a box of vegan hanukkah candles.

Vegan Hanukkah: Food, Candles, and Gelt

It’s easy to celebrate Hanukkah while keeping everything vegan. You’ll mainly need to pay attention to finding suitable recipes, purchasing vegan menorah candles, and ordering dairy-free gelt. So let’s now cover all three topics.

Vegan Recipes for Hanukkah

You can find any number of sources for delicious vegan recipes for a traditional Hanukkah meal. The best cookbook on the topic is Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas, which devotes 60 pages specifically to Jewish holidays. Zel Allen’s Vegan for the Holidays is another excellent choice, with 20 pages of Hanukkah recipes.

Potato latkes is probably the most beloved Hanukkah food item. Most recipes for it are vegan, and you can easily purchase vegan sour cream to serve alongside this dish.

Menorah Candles

Once your find some vegan Hanukkah recipes, your next hurdle will be purchasing vegan candles for your menorah. Some Hanukkah candles contain beeswax, which is not vegan. And parafin-based candles contain stearic acid, which is usually sourced from slaughterhouses. So instead, seek out candles made from vegetable wax, such as these plant-based menorah candles from GoodLight.

Alternately, you can skip candles altogether and buy an electric menorah with LED lights, which will be both safer and cheaper. The preceding link is for an inexpensive model, but if you search online you’ll find all sorts of beautiful fancy units.

Vegan Gelt

Finally, no Hanukkah would be complete without a game of dreidel. In dreidel games, children use “gelt” to keep score. Gelt is the Hebrew word for chocolate coins wrapped in gold or silver colored foil. Although most gelt contains milk chocolate, vegan gelt is easy to find. In fact, you can buy gelt made with vegan dark chocolate from Amazon.com.

Once you’ve taken care of your recipe, menorah, and gelt needs, that leaves only gifts. You’re on your own with that one!

For further reading: please see our vegan holiday coverage and our guide to vegan eating.
FTC: We use income-earning Amazon.com affiliate links. More.

Newsletter Signup

Our newsletter is sent out irregularly and infrequently, because we only want to hit your inbox when we’ve got something compelling to share.