My Rosh Hashana Menu Plan (2023)

Rosh Hashana is just a week from tomorrow — gulp! (How does it sneak up on me every single year???)

I’m not quite in overwhelm-mode yet, but perhaps it’s because I was in denial until about two hours ago, lol.

I just finished making my menu plan, which I’m excited to share with you. And then I have to place my grocery order to be delivered on Monday. I really hope to not make myself too crazy with cooking and baking this year — haha, let’s see how that actually goes!

What’s on your Rosh Hashana menu plan?

Rosh Hashana Honey Cookies

First Night of Rosh Hashana/Erev Shabbat

(12 people)

As has become our family tradition, we eat fish Erev Rosh Hashana — not meat — as our main dish. (I know it doesn’t work for everyone, but it works for us!) Also, you will notice that everything on the menu for this night is a siman — which I love doing!

Do you have my simanim card? Download it HERE. 

  • Apple Stuffed Challah
  • Round Braided Challah
  • Pomegranate Spritzers (fresh pomegranate juice + bubbly Moscato wine or sparkling water, floating pomegranate seeds and thinly sliced lime on top)
  • Apples & Honey
  • Carrot soup (I would usually make chicken soup, since it’s also Shabbat; but my SIL is vegetarian, so that’s a good excuse to make carrot soup!)
  • Honey-Mustard Salmon
  • Leek patties (I got a new recipe this year, which I’m trying out — if it turns out yummy, I will be sure to share it)
  • Roasted garlic heads (in lieu of actual rosh basar!)
  • Roasted butternut squash with fresh sage
  • Colorful Beet Salad with Quinoa, Edamame & Carrots – I make this every year and it is so delicious; I highly recommend it! (Tip: I prep all the ingredients ahead of time and store them separately in glass containers in the fridge; then I put together the salad right before we are going to eat)
  • Honey Cookies (this recipe is a perennial hit, so I always double or triple the recipe and freeze a batch for Sukkot)
  • Peanut butter and chocolate dates (aka “Snickers Dates”)
  • Fish gummies (we cut off just the heads in lieu of real “fish heads”)

First Day of Rosh Hashana/Shabbat lunch

(7 people)

Second Day of Rosh Hashana, Dinner: Soup & Salad 

(6 people)

I make a very light dinner for the second night — I figure we don’t need a third huge meal in 26 hours. My plan is to freeze leftover soup from this Shabbat, so all I’ll have to do is make the salad and muffins.

  • New Fruit
  • Chicken soup with matzah balls and noodles (from the freezer)
  • Green salad with roasted peppers, cherry tomatoes, crispy chickpeas and Balsamic vinaigrette
  • Pumpkin muffins (I will double this recipe, but make it in muffin tins, adjusting down the bake time a bit. I’ll freeze half of them to serve over Sukkot.)

Second Day of Rosh Hashana, Lunch

(12 people)

A few thoughts on making your yomtov prep easier

(Or, perhaps, more accurately, less cumbersome)

Selfishly speaking, having this blog makes menu planning for the chagim so much easier for me. When I sat down to plan this year’s menu, I just looked up the last several year’s worth of plans and tweaked them slightly as necessary.

I know that not everyone can search the archives of their blog, but if you can write your menus in an “archive-able” way — whether in Google docs, or a notes app on your phone, or an old school binder with hand-written menus — it definitely makes menu planning much faster.

In my 20s, I loved to spend hours pouring over cookbooks and planning multiple courses filled with all new-t0-me dishes. The older I get, however, the more I appreciate not having to make too many complicated dishes or culinary decisions.

I like knowing what works (and what doesn’t) for my family — and sticking to those recipes. Each year, I try to make a mix of yomtov-only recipes — like the honey cookies that I’ve been making for a decade now, but only for Rosh Hashana, so they stay “special” — and tried-and-true recipes that even the pickiest eater in our family will like — such as my easy-peasy sweet and sour meatballs, or mashed potatoes as a side dish for lunch.

As I’ve alluded to in the menu, another way to save time (for future me) is to double or triple my recipes and freeze them for Sukkot or future Shabbatot. This works great for most baked goods, as well as soups and proteins. Another time saver is to make a huge batch of caramelized onions (they take forever to caramelize, and need a bit of babysitting, so it’s good to do when you will be in the kitchen for a while anyway) and then freeze the extra in muffin tins. (Just line the tins with plastic wrap, to make it easy to lift them out once frozen and store them in a Ziploc bag.)

I’ve also discovered the importance of setting up replicable systems to reduce some of my workload this time of year. One such system is my grocery order. After I made my menu last year, I immediately created an online grocery order, which took me about 45 minutes. Then I used the app’s handy list feature to archive my order as a “list” in my account. (I’d imagine most grocery apps have a similar feature.) Now this year, I get to save myself those 45 minutes of “shopping” by simply adding my archived Rosh Hashana list to my order. Of course, I need to edit it to accommodate changes to my menu, but it’s so much easier to start with a “pre-populated” list than to work from scratch.

Lastly, I make my to do list in the Notes app on my phone. Especially since Erev Rosh Hashana falls out on a Friday, I want to block out time next week before to get as much done as possible in advance. If I leave everything to Thursday night and Friday, I’ll go insane. The picture above is my note from last year, which I’ll just tweak for this year, since the menus and timing are a bit different.

I would love to hear what’s on your Rosh Hashana menu plan! Please share below in the comments.

And don’t forget to download my Rosh Hashana Simanim Guide!

Rosh Hashana Simanim

Shana Tova!



  1. Happy New Year, and thank you for the useful hints!

  2. hi Mara! This menu is so helpful. thank you ! which cranberry apple crunch recipe do you use ?

    • It’s my good friend Lenore’s recipe. The mix is one can of whole cranberry, equal amount of apple sauce (I use sweetened, but you can use unsweetened) and a bit of cinnamon. Then the crust/crunch topping (I use the same for each) is 1 stick margarine, 3 cups of raw oatmeal, 1.5 cup flour, 1.5 cup brown sugar, 1 stick of margarine. I usually have a cup or two of the topping left, which I freeze and then use another time for apple crisp. Enjoy!

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