Hanukkah is the festival of lights and celebrates the Miracle of the Oil, where only one day’s worth of oil was left in the Temple menorah, and it burned miraculously for eight days. To commemorate this miracle, foods fried in oil are celebrated on Hanukkah especially latkes and donuts, alongside traditional Jewish staples.
Keep your traditional Hanukkah entirely Paleo with these 27 delicious recipes, including some for latkes and donuts. All of the following recipes are free from refined sugar, dairy, grains, refined oils, and legumes.
Latkes are quintessential Hanukkah food. Today’s popular potato latke, whose name in Yiddish means “little oily,” comes to us from the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe in the 1800s. This recipe uses sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes for a lower-carb Paleo option.
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Sweet Potato Latkes
If you’re skipping potatoes entirely, these carrot latkes are the perfect substitute. You can also try parsnips or purple carrots for a colorful variety.
Recipe: Elana’s Pantry | Carrot Scallion Latkes
For that little hint of sweetness, these throw in green apples and pair the final latke with smoked salmon and horseradish for a zesty flavor that will quickly become a year-round favorite.
Recipe: Primal Palate | Parsnip-Apple Latkes with Smoked Salmon
Latkes are traditionally served with applesauce because they taste so good atop your little oilys! But there’s a little more the story. If latkes are served with meat, applesauce keeps to the Kosher rule of not mixing meat and dairy in they same meal. This Paleo applesauce is easy to make in your own kitchen.
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Paleo Applesauce
If latkes are served at a dairy meal, both applesauce and sour cream can be served. This non-dairy “sour cream” is perfect for serving with your latkes at any meal, keeping things Kosher and Paleo.
Recipe: Paleo Cupboard | Paleo Sour Cream
In Jewish culinary tradition, nothing signifies an occasion more than a loaf of challah bread! This easy grain-free Paleo challah substitutes wheat flour with almond, arrowroot, and potato flours.
Recipe: Zenbelly | Paleo Challah
Chicken liver is a traditional Hanukkah spread. Like potato latkes, chopped chicken liver recipes came to America with Eastern European Jews at the turn of the 20th Century. Nutritionally speaking, chicken liver is packed full of vitamins and minerals, and the recipe below is super easy to make and has bold, delicious flavor.
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Chopped Chicken Liver
Hummus originated in the Middle East and has been a staple in the Jewish cuisine in that area for centuries. Only recently has it become popular in Western Jewish cooking. Traditional hummus is made with garbanzo beans, a legume that isn’t Paleo. However, hummus can be made with several Paleo-friendly ingredients, like the ones found in this recipe.
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Paleo Hummus
Plantain chips taste like potato chips, only better! Full of fiber, plantain chips are the perfect complement to your hummus and chicken liver spreads.
Recipe: Fed and Fit | Paleo Plantain Chips
Making your own crackers is super easy and very rewarding. With just a few minutes and four ingredients, you’ll have a batch of perfectly crunchy crackers for your appetizers and you’ll never want the store-bought stuff again!
Recipe: Elana’s Pantry | Salt and Pepper Crackers
Bone broth is Jewish soul food. Slow simmered with bones, it is full of collagen and gelatin, as well as minerals and amino acids like glycine that are central to digestive health, proper immune function, and wound healing. It works perfectly as the starter to any celebration, including Hanukkah, and can be used as any soup base.
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Simple Bone Broth
This grain-free chicken “noodle” soup is filled with nutritious veggies, like zucchini noodles, and gets its warm glow from a generous portion of anti-inflammatory turmeric.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Turmeric Chicken Noodle Soup with Zoodles
Creamy, rich, and savory, this comforting soup is sublime in all the elements: texture, flavor, and aroma. It’s the perfect winter soup and makes an excellent Hanukkah meal first course.
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Ginger, Carrot, and Sweet Potato Soup
Brisket is Jewish “comfort meat” and it’s the perfect centerpiece for your main Hanukkah meal. Slow cooking brisket softens up the tough collagenous fibers and makes this dish incredibly tender. Tomatoes, onions, and garlic add great flavor.
Recipe: Primal Palate | Paleo Slow Cooker Beef Brisket with Tomatoes and Onions
Before there were slow cookers, brisket was cooked in the oven. This recipe does just that and the result is a superb one-pot meal of meat and veggies.
Recipe: Zenbelly | Brisket with Caramelized Onions and Porcini Mushrooms
If you’re looking to get your brisket nice and tender in half the time, pull out your Instant Pot! After the brisket is seared in bacon fat, this recipe takes on a Mexican flair with a chipotle powder rub. It’s quick and absolutely delicious.
Recipe: Fed and Fit | Instant Pot Chipotle Brisket
Lemon, garlic, rosemary, and thyme are classic roast chicken seasonings and perfect for roasted chicken, a classic Hanukkah dinner.
Recipe: Paleo Newbie | Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken
Not a classic, but a very fun spin on “chicken and waffles,” this recipe takes fried food to the next level. You’ll wow your family and guests on Hanukkah and find yourself returning to this recipe all year long.
Recipe: Zenbelly | Fried Chicken and Latke Waffles
Supplying an abundance of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is the definition of a superfood. Rosemary and pecans add flavor, aroma, and crunch.
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Baked Salmon with Rosemary and Pecans
Lamb is rich in protein, minerals, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)—a compound with potent antioxidant properties. Paired with peppery arugula and buttery pistachios, this elegant meal elevates lamb to new heights.
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Lamb Chops with Wilted Arugula and Pistachios
Pomegranates are rich in nutrition as well as Jewish symbolism. According to Jewish lore, pomegranates have 613 seeds, the same as the number of commandments of the Torah. Whether that’s a fact or not, they taste great and give meals an added touch of beauty.
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Kale Salad with Pomegranate and Pumpkin Seeds
This seasonal side dish makes ordinary Brussels sprouts extraordinary with a sprinkling of festive pomegranate seeds.
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate
You can’t have a Jewish celebration without kugel! Most commonly made with egg noodles, this grain-free version is Paleo-friendly and made with sweet potatoes.
Recipe: Paleo Running Momma | Sweet Potato Noodle Paleo Kugel
This veggie-packed kugel supplies a rainbow of nutrition. It’s as pretty as it is delicious!
Recipe: Thriving on Paleo | Veggie Kugel
A Paleo Hanukkah means it’s time to make the grain-free donuts! You can fry them, but baking is just as good (and less messy!). Made with Paleo-friendly almond and arrowroot flours, you can frost these donuts with either chocolate ganache or lemon glaze, or make a few of each!
Recipe: Primal Palate | Grain-Free Donuts
Perhaps it’s a chocolate dessert you’re craving this Hanukkah? Unsweetened cocoa powder and coconut flour create a rich and luxurious base for a topping of white chocolate icing.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Chocolate Paleo Donuts
What’s Hanukkah without Hanukkah gelt! This recipe makes suggestions for toppings for your coins but that’s totally up to you. Feel free to wrap your coins up in shiny paper and give them as treats to your family and guests. Hanukkah gelt is for children, but everyone will love these homemade coins!
Recipe: Allergylicious | Healthy Homemade Chocolate Coins
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