20 Festive Recipes For Purim

Just before sundown on Purim, a joyous celebration between family and friends of the Jewish faith is held over a feast to honor Queen Esther and her cousin Mordecai. The holiday is denoted by decorative masquerade costumes, noise-makers, an impressive spread of foods, and an ample amount of wine. The festivities come after a time of fasting and prayer, mirroring the actions described in the Megillah (or the Book of Ester), which is traditionally read during Purim.

As the story goes, Queen Esther hid her Jewish identity from her husband, King Ahasuerus, who was saved by Esther's cousin when he alerted the King to a plot against his life. When Haman, the King's hand (in some versions the Prime Minister), ordered the senseless elimination of Jewish citizens, Esther encouraged her people to pray and fast. After a feast held by Ester in the King and Haman's honor, the King is reminded of her cousin's kind action. The next day, revealing herself to be Jewish, Ester persuades the King to allow Jews to protect themselves. Mordecai replaces Haman as the king's hand, lives are saved, and a jubilant celebration ensues.

In addition to feasting, giving to the poor and bringing gifts of food to friends are important tenets of the celebration of Purim. Fruit-filled pastries, cookies, dumplings, legumes, and vegetables are some of the traditional foods that adorn the holiday table. Enjoy the Feast of Lots with your loved ones by serving a selection of Tasting Table recipes on Purim day.

1. Lentil Soup

This flavorful soup features earthy lentils slowly cooked in a savory chicken broth, enhanced by sweet carrots and herbal celery. Bay leaf and garlic lend classic flavors to the soup, while subtle, floral licorice notes from tarragon add a surprise element. 

This hearty dish is lightened with grated lemon zest and enriched with a dollop of creamy yogurt mixed with fresh chopped herbs. Easily swap in veggie broth to make a vegetarian version for your Purim party.

Recipe: Lentil Soup

2. Simple Creamy Hummus

Creamy hummus is a crowd-pleasing must-have at any Purim celebration. This classic recipe is ready in minutes and tastes much better when it's homemade.

Aquafaba, the multipurpose liquid enveloping canned chickpeas, comes together with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and the blonde legumes to create an ultra-creamy dip (or spread) that tastes great with pita bread or a platter of crudités. Dress it up by garnishing it with a drizzle of olive oil, whole chickpeas, and a sprinkle of vibrant paprika.

Recipe: Simple Creamy Hummus

3. Roasted Cornish Game Hens

There's something about Cornish game hens that denotes a special occasion, and this flavor-enhancing preparation of the delicate fowl makes for a show-stopping dish.

Cornish game hens are marinated in a brine that contains brown sugar, thyme, and garlic. A zesty, herbal compound butter is placed between the breast and skin of the butterflied birds, guaranteeing that you'll be enjoying a tender and juicy bite complemented by a crispy, perfectly browned exterior. 

Recipe: Roasted Cornish Game Hens

4. Refreshing Red Sangria

Wine is an essential part of Purim festivities, and this citrus-forward recipe for red sangria will keep the celebration going as long as you can. 

Recipe developer Christina Musgrave suggests a dry red wine base to counter the sweetness of the Grand Marnier and orange juice that are combined in this delectable mixed drink. Sliced apples, oranges, and limes add a refreshing zing as they meld together with the wine and orange liqueur in a party-perfect pitcher.

Recipe: Refreshing Red Sangria

5. Easy Chicken Carcass Soup

If you're the kind of person who never lets food go to waste, this flavor-enriched version of classic chicken soup is sure to be a delight. By slowly simmering the bones and tender meat from a leftover roasted chicken in boiling water, you get a rich, savory broth that envelops complementary ingredients like carrots, potatoes, chickpeas, celery, spinach, and tomatoes.

Feel free to customize this soup with additional vegetables, lentils, and grains. Chicken carcass soup makes for a tasty, nutritious meal for Purim diners breaking their fast.

Recipe: Easy Chicken Carcass Soup

6. Herby Tabouli

Tabouli is a Middle Eastern salad that's a great vegetarian side to serve at Purim celebrations both large and small. 

