Jewish and Israeli Food

Top 10 Summer Shabbat Recipes from Israel

It’s officially summer!

As Israel enjoys its classically warm weather and endless sunshine, we’re bringing you our favorite recipes from Israeli kitchens for summer dishes that’ll make your shabbat and weekend meals unforgettable.

1. Israeli Water Challah

Israeli-style "Water" Challah 

Every shabbat meal starts off with wine (or grape juice) and challah, so we've got a classic Israeli challah recipe that's light and fluffy enough for summer!

If you live in an American Ashkenazi community, you probably think of challah as an egg bread - however, the most popular type of challah in Israel is actually a mostly-eggless version, with only an egg wash but using water instead of eggs in the dough itself. For this reason it's colloquially known as "water challah."

While we featured an Ashkenazi water challah (that's also completely vegan) from Eastern Europe in our winter shabbat recipe roundup, this particular recipe is from Israel's Sephardi community, and we think it's the perfect meal starter for summer shabbats.

Don't forget to shop beautiful challah serving essentials to make your challah stand out at every shabbat!

Click here to get the recipe!

2. Eggplant Jam
Pot of Brinjal Chutney with Naan Bread

Eggplant Jam from Israel

Whether as a spread for challah or as a standalone salad appetizer, you need this Middle Eastern eggplant jam at your summer shabbat table! It's tasty both warm and at room temperature, so you can prepare it ahead of time without needing to cook on shabbat itself.

Make it with authentic olive oil, paprika, and cumin from Israel, and impress all your dinner guests!

Click here to get the recipe!

3. Potato Bourekas

Israeli Potato Bourekas 

While you might think of potato bourekas, the Middle Eastern stuffed pastry, as a filling comfort food for cold weather, they're actually versatile enough that Israelis eat them year-round. The light and flaky dough works well either warm or at room temperature, and you can adjust or substitute the potato filling to your taste.

This recipe is parve, making it suitable for both meat and dairy meals, and can be served as an appetizer or main dish at your shabbat.

Click here to get the recipe!

4. Dolma (Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves)
Dolma with sauce

Middle Eastern Stuffed Grape Leaves popular in Israel

Brought to Israel by Persian Jews from Iran, these stuffed grape leaves known as dolma are traditionally served cold and make the perfect summer appetizer for shabbat or any festive meal.

You can make the accompanying yogurt sauce if you're serving them at a dairy meal, but they're also delicious and impressive on their own.

Click here to get the recipe!

5. Classic Israeli Salad
Israeli chopped salad

Classic Israeli Chopped Salad 

If you've ever been to Israel you've probably seen this chopped tomato and cucumber salad everywhere, healthy and crisp and suitable with any meal from breakfast to dinner. Usually simply called "vegetable salad" or "chopped salad" by Israelis, it's become known as "Israeli salad" to Jews everywhere else all over the world.

Check out this recipe, and instantly give an authentic Israeli twist to your shabbat meal with a vitamin-packed side dish everyone will love!

And don't forget Jewish-themed serving dishes and other shabbat tableware to beautify your table.

Click here to get the recipe!

6. Spicy Fish Crudo
Close-up shot of delicious traditional Peruvian ceviche

Moroccan-Israeli Fish Crudo 

For many Israelis a fish course is a must for shabbat, and the Moroccan Jewish tradition has been particularly influential on Israeli kitchens with its numerous flavorful fish dishes beloved by everyone.

One of our favorites is this cold fish crudo that's ideal for hot summer shabbats, bursting with flavor and spice. Don't forget to use high-quality, all-natural Israeli olive oil, and you'll have an unforgettable dish that your family and guests will talk about for weeks.

Click here to get the recipe!

7. Lamb Kofta Kabobs
Barbecued kofta with rice on a plate. Selective focus

Middle Eastern Lamb Kofta Kabobs popular in Israel 

Israelis love grilling during the summer, so if your family are meat eaters, serve them some Israeli flavor with these lamb kabobs! A classic Middle Eastern dish, this variation from the Land of Israel uses ground lamb meat, flavorful herbs, and smoked paprika.

These scrumptious kabobs go perfectly with tehina on the side and are versatile enough for causal picnics as well as fancy sit-down meals.

Click here to get the recipe!

8. Green Shakshuka
green omelette shakshuka

Israeli Green Shakshuka 

You might be already familiar with shakshuka, an Israeli tomato and poached egg stew that's usually hearty and spicy with a comfort food vibe. But what you might not know is that there is also a lighter, summery version growing in popularity in Israel: "green shakshuka," made with asparagus, spinach, and zucchini instead of tomatoes, and with za'atar added for an even more uniquely Israeli flavor.

This yummy dish is typically meatless and enhanced with cream and goat cheese, and served with pita bread. Whether as a main dish or side, it's sure to add a special and unexpected twist to your shabbat dinner or lunch!

Click here to get the recipe!

9. Sesame Brittle
Sesame brittles

Sesame Brittle from Israel

Of course, we can't forget about dessert! A shabbat end-of-meal favorite in Israel is sesame brittle - a type of candy that can be easily made at home from sugar, sesame seeds, and optional almonds - and we're sure your family won't be able to get enough of it.

Sweet yet at the same time protein-packed, vegan, and gluten-free, it's sure to be a crowd pleaser and will go well with some classic Israeli tea.

And if you want to accompany your homemade brittle with another sesame-based dessert, order some halva straight from Israel here!

Click here to get the recipe!

10. Meringue Cream Cake
cream pie insid 115ed879-14a0-4645-a368-815515bc36eb

Israeli Meringue Cream Cake 

If you're looking for a creamy, luxurious treat to end a dairy shabbat meal with, look no further than this fluffy meringue cream cake from Israel! This classic, tried-and-true recipe is made ahead, chilled, and served cold, so you won't have to bake on shabbat itself and will have the perfect hot-weather dessert for your guests to cool off with.

You can order instant coffee and dark chocolate from Israel for the glaze, and serve the cake alongside some fruit and refreshing tea, or even drizzled with Israeli honey for extra sweetness.

Click here to get the recipe!


Don't forget to get ready for shabbat with our shabbat Judaica essentials shopping guide, and shop all your shabbat needs right here!



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