Sweet Tzimmes is a traditional Jewish side dish of carrots, sweet potatoes, honey, and sometimes meat. My version has no meat but instead uses sweet honey, orange juice, and cinnamon for a sweet dish flavored with warm cinnamon and rum. It’s excellent served with Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken, Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken, or a Butter And Herb Roasted Turkey Breast.
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This recipe is a popular side dish for Rosh Hashanah, Passover, or New Year’s Day. The carrots symbolize gold coins for prosperity and honey to help manifest a sweet New Year. I love the idea of that. Almost a casserole of potatoes, carrots, and dried fruits and nuts, I have eaten this many times as a topping on oatmeal or grits for breakfast and mixed in with brown rice and barley for lunch.
WHAT DO I NEED FOR THIS RECIPE?
- Carrots. I like using young, medium carrots that are scrubbed and cut into large ‘coins’.
- Sweet potatoes
- Apples. I like the sweet/tart taste of Granny Smith, but any good baking apple will work.
- Whole almonds – unconventional, but I adore the crunch they provide
- Orange juice
- Spiced rum – again, this is unconventional but I adore the flavor of rum with sweet potatoes.
- Cornstarch will thicken the sauce
- Butter – because everything is better with butter
- Brown sugar adds a sweet, slightly crunchy, beautifully browned top
VARIATIONS TO THE RECIPE
- Go sweet and savory by adding in some chopped onion and red pepper with the fruits and nuts.
- Vary the dried fruits – apricots, dried cherries, dried pineapple, etc. all work well.
- Not a fan of almonds? Leave them out or swap pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts, or cashews.
- You can swap out the rum for additional orange juice or pineapple juice.
- You can also use sweet Jewish wine, a bit of bourbon, or even tequila for a different flavor profile.
- Add pineapple, either fresh or canned, or mandarin oranges for a different flavor.
- Vary the spices. Apple pie spice, Pumpkin pie spice are other warm, sweet spices that are delicious in this recipe. Jalapeno, canned chiles, a bit of cumin, or chili powder add to a savory take on the dish.
- To add meat, think about ground beef or turkey that you saute and drain off any fat. You can also use chopped leftover brisket, roasted chicken, or turkey.
Looking for more Jewish food ideas? Here are a few to try:
- Jewish Honey Cake
- Toasted Israeli Couscous Salad
- Old Fashioned Fried Apples
- Meat Kreplach
- Perfect Oven Roasted Brisket
- Roasted Garlic Roasted Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
- Poppy Seed Hamantaschen
- Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
- Yield: Serves 6
This Sweet Tsimmes casserole is a delicious blend of carrots, sweet potatoes, dried fruits, warm spices, juice, and rum. It is a perfect side dish next to roasted meats.
6 carrots (about 1.5 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
1 large granny smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch dice
¼ pound pitted prunes, cut into quarters
½ cup whole almonds
¼ cup honey
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ cup orange juice
½ cup Spiced rum
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water or orange juice
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large pot with a steamer insert, bring 2-inches of water to a boil. Place the carrots and sweet potatoes onto the steamer insert. Cover tightly, lower the heat to a simmer, and steam until they are almost tender – about 10 minutes. Carefully remove the steamer insert and place the vegetables into a large bowl.
Add the chopped apple, prunes, almonds, honey, cinnamon, rum, and orange juice. Toss to combine.
Spoon into the prepared baking dish. Cover with foil.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes.
In a small ramekin, stir together the cornstarch and water.
Remove the baking dish from the oven. Pour the slurry over the vegetables. Dot with the butter and lightly sprinkle the brown sugar over the top.
Return, uncovered, to the oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 55 mnutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Jewish
Keywords: sweet tsimmes, Jewish side dish, carrot recipes, sweet potato recipes, casserole recipes, side dish