We can no longer ignore the date on the calendar. Rosh Hashanah is coming up quickly, and we’ve got a lot of planning to do.
Today we’re starting with the star of the show, Mains, to help you get started with the holiday cooking.
So, what should you serve at such a special meal? Some of our top picks include Sweet Tzimmes Chicken, Maple Mustard Beef Ribs, and Red Wine Veal Roast, just to name a few.
We’ve also got fish and plant based recipes for those who don’t eat red meat or chicken.
Take a look at our insanely delicious main dish ideas below and start your cooking this week to avoid the last-minute rush. Most of the meat dishes below can be frozen ahead. If you plan on freezing any of them, be sure to take a look at our freezer tips HERE.
Meat Rosh Hashanah Main Dishes
1. Baharat and Fig Top of the Rib by Shifra Klein
This sweet-and-savory roast screams Fall, Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot all in one. The unique flavor profile of baharat (which is a secret ingredient in many Israeli cholent recipes), coupled with figs and silan, brings something new to the classic braised roast that is so reminiscent of Yom Tov. Watch Sunny Side Up here!
2. Sauerbraten- Classic Roasted Beef with Apples and Raisins by Chef Tom Francz
This classic German roast was my mom’s favorite to prepare for special occasions and holidays. I love to prepare it for Rosh Hashanah or Succos with apples, raisins, and dried fruit like apples, apricots, and figs that add a wonderful aroma and flavor to the meat. It’s a sweet and sour flavor, and the meat is so tender after being marinated for three days. If you don’t have enough time, at least try to marinate for a day.
3. Honey-Chestnut Glazed Roast by Brynie Greisman
This roast is seasoned with a spectacular, unique assortment of condiments, which impart exceptional flavor. The glaze adds a superb and elegant finish to this “fit for a king” main dish.
4. Oven-Baked Glazed Corned Beef by Renee Chernin
Many people are reluctant to make corned beef because it usually has to simmer on the stove top for several hours, heating up the house with a pungent aroma. Once I discovered the oven method, I find the preparation much easier to handle. This is my younger daughter’s favorite recipe of all. Perfect for any Yom Tov.
5. Sweet Pomegranate Shoulder Roast by Guila Sandroussy
Having a showstopping roast that took minutes of our time to put together before forgetting it in the oven is a must! And that’s why I am sharing this today. Quick. Easy.
Just what we all need.
6. Maple Bourbon Oyster Steaks by The Peppermill
Tender and juicy steaks perfect for the holidays and all your special occasions.
7. Red Wine Veal Roast by Chaia Frishman
We were zocheh to have Bubby Pauline Goldberg on this earth for over 101 years. As the family reminisced about her recently, her popular dishes came up in conversation: shepherd’s pie, brisket, and — my favorite — tomato sauce veal roast. This interpretation of her dish is my homage to a woman who defined cooking with love.
8. Cranberry-Glazed French Roast by Rorie Weisberg
This recipe is my go-to crowd-pleaser, and the Salad Mate BBQ Sauce added a great kick! I love making it in the sous-vide machine, but I gave directions for preparing it in the oven too. Enjoy!
9. Slow-Roasted Herb-Crusted Brick Roast by Chanie Nayman
When I’m standing at the butcher counter deciding what kind of roast I want, brick roast is what my hand reaches for time and time again. It’s packed with flavor from all the marbling, and the herbs give it another dimension of flavor. You get the best results when you serve this medium rare.
10. Barbecue Brisket by Rivky Kleiman
Moist, succulent, and bursting with flavor. This is more than just your Bubby’s brisket.
11. Sweet and Tangy Spare Ribs by Renee Muller
A friend once called me, asking for a meat recipe. “It has to be amazingly good and incredibly easy,” she said. “I’m kidding,” she then added, but I knew she really wasn’t. And I had just the thing. Whenever I meet her husband, he makes sure to thank me, AGAIN, for “those awesome ribs.” Where does it say that great dishes have to be long, hard, and complicated?
