18 Festive Hanukkah Recipes for Busy Nights

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Easy Hanukkah recipes to plan for a festive family dinner even on a busy weeknight. Delicious dinner ideas include quick matzo ball soup and make ahead potato latkes. Don't skip dessert! The make ahead apple cake or a delicious chocolate babka is perfect.

A photo collage shows matzo ball soup and other easy Hanukkah recipes.

Inevitably, the special nights of Hanukkah will land on a busy night or two.

When you want to plan a festive family dinner, sometimes you need a handy holiday shortcut.

These easy Hanukkah recipes will help you plan a meal for your family even on a busy weeknight.

My fast matzo ball soup comes together in minutes and many of the other make ahead dishes could be prepped this weekend.

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Easy Hanukkah Recipes for Busy Weeknights

Need a quick dinner idea for a festive family dinner during Hanukkah?

These make ahead or quick prep dishes are just the thing.

Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

This classic roast chicken recipe is juicy and tender.

Savory roasted vegetables make this a one-pot meal you can prep in just minutes.

How to Roast A Chicken
This juicy golden brown roast chicken is just a few minutes away from your dinner table. The buttery flavoring helps to season the perfectly tender roasted potatoes and carrots underneath the chicken as it cooks.
4.50 from 2 votes
The roasted chicken sits on top of roasted vegetables in a round roasting pan.

Instant Pot Apricot Chicken

Sweet and savory apricot chicken is a delicious Instant Pot dinner for Hanukkah that you can serve with my easy herb butter rice.

Instant Pot Apricot Chicken
This sweet and savory apricot chicken is fall-apart tender and a very easy weeknight dinner. Serve it over herb butter rice with the apricot sauce drizzled over the top.
5 from 35 votes
A baking dish is filled with saucy apricot chicken sprinkled with fresh herbs.

Faster Matzo Ball Soup

Matzo ball soup can be a perfect busy night dinner, especially when you start with a rotisserie chicken. This dish is so tasty, we made it twice in one week!

Quick & Easy Matzo Ball Soup
This quick matzo ball soup is easy enough for a busy weeknight. Use a rotisserie chicken and get the soup simmering while the from-scratch matzo balls chill in the fridge. A wholesome dinner will be ready fast!
4.98 from 45 votes
A bowl of homemade matzoh ball soup has a spoon showing the carrots and chicken while three matzoh balls float in the broth.

Oven Baked Salmon

I love oven baked salmon for busy nights because it cooks so quickly with almost no prep.

Make my air fryer green beans for a super-fast side dish in minutes.

Oven Baked Salmon
This simple oven baked salmon is perfect for beginner cooks or for a busy weeknight. Just 3 ingredients and 15 minutes to a delicious and healthy dinner.
5 from 39 votes
A platter of oven baked salmon next to roasted asparagus has a fork showing the flaky pink fish.

Holiday Brisket

This holiday brisket from Tori Avey would be a delicious way to incorporate brisket into your weeknight dinner.

Tender vegetables and a hearty sauce make this a wonderful festive night dinner.

Holiday Brisket
A savory, aromatic, slowly cooked brisket with tomatoes, onions, garlic, brown sugar, and a touch of vinegar. Kosher for Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah.
A white dinner bowl has Tori Avey's holiday brisket ready to eat.

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Creamy chicken wild rice soup is a comfort food classic, my version skips the mushrooms. (Though you can add them if you love them.)

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup
This 15-minute Instant Pot soup recipe is made with tender chicken thighs and boxed wild rice blend. Fresh onions and celery give a homemade taste to a quick and easy chicken soup your family will love, even on a busy weeknight.
4.34 from 3 votes
A white bowl is filled with a creamy chicken and wild rice soup.

Potato Latkes

Make-ahead potato latkes are the perfect solution for serving this tricky dish on a weeknight. Simply reheat them and serve with sour cream and applesauce.

Make Ahead Potato Latkes
Golden brown potato latkes can easily be made from scratch at home before your holiday celebration. Mix together the grated potatoes and onions with a simple egg base and fry them in oil. Once cooled, they can be stored for later and just reheated before serving.
4.44 from 46 votes
A platter of homemade potato latkes next to cups of sour cream and applesauce with spoons.

Homemade Applesauce

If you're serving the latkes, make your Hanukkah dinner a little more special with homemade applesauce. This microwave recipe is done in 10 minutes or less and tastes amazing served warm.

Microwave Applesauce
This easy applesauce is made right in the microwave in just minutes. Mix in your favorite apple pie seasonings or simply use the brown sugar and cinnamon combination.
5 from 41 votes
A serving of applesauce with a spoon.

