8 side dishes perfect for Thanksgiving & Hanukkah

    It’s not every year that the Gregorian and Jewish calendars align to bring Thanksgiving and Hanukkah together. So when it does happen, it calls for a celebration! It’s the perfect way to celebrate your Jewish and American heritage at the same time. While the two holidays do not perfectly align, they come pretty close. Thanksgiving falls out on Thursday, November 25 and the first night of Hanukkah is the following Sunday night, November 28.

    All of these side dish ideas combine festive Thanksgiving classics with Hanukkah staples to build creative dishes that fuse together these celebratory holidays. Read on for some fun and tasty ideas!

    Sweet Potato Latkes

    While some may already consider these a staple side dish, sweet potato latkes are perfect for both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. The warm and sweet fall sweet potato grated and fried into latkes screams fall festivities and the coming of Hanukkah.

    Challah Stuffing with Sweet Potatoes

    Continuing on with the fall sweet potato theme, try using sweet potato in an untraditional way to create a unique Thanksgiving stuffing. Instead of using a regular loaf of bread, try using a rich and thick challah bread as the base of your stuffing. Don’t forget to add in the other stuffing classics like cranberries, celery, etc!

    Smashed Potatoes

    Smashed potatoes have the crispy exterior and soft and creamy potato inside you need at your Thanksgiving meal. If you’re not a fan of heavily fried latkes, smashed potatoes are a great alternative. They are lighter on the oil, while still providing the crunchy potato side dish we all so desire!

    Sufganiyot with Pumpkin Pie or Apple Pie Filling

    Sufganiyot are traditionally a donut-like dessert with no hole in the center. Instead, sufganiyot are stuffed in the center with decadent and sweet fillings. Give your Sufganiyot a Thanksgiving and fall feel with a sweet pumpkin pie or apple pie filling. Your guests will be more than impressed and coming back for seconds!

    Apple Pie Filled Challah

    Sufganiyot are not the only foods that can be stuffed! Try adding some cinnamon and sugar-coated apples to your next batch of challah. Your guests will be in for a sweet treat

    Homemade Applesauce

    Applesauce and latkes are a classic pairing. Sure, you can get store-bought applesauce, but if you really want to impress your guests, try making your own warm and delicious apple sauce from scratch. While it may sound intimidating, all it takes is some chopped apples, a crockpot, and a whole bunch of time.

    Pecan Pie Rugelach

    Rugelach is a classic Jewish dessert with a sweet dough and even sweeter filling. Give yours a Thanksgiving twist with a pecan pie-filled rugelach!

    Hanukkah Gelt

    If you don’t want to commit to combining the two holidays with extravagant themed side dishes, stick with the staples and toss some Hanukkah gelt onto your Thanksgiving table. This will remind your guests of the coming holiday while giving them a sweet treat to snack on throughout the meal!

    Jenny Lieberman is a recipe developer, certified group fitness instructor, and recent high school graduate from Boca Raton, FL. She loves all things health and wellness, so you will probably find her looking up the newest food and fitness trends. She is currently on a gap year program at Midreshet Torah v’Avodah (MTVA) in Jerusalem, Israel. Jenny will be attending the University of Maryland, College Park, starting Fall 2021. You can follow Jenny on her Instagram healthy food account (@toomuchonmyplate_) to see more of her recipes!