Get a head start on the Jewish New Year by prepping elements of this delicious meal in advance.
sweet-and-sour brisket on platter with carrots and potatoes
Credit: Lennart Weibull

Rosh Hashanah is more than a celebration—the Jewish New Year is a time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the year to come. With that comes a two-day holiday and several home-cooked meals with friends and family. For smart hosting, we suggest this delicious menu with make-ahead tips that frees up more time on the day to spend with guests or relaxing in-between engagements.

To honor the holiday, our menu features versions of dishes that are typically enjoyed during this time and utilizes ingredients like honey, apple, and pomegranates, which are symbols of sweetness and prosperity in the days to come. Gather your friends and family, pick up a loaf of challah, and enjoy this inventive Rosh Hashanah meal.

Pomegranate cooler in a glass being held on a white napkin
Credit: Anna Williams

Pomegranate Cooler

To drink, those who choose to imbibe can sip on a rum-spiked pomegranate cooler. The little ones and those who don't drink aren't forgotten, though. Stir up a rum-free version in a separate pitcher, replacing the alcohol with more seltzer or a lemon-lime soda.

Make-Ahead Tip: Mix a pitcher in advance rather than preparing each drink individually. Just multiply the ingredients by the number of guests, keep chilled, and wait to add the seltzer and fresh pomegranate seeds before serving.

ginger spice chicken soup
Credit: Pernille Loof

Turmeric-Ginger Chicken Soup

Flavorful, bright, and super quick to make, a warming bowl of turmeric-ginger spiced chicken soup is a perfect starter for a fall meal. The soup is just enough to whet the appetite, but not too much to ruin the feast ahead.

Make-Ahead Tip: Shred the rotisserie chicken and prep out the ingredients earlier in the day. Cook the soup about 20 minutes before serving for the most al dente noodles.

Sweet-and-Sour Brisket

The time and love that you put into this brisket pays off in big compliments at the table and brisket is always a great option for serving a crowd. The version pictured above is one of the test kitchen's favorite brisket recipes, and it's a recreation of the brisket our food director, Sarah Carey, grew up eating. It has all the homemade flavors of grandma's best recipe with carrots and potatoes cooked alongside, and is a truly satisfying main.

Make-Ahead Tip: Braised meats often taste even better the next day. Slow roast the brisket the evening before and store it in the braising liquid in the roasting pan covered with aluminum foil. Reheat with the foil on in a low temperature oven about an hour or so before slicing.


Mixed Chicories with Persimmons

To balance the heartiness of rich homemade brisket, serve a crisp, colorful salad with mixed chicories, walnuts, and persimmons. Use apple or pear slices if you can't find persimmons or if you prefer their flavor.

Make-Ahead Tip: Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tightly fitting lid and keep at room temperature to prevent the oil from solidifying. Combine the salad in the serving bowl, cover and refrigerate. Right before serving, remove the salad from the fridge, shake the dressing, and drizzle over top. Toss to coat.

raisin-challah apple betty served with vanilla ice cream
Credit: Justin Walker

Raisin-Challah Apple Betty

Fans of apple crisps and crumbles will love this warm dessert served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream slowly melting over top. This dessert brings together challah, apples, and honey—all symbols of luck in the New Year.

Make-Ahead Tip: Bake the betty up to a day before, cool completely, and cover. Warm in a low oven before serving.


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