A How-to Primer for All Your Pesach Needs

Preparing for Passover is arguably one of the most labor-intensive events of the Jewish year—and that's not even including all of the cleaning necessary to make sure the house is free of chametz! No, after everything's shiny and clean, there's still a week's worth of holiday meals to plan, which, by and large, need to be made from scratch with far fewer ingredients that are available year round. It's a creative challenge that takes some planning, but it doesn't have to be a totally arduous effort. Consider this your cheat-sheet for an enjoyable Pesach. ​

  • 01 of 08

    Passover Grocery Shopping Guide

    Pesach Shopping List
    © Miri Rotkovitz

    Grocery shopping for Passover pretty much means completely restocking your kitchen for the holiday. Remembering everything you'll need for the weeklong holiday can be a daunting task, especially if you're also hosting a Seder or two!

    This guide is designed to help you devise a comprehensive Pesach shopping list (here's a printable one that's ready to go!), and includes lots of tips—along with helpful information about notable foods that do and don't require special kosher for Passover certification.

  • 02 of 08

    Passover Cooking Substitutions

    Making matzo farfel by breaking matzo sheets
    Credit: Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images

     When it comes to cooking for Passover, even adventuresome cooks often "go by the book," choosing only the same tried-and-tested recipes year after year. They know that matzo meal and matzo cake meal, for instance, do not behave like regular flour in recipes. Certain ingredients—like baking powder—are available with KFP certification, but often prove hard to find. Others—like certain flavoring extracts— simply don't exist.

    When you're doing a lot of cooking from scratch (especially with shoestring kitchen supplies and holiday-imposed time limits to consider) it's hard to embrace the idea of experimenting. The last thing you want is a recipe failure! Still, it is possible to adapt "regular" recipes for Passover or to find reasonable substitutions if you need to tweak an existing Pesach recipe.

  • 03 of 08

    What Do I Feed My Baby for Passover?

    Feeding Baby Cultura: Judith-Wagner-Fotografie
    Credit: Judith Wagner Fotografie/Getty Images

    The weeklong holiday of Passover presents all sorts of special kosher challenges. Not only do all traces of chametz—leavened foods made from wheat, barley, spelt, rye, or oats—need to be removed from the house, but there are lots of foods that are verboten during the holiday.

    For parents or caregivers of fledgling eaters, this can present a special challenge—namely, what on earth can I feed my baby?!

    If you live in a thriving Jewish community that boasts a kosher supermarket, you may find some kosher-for-Passover baby food on the shelves. But it's nearly always imported from Israel, and so quite expensive. Do you really need to invest in jarred food for your little one? Probably not.

  • 04 of 08

    How to Cook for a Passover Seder Without Stress

    Seder Plate, Kiddush Cup and Shmurah Matza
    Credit: Penina Meisels/Getty Images

    The Passover Seder is the most widely celebrated festive meal among both devout and ordinarily non-observant Jews. If you're hosting, there's a lot to coordinate on top of all of the other Pesach to-dos, and that can mean big-time stress. But with a little help on the preparation timeline and menu planning fronts, you can relax (at least a little!), while putting together a Seder you and your guests will enjoy. 

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    3 Ways to Make Your Seder Guests Happy

    Seder Wine
    Credit: P-Deliss/Godong/Getty Images

    As a ritual filled with storytelling, song, prayer, wine, and of course, a festive meal the Seder evening can run long. So how do you keep your guests comfortable and happy—even if it takes a while to make it to mealtime? These 3 easy tips will have everyone praising your Seder hosting skills. 

  • 06 of 08

    Charoset Recipes From Around the World

    Israeli Charoset with Banana and Mixed Nuts
    © Miri Rotkovitz

    Charoset—the fruit and nut mixture that symbolizes the mortar used by Israelite slaves in Egypt—is a Passover icon, and may be the most delicious symbolic food enjoyed at the Seder. It's also an amazing snapshot of the Jewish diaspora, as Jewish communities around the world have their own unique takes on charoset, driven by the ingredients that were available to them. Whether you're hosting the Seder, or are a guest tasked with bringing along a dish to share, consider adding an extra charoset or two to the mix, as a culinary connection to Jews around the world.  

  • 07 of 08

    Passover Food Myths and Facts

    Korech -- Matzoh with Maror
    Credit: David Roth/Getty Images

    Passover may last for only 8 days (or 7, if you live in Israel), but the holiday involves a whole additional layer of kosher observance full of stringent intricacies that aren't a factor during the rest of the year. That means things can get confusing even for people who are quite learned, and strictly kosher observant year round. Add in a centuries-old family or community minhagim (customs) specific to the holiday, and it gets even harder to separate the myths and facts about the whys and hows of keeping kosher on Pesach. You'll find some of the most common myths here, along with explanations about the real deal when it comes to Passover food misconceptions. 

  • 08 of 08

    10 Awesome Ways to Top Matzo

    A variety of sweet matzo toppings, including chocolate, jam, and lemon curd
    © Miri Rotkovitz

    Lots of folks gripe about eating matzo throughout the entire eight-day holiday of Passover, while others profess to love the stuff. Well, here's a news flash—the people in the latter camp are probably just doing a better job in the topping department. Let this collection open-faced matzo sammies inspire your own creative combos, and you may just find yourself craving the stuff year round.