar, that night before is called Erev Rosh Hashanah. This is when many families will gather together for a big dinner. The centerpiece for that meal is often a brisket, but does not have to be. Other families might gather for lunch after services conclude for the day. 

Whether your family does dinner or lunch or both, several foods are traditionally used throughout the menu for symbolic purposes. Perhaps the most widely known is the custom to eat apples in honey for a sweet new year. But other traditional ingredients for a Rosh Hashanah meal could include pomegranates, dates, or a round challah. If you are looking for some inspiration ahead of the holiday, we have a few suggestions.

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Matzo Ball Soup

Matzo Ball Soup in individual bowls with spoons beside
CAITLIN BENSEL; FOOD STYLIST: TORIE COX

While this is a more traditional dish to serve during Passover, it’s also the ultimate Jewish comfort food. Who wouldn’t want to start off a new year with some serious comfort?

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Challah Bread

Challah
MICAH A. LEAL

Challah is a loaf of bread made from a yeasted base fortified with egg yolks, honey, sugar, and oil. It’s used for holidays and weekly Shabbat dinners. A blessing is said over the challah at the start of each of these meals called the Hamotzi. While it is usually prepared in a long, braided form like the photo depicts, some families opt for a round shape for Rosh Hashanah. Some believe that the round challah has no end and thus symbolizes a year where the blessings have no end.

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Caramel Apple Dip

Caramel Apple Dip
JENNIFER DAVICK

Apples are dipped in honey for a sweet new year. But why not get a little fancy and dip your apples in this caramel apple dip for some extra sweetness?

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Brussels Sprout Slaw with Apples and Pecans Recipe

Brussels Sprout Slaw with Apples and Pecans
GREG DUPREE

This Brussels sprout slaw is a fresh, crisp alternative to a salad to start your meal. And it’s a different way to highlight two of Rosh Hashanah’s star ingredients, apples and honey. The apples pair well with the crisp shaved raw Brussels sprouts and it’s all dressed in honey.

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Harvest Salad

Harvest Salad
GREG DUPREE; FOOD STYLING: CHELSEA ZIMMER; PROP STYLING: GINNY BRANCH

This salad is a celebration of fall in a bowl and it’s another great option to start your Rosh Hashanah meal. The apple is once again a star ingredient. It’s also an easy dish to prepare ahead of time.

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Brisket with Carrots and Horseradish-Parsley Gremolata

Brisket with Carrots and Horseradish-Parsley Gremolata
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; PROP STYLING: AUDREY DAVIS; FOOD STYLING: EMILY NABORS HALL

Brisket is often served to celebrate Jewish holidays as well as weekly Shabbat dinners. If you’re looking for a different take than your Bubbe’s recipe, this is a great option to mix things up. The parsley gremolata adds a pop of freshness to brighten up your main and the plums add a touch of sweetness for another way to wish your guests a “sweet new year.”

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Braised Cola-and-Bourbon Brisket

Rustic Mashed Potatoes with Whole-Grain Mustard
HECTOR MANUEL SANCHEZ; PROP STYLING: LYDIA PURSELL; FOOD STYLING: TAMI HARDEMAN

For a decidedly Southern twist on the traditional brisket, you can’t go wrong with this one. The base is similar to ones used by Jewish grandmothers for generations, onion soup mix and ketchup, but the addition of cola and Bourbon kick this recipe up a notch. Our Test Kitchen also notes in the recipe that the flavors just get better with time so it’s the perfect option to make ahead.

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Pan-Seared Flank Steak With Herb Sauce

Pan-Seared Flank Steak with Herb Sauce
GREG DUPREE; FOOD STYLING: RISHON HANNERS; PROP STYLING: CHRISTINA DALEY

If you’re having a smaller group for your Rosh Hashanah dinner, this pan-seared flank steak is a great option. It also comes together in just over a half an hour. For best results sear your steak in a cast iron skillet. But the true star here is going to be the fresh, herbaceous sauce that draws inspiration from an Argentinian chimichurri.

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Roasted Chicken with Apples and Herbs

Roasted Chicken with Apples and Herbs
VICTOR PROTASIO; PROP STYLING: GINNY BRANCH; FOOD STYLING: CHELSEA ZIMMER

Take the customary Rosh Hashanah apple in a savory direction with this roasted chicken with apples and herbs. With just a handful of ingredients this dish makes a beautiful and tasty centerpiece for your holiday celebration.

