Having a festive meal is one of the four mitzvahs of Purim. Traditionally, this meal begins before sundown on Purim day and lasts well into the evening. The table should be festively bedecked with a nice tablecloth and candles, and we wash for bread or challah, and enjoy a meal featuring meat, wine and plenty of Jewish songs, words of Torah and joyous Purim spirit. Read more about what to expect at a Purim celebration.

Aside from washing for challah, there are no “musts” for the Purim meal. But since drinking wine or spirits is a notable part of the Purim festivities, I’ve included a number of recipes featuring wine in this menu. Remember, it is not a mitzvah to be sick or otherwise harm yourself and those around you, so if you are not able to drink, feel free to say no. And please consider how you can support alcoholics and addicts through this holiday.

1. Fruity Summer Sangria

2. Traditional, Soft, Fluffy Challah

3. Golden Chicken Soup with Kreplach

In Ashkenazi (northern European) tradition, the menu will often include kreplach, meat-filled dumplings swimming in chicken soup (learn why here).


Finger Food

Since this is a meal that we linger over, it can be nice to include some finger food that people can nibble on. You can either set this out from the beginning or wait until there’s a bit of a lull and then bring it out to keep things interesting.

4. Hummus and Pita Chips

5. Sweet and Spicy Pickled Vegetables

6. Garlic and Herb Stuffed Mushrooms

7. Sumac-Spiced Chickpeas

We are told that Queen Esther lived off nuts, seeds, and legumes (like chickpeas) while living in the palace, to avoid eating non-kosher food.


Main Dishes

8. Easy Four-Ingredient Brisket

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9. Wine and Pomegranate Braised Brisket

10. Sticky Beef Ribs with Dried Fig and Wine Sauce


Fun Food

Legend has it that we eat triangular foods (like hamantaschen) on Purim because Haman’s hat and/or ears were triangular in shape. While this is not actually accurate, it has become a fun Purim tradition to make all kinds of fun and crazy variations of hamantaschen, including savory ones like these.

11. Sushi Hamantaschen (Onigri)

12. Pulled Beef Hamantaschen


Dessert

13. Eleven Exciting Hamantaschen Recipes

Is it Purim without them?

14. Homemade Halva

The real reason we eat hamantaschen on Purim is because of their traditional seed filling, to commemorate Esther’s devotion to her faith while living in the palace where she subsisted on seeds to avoid eating non-kosher food. Halva is made from sesame, and seems a fitting addition to the Purim meal.

15. Strawberry Amaretto Cake

16. Sangria Slushies