A Vegan Hanukkah

It’s Chanukah time … or Hanukkah … however, you spell it, it is a time for festivities and delicious food! Hanukkah is the holiday that celebrates the victory of the Maccabees and the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. It is a holiday of miracles, when a tiny quantity of oil that should have only lasted one day burned for eight days. To commemorate this miracle, it is traditional to eat fried foods such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (doughnuts). It’s also a time for family gatherings and dinners filled with delicious foods. I want to show how to celebrate this holiday VEGAN!

My goal with making vegan Hanukkah recipes is for everyone at the table to enjoy (and when a non-vegan goes “this is vegan?!”, it’s usually a sign that my vegan recipe was delicious!) Now I want to put a disclaimer that while I celebrated many jewish holidays growing up, I never had my bat mitzvah. And I want to show you yummy recipes that are ethical and vegan, I am not trying to offend anyone’s beliefs!

Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, takes place over eight days and eight nights. The winter holiday, which means “dedication” in Hebrew, celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple. When I was a kid though I remember the sour cream, the apple sauce and peeling SO many potatoes!!

Here’s the story of the holiday: In the second century, Seleucids ruled Israel. The rulers attempted to force the Jewish people to accept other religious beliefs, killing many who attempted to fight back to maintain their traditions.  A group of poorly-armed Jewish people, led by Judah the Maccabee, fought back and against all odds, defeated the Seleucid army. When they reclaimed the Holy Temple of Jerusalem and attempted to rededicate the temple by lighting the Menorah, they only found enough olive oil to last one day. But, by a miracle, the oil lasted for eight days. And gave them time for reinforcements to come. 

This is the season of miracles and of believing in the good and the light of the world!! Hanukkah is the festival of lights, and it’s also a festival of oil. For this holiday, Jews celebrate the miracle of a tiny bit of oil lasting eight long nights with family gatherings, food, and games. Observers whip up dishes such as potato pancakes and jelly donuts and play dreidel, spinning for a handful of gelt.

7 Simple Steps for the Ultimate Vegan Hanukkah Celebration

Many Hanukkah dishes are not vegan, but it’s easy to make traditional food without using any animal products. Here are seven vegan recipes to try during the festival of lights.

1. Vegan Matzo Ball Soup

Making matzo balls without eggs is easy. This ultra-comforting recipe uses quinoa flakes as a binder and they’re baked in the oven to prevent them from falling apart. It’s also packed with celery, potatoes, carrots, and fresh dill.

Get the recipe here.

2. Vegan Challah

Packed with fruit and nuts, you’ll want this vegan challah on your dessert table. This fluffy, braided bread is traditionally enriched with eggs. But, this recipe uses dairy-free yogurt with a thick texture instead. Save the leftovers to make vegan French toast.

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Challah Bread (3.5 hours + Egg-Free) 

This traditional bread is served at Jewish ceremonial occasions such as Shabbat and other holidays. It is shared and enjoyed by many people worldwide. Typically, the bread is made with eggs and honey. In my vegan challah recipe, we use aquafaba and white sugar to recreate the texture and sweetness of traditional Israeli water challah bread! Get the recipe here!

3. Vegan Sufganiyot

Nothing beats homemade donuts. These Hanukkah sufganiyot are classic yeast donuts made without eggs or dairy. They have a light, fluffy texture, are filled with delicious jam, and are topped off with orange zest.

Get the recipe here.

4. Vegan Brisket

Brisket is part of the Hanukkah tradition, and it’s easy to make it vegan. This plant-based brisket is made from a blend of chickpeas and seitan, so you’ll need a food processor or powerful blender to get the job done. It’s tender, juicy, and perfectly spiced.

Get the recipe here.

5. Vegan Latkes

Made from potatoes and sweet potatoes, these vegan latkes are crispy and easy to make. Instead of eggs, they use potato starch and chickpea flour. Serve with fresh dill and dairy-free sour cream.

Get the recipe here.

6. Vegan Gelt

It’s not Hanukkah without gelt. Vermont-based brand Lake Champlain Chocolates makes Organic Dark Chocolate Gelt. Not only is it vegan, but it’s also made from fair-trade chocolate.

7. Vegan Kugel

Looking for a vegan kugel recipe? You’ve come to the right place. This egg-free potato and carrot kugel is crispy on top, just the way it should be.

Get the recipe here.

hether you grew up with Hanukkah or it’s your first time celebrating this Jewish holiday, you must know that food plays an integral role. Lighting the menorah (or chanukiah) and reciting the blessings takes precedence, but afterward, it’s time to eat. From sweet to savory and appetizers to desserts, here are the veganized Jewish dishes that should be enjoyed during any Hanukkah celebration—even if it’s a celebration of one. 

Vegan Hanukkah Recipes


Finding vegan Hanukkah recipes can be challenging… especially when celebrating the holiday around non-vegans. Whether you’re vegan or looking for egg-free, dairy-free or gluten-free Hanukkah recipes, serving these vegan Hanukkah recipes will please everyone & make your Bubbe proud