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BBQ Brisket

BBQ Brisket
HECTOR MANUEL SANCHEZ

BBQ brisket is a Southern staple so why not serve it for your Southern Rosh Hashanah meal? There is no need for a smoker or a grill here though. With just a few steps of prep, this recipe comes together completely in the slow cooker. This brisket would pair perfectly with our Brussels Sprout Slaw with Apples and Pecans.

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Roasted Spatchcock Chicken

Southern Living Roasted Spatchcock Chicken in the pan ready to serve
JEN CAUSEY; FOOD STYLIST: TORIE COX

This recipe yields an elegant meal for company all prepared on one sheet pan. Spatchcoking is a fancy word for butterflying a chicken, or removing the backbone to flatten the chicken. It sounds harder than it is but also your butcher can help. This allows the breast and legs to cook at the same level on your pan, resulting in meat that cooks quicker and more evenly. Once the chicken is flattened, you can cook it right on top of the vegetables. The perfect one-pan dish.

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Roasted Lamb With Fresh-Herb Sauce

Southern Living Roasted Lamb With Fresh-Herb Sauce on serving platter
VICTOR PROTASIO; FOOD STYLIST: MELISSA GRAY; PROP STYLIST: CHRISTINE KEELY

If you’re looking for an alternative to the same brisket you serve every year, why not try lamb for your Rosh Hashanah feast? Roasted Lamb with Fresh Herb Sauce cleverly utilizes an herb-and-garlic mixture to both marinate the lamb and serve as a finishing sauce to serve at the table. The sauce gets a brightness from a touch of lemon and is a fresh, herby punch of flavor that balances the rich, meaty flavor of the roasted lamb.

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Smoked Corn Beef Brisket

Smoked Corned Beef Brisket
PHOTOGRAPHER VICTOR PROTASIO, FOOD STYLIST RISHON HANNERS, PROP STYLIST HEATHER CHADDUCK

This Smoked Corned Beef Brisket is made with just a few pantry staples and delivers a surprising amount of flavor. Just think, if you serve this for your Erev Rosh Hashanah dinner, you’ll have leftovers waiting for you for lunch after services the next day.

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Cast-Iron Potato Kugel

Cast-Iron Potato Kugel
VICTOR PROTASIO; FOOD STYLING: RUTH BLACKBURN; PROP STYLING: CHRISTINA DALEY

Potato kugel is a Jewish comfort food classic. This version gets its extra-crispy, delicious edges thanks to cooking it in a cast iron skillet. The recipe calls for the potatoes to be cooked in chicken schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) which will elevate the flavor, but you can substitute oil. It’s the perfect side dish for any festive meal.

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Tzimmes

Southern Living Tzimmes in serving dish
CAITLIN BENSEL; FOOD STYLIST: TORIE COX

Tzimmes (pronounced tzim-mess), is a traditional Ashkenazi side dish that is kind of a casserole-stew hybrid. It’s traditionally a mix of root vegetables and a few sweet additions like sugar and dates or raisins. This version has some modern enhancements like canned pineapple and vanilla. While tzimmes is often served at Passover, the savory-sweet vegetable dish is also perfect for Rosh Hashanah.

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Honey-Glazed Spiced Carrots

Honey-Glazed Spiced Carrots
IAIN BAGWELL

Apples dipped in honey is typically how a Rosh Hashanah meal begins but why not carry the honey throughout the meal? These honey-glazed spiced carrots are the perfect way to do that.

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Creamy Whipped Potato Casserole

Creamy Whipped Potato Casserole
ATONIS ACHILLEOS; PROP STYLING: KAY E. CLARKE; FOOD STYLING: CHELSEA ZIMMER

Meat and potatoes are meant to be served together. So if you’re serving brisket for your Rosh Hashanah meal, take your basic potatoes up a notch with this recipe for creamy whipped potato casserole. However, if you keep a strictly Kosher home, this dish does contain dairy. But it will be equally delicious as a side to a roasted salmon.

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Raisin Kugel

Raisin Kugel
MONICA FARBER / SOUTHERN LIVING

Kugel is a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish dish, and everyone’s grandmother makes it a slightly different way. This version is the perfect item for your Rosh Hashanah lunch with the sweet notes of golden raisins and cinnamon and sugar on top.

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Smashed Baby Red Potatoes

Smashed Baby Red Potatoes
IAIN BAGWELL

These crispy smashed baby red potatoes infused with the flavors of garlic, rosemary, and thyme are the perfect side dish to pair with your brisket or roasted chicken.