12. Moroccan Spiced Lamb with Date Barbecue Sauce by Elana Heideman
Al ha’esh (The Hebrew term for BBQ) Israeli style is not for the faint-hearted. Here is a recipe for you to try, using lamb and a date-inspired barbecue sauce. Perfect for a Tu Bishvat, Sukkot or Yom Haatzmaut BBQ!
13. Juicy and Flavorful Turkey Breast by Brynie Greisman
I wanted an original flavor profile, different from the typical garlic/mustard one associated with a turkey roast. I had just made my own plum jam (sweetened just with natural apple juice concentrate) after finding the most succulent plums in the shuk, and wanted to incorporate it into this recipe. I love the way the veggies crown each slice of turkey, and the jam, wine, and lemon complement the veggies to perfection. Marinating it overnight results in the juiciest, softest turkey ever.
14. Maple Mustard Beef Ribs by Elizabeth Kurtz
Sweet and savory ribs are a huge fan favorite and perfect for a special Shabbos meal or cold winter night. Serve these with chunky mashed potatoes or egg noodles so the wonderful sauce can be soaked up and enjoyed with every bite.
15. Sweet and Sour French Roast by Shifra Klein
This roast is tender, the perfect balance of sweet and savory, a real crowd-pleaser. It tastes even better when made in advance and reheats incredibly well. Second cut brisket or top of rib work just as well.
Chicken Rosh Hashanah Main Dishes
16. Caramelized Onion, Honey, and Chestnut Chicken by Tammy Israel
Full of flavor and easy to put together- you can’t go wrong with adding this chicken, caramelized onion and chestnut dish to your menu.
17. Balsamic Roast Chicken by Amy Stopnicki
This recipe can be prepared and left in the refrigerator to marinate if you want to prepare in advance.
18. Apricot Oven Fried Chicken by Ruchele Honig
Easy oven-baked fried chicken with sweet and sour apricot sauce is an ideal weeknight dinner for busy families. Since we have Rosh Chodesh for the fruits as well, this recipe incorporates some of the fruits we eat on Tu Bishvat.
19. Pomegranate Silan Chicken by Erin Grunstein
Just a handful of ingredients goes into this marinade, but the result is a flavorful, colorful chicken dish that’s prefect for the holidays.
20. Sweet Tzimmes Chicken by Rorie Weisberg
21. Garlicky Cutlets by Estee Kafra
During the summer, I visited a butcher shop in the Tristate area and chanced upon “chicken steak.” It’s a great portion size, and an elegant way to serve chicken. You can use this recipe with deboned chicken thighs as well.
22. Pastrami-Topped Chicken by Esther Ottensoser
When I tasted this dish at my sister Leah’s house, I knew it would become a family favorite. The sauteed pastrami mixture is a great way to enhance a chicken cutlet dish.
23. Date-Glazed Roasted Chicken by Jamie Geller
This modern Israeli-inspired glazed chicken is easy to make and includes all the health benefits of dates. Perfect for Rosh Hashanah or your Tu B’shevat celebrations.
24. Silan Chicken by Sina Mizrahi
Our Rosh Hashanah table is traditionally graced with an abundance of simanim, from pomegranates to leeks, squash, and black-eyed peas, and many more. In my parents’ home, my mother even serves an actual head of a lamb. I always love incorporating the simanim into the meal, from the main dishes to the salads. Here’s a glimpse of what will be on our table. Silan, also called date honey, is one of my favorite sweeteners. It has a dark chestnut color and here it envelops the chicken in a glossy sauce that’s as delectable as it looks. Though you might imagine it would be overly sweet, the dish comes out nicely balanced, thanks to the garlic and shallots, and pairs well with brown rice, couscous, or quinoa.
25. “Tzimmes” Stuffed Capons with Apple and Honey Crumbs by Chanie Apfelbaum
Tzimmes is that mandatory Rosh Hashanah dish that no one seems to eat anymore. The cloyingly sweet carrot coins inevitably get left on everyone’s plate, so I’ve updated it with a healthier and tastier approach. Use it as a stuffing in these apple and honey capons, or serve it as a mash alongside your Yom Tov roast.
