Many Jewish foods are right at home on the Thanksgiving table. (Remember Thanksgivukkah in 2013?) If you’d like to incorporate some Jewish-inspired recipes into your holiday menu, this list has some great options. Some are expected, such as challah stuffing, schmaltzy turkey and chopped liver. Some are less conventional, such as everything-bagel stuffing, butternut squash with a tahini dressing and “falafel” made with Thanksgiving leftovers. Stick to tradition or try something new. This year, anything goes!
Even if you’re going to smother your turkey with gravy, you still want it to taste good. Some roast turkey recipes use a compound butter or lots of herbs. This one goes even further—and keeps it kosher—with garlic- and herb-infused schmaltz. In addition to producing a great-tasting turkey, it will make your kitchen smell phenomenal!
This year is a good one to stray from tradition, and brisket is a great alternative to turkey. It’s a project that doesn’t require a lot of hands-on cooking, it serves a small crowd and it makes great leftovers. This recipe is engineered to make in advance so you can do all the work ahead of time, and it includes detailed instructions for cutting the meat against the grain, which is the key to keeping brisket tender.
Rich, sturdy challah makes great stuffing. This recipe incorporates two other Thanksgiving ingredients—apples and fennel—and is cooked outside the turkey so it’s vegetarian-friendly. It can also be halved if you’re serving fewer people—but leftover stuffing is one of the best parts of Thanksgiving, so you might as well go ahead and make the full recipe.
Everything bagels are more than just the bread component of this unique stuffing. Their built-in seasoning gives the recipe a flavor head start, so all you need to do is add some aromatics and liquid ingredients to make it all come together. The recipe also includes instructions to make it a few days ahead.
I count roasted brussels sprouts among my favorite foods. And tossing them with gribenes is a great way to elevate them for a holiday spread. This sweet and salty, tender and crispy dish will give the other Thanksgiving sides some competition.
The sweetness of roasted butternut squash and nuttiness of tahini are a perfect match. This beautiful, substantial side dish marries the two with a tahini dressing, simply made by whisking together tahini, garlic, lemon, water and olive oil.
White potatoes have a monopoly on the mash, but sweet potatoes still deserve a place at the holiday table. Turning them into latkes gives them the crispy texture that most traditional holiday dishes don’t have.
Chopped liver is a great appetizer for any special meal. If you don’t have your own favorite recipe, this one from Joan Nathan is inspired by one of her favorite restaurant versions, the one served at Wise Sons Deli in San Francisco. She adds hard-boiled eggs and more onions but gives you permission to make your own adjustments based on your preferred taste and texture.
I’m pretty sure you’ve never used your Thanksgiving leftovers like this! This recipe was inspired by the falafel and pita sandwiches of Tel Aviv. It has a kitchen-sink aspect to it: Other than the leftover mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce, its toppings and fillings are suggestions, but you can use what you happen to have in your kitchen.
If you’re looking for a recipe that covers almost every Thanksgiving staple and you’re the type of person who has sphere silicone molds kicking around, this could be a fun project. (Though there’s a note in the recipe that says you can use ice cube trays instead of the silicone molds.) As one of the commenters said, “It’s like a Jewish turducken.”
Hamantaschen are basically open-faced hand pies. Their fillings are infinitely customizable, so you can use a variety of fillings—apple butter or spiced pumpkin would make them feel extra festive for Thanksgiving—to make a single dessert feel like a full spread. They’re also fun to fill and form, so they’re a good assignment for kids who are looking to contribute to the meal.