Making Hanukkah appetizers isn’t as easy as making appetizers for other events.
Because Hanukkah is a Jewish religious holiday, it includes some dietary restrictions.
You can’t just whip up a plate of pigs-in-a-blanket or sausage balls. You have to be more selective than that.
Fortunately, there are still plenty of great options for Hanukkah appetizers. You just need to know where to look for them.
And this list is a great place to start. I’ve pulled together a list of 20 appetizers that are perfect.
If you’ve been preparing Hanukkah feasts for years, many of these will be familiar to you.
If not, you may find plenty of new appetizers to try. Either way, there’s enough to give you a wide selection of dishes.
No one will complain about food boredom this Hanukkah!
Best Appetizers for Hanukkah
Potato latkes are a Hanukkah staple with or without the apple creme fraiche.
You’ll rarely make it through an entire Hanukkah season without latkes on the table.
That’s because they’re crunchy, tasty, and easy to make. They’re like the cocktail meatballs of the Hanukkah world.
Everyone has a recipe for them, but I like this one.
You can make the latkes with just six ingredients. They turn out so crispy and flavorful. I also like their miniature size.
Furthermore, you can tweak the topping to make them sweet or savory. (The apple creme fraiche is a sweeter option.)
Now, let’s look at a few other topping choices in our next recipe.
Actually, this is less a recipe and more an assembly guide. You can use it to make the most amazing latke board.
It gives you over a dozen ideas about what to add to your latke board.
There are sweet toppings, salty toppings, tangy toppings, and more. And don’t forget the fruits and veggies!
It doesn’t matter how your guests enjoy their latkes. This board will have something to suit their tastes.
This bruschetta is nothing like what you order at the local Italian restaurant. Fortunately, though, it’s just as delicious.
It’s tart and tangy with just a hint of sweetness underneath. It takes just 10 minutes and seven ingredients to whip up.
Its flavor is mild, but it’s also bright, zesty, and lemon-flavored.
It makes a delightful appetizer or a palate cleanser between dishes.
Rugelach is a tasty treat both before and after a meal. They’re light enough to serve as appetizers and sweet enough for dessert.
They look like sugar- and cinnamon-dusted crescent rolls. However, you fill each one with a sweet, nutty filling.
That filling is what makes them so much tastier than plain crescent rolls.
They aren’t challenging to make, but don’t wait until the last minute. Letting your dough sit for up to 2 days will give it a fluffier texture.
If you don’t have that much time, you should give them at least 2 hours minimum.
Smoked salmon dip is creamy, smoky, and salty, with plenty of fresh, herb flavor.
It’s a smooth, delectable dip that tastes fantastic on crackers. (You could substitute celery stalks for a low-carb option.)
It also makes an insanely yummy bagel topping.
6. Potato Knish
Including rise time, knishes take about 3 hours to make. Even so, they’re a Hanukkah favorite for families all across the country.
The dough is soft, tender, and gorgeously golden brown. The savory potato filling is scrumptious and surprisingly hearty.
Of all the appetizers on this list, these are some of the most comforting.
Just the warm, rich smell of them will have everyone in the house feeling nostalgic.
These crunchy fish cakes are slightly spicy and full of umami goodness. They’re like crab cakes and salmon patties in one.
Filled with seasonings, each one is wonderfully flavorful. Serve them with a side of tahini sauce for the complete Israeli experience.
Cheese fritters look like hush puppies, but they have softer insides. Their outsides are just as deep-fried and crunchy, though.
Instead of hush puppies’ oniony flavor, these taste like deep-fried cottage cheese. (That makes sense because that’s exactly what they are.)
Dust them in powdered sugar for a sweet and salty taste you won’t soon forget.
Mixed nuts are a classic appetizer that everyone enjoys. Take yours up a notch with this simple recipe.
Roasting them with cayenne pepper gives them a spicy kick that’ll set your mouth on fire.
However, there’s also a syrup sweetness that makes them downright irresistible.
Pro Tip: Leave out the cayenne if too much heat isn’t your thing. The sweet nuts taste amazing just as they are.
10. Best Hummus
This creamy, silky smooth hummus is better than any you can buy at the store. It’s fresh, garlicky, and earthy, as all good hummus should be.
You’ll need fewer than 10 ingredients to make it. Plus, it takes less than an hour to whip up two cups.
Furthermore, it keeps well in the fridge. That means you can make it a day or so ahead of time. It’ll still taste just as good as it did when it was fresh.
These bite-sized sandwiches aren’t just great Hanukkah appetizers. They’re fantastic appetizers for any occasion.
The puff pastry dough makes excellent “bread.”
And the creamy salmon filling? It’s just delightful. It’s smoky and so good that you’ll want to lick your fingers after eating it.
Here’s another tangy, smoky fish-based appetizer. It’s hard to go wrong with dips, especially when they taste this good.
It’s creamy, flavorful, and simple to make.
Assuming your fish is pre-smoked, there’s no cooking involved, either. You toss everything in a food processor and let it do its thing.
Plate it with some crackers and veggies, and you’re all set. It’s sure to be a total crowd-pleaser.
Don’t you just love the texture of stuffed mushrooms? I know I do. The mushrooms are soft and chewy, and the filling is so creamy and smooth.
You can have these herby, cheesy stuffed mushrooms ready in 40 minutes. They feature crab meat, green onions, and plenty of herbs and spices.
They have a robust flavor that lingers long after the last bite. And they’ll have everybody coming back for more.
Mini-quiches are such elegant little appetizers. They’re flaky, buttery, and full of cheese. Plus, you can add whatever additional ingredients you like best.
I love how fluffy and light they are. Additionally, the ability to pop an entire quiche into your mouth in one bite is a huge plus.
After all, who can expect you to keep track of how many you’ve eaten? They’re just so easy to devour.
Homemade applesauce is sweet, tart, and just about perfect. It has a wonderful consistency and a lovely color.
Whether you’re making it for Hanukkah or your kid’s lunch, it’s sure to be a hit.
16. Noodle Kugel
Noodle kugel is another Hanukkah favorite. There are plenty of recipes for it, but I like this one.
It combines cinnamon, sugar, raisins, pineapple, cottage cheese, etc.
It’s lightly sweet, somewhat tangy, and mostly fruity. It’s delicate and appealing enough to serve as an appetizer. However, it’s also pretty filling.
Some people enjoy it for breakfast or even a light lunch.
Matzo ball shooters are dense and have just enough dill to give them flavor. Typically, you serve them in soup, but shooters make fun appetizers.
Provide each guest with a single matzo ball in broth on a spoon. It’s a great way to provide fun and fellowship before a meal.
It’ll also whet everyone’s appetite for what’s to come.
Everyone loves everything bagels. This recipe gives you all that flavor in a yummy dip.
And all you need to make it is cream cheese, sour cream, and Everything Bagel seasoning.
It takes 5 minutes to whip up, and you can serve it with anything you like. Everyone will love it, and no one has to know how easy it was to make.
These crispy brisket bites are meaty and saucy. They’ll make you go weak in the knees. You’ll love their smoky, herb flavor, and the seasoning mix is on point.
Plus, it’s unbelievably easy to make three pounds of these scrumptious snacks. Your Instant Pot does all the hard work for you.
My best advice for these? Double the recipe because they’ll practically fly off the serving platter.
Nothing gets you in the Hanukkah spirit like cranberries and brie. This tasty, eight-ingredient crostini features both.
Each piece is buttery and perfectly sweet and tangy. The balsamic vinegar pulls everything together into one delicious, cohesive appetizer.
They’re colorful, lovely, and a genuine pleasure to eat.
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