Vegan Hannukah: Tips for Celebrating

Like all good holidays, Hanukkah is a time of feasting. We know that sometimes eating differently at family events can be tricky, but we’ve got you covered

Image Credit: AdobeStock

At this time of year, the Jewish community celebrates Hanukkah, and the miracle oil that kept the candles burning for eight days while the Maccabees fought for the Holy Temple.

Today that means spending time with family and friends, enjoying latkes, doughnuts, and other tasty treats fried in oil.

Here’s our guide to a happy vegan Hanukkah: how to eat well, celebrate, and deal with inquisitive family members with questions about your dietary choices!

A Vegan Hanukkah Meal

Lots of the traditional foods served at Hanukkah aren’t vegan by default. But luckily, they’re super easy to veganise!

Vegan Latkes

Let’s start with latkes: no Hanukkah would be complete without these tasty fried potato pancakes. Try this recipe from I Love Vegan, which doesn’t require any fancy ingredients like egg replacer. Top with vegan sour cream or applesauce and enjoy!

Image Credit: I Love Vegan

Vegan Brisket

Another regular on the Hanukkah table is brisket: while you could just replace this part of the meal with lots of delicious plant-based dishes, if you’re feeling ambitious, try this vegan brisket from My Jewish Learning.

Vegan Hanukkah - Vegan Brisket
Image Credit: My Jewish Learning

Vegan Desserts

For dessert, we love this vegan sweet noodle kugel from Veg Kitchen, or try Mayam Bialik’s recipe for vegan jelly doughnuts (sufganiyot).

Veganuary - Vegan Hanukkah - Vegan Kugel
Image Credit: Veg Kitchen

If you’re still hungry, this roundup of 21 vegan Hanukkah recipes has some great ideas.

Accidentally Vegan Hanukkah Treats 

If you’re in a hurry but still want to whip up something tasty for a Hanukkah meal, these store-bought Hanukkah foods are all cruelty-free and ready to eat.

Craving a comforting bowl of matzoh ball soup? Rejoice! Most matzoh ball mix is already vegan – just make sure to check the package before you buy it.

Image Credit: Paskesz

Pick up some vegan gelt for a happy game of spin the dreidel (these vegan gelt coins are also nut-free and certified kosher).

No gathering or celebration is complete without bagels. Vegan cream cheese is easy to find in most large supermarkets, whole foods stores or online – try Daiya, Tofutti or Kite Hill (you could even make some carrot lox to go with it!).  

Image Credit: Daiya Foods

Dealing With Family And Friends

Hanukkah is actually a great time to talk about veganism: the Jewish commandment tsa’ar ba’alei chayim means not causing unnecessary suffering to animals.

What better way to honour that commandment than celebrating a completely vegan Hanukkah? Take the opportunity to host a delicious Hanukkah meal for your loved ones, and show them just how tasty a cruelty-free Hanukkah dinner can be.

If you’re heading to a Hanukkah dinner hosted by someone else, offer to bring a dish or two with you. Not only will this help out your host (who may or may not be confident cooking for vegans), but it gives you a chance to wow your non-vegan family and friends with your tasty food!

If you’re bombarded with questions about being vegan during the holidays, remember that most people are just curious. Be friendly and respectful – you might even find that some of your friends and relatives are interested in giving veganism a try, so remember to direct them to the Veganuary pledge!

Thinking of trying vegan?

Veganuary inspires and supports people all over the world to try vegan for January and beyond. Millions of people have already taken part. Will you join them?