Our Rosh Hashana Menu Plan (2013)

The first night of Rosh Hashana is just a week from tomorrow night.

One. Week.


I’ve been meaning to do this for a month, but denial was firmly rooted in my menu planning brain. Last night, however, I took no prisoners, stayed up way too late, and finally nailed down our Rosh Hashana menu plan.

You will see that other than challah and some honey cookies, my choices are grain-free. (Yes, it’s been almost three months and my husband and I are still doing the grain-free thing.)

Also, more than ever, I made a real effort to keep our plans do-able this year. I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew — and find myself standing in the kitchen in a sweaty panic two hours before yomtov. That’s not a good way to get into the new year mood!

But this year, do-able is especially important to me, since the Monday after Rosh Hashana, my brood will be boarding a plane to Israel.


For those who don’t know, we lived in Israel for many years. It’s been five years since we moved back to the US and we are so looking forward to this three-week visit. So, in addition to shopping, cooking and cleaning over the next eight days, I’m also going to be doing laundry and packing and generally freaking out.

Which is why I wanted menus that could be prepped and cooked without excessive kitchen time. In fact, I plan to make my challot, soup and desserts on Sunday.

First Night of Rosh Hashana Dinner


Apples & honey

Round challah and apple pull-apart challah with honey (or maybe one of these apple challah recipes)

Carrot ginger soup (I plan to try the Carrot Apple Ginger one on my apple recipe list)

Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs

Saffron quinoa

Balsamic roasted brussel sprouts

Spinach salad

Honey cookies (I made these last year and they were great)

Better than apple crisp + time permitting, I’m going to try this honey ginger pareve ice cream (or I’ll buy some Rice Dream)

Second Night of Rosh Hashana Dinner


Apples & honey, new fruit

Apple challah

Carrot ginger soup

Honey Mustard Salmon over Balsamic Honey Mixed Greens

Quinoa pilaf with dried apricots & almond slivers

Honey cookies

Second Day of Rosh Hashana Lunch

We’ll be potlucking with two other families (thank you, guys!) and I’ll be making:


Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Poppyseed Dressing

Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs

Shabbat Dinner


Looking for more menu-planning inspiration, here are some old posts to browse through:

Rosh Hashana 2012 Menu Plan

Rosh Hashana 2011 Menu Plan

Sukkot Menu Plans – 2012

Sukkot Menu Plans – 2011

Shmeini Atzeret & Simchat Torah Menu Plan

And if you want to braid some beautiful — and stunningly easy — challot, I made this video a few years ago, which many of you have seen.

So, now it’s your turn: I’d love to hear what you are serving for Rosh Hashana. Please share your menus below!


  1. Can you post the quinoa recipes? I’m always looking for new things to do with quinoa, especially now that they’re selling it in my Costco again. It’s so much cheaper than anywhere else and we eat a lot of it.

  2. Love the apple challah idea, just wondering what part of the meal you eat it at?? Thanks?

  3. Stealing your menu. Thanks! 🙂

  4. I’m kinda obsessed with simanim, and very obsessed with swiss chard, which we’ll be using instead of spinach for silka. We’ll probably also have braised leeks, which we tried for the first time last year. I might make beet-orange salad, too.

    We’ll serve carrot kugel, due to my daughter’s insistence. I was hoping that the kabocha squash I grew this summer would be ready, but it needs to mature on the shelf some more for maximum sweetness. I think I’ll be buying a kabocha instead, and baking it with sweet spices and a touch of cayenne.

    For fish, I was planning to make a simple dill-and-lemon thinging in a foil packet. And we eat gummy fishheads, because certain members of my family protest the real thing.

    We used to eat asparagus, so that Hashem would spare us from the harsh decree, but I’m not sure I can bring myself to buying them so far out of season anymore.

    We’ll probably have some meatballs in there, and apricot-sesame chicken from my mom’s recipe.

    For dessert, there’ll be banana cake so everyone has a “bonne annee.”

    G-d willing, all the cooking will get done, and everyone will sit down at the table with a smile on their faces.

    • Amen to that!

      I love the banana idea. I also love the simanim. Not doing too much this year, but you’re an inspiration for next year.

  5. shawn wylie says

    Thank you for posting this, Mara!!!

  6. Mara, thank you so much for the challah video. I am never to old to learn. Now I can make a round challah that looks like it deserves to be on the table for Rosh Hashanah! I too, will be using a few of your recipes. I just need an extra week to get ready!

  7. Do you have a recipe for braised leeks. I would love to try it.

  8. galileegirl says

    How do you think the honey cookies would come out with half whole wheat flour?

    Please let me know if you’ll be visiting the north on your Israel trip! I’d be happy to offer tiyul suggestions and/or meet up with you.

Leave a Comment