This tzimmes recipe is a colorful stew made with sweet potatoes, carrots and dried fruit. An easy traditional Jewish side dish option that pairs perfectly with chicken or beef.
Have you ever tried tzimmes? If not, you’re totally missing out. This dish combines root vegetables with dried plums and apricots to make a sweet and savory side dish that the whole family is sure to love.
What is tzimmes?
Tzimmes is a recipe that originated with Ashkenazi Jews, and is a sweet stewed dish of sweet potatoes, carrots and dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries, apricots or plums. This dish is typically sweetened with honey or sugar, and often contains spices such as cinnamon. Tzimmes is often served for Rosh Hashanah, as consuming items with honey on this holiday symbolizes the promise of a sweet new year.
How do you make tzimmes?
Start by placing pieces diced and peeled sweet potato and carrot in a baking dish. Add dried plums and apricots, then stir to combine. Pour a mixture of orange juice, honey, brown sugar and cinnamon over the fruit and vegetables. Cover the pan, then bake it for one hour. Uncover the pan, and add slices of butter or margarine on top. Bake for another hour, or until potatoes are tender and sauce has thickened. Serve and enjoy!
Tips for the perfect dish
- Cut your sweet potatoes and carrots into similar sized pieces so that they cook at the same rate.
- I typically use orange sweet potatoes, but the less sweet yellow variety will also work just fine.
- Freshly squeezed orange juice tastes best in this recipe, but store bought juice can also be used with good results.
- I prefer to use light brown sugar as I find that the molasses flavor in dark brown sugar can be overpowering.
- This dish can be assembled up to 8 hours before you plan to bake it. Store the pan covered in the fridge until you’re ready to heat it up.
- You can also make tzimmes in the slow cooker. Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker, then cook on low heat for 2-4 hours or until the sweet potatoes have softened.
- My favorite way to serve this dish is as an accompaniment to a whole roasted chicken.
While this dish is great as written, you can add other ingredients to customize the flavors to your tastes.
- Vegetables: Feel free to add other hearty veggies such as butternut squash or parsnips.
- Fruit: Swap out the plums and apricots for raisins, cranberries or even dried cherries.
- Flavorings: Amp up the flavor by stirring in orange zest, fresh or crystallized ginger, or a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.
You don’t need to wait for the holidays to serve up a steaming hot pan of tzimmes. This one is great all year round!
More side dishes to try
- Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Glazed Carrots
- Candied Sweet Potatoes
- Fried Apples
- Roasted Acorn Squash
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 pounds carrots peeled, halved and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup dried plums pitted
- 1/2 cup dried apricots
- 1 cup orange juice fresh squeezed if possible
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons butter or margarine if you're keeping kosher, cut into thin slices
- orange zest for garnish optional
- cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9"x13" baking dish with cooking spray.
- Place the sweet potatoes, carrots, plums and apricots in the dish. Stir gently to combine.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the orange juice, water, honey, brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Pour the orange juice mixture over the fruit and vegetables. Cover the dish with foil.
- Bake for one hour. Uncover the dish, then arrange the slices of butter over the top.
- Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender and sauce has thickened. Garnish with orange zest if desired, then serve.