Homemade Challah

A traditional braided challah is a lovely part of any celebration but sometimes a busy weeknight calls for something easier. My bread machine challah loaf is perfect for slicing and serving as a side for your dinner.

Bread Machine Challah Bread
This challah bread loaf is the easiest homemade bread to enjoy for Hanukkah. The dough could be braided and then baked in the oven if you prefer, but the simple bread machine loaf is wonderful as well. This traditional Jewish egg bread makes absolutely amazing French toast and bread puddings as well.
4.65 from 48 votes
A fresh baked challah loaf is in the bread machine pan cooling on a wire rack.

Roasted Carrots

Need an easy side dish? These tender oven roasted carrots would pair perfectly with chicken, brisket, or salmon.

Roasted Carrots
These delicious roasted carrots are slightly seasoned with garlic and red pepper flakes. Enjoy them as an easy side dish or use them to bulk up a salad or rice dish.
5 from 44 votes
The oven roasted carrots have golden brown edges and are being served on a white platter with a serving spoon.

Fried Cabbage with Caraway Seeds

Another easy side dish you can cook in minutes is this buttery fried cabbage with caraway seeds. I love how crispy the edges of the cabbage brown up and they taste wonderful paired with chicken or brisket.

Fried Cabbage
Crispy fried cabbage tossed with caraway seeds and a dash of salt and pepper is one of the easiest budget-friendly side dishes ever! Serve with pork, corned beef, or even roast chicken for a quick vegetable side.
5 from 46 votes
A serving of crispy fried cabbage with caraway seeds is in a white serving bowl.

Brown Butter Noodle Kugel

Looking for more delicious comfort food for your Hanukkah dinner? This brown butter noodle kugel from The Toasty Kitchen is easy to prep and will be a huge hit.

Savory Brown Butter Noodle Kugel
Savory brown butter noodle kugel is a side dish made with egg noodles and a rich and tangy custard. Caramelized brown butter, sage, and thyme make this a savory, comforting side dish.
A baked kugel is being served with a spatula.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Small Town Woman's stuffed cabbage rolls are an old world classic recipe that would be perfect for a busy weeknight dinner. The rich savory tomato sauce and spiced rolls are utterly delicious.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
This delicious traditional Polish stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe is made with ground sausage, ground beef, and long grain rice wrapped in tender cabbage leaves with a sweet and tangy tomato sauce.
A plate of cabbage rolls.

Fresh Apple Cake

Don't let the evening pass without something sweet to end on. This make ahead apple cake with browned butter frosting is delicious and could be served for a couple nights of Hanukkah if you have a smaller family.

Fresh Apple Cake
This easy apple cake is bursting at the seams with fresh apples. It’s the perfect way to use your orchard haul this fall. Top it with nutty brown butter frosting or easy cream cheese frosting and chopped pecans for an amazing make-ahead Thanksgiving dessert.
5 from 40 votes
A plate of cabbage rolls.

Rugelach Cookies

Set out a tray of these flaky rugelach cookies from Stone Gable. There are several flavors to choose from but she specifically recommends using strawberry jam.

Rugelach Cookies
A light, flakey, buttery little crescent cookie. It can be filled with many scrumptious fillings.
a plate of Rugelach cookies is ready to be served.

Chocolate Babka

As much as I love to make homemade bread, I haven't tackled a chocolate babka yet. This recipe from A Bright Moment only takes one hour and could be prepped ahead.

Chocolate Babka
A sliced babka loaf on parchment paper shows the chocolate swirl in each slice.

Jelly Donuts or Sufganiyot

If you can't find a Jewish bakery to get your favorite sufganiyot, why not make them yourself?

This homemade jelly donut recipe from Allways Delicious would make a perfect Hanukkah dessert.

Jelly Donuts or Sufganiyot
Sufganiyot are traditional Israeli jelly donuts. Pillowy, filled with jelly (or other fillings), and dusted with powdered sugar, they are a real treat. They are commonly eaten during Hanukkah, but they’re scrumptious any time of year.
A baking pan filled with jelly donuts.

Raspberry Apricot Rugelach Bars

These flaky rugelach bars from The View from Great Island look so amazing. Add them to your dessert tray and enjoy them even on busy weeknights!

Raspberry Apricot Rugelach Bars
Raspberry Apricot Rugelach Bars: get a slab of flakey jam filled rugelach pastry without all the fiddly cutting and rolling. 
A pile of raspberry rugelach bars
A photo collage of 4 easy Hanukkah recipes.

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