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Tzimmes with Variations


There seems to be no Rosh Hashana without Tzimmes, as it is the perfect quintessence of all our prayers on a dinner plate: Sweet, strong, deep, spicy, nourishing, delicious. My Tzimmes Recipe is included in my giant Rosh Hashana Recipe and Menu File, with an amazing selection.

Tzimmes falls in a grey area between savory and sweet: Although it is meant as a side dish for meat and poultry, it often errs on the sweet and cloying side,  making it sometimes unsuitable even for dessert. There is no good reason for that. My Tzimmes relies mostly on naturally sweet vegetables, fruit and spices for sweetness, and has very little sugar added, so it amply falls in the category of healthy cooking. Even what little sugar I use can easily be replaced with stevia.


Tzimmes has more ingredients than I like my dishes to have (Tzimmes! Hello! Not for nothing does it get its affectionate name!) but it gets assembled quickly. I am also including a recipe for a very streamlined and more frugal recipe version at the bottom, for times we need to cook for a crowd on a shoestring budget.


Check out our complete collection of Rosh Hashanah recipes for mains, sides, soups, desserts, and more inspiration for the holiday.


Prepare the Tzimmes


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.


Combine all ingredients thoroughly in a bowl. Arrange the mixture in one layer on a baking sheet with sides, and bake about 45 minutes, or a few minutes longer, until ingredients are a nice golden color and the cooking liquids thicken into a natural sauce. Serve hot.

Variation: Tzimmes Loaf or Individual Servings

I love to make my tzimmes in a loaf pan or in muffin molds. It’s a little more work and a couple more ingredients than cutting the ingredients in dice, baking them and calling it a day, but this is a nice fun departure, and looks more festive. The food processor will make short work of the preparation steps: no dicing.


With the shredding blade of the food processor, shred the sweet potato, carrot and apples.


Transfer the shredded mixture to a mixing bowl, with all remaining ingredients.


Increase the oil to a half a cup. Add three eggs and one cup flour. Mix thoroughly (avoid squeezing so as not to extract more moisture).


Pour into a greased tube cake pan or 9×13 pan., or into one and a half dozen medium muffin molds. Bake for one hour (muffins: 40 minutes) or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cut into slices or chunks. Serve warm as a side dish.

Variation: Frugal Tzimmes Version


Follow the basic recipe instructions on top, using a simplified and more economical ingredient list: 1 medium onion, 1 large sweet potato, 2 large carrots, 1 cup canned crushed pineapple (1/2 cup reconstituted frozen orange juice if crushed pineapple is hard to get), 1 cup raisins, 2 tablespoons cinnamon, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, ¼ cup sugar, salt and pepper to taste. 


If you decide to make a “frugal” tzimmes loaf: follow the instructions for tzimmes loaf, using the simplified ingredient list in the frugal version above.


Masbia is a nonprofit soup kitchen network and food pantry, every day providing hot, nutritious meals for hundreds of New Yorkers in desperate need of food. For Rosh Hashanah, Masbia collected Tzimmes recipes as Tzimmes is a symbolic and sweet food for the holiday. To learn more, click here