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Traditional Rosh Hashanah Tzimmes

Traditional Rosh Hashanah Tzimmes


Tzimmes is one of those traditional Jewish foods that seems to have dozens of variations. Carrots and honey are standard, but beyond that you might find sweet potato, apricots, raisins, cinnamon, orange juice, brown sugar, nutmeg, prunes, maple syrup, stew meat, apples and even broth.

If you prefer a very simple tzimmes, you can use just carrots and honey. For a less-sweet version, onions, carrots and maybe a little orange juice. I went middle-of-the-road and used carrots, sweet potato, onion, prunes, orange juice, honey, cinnamon and salt. Feel free to play around with the ingredients to fit your family’s taste.

It’s certainly easy to make. Sauté the onions for about 20 minutes, add the rest of the ingredients, and simmer for about two hours, until the vegetables are soft and the liquid is sweet and slightly syrupy.

Why do we eat tzimmes on Rosh Hashanah? Well, there’s the sweetness factor. We try to eat sweet foods to symbolize our wish for a good, sweet year ahead. It is also customary to eat foods whose names in the vernacular allude to blessing and prosperity, and the Yiddish word for carrot, meren, also means to multiply.


  • 1 large Spanish onion, cut in half or quarter rounds
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 lb. carrots, sliced in ½-inch rounds
  • ½ lb. sweet potato, cubed
  • 10 prunes, diced
  • 1½ cups orange juice
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt


  1. Sauté the onion in the oil over medium heat for about 20 minutes.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 2 hours, until vegetables are tender. Serve warm.

What do you include in your tzimmes? Do you have a special family recipe?

Miriam Szokovski is the author of the historical novel Exiled Down Under, and a member of the editorial team. She shares her love of cooking, baking and food photography on’s food blog, Cook It Kosher.
Note: The laws of Shabbat rest mandate that all cooking and baking be done before Shabbat, and regulate food preparation done on Shabbat in other ways as well. For more information, see Food Preparation on Shabbat.
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Lidia December 1, 2017

I hope you will like it.
The color on the plate is also very beautiful !
Beteavon. Reply

David Frederick Charleston November 5, 2017

I''l have to make it. It looks delicious and a lot easier than kreplach Reply

Lidia Texas September 24, 2017

So nice to be able to share with you! Thank you so much for the recipes and the tips.
My 2 very simple and easy tzimmes are what my dear Mother zl, always made:

carrots cooked with honey and appricots, and then mashed with a fork ( so good), and the other way is just carrots cut in small cubes cooked in honey salt and pepper with added canned or fresh or frozen peas !!! Reply

Theresa USA/Mexico April 21, 2016

I'm looking forward to making this recipe tomorrow and was concerned about the cooking time. I'm happy to know someone else found 40 minutes to be sufficient. This will be my first time to have onions in tzimmis! Reply

Yulia Goldshteyn Columbus November 17, 2015

Good recipe Cooking for 2 hrs is to long. Mine was ready in 30-40 min (as soon as carrots and potatoes are soft). For those watching sugar, of do not like very sweet side dishes, you can do without honey. Carrots, sweet potatoes and prunes are sweet enough. Overall, its simple and delicious recipe. Reply

Chavah Kwiatkowska Latvia September 25, 2015

Dear Miriam, I made tzimmes for this Rosh Hashana and it tasted very delicious! Thank you very, very much for the recipe! Reply

Miriam Szokovski September 9, 2015

pumpkin pumpkin tsimmes - that's an interesting twist, and probably delicious. You can definitely use pumpkin instead of the sweet potato, or as well. I would probably do equal amounts pumpkin and sweet potato in this recipe, and I would increase the orange juice to 2 cups. Reply

Ronda Plainview, FL via September 8, 2015

Does anyone a pumpkin recipe for trimmed? Or - how can I add pumpkin to the traditional sweet potatoes/carrots/apricots/prunes recipe?? Reply

Anonymous Canada February 20, 2015

Red cabbage borscht Do you have a red cabbage borscht recipe? I usually make a sweet and sour (green) cabbage borscht but have never tried it with red. Can I?

Thanks Reply

Miriam Szokovski December 16, 2014

hmm... Hi Andrew,

I'm so sorry your tzimmes burned and stuck to the bottom of the pot!

For next time, I would suggest increasing the liquid (add a little more orange juice) or reducing the cooking time. Reply

Andrew Stiller Philadelphia December 1, 2014

Tzimmes Debacle! I recently tried your tzimmes recipe - following every ingredient to the letter. Much to my dismay, everything burnt and stuck to the bottom of the pot. OY! What could I have done wrong? The gas was on simmer, I kept stirring it occasionally, but still it was a mess. I'm eager to try it again. Any suggestions?
PS: I've tried lots of your other recipes, and my family and I always enjoy them. Reply

Anonymous September 26, 2014

CARROT CUT I tought the tradition is to cut the carrot in slice as a symbol of gold coins to bring richness for the year. Reply

Anonymous Dalals, TX September 4, 2014

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have been trying to find a meatless Tzimmes recipe for years. This is it!! This looks like it must be the recipe my mother (and grandmother) used. Although it was served with meat or chicken at the Erev RH dinner was also a yummy cold parve "nosh" RH day. Sweet as candy, but much healthier. Reply

Shulamith Jerusalem September 2, 2014

searching I have been trying to find my Bubby's recipe for 'floimen tzimmes', which was,her stsndard on Rosh Hashonah. Anyone? Reply

Bond Perry Ft Myers December 1, 2017
in response to Shulamith:

I googled floimen tzimmes and got pflaumen tzimmes. I didnt get a recipe but the images looked very much like the recipe we are looking at.....but perhaps more prunes and only carrots and sweet potato. Is "floimen" (pflaumen) a Lithuanian word for prunes?

Good Luck. Reply

Shulamith December 4, 2017
in response to Bond Perry:

Not so much a Lithuanian word as a Lithuanian pronunciation I think.
Thanks in either case for your response!
Happy Chanukah! Reply

inge reisinger zwickau germany September 2, 2014

thanks for your creation with sweet potatos I got familar in the last 4 years with
jewish kitchen and I love it. I'll try your recipe and I wish you from my heart a sweet and succesful new year
Inge Reply

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