Rosh Hashanah Recipes to Celebrate the New Year

Chicken with Roasted Grapes, Garlic and Rosemary
Photo: Photo by Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

During Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, the foods that are eaten help mark reflection on the year that has passed while looking forward to the year to come. This year, Rosh Hashanah starts at sunset on Sunday, September 25, and runs until nightfall on Tuesday, September 27. No matter how long you've been celebrating or if you're a novice to the Jewish holiday, you should always include some simanim, or ingredients like honey and carrots that are meant to improve your circumstances.

We've collected 16 recipes for you to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, including warming Matzo Ball Soup, delicious Braised Chicken with Apples and Calvados, and a few different honey cakes to bring sweetness to the year to come. Read on for recipes for those and more dishes we'll be enjoying this holiday.

01 of 16

Jessamyn's Sephardic Challah

Jessamyn's Sephardic Challah
© Zubin Schroff

Jessamyn Waldman, founder of Hot Bread Kitchen, grew up in Canada eating challah, the Jewish Sabbath bread. Unlike the eggy challahs of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe, this version comes from the Sephardic Jews of the Mediterranean, who flavored their challahs with caraway and anise. Many challahs are braided, but this one is twisted into a round, turban-shaped loaf.

02 of 16

Halva-Stuffed Challah

Halvah-Stuffed Challah
© Molly Yeh

Blogger Molly Yeh fills this braided bread with a mix of halvah (the confection made with crushed sesame seeds and honey) and tahini. Yeh recommends using an extra-smooth, pourable tahini (Whole Foods' 365 brand is a good bet), but if your tahini is cakey and thick, she advises mixing it with warm water until spreadable.

03 of 16

Matzo Ball Soup

Matzo Ball Soup
© Phoebe Melnick

At Abe Fisher in Philadelphia, chef Yehuda Sichel infuses the broth for this Passover staple with fresh turmeric and ground fenugreek for a deep golden color and a slight anise-y flavor. Once your matzo balls are cooked, don't let them sit for too long – you want to eat them while they are still warm and tender.

04 of 16

Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella
© Abby Hocking

Based on the Silver Palate classic, our Chicken Marbella uses bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and a wonderful sweet-briny mix of capers, olives, dried apricots and pitted prunes.

05 of 16

Roast Chicken with Hot Honey

Roast Chicken with Hot Honey Recipe
John Kernick

Pre-seasoning these chicken legs with salt at least an hour before cooking ensures flavorful, juicy meat. Drizzle leftover hot honey on a cheese plate or pizza.

06 of 16

Braised Chicken with Apples and Calvados

Braised Chicken with Apples and Calvados
© Con Poulos

Chef Matthew Accarrino uses apples plus cider and the apple brandy Calvados to add layers of flavor to his braised chicken.

07 of 16

Roast Chicken with Port and Figs

Chicken with Port and Figs
© Dana Gallagher

Dried figs are poached in port to make a luscious Portuguese-inspired sauce to pair with roast chicken for a meal perfect for the first fall nights. Ruby port provides the best color, but tawny will also work well.

08 of 16

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Grapes, Garlic and Rosemary

Chicken with Roasted Grapes, Garlic and Rosemary
Photo by Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Dinner doesn't get simpler or more elegant than this pan-roasted chicken. To make it, a whole chicken is cut into eight pieces, then roasted with grapes, garlic cloves, and sprigs of rosemary to yield crispy-skinned chicken in a schmaltzy pan sauce that begs for a crusty piece of bread. "I'm on record as being a slavering fan of Angie Mar's glam-bomb fare," says Senior Editor Kat Kinsman, who is a super-fan of Mar (a 2017 Food & Wine Best New Chef) and first tried this dish to-go. "But the take-out foil pan filled with roasted grapes, garlic, and rosemary; fatty drippings; and the sloppiest, cook's-treat parts of a chicken (my favorite) may be the best thing she ever served me."

09 of 16

Red Wine Braised Brisket

Red-Wine-Braised Beef Brisket
© Simon Watson

Both Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo had early experiences with sauerbraten, the German braised brisket. Castronovo sampled it on trips to Germany; Falcinelli had it at the German deli where he worked as a teenager. The terrific recipe they ultimately perfected is both very sweet and very sour, made with raisins, apples, red wine vinegar and red wine.

10 of 16

Brisket with Sweet and Sour Onions

Brisket with Sweet-and-Sour Onions
David Cicconi

This brisket recipe is from Jessamyn Rodriguez, the founder and CEO of Hot Bread Kitchen, the New York–based social enterprise that helps immigrant women and others launch careers and food businesses. She calls the brisket her "crowning glory," and says the secret is cooking it low and slow.

11 of 16

Grandma Selma's Brisket

Grandma Selma's Brisket
© John Kernick

This is Russ Pillar's modern take on his grandmother's recipe. He experimented with a mix of spices and unexpected ingredients (such as Coca-Cola) to re-create her dish and came up with this version.

12 of 16

Syrah-Braised Lamb with Olives, Cherries and Endive

Syrah-Braised Lamb with Olives, Cherries and Endives
© Tina Rupp

Rajat Parr braises succulent lamb shoulder in Syrah, then adds kalamata olives and dried sour cherries that he's soaked in red wine. The unusual combination makes the sauce deliciously sweet and savory.

13 of 16

Sweet Noodle Kugel with Dried Cherries

Sweet Noodle Kugel with Dried Cherries. Photo © Fredrika Stjärne
© Fredrika Stjärne

Noodle kugel is a traditional Jewish recipe served for dessert or as a side dish. Although it's made with cottage cheese, it develops a custardy texture as it bakes slowly in a ceramic dish. Here, Grace Parisi uses cornflakes and pecans to make a crunchy topping.

14 of 16

Gluten-Free Honey Cake

Honey Cake Recipe
Victor Protasio

Inspired by German cake recipes from a 13th-century cookbook, chef Alex Hrabovsky and his wife, Reana, developed this gluten-free honey cake using almond and gluten-free flours. The buckwheat honey they call for here is what gives this cake its signature malty, molasses notes and sets it apart. The dollops of mascarpone and drizzles of honey on top turn a simple slice of cake into a holiday dessert.

15 of 16

Honey Chiffon Cake

Honey Chiffon Cake
© Christina Holmes

This cake is an especially light and moist take on the honey cake that is traditionally eaten for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The tea in the batter and the lemon in the glaze add flavor and cut the sweetness. The cake must be cooled upside down to achieve its distinctively fluffy texture.

16 of 16

Honey Cake with Citrus Frosting

Honey Cake with Citrus Frosting
John Kernick

This tender, light honey cake, laced with hints of coffee and orange juice, is perfect with a cup of tea.

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