The star ingredient of this dish is the delicate bulgur wheat. This recipe combines the grain with a bounty of fresh herbs and vegetables like tangy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, mint, and parsley. After you add scallions to the mix for a pop of onion-like essence and lighten everything with a squeeze of lemon, you end up with a dish that satisfies hunger and refreshes the palate.

Recipe: Herby Tabouli

7. Cuban Black Beans

Many Purim menus feature legumes to honor Queen Esther's commitment to keeping kosher, and this Cuban twist on black beans makes for a flavorful dish that's perfect for the festivities. The piquant flavors of sautéed onion, green pepper, garlic, and jalapeño are enhanced when these vegetables are seasoned with bold spices like cumin, paprika, oregano, and coriander. It creates a zesty base for the mild black beans that are the star of this recipe.

You can top the dish with some chopped scallions or sliced avocado for added texture and flavor and serve it over rice for a hearty meal.

Recipe: Cuban Black Beans

8. Hamantaschen Galette

There are multiple theories on how hamantaschen became a traditional Purim treat, but there's no doubt that these fruit-forward cookies taste delightful. Instead of yielding a platter of small cookies, this recipe creates a large galette version that can be shared among revelers.

A buttery crust is filled with a decadent vanilla-almond custard that's reminiscent of the marzipan often used in hamantaschen. This filling is topped with preserves and apricot halves, and then sprinkled with poppy seeds to create an updated version of the classic Jewish holiday dessert.

Recipe: Hamantaschen Galette

9. Smoke-Brined Turkey

Not having a smoker doesn't have to stop you from enjoying the bold, smoldered flavors of smoked poultry — thanks to the exclusive smokeless brine recipe created by barbecue master John Lewis. The key ingredient to achieving the charred essence that a smoker delivers comes from the liquid smoke that infuses the turkey with its intense flavor in an overnight brine.

The brine tenderizes and flavors an 8- to 10-pound turkey before it bakes to a perfect golden brown, yielding a tender bird that tastes like it smoked for hours.

Recipe: Smoke-Brined Turkey

10. Dill Pickle Hummus

Legumes are traditionally served during Purim, and this hummus allows you to enjoy a classic festival dish with a uniquely tangy twist. 

Tender garbanzo beans are blended with the savory cumin, olive oil, and garlic that you would typically expect to taste in this creamy dip. The addition of chopped pickle chips and fresh dill adds a hit of herbal sourness, which cuts through the rich chickpea puree without overwhelming it. Garnish with chopped pickles and dill and save the leftovers for a tangy sandwich spread.

Recipe: Dill Pickle Hummus

11. Smoked Brisket

Special occasions call for festive fare, and this savory smoked brisket aims to satisfy all the appetites brought to the Purim table. It's no problem if you don't have a smoker, as this recipe comes complete with instructions on how to turn any regular barbecue into an effective smoker. 

A well-rounded spice rub with sweet brown sugar, spicy red pepper flakes, and savory cumin season the brisket, while an hourly spritz of apple cider mixed with apple cider vinegar locks in moisture and sets the flavor profile.

This flavorful cut of beef reaches tender perfection in 10 hours, making it an ideal dish to start during your fast to have it ready by sundown for Purim.

Recipe: Smoked Brisket

12. Crispy Chickpeas

These crispy chickpeas are a quick bite to set out for hungry guests as they gather for Purim. These pan-roasted legumes are packed with nutrients to refuel you after a fast, and their crispy texture satisfies a snack craving.

Tossed in olive oil and seasoned with thyme, rosemary, and garlic, these crunchy garbanzos go from pan to table in just 15 minutes. Known for their versatility, crispy chickpeas can also add flavor and texture to green salads and grain bowls alike.

Recipe: Crispy Chickpeas

13. Simple Stuffed Mushrooms

When bringing the gift of food to a Purim feast, impress diners with these flavorful stuffed mushrooms that look time-consuming but come together in under an hour (including baking time).