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Old-Fashioned Apple And Cheese Casserole

apple and cheese casserole
CAITLIN BENSEL; FOOD STYLING: TORIE COX

Apples are a traditional ingredient to celebrate Rosh Hashanah in order to usher in a sweet new year. Reminiscent of the Southern staple of pineapple casserole, this salty-sweet cinnamony apple cobbler, with its crunchy cracker topping and layer of gooey Cheddar will be a hit with your friends and family.

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Apple Butter Pound Cake with Caramel Frosting

Apple Butter Pound Cake with Caramel Frosting
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; PROP STYLING: MARY CLAYTON CARL JONES; FOOD STYLING: EMILY NABORS HALL

This show-stopping dessert definitely conveys the sentiment of wishing your guests a “sweet new year.” This pound cake gets a big flavor boost from apple butter and toasted pecans.

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Chocolate Meringue Cookies

Southern Living Chocolate Meringue Cookies on a glass plate to serve.
VICTOR PROTASIO, FOOD STYLIST: RUTH BLACKBURN, PROP STYLIST: CHRISTINE KEELY 

These cookies are a family recipe Atlanta TV host Skye Estroff grew up baking with her grandmother Anita Estroff. They are decadent, fudgy and chewy and studded with pecans. They are the perfect treat to feed a crowd.

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Honey Bun Cake

Honey Bun Cake
PHOTOGRAPHER VICTOR PROTASIO, FOOD STYLIST RISHON HANNERS, PROP STYLIST HEATHER CHADDUCK

Honey cakes are a traditional Rosh Hashanah dessert. But this Honey Bun Cake really takes it to another delicious level, and no one needs to know that the secret shortcut to this recipe is boxed yellow cake mix.

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Buttery Apple-Almond Cake

Buttery Apple-Almond Cake
PHOTOGRAPHER: GREG DUPREE, FOOD STYLIST: EMILY NEIGHBORS HALL PROP STYLIST: AUDREY DAVIS

This Buttery Apple-Almond Cake is as beautiful as it is simple to make. The apples really shine as well, sure to guarantee your guests definitely start the new year on a sweet note.

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Party Coffee Cake

Southern Living Party Coffee Cake in a baking dish cut and ready to serve
VICTOR PROTASIO, FOOD STYLIST: RUTH BLACKBURN, PROP STYLIST: CHRISTINE KEELY 

Another item on Georgia native Anita Estroff’s Rosh Hashanah dessert table is this Party Coffee Cake. The light and airy cake is infused with lemon zest and boasts a cinnamon sugar crust on top. The perfect treat for your post temple lunch. 

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Caramel Apple Cake

Caramel Apple Cake
HECTOR MANUEL SANCHEZ

This Caramel Apple Cake is an absolute stunner that can proudly be the centerpiece of your Rosh Hashanah table. But it’s delicious too. It gets a boost of flavor from a topping of Apple Brandy-Caramel Sauce. And the best part is that it only takes 20 minutes to prepare.

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Mandel Bread

Southern Living Mandel Bread on a plate to serve with a cup of coffee
VICTOR PROTASIO, FOOD STYLIST: RUTH BLACKBURN, PROP STYLIST: CHRISTINE KEELY 

These cookies may look like biscotti but they are actually a staple of Jewish baking. Mandel Bread, a name that comes from the Yiddish word mandlbroyt, means almond bread as a common ingredient in the cookies is almonds. This recipe makes a large amount of the cookies which is perfect when preparing for having the whole family to celebrate the Jewish New Year.

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Apple Cinnamon Bread

Apple Cinnamon Bread
PHOTOGRAPHER: JENNIFER CAUSEY FOOD STYLIST: MELISSA GRAY PROP STYLIST: CHRISTINA DALEY

While challah is traditionally what is served at Jewish celebrations, this Apple Cinnamon Bread is a great addition to your bread basket for this Rosh Hashanah. This recipe makes two loaves so you can enjoy one loaf, freeze the other, or give it as a gift.

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Caramel Apple Blondie Pie

Caramel Apple Blondie Pie
PHOTO: HECTOR SANCHEZ

This delicious recipe utilizes one of the most important tools of the Southern kitchen–the cast iron skillet. Buttery rich layers of tender cake and caramelized apples create a blondie-reminiscent treat that will be the star of your holiday feast.

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Apple and Pear Crisp

Apple and Pear Crisp
JENNIFER DAVICK; FOOD STYLING: VANESSA ROCCHIO; PROP STYLING: MISSIE CRAWFORD

Granny Smith and McIntosh apples are paired with two firm pears and topped with oats and warm fall spices to create a delicious crisp. It’s a delightful way to end your festive meal and wish all of your guests, L’shanah Tova. Happy New Year.