10 Classic Jewish Foods to Make With Your Family

So many PJ Library books involve characters making delicious, traditional, Jewish foods. A few of our titles like Chik Chak Shabbat, Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup, and The-Better-Than-Best-Purim, include recipes with the story as well! Since we know that PJ Library families love to cook together, here are ten traditional Jewish dishes that you can make with your kids, all inspired by a PJ Library title.


as seen in Bagels from Benny by Aubrey Davis and The Bagel King by Andrew Larsen

Did you know that you can make delicious, chewy, salty bagels right at home?

Ah bagels, the true breakfast of champions. Did you know that these ring shaped breads have been around since the 17th century? Bagels were invented by Jewish communities in Eastern Europe. Today they're a popular brunch staple around the world. Try your hand at making bagels, or make some special shmears and spreads with your family,

The Amazingly Simple Path to Homemade Bagels via The Washington Post
The Best Bagel Recipes for Kids via New Yorker Bagels

Check out more easy baking recipes to try with kids.


as seen in A Mountain of Blintzes by Barbara Diamond Goldin and Lights Out Shabbat by Sarene Shulimson

They're called "blintzes" not "stuffed pancakes."

A blintz is a thin, light, pancake, stuffed with cheese. While it's customary to eat blintzes on Shavout, these are wonderful any time-of-year treats for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. If you've got a picky eater who eschews veggies, you can also mash cauliflower or sweet potatoe into your filling to give your kiddos an extra nutrient boost.

Cheese Blintzes Casserole via What Jew Wanna Eat
How to Make Cheese Blintzes via MyJewishLearning.com


as seen in Bone Button Borscht by Aubrey Davis

Borscht is beautiful -- and healthy.

This bright soup made with beets can be served hot or cold and summer variations are a great way to enjoy local produce while keeping cool. Let kids help with picking out and washing the veggies. Older children can handle stirring and pulling apart the herbs for garnish,

Borscht via MyJewishLearning.com
Summer Borscht via What Jew Wanna Eat

Related: Soup-er Stories: Heartwarming Children's Books


as seen in all of these PJ Library books

Challah fresh from the oven

Mmmm, challah. That warm, fresh, braided bread that's a staple of every Shabbat table. If you've been holding off on making your own, try one of the recipes below--and don't forget to check in with your local PJ Library community to find out about challah bakes and braiding events near you!

Related:Easy Challah Recipes to Make With Your Kids


as seen in Chik Chak Shabbat by Mara Rockliff and The Cholent Brigade by Michael Herman

Cholent is a tasty stew that can be adapted to vegetarian diets too.

Cholent is a slow cooked stew that many people make to eat during Shabbat. In the story Chik Chak Shabbat, the beautiful smells of Goldie Simcha's cholent invite all of her neighbors for dinner each week. There are many ways to make cholent--this is a dish that leaves lots of room for experimentation, so let the kids have fun picking ingredients and helping to write their own recipe.

Joan Nathan's Cholent Recipe via The New York Times
Vegetarian Cholent via MyJewishLearning.com


as seen in 3 Falafels in My Pita by Maya Friedman and Ella’sTrip to Israel by Vivian Newman

Close up of delicious falafel and pita

Falafel, fried chick pea or fava bean fritters, are a signature dish of Israel. Enjoy them in a pita with pickled veggies, Israeli salad, and tahini, or on a platter with home made hummus. To learn everything there is to know about falafel, visit MyJewishLearning,

Falafel Sliders via The Nosher
Crunchy Falafel via Super Healthy Kids


as seen in Sammy Spider's First Trip to Israel by Sylvia Rouss

A baker halving some halva

This super sweet, dense, treat, is definitely a "sometimes food" but it's so much fun to make. Halva comes in many varieties with the common feature being a base made from tahini or nut butter. A very basic halva can be made with only three ingredients--a perfect confection for a tween to create with a little adult supervision. 

Halvah Tutorial via Joy of Kosher
Israeli Halvah Recipe via MyJewishLearning.com


as seen in many PJ Library books


Making pickles is a science experiment and a recipe all in one. Pickling foods makes them last longer--your family can pickle their favorite vegetables, proteins, and even fruit!

Try it! Make Your Own Pickles via The Nosher
Kenya's Favorite Pickles via Weelicious


as seen in Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup by Pamela Mayer

Kreplach in soup. YUM.

Kreplach are kings of comfort food--delicious dumplings perfect for soups. You can bake, fry, or boil your kreplach and eat them in your soup or on their own. In addition to the links below, Pamela Mayer's adorable story Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup includes a recipe for kreplach and delicious soup as well. 

Kreplach Recipes & Tips via My Jewish Learning
A Kreplach Recipe That's Worth the Work via The Jewish Women's Archive


as seen in Yaffa and Fatima: Shalom andSalaam by Fawzia Gilani-Williams

Close up of schnitzel

Schnitzel is a fried, tenderized, and battered meat. If you like chicken cutlets, then you'll definitely enjoy schnitzel. While chicken is a popular version, people make schnitzel with lots of different proteins. You can find variations all over the world. 

Crispy Crunchy Schnitzel via Kosher.com
Super Crispy Chicken Schnitzel  via Joy of Kosher
Vegan Schnitzel Round-up via The Nosher

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