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A Sukkot Feast

October 13, 2016 | by Sharon Matten

Some traditional (and not so traditional) recipes, made easy for the busy cook.

It’s Sukkah season! Although for some the weather is still balmy, many of us are eating our meals in our sukkot with our gloves and coats on! We are all looking forward to the hot, delicious, steaming food being brought out to the sukkah that warms our souls and our bodies. Here are some traditional (and not so traditional) family favorites, made easier for the busy cook. Chag Sameach!!


  • All of these recipes are great for the EFE (Egg Free Eater).
  • GFE: Indicates that the recipe is great for the GFE (Gluten Free Eater) too.


One of my family’s most requested dish on Sukkot is Stuffed Cabbage, or “Holishkas” as my Bubbie (z”l) used to call them. My Bubbie used to cook the cabbage, wrap it around the meat filling, secure each stuffed cabbage with a toothpick, and then cook them in a large pot of sauce. They were delicious, a lot of work, and many of them didn’t stay closed. My dear friend “Alderman Debra” gave me this incredibly helpful tip: freeze the cabbage a week before using it. After defrosting, the leaves are nice and soft, and easy to roll. By baking the cabbage in 9”x 13” pans, there are no more toothpicks or big pots of sauce – each cabbage stays secure when placed in the pan seam side down. I usually make huge batches of them and freeze several pans. This allows me to make them way in advance…they only get better with time!! Makes approximately 36 stuffed cabbages.

For the cabbage:

  • 2 large heads cabbage, frozen at least 4 days in advance then defrosted before using
  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion, finely diced (approximately 2 ½ cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 cups white rice
  • non-stick vegetable spray

For the sauce:

  • 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 29 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 small onion, finely diced (approximately 1 cup)
  • 1 cup apricot preserves, or duck sauce
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 cups raisins

Preheat oven to 350° F (325° F for “convection mode” on a convection oven). Spray 3 9”x13” pans with non-stick vegetable spray. Set aside.

Carefully separate the cabbage leaves, rinsing each leaf after separating (reserving the broken or smaller leaves for the Hearty Cabbage Beef Soup). Set aside. In a large bowl combine the beef, onion, garlic, and white rice. Spread a large cabbage leaf on a cutting board with the thick part of the stem closer to you, and the leaf curving upwards. Place around ¼ cup of beef mixture on the bottom of the leaf. You can use more or less beef depending upon how big the leaf is. Fold the bottom of the leaf over the beef. Fold the sides in, then roll the cabbage from the base. Carefully place the completed “stuffed cabbage” in the prepared pan, seam side down. Repeat using all the remaining cabbage leaves. You should be able to fit 12 cabbages in each pan.

Place the all the sauce ingredients in a large pot. Warm over medium heat for a few minutes to heat the sauce and blend the ingredients. Remove from heat and evenly distribute over prepared cabbage. Reserve any remaining sauce for Hearty Cabbage Soup.

Tightly cover and bake for 2 ½ hours. Serve hot, with sauce for garnish.


  • To make this recipe gluten-free use gluten-free duck sauce or apricot jam.
  • I usually use disposable aluminum pans that come with disposable aluminum lids. After sealing the pans, I then completely cover them with heavy duty aluminum foil to avoid any dripping in the oven. This also helps to seal the pans when freezing the cabbage for later use.
  • The Stuffed Cabbage freezes really well. Wrap thoroughly before freezing, and completely heat through before serving.


After making the Stuffed Cabbage, I often end up with pieces of cabbage that weren’t “Stuffed Cabbage worthy”. Last year I also ended up with too much sauce for all the pans of Stuffed Cabbage I was making, and had the idea to combine the two together for an excellent, Hearty Cabbage Beef Soup! By simply cutting up the cabbage remnants, adding the leftover sauce, some cubed cholent meat, vegetables, and a little water you have a rich, delicious, hot, soup that is perfect for your cold Sukkah guests! Don’t worry, if you don’t have any leftovers from making the Stuffed Cabbage…you can still make this soup from scratch!!

For the soup base:

  • Leftover sauce from Stuffed Cabbage


  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 29 oz can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup finely diced onion (1 small)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup apricot preserves, or duck sauce
  • 1 ½ cups raisins

Additional soup ingredients:

  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 4 stalks celery, sliced lengthwise down the center then into 2 inch pieces
  • 5 cups cabbage, sliced (you can use remaining cabbage from the
  • Stuffed Cabbage recipe)
  • 2 pounds beef, cut into 1” cubes (you can use up to 3 pounds of beef for a “meatier” soup)
  • 8 cups water
  • ½ pound wide egg noodles, cooked according to package directions (optional)

Combine the soup base ingredients with the carrots, celery, cabbage, cubed beef, and water. Cook over medium heat until soup begins to simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer for an additional 2 ½ to 3 hours. Add the egg noodles, and serve to your hungry guests!

To make this recipe gluten-free use gluten-free noodles.


This Sukkot, I’m making one of my all time favorite and interesting recipes – Coca Cola Roast. Yes, it’s really make with Coke. Truly. What’s cool about the cola is that the carbonation actually tenderizes the meat while it’s cooking, and the sugar caramelizes which is particularly excellent. The recipe is super fast to make with only a few ingredients that are easily accessible, it’s made with vegetables (healthy!), and you can have a cold drink of cola while preparing this yummy roast! It’s all good!

For more information and photos about making the Coca Cola Roast please go to

  • 4-4.5 pounds beef roast
  • 3 cups Coca Cola
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 5 stalks celery, sliced lengthwise and
  • cut into 3” pieces (or more if you like)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup onion soup mix
  • non-stick vegetable spray

Preheat oven to 375° F. Spray the roasting pan with non-stick vegetable spray, then place roast in pan. Pour cola over the roast. It should reach about a third of the way up the roast. Pour orange juice over the roast. Arrange vegetables in the pan around the roast. Spread ketchup evenly over the roast and then sprinkle the onion soup mix over the roast. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 375° F. Then reduce the temperature of the oven to 350° F and bake for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes longer until the internal temperature of the roast is 170° F. Remove from oven and cool for an hour. Refrigerate roast for 3 hours or more. Remove from refrigerator and slice into thin slices using a long, sharp knife. Return sliced roast back to roasting pan. Spoon pan gravy over the slices and cover tightly. Warm in oven. Serve garnished with the roasted carrots and celery. Enjoy!!


The first time I made a version of this cake I read, re-read, and then read the recipe one more time. This rich, fudgy, gooey, fabulous cake is oozing with chocolately goodness…but the way you make it is by pouring hot water over the top of the cake before putting it in the oven!! The result is a delectable cake, filled with steamy hot fudge. This fantastically delicious, warm cake is sure to happily defrost your Sukkah guests and is a great, warm finish to your awesome Sukkot meal!!


  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • ½ cup margarine (you can use Earths Balance), melted
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • non-stick vegetable spray


  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ cups boiling water
  • whipping cream, whipped (optional) for garnish

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9”x13” inch casserole with non-stick vegetable spray.

In a medium bowl combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Blend in soy milk, margarine, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Spread in prepared pan. Set aside.

In another medium bowl, combine ¾ cup sugar, brown sugar, and ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder. Stir to remove all lumps. Evenly sprinkle over the prepared cake batter. Carefully pour the hot water evenly over the uncooked cake. Do not stir! Bake 40 minutes or until center is nearly set.

Let stand 15 minutes. Spoon into dessert bowls, topping with sauce from bottom of the pan. Serve warm. Garnish with whipped cream, for the perfect finale to your fabulous Sukkot meal!

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