9 Hanukkah-Thanksgiving Fusion Dishes

Macey J Foronda
Macey J Foronda / Macey J Foronda

This Thursday will be the only time in your life that Hanukkah overlaps with Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fit together well, as they are both holidays centered around gratitude that involve eating a lot. What better way to celebrate this confluence than with fusion recipes for tasty things to eat for your “Thanksgivukkah” feast? Note: Some of these recipes are stated as kosher; others are obviously not. I don't know enough about dietary laws to judge those that are not labeled, so you may want to inquire further before cooking.

1. Manischewitz-Brined Roast Turkey

Photograph by Macey J Foronda.

Brining your turkey a full day before roasting it is quite popular these days. It makes the turkey moist and infuses the outer edge with flavors from herbs and spices. You can get an extra flavor kick from wine. Manischewitz-Brined Roast Turkey calls for a brine with fruits and wine in addition to the standard brine ingredients. Your turkey will turn purple from the wine, but will brown as it roasts and appear normal. The instructions call for slathering the turkey with butter, which renders it non-kosher, but you can substitute schmaltz, olive oil, or margarine. There's also a recipe for gravy that calls for Manischewitz, so the flavors will enhance each other.

2. Challah Chestnut Stuffing

Tori Avey at Shiksa in the Kitchen doesn't see why traditional Jewish holiday recipes cannot be incorporated into every Thanksgiving feast. She posted a recipe for Challah Chestnut Stuffing three years ago! The challah is a perfectly absorbent bread, flavored with vegetables sautéed in schmaltz, and traditional roasted chestnuts. If you want to go vegetarian, cook the vegetables in margarine and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. No butter! This is a kosher recipe.

3. Cranberry Challah

Photograph by Carrie Vasios Mullins.

My Thanksgiving menu always contains challah because my sister-in-law makes it. To truly be a fusion recipe, it must contain something traditionally found at most Thanksgiving feasts. Cranberry Challah fills the bill, and provides a sweet alternative for those who can't handle regular cranberry sauce. If you want a challah that's sweeter, maybe for Thanksgiving-Hanukkah breakfast, try Honey Cranberry Challah

4. Sweet Potato Bourbon Noodle Kugel

Photograph by Macey J. Foronda.

Kugel is a casserole made with potatoes or noodles, depending on your grandmother's preference, and can be sweet or savory. Sweet Potato Bourbon Noodle Kugel uses sweet potatoes, brown sugar, pecans, and bourbon to make it sweet, but like many traditional Thanksgiving foods, still appropriate for the main feast. This recipe contains cottage cheese, butter, and eggs.

5. Sweet Potato Latkes

Hanukkah food is all about the latkes, or potato cakes. If you celebrate Hanukkah, you'll probably have them on more than one day, so for Thanksgiving, try something different: American-style Sweet Potato Latkes. This recipe from Cooking with Sugar contains apples in the mix, but you can still put applesauce on them if you prefer that over sour cream.

6. Latke-Crusted Turkey Stuffing Fritters

Kenji at at Serious Eats' Food Lab took cranberry sauce and froze it into balls, then covered them in turkey sausage stuffing and then potato latke mixture, and deep fried the whole recipe to make Latke-Crusted Turkey Stuffing Fritters. The cranberries should stay inside as they liquify. Serve with turkey schmaltz gravy. The sausage stuffing recipe is not kosher as is.

7. Pumpkin Pie Filled Sufganiot

Sufganiot means jelly donut, traditional for Hanukkah. The fusion recipe for Pumpkin Pie Filled Sufganiot is for homemade fried donuts, with the addition of your favorite pumpkin pie filling, cooked, cooled, and injected into the fried donuts with a pastry bag.

8. Pumpkin Pie Rugelach

Photograph by Carrie Vasios Mullins.

Rugelach looks enough like a crescent roll to fit into the common Thanksgiving feast visually, but it is a sweet dessert. Serious Eats offers a recipe for Pumpkin Pie Rugelach that combines the flaky cream cheese pastry with spicy pumpkin pie flavorings: cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg. There is pumpkin in there, too, in the form of pumpkin butter, which is a little like apple butter but spicier.

9. Turkey Matzo Ball Soup

Then there's the many things you can do with Thanksgiving leftovers as you continue to celebrate Hanukkah. How about a delicious Turkey Matzo Ball Soup? Save whatever turkey fat and broth you don't use for gravy, and make more broth by simmering the turkey bones and scraps. Embellish the recipe with bits of leftover turkey as you please.

The Thanksgivukkah Anthem by Six13

Have a wonderful Hanukkah and a marvelous Thanksgiving!