Crimini mushrooms are stuffed to the brim with fresh spinach and tender artichoke hearts mixed with creamy mayo and nutty Parmesan cheese. Serve with lemon wedges to lighten the earthy flavor profile and enhance the taste of the veggie filling.

Recipe: Simple Stuffed Mushrooms

14. Chickpea Orzo Soup

Purim is celebrated at the end of the winter solstice, making it an ideal time to tuck into one more bowl of soul-warming soup. 

This orzo soup is loaded with flavors and textures, from the tender bite of chickpeas and orzo to the classic flavors of soup vegetables simmered in vegetable broth. Baby kale added at the end of cooking adds nutrients and brings a bright freshness to the rich dish. A squeeze of lemon and the umami essence of miso add complexity that will tantalize guests' palates as they dive in for another spoonful of this satisfying soup.

Recipe: Chickpea Orzo Soup

15. Easy Spiced Lentils

If you find lentils to be a bit bland and boring, this spiced-up version might change your mind. Spices like cumin, garam masala, paprika, turmeric, and ginger lend their bold flavors to the earthy lentils simmered in tangy tomato sauce and savory veggie broth. 

A dollop of yogurt adds a rich and creamy element to the zesty spiced lentils, which can be served with warm naan or over a bed of rice. Enjoy this kicked-up Purim lentil dish that is humdrum no more.

Recipe: Easy Spiced Lentils

16. Herb Roasted Chicken

Few dishes will garner more "oohs" and "aahs" than an aromatic roasted chicken that's presented to the table. A whole chicken is infused with the flavors of onion, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf in an overnight brine, before being coated in a lemon-herb compound butter and cooked to golden-brown perfection in the oven.

Each juicy bite of chicken is full of delicate herbal notes with a hint of lemon. Diners will be delighted when this show-stopping main course appears at the Purim feast.

Recipe: Herb Roasted Chicken

17. Warming Spicy Bean Stew

This vegetarian stew is ideal for Purim diners craving plant-based protein that is packed with bold flavors. Sautéed onion and red bell pepper get spiced up with cumin, paprika, chili powder, and ground coriander, taking on the flair of classic Mexican fare. Black beans, tomatoes, cannellini beans, vegetable stock, and corn are added in, forming a savory broth that's bursting with color and spice.

Garnish the stew with lime wedges for a bright citrus pop and serve it over rice or let it stand alone with a hunk of crusty bread on the side.

Recipe: Warming Spicy Bean Stew

18. Slow-Braised Lamb Shanks

This seemingly pro-level dish is secretly a one-pot wonder that can be created by cooks at any skill level. After lamb shanks are seared in an ovenproof pot and set aside, onion, carrots, and garlic are sautéed in the same pot, setting the base for a flavorful liquid made with tart tomato paste, velvety red wine, and savory stock. 

The shanks are added back and slowly braised for about three hours to achieve the right texture and taste. If you start cooking early on Purim day, you'll be enjoying fall-off-the-bone lamb by sundown.

Recipe: Slow-Braised Lamb Shanks

19. Instant Pot Hummus

Dried chickpeas are an essential pantry staple with a far superior flavor to their canned counterparts. However, working with these legumes gets complicated when they won't soften, despite hours of soaking and cooking. But with a handy Instant Pot by your side, this becomes a non-issue.

In about an hour, the beloved kitchen appliance yields tender chickpeas that you can blend to velvety perfection with olive oil, rich tahini, pungent garlic, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Garnish the hummus with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of cumin.

Recipe: Instant Pot Hummus

20. Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

After the Fast of Esther, few dishes satisfy a hungry appetite like a nourishing bowl of classic chicken noodle soup. 

This hearty, one-pot dish is built with tried-and-true ingredients like carrots, onion, celery, savory stock, rotisserie chicken, and rich egg noodles to soak up all the delicious flavor. Feel free to add more vegetables and greens, if you'd like, and enjoy the festivities with this heart-warming dish.

Recipe: Easy Chicken Noodle Soup