Editor’s note: Given that millions of people are celebrating Hanukkah now, we thought this was the perfect time to bring back and update this roundup of delicious, healthy Hanukkah recipes!
Hanukkah, the Jewish “Festival of Lights,” dictates indulging in a fried feast of latkes and doughnuts to honor the reclaiming of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and a miraculous celebration—when a day’s worth of oil burned for eight. But there are plenty of delicious ways to enjoy holiday fare without getting weighed down by oily fats and extra calories. We’ve rounded up inventive recipes — vegetable latkes, baked doughnuts, whole-wheat challah and more — that put a healthy spin on Hanukkah favorites. L’chaim!
1. Curry Vegetables Latkes
Nothing says Hanukkah like the hiss and aroma of latkes frying in a pan! Instead of using potatoes, try this veggie-fortified version that uses a mix of zucchini and carrot shreds. We recommend topping your pancakes with applesauce or Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Photo and Recipe: Tori / The Shiksa Blog
2. Crock Pot Applesauce
Slow cooking fruit allows for the natural sweetness to seep out, so there’s no need to add sugar to this recipe. Be sure to start it well before your latkes though — it takes over six hours to reach perfection. If you want a smoother texture, use an immersion blender to break up chunks. Photo and Recipe: Melissa / My Whole Food Life
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3. Baked Jelly Doughnuts (Sufganiyot)
Devour some doughnut deliciousness (in moderation, of course!) sans oils and frying! You’ll need a mini muffin tin to bake your treats and a piping bag to insert the jam filling. Photo and Recipe: Anita / Hungry Couple NYC
4. Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel
If you have the chutzpah to break with tradition and forgo your classic brisket, try this low-carb chicken that’s breaded with almond meal. When making a second batch, be sure to refresh the oil otherwise your schnitzels will come out looking like schmutz. Photo and Recipe: Tori / The Shiksa Blog
5. Whole Wheat Challah
Holla for challah? This recipe uses rolled oats and whole-wheat flour, which will fill you up with extra fiber and heart-healthy grains. Pro tip: Make challah French toast with your leftovers! Photo and Recipe: Barbara / Barbara Bakes
6. Noodle Kugel
Put a lighter spin on creamy, decadent pasta pudding. Here, you’ll lower the saturated fat and cholesterol and none of the yumminess. The kugel’s flavor intensifies if you leave it in the fridge overnight, so prepare it a day or so before serving. Photo and Recipe: Cathy Tang / Taste of Home
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7. Rugelach Cookies
Bite-sized desserts are perfect for Hanukkah entertaining. Use Greek yogurt as a substitute for cream cheese in the cookie dough, and spread your favorite jam on before rolling them up. Photo and Recipe: Winnie / Healthy Green Kitchen
8. Vegan Baked Apples
No Hanukkah celebration is complete without some dessert, and these gooey baked apples will make the celebration extra sweet. At just 103 calories per half apple, they won’t induce eight crazy bloated nights. Photo and Recipe: Emily Miller / Life by DailyBurn
Originally posted November 27, 2013. Updated December 2014 and December 2020.