Vegetarian Rosh Hashanah Main Dishes
26. Vegetable Tian by Chavi Feldman
Here’s a different take on the classic vegetable kugel. This tasty side makes for an unusual and pretty presentation that will soon become your new Yom Tov favorite! Make sure to select vegetables that are roughly the same size in diameter for a uniform look.
27. Eggplant Carpaccio by Faigy Murray
You will need a lot of Challah for this one! I am a dip lover! I like to bring many different kinds to the table, and this is my latest one. It’s so incredibly easy to make and looks beautiful. Sometimes I even leave it as is in the eggplant. Or I scoop it. Whatever I am in the mood of.
28. Honey-Glazed Sheet Pan Salmon, Sweet Potatoes, and Broccoli by Chava Cohen
Salmon, veggies and sweet potatoes all cooked up on one sheet pan – easy! This versatile dish checks all the boxes (protein, veggies, carbs!) and is perfect for a Yom Tov starter or a Chol Hamoed lunch/dinner.
29. Crispy Sweet ’n Savory Salmon by Chavi Feldman
Just one word…yum! And another…different. Oh, and one more…elegant. I’m always looking for a new way to make salmon for Shabbat or Yom Tov. Well, this is one exciting (and did I mention easy?) new recipe that is sure to become one of your faves!
30. Instant Pot Ratatouille Stew by Jeffrey Eisner
Vegetarians, rejoice! Ratatouille is a rustic vegetable dish so deep in flavor, you might forget it’s made of only veggies! And I’ve turned it into a luscious stew. This is the perfect side dish—delicious both hot or cold—or a delightful meal in itself. It tastes like a wonderful harvest in your mouth—with zero guilt!
31. Pomegranate Glazed Salmon by Victoria Dwek
It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, this is one of my favorites. I’ve been demonstrating it a lot at food events (it’s nice to see how such a gorgeous dish could be so effortless), and it finally makes it here for you. A little of the pomegranate reduction goes a long way (store in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature when ready to use…an A+ dinner when there’s seriously no time) or pour the whole thing over a side of salmon for a beauty on the Yom Tov table.
32. Instant Pot Eggplant Risotto by Jeffrey Eisner
33. Plant-Based Stuffed Cabbage Rolls by Kenden Alfond
These stuffed cabbage rolls from the Jewish Food Hero Kitchen are as tasty and filling as traditional cabbage rolls, while being lighter and fresher in taste. They are also meat-free, dairy-free, oil-free, and filled with healthy ingredients. The filling is full of flavors and textures from the tempeh, pine nuts, raisins, and barley. The mix of tomatoes, sauerkraut, and paprika makes the sauce very savory, slightly sweet, and tangy.
This recipe does take a bit of prep because you need to assemble a couple different elements, but the end results are phenomenal and you will be glad you put in the effort. This is a dish perfect for a Shabbat or holiday meal with friends and family. You can also assemble the dish the day before and just bake the rolls on the day you want to serve them.
34. Vegetarian Chicken Apple Sausage Cholent by Manischewitz
No Jewish food is more versatile than cholent. Read more about successful substitutions and tips to help you prepare the perfect cholent.
35. Pan-Seared Maple Salmon Over Carrot Mash by Sina Mizrahi
Searing salmon on a hot pan seals in its juices and creates a crispy crust that is amazing in itself. But the maple soy sauce gives it a sweet and tangy taste that takes things up a notch. Served over the pillowy carrot mash, this dish is perfect for a fall night.
36. Gnocchi with Butternut Squash and Spinach by Sam Adler
Gnocchi potato dumplings with warm butternut squash and spinach in a white wine sauce. An easy and flavorful side dish for any occasion.
For more great Rosh Hashanah vegetarian and vegan recipes, click here. We even have more Rosh Hashanah dinner recipes as well!
Originally published August 2021. Updated and improved September 2023.