Passover Recipes to Enhance Your Seder Table - The Jewish Voice
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Monday, July 4, 2022

Passover Recipes to Enhance Your Seder Table

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Passover Food and Menu

Cooking for Passover comes with its own unique set of challenges, since chametz (anything containing grain that has come into contact with water and risen) must be avoided at all costs. In addition, Ashkenazim avoid kitniyot (which includes rice, mustard, beans and other legumes), and some do not even cook with matzah, the quintessential Passover food, until the final day of the holiday (here’s why).

Despite these restrictions (or perhaps because of them), Jewish people have developed and carefully passed down an entire body of cherished Passover recipes. Here, we proudly share a melange of old-world classics as well as modern culinary delights.

From our prized collection of charoset recipes and tutorials on how to prep the Seder plate, to our full array of fish and meat dishes, appetizers, desserts, and more, you’re all set to cook all Passover long.

Please note: Any processed food must have a reliable “Kosher for Passover” certification. And while all of the ingredients in these Passover recipes are kosher for Passover, each community has its own customs regarding what to use or not use on Passover.


How to Prepare Your Seder Plate Items Quickly & Easily

By: Miriam Szokovski

Preparing the Seder plate items can seem overwhelming, but it needn’t be. Although there are six or seven different components, none of them are particularly complex. Here I’ll explain what each element represents, how it’s prepared and when it’s used.

Please note: Some of the items used may vary depending on your community and family. I am going according to the Chabad custom.


Zeroa: The Shank Bone

The shank bone represents the paschal sacrifice brought in Temple times. For this we use a chicken neck, roasted on the stovetop.

Hold the chicken neck over a burner with a pair of tongs, until blackened on both sides. Prepare one for each Seder plate. The shank bone is not eaten, and the same one can be used for both nights.


Beitza: The Egg

The hard-boiled egg represents the holiday offering brought in Temple times.

Prepare one egg per Seder plate. You may also wish to prepare one for anyone else at the table who is not using a Seder plate.

The egg is traditionally dipped in salt water and eaten at the beginning of the meal.

To prepare: Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. When the water reaches a rolling boil, turn the fire off and leave the eggs in the covered pot for about 12 minutes. For easier peeling, run the eggs under cold water.


Maror: The Bitter Herbs

The bitter herbs remind us of the bitter slavery and exile in Egypt.

We use freshly grated horseradish root wrapped in romaine lettuce.

To prepare the horseradish, peel and grate the horseradish root. You can use a hand grater or a food processor. Store in a glass jar for maximum freshness.


Chazeret: The Lettuce

The lettuce symbolizes the bitter enslavement of our fathers in Egypt. The leaves of romaine lettuce are not bitter, but the stem, when left to grow in the ground, turns hard and bitter.

Horseradish and gefilte fish are a quintessential coupling: the heat of the horseradish with the sweet fish balls … Now you can make it at home.

Likewise, when we were enslaved in Egypt, at first the deceitful approach of Pharaoh was soft and sensible, and the work was done voluntarily and even for pay. Gradually, it evolved into forced and cruel labor.

To prepare the lettuce, wash it well and check for bugs. I find the easiest way is to cut off the stem and place the leaves in a big bowl of water. Remove and check each leaf, and pat dry with a paper towel.

The lettuce and bitter herbs are used twice. After we finish the maggid portion of the Seder, when we tell most of the story of the Exodus, we wash hands and eat the matzah. Then we eat the maror (the grated horseradish wrapped in a couple of lettuce leaves), and after that, we eat the sandwich (another dose of horseradish and romaine, this time sandwiched between matzah).


Charoset: The Paste

Charoset reminds us of the bricks and mortar the Jewish people were forced to make while enslaved in Egypt. We use it as a type of relish, into which the maror is dipped (and then shaken off).

For a basic charoset, mix together 1 finely diced apple, 1 finely diced pear, 1 cup ground walnuts and ½ cup red wine.


Karpas: The Vegetable

The vegetable alludes to the backbreaking work the Jews did in Egypt. The letters of the Hebrew word karpas can be rearranged to spell perech samech. Perech means backbreaking labor, and samech numerically alludes to the number of Jews enslaved in Egypt.

The vegetable is dipped in salt water and eaten at the beginning of the Seder, after saying kiddush and washing hands. The Chabad custom is to use a piece of cooked potato or a piece of raw onion, but many others use parsley, radish or celery.

Peel and cut a potato and place in a small pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until the potato is fork tender. For the onion, just peel and cut into chunks. Prepare enough karpas for each person at the Seder.


The Salt Water

The salt water represents the bitter tears our ancestors shed while enslaved for so many years. It is placed in a small bowl next to the Seder plate, and both the karpas (vegetable) and the egg are dipped into it.

Make the salt water by mixing 1–2 tablespoons of salt into 2 cups water.

And that’s it . . . you’re done!

Here are some tips to help your Seder plate preparation go quickly and easily

  • Make a list so you can cross off each item as it’s done.
  • If your kitchen is Passover-ready in advance, get a couple of items ready early. The shank bone can be frozen after it’s roasted, for example. And if you put the lettuce in a Ziploc bag with all of the air squeezed out, it stays fresh and crunchy for a good week. Eggs can be boiled 1–2 days before, and the salt water can be prepared at any time. It also literally takes about one minute.
  • Multitask. Keep in mind that the cooking of the eggs and potato is “passive time.” You can use this time to prepare other elements.
  • Grate the horseradish in a separate room, or even outside. When it is very fresh and potent, it can make everyone’s eyes sting, just like onions. When grated, that carries through the air and is particularly strong.
  • The most time-consuming task is probably the washing, checking and drying of the lettuce. If you have kids around, this is a good job for them.

