The 5 Best Jewish Food Recipes of 2020

Challah, kugel, meatballs and more.

The year of 2020 will be remembered for many things, mostly terrible. Nevertheless, it was a year when people hunkered down in their homes and chose to cook and bake more than in recent years — be it trying brand new dishes, flexing their bread baking skills, or just connecting with the comfort foods they love. Jewish food was no exception.

We’ve rounded up the top 5 Jewish recipes people were making this year from The Nosher. We hope that our challah, kugel, meatballs and more were delicious, bright spots in the darkness.

1. Challah

Sure, sourdough had a moment this year. So did banana bread, focaccia, and scallion pancakes. But challah was no slacker, and we saw more and more of you sharing your challah creations, work on your braiding, and click on our challah recipes. After all, challah baking during busy work weeks when you’re commuting can be complicated: When do you let the dough rise? What if you don’t get back from work on time? But with many people working from home, the task of challah baking became that much more attainable, and we’re so glad so many people chose to embrace it.

If you’re looking to take that challah baking up a notch in 2021, might we suggest one of Cheryl Holbert’s online challah classes, a unique new recipe like churro-inspired challah, or just investing in some good challah-baking tools.

2. Cauliflower Kugel

Photo credit: Emanuelle Lee

Cauliflower is the do-it-all vegetable: It can be pizza crust! It can be rice! It can be bread sticks! And yes, it can be kugel, too. This cauliflower kugel was a hit in 2020, and we can only assume it’s because it’s kinda healthy, and also its kugel. Best of both worlds.

Ready for some more kugel? How about yapchik — potato kugel stuffed with meat.

3. Andrew Zimmern’s Potato Latkes

We love award-winning TV host Andrew Zimmern! We love latkes! So it’s no surprise that everyone wanted to try his perfect potato latke recipe this year. We’re sure it didn’t disappoint.

4. Matzah Mac & Cheese

Matzah mac & cheese: layers of cheese and matzah. Need we say more? It’s drool worthy. It’s comfort food. And it’s Passover-friendly. We love all of Sonya Sanford‘s creations, and this cheesy matzah masterpiece is no exception.

If you need more cheesy comfort in the coming months, try this vegetarian moussaka from Leah Koenig or the ultimate cheese and tomato lasagna from Cooks Illustrated.

5. Syrian Meatballs

Photo credit: Crystal Rivera

These are not just any meatballs. These Syrian meatballs, or keftes, are sweet, tangy, and savory all at the same time. No wonder they are such a hit. The secret ingredients: tamarind paste and baharat spice mix, which you can buy online, find in a Middle Eastern food store, or in the “ethnic” aisle of your supermarket.

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