The amount of time it takes will largely depend on how many people you are preparing for. If you have a big crowd, delegate! Ask people to chip in and hand out specific jobs.


Traditional Passover Egg Lokshen “Noodles” for Chicken Soup

For some people these egg “noodles” will evoke all sorts of childhood Passover memories, but if you’ve never come across them, allow me to introduce you.

Traditional Passover Egg Lokshen “Noodles” for Chicken Soup

Since flour-based noodles are out on Passover, many people make thin crepe-like pancakes out of eggs, which they then roll up and cut into strips, forming kosher-for-Passover noodles (Lokshen, in Yiddish) which taste marvelous in chicken soup. The thinner they are, the better they taste.

Note: Some people add potato starch, but I haven’t included any in this recipe since I find it unnecessary.


  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup water
  • kosher salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons oil


  1. Beat the eggs and salt. Slowly add the water and keep beating until fluffy.
  2. Heat 1-2 tablespoons oil in a frying pan. Swirl to coat the pan.
  3. Pour in just enough of the mixture to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook 1-2 minutes, then gently flip and cook 1 minute more. (Amount of batter and cook time will vary depending on the size of your pan.)
  4. Tip egg “pancake” out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Cut into thin strips.
  5. Repeat until egg mixture has all been used.
  6. Serve in soup.


Simple Beef & Carrot Tzimmes (Kosher for Passover)

Tzimmes is traditional at Rosh Hashanah, but for many it is also a Passover favorite. I am not a huge fan of tzimmes, because I find so many are cloyingly sweet. But by letting the carrots provide the sweetness on their own, and with the addition of beef (which is a must for some; sacrilegious to others) this one has a place at my table.

Simple Beef & Carrot Tzimmes (Kosher for Passover)

I’ve kept the ingredient list very simple and in line with the Chabad Passover food customs. Feel free to adjust the recipe to suit your tastes.

The “low and slow” cooking here is a must to break down the meat and get it soft and flavorful. But it requires no attention from you while it’s actually cooking, and your house will smell amazing!


  • 1.5 lb (700 grams) stew meat or boneless flanken
  • 2 onions, sliced in thin half-rounds
  • 2 lbs carrots, peeled and sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups water


  1. Heat a deep frying pan over high heat (this recipe would also do very well in a dutch oven if you have one). Brown the beef well on at least two sides.
  2. Once the beef is browned, add the onions, a generous sprinkle of salt, and give it a good stir. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pan, and cook until the onions start to have some color.
  3. Add the carrots and two cups of water and cover the pan. Once the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat so that it’s cooking at a low simmer. Cook until the beef is soft and falling apart (this could be 3 hours or more, depending on the cut and quality of your meat, which kind of pan you are using, and the size of flame). It’s important not to measure by time but by the meat. If it doesn’t feel ready, keep it on the fire, just make sure there is enough liquid to mostly cover the meat (the carrots will let out lots of their own liquid).
  4. Taste and add salt as desired. Serve hot.

Serves: 4-6 (depending what else you’re serving)


4 Simple Charoset Recipes

How to Make Passover Charoset – Smooth, Chunky, and Nut-Free

In the lead up to Seder night, it’s time to start thinking about the Seder plate foods, including how to make charoset (also called haroset)—a mixture of apples, nuts and wine which resembles the mortar and brick made by the Jews when they toiled for Pharaoh. This is used as a type of relish into which the maror (bitter herb) is dipped (and then shaken off) before eating.

Passover Charoset – Smooth, Chunky, and Nut-Free

The base of any charoset is sweet apple and/or pear, walnuts and red wine. Fruit—small dice, large dice or grated, that’s up to you. Nuts chopped or ground—again, up to you. It’s a matter of taste. Can’t decide? Make a few versions and have a vote.

Some people like to add dried fruit like raisins, dates, prunes or apricots, and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves or allspice. Desiccated coconut can add another layer of texture, and is a good alternative for the nut-allergic.

I’ve got four variations for you here, but feel free to play around and come up with your own.


How to Make Simple Chabad-Style Charoset

  • 1 red apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1 cup chopped or ground walnuts
  • ½ cup sweet red wine

Peel and finely dice the apple and pear. Mix in the ground nuts and wine. Refrigerate until serving. Add a little more wine immediately before serving.


How to Make Chunky Charoset

  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1 cup chopped or ground walnuts
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup sweet red wine
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg

Peel and finely dice the apple and pear. Mix in the ground nuts, raisins, wine and spices. Refrigerate until serving. Add a little more wine immediately before serving.


How to Make Smooth Charoset

Use any of these recipes and pulse in a food processor until it reaches a thick paste consistency.


How to Make Nut-Free Charoset

  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup sweet red wine

Peel and finely dice the apple and pear. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Refrigerate until serving. Add a little more wine immediately before serving.

There’s one major “problem” with charoset—it’s customary to shake the charoset off the maror before eating, but the charoset is quite delicious! So, set some charoset aside in a separate container for later use. Mix it into your breakfast yogurt, or serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


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