Planning and cooking for a Passover Seder (or two) is a big undertaking. Not only are lots of familiar ingredients off limits, but it's not unusual to be cooking for a crowd. And because a lot of the Haggadah is read before the actual festive meal rolls around, your guests are bound to be hungry. To make life a little easier, we've pulled together a collection of Seder-worthy recipes you can mix and match to create your ideal menu. There are lots of vegetarian-friendly, gluten-free, and nut-free options to help accommodate guests with special dietary needs. And best of all, several recipes can be made ahead, to help minimize last-minute prep.
01 of 20
Passover Cheese Blintzes
Cheese blintzes— essentially cheese-filled crepes—are a classic Ashkenazi Jewish food that probably originated in Poland. They can be adapted to a kosher for Passover recipe by simply replacing the flour in the recipe with potato starch. As a bonus, this makes the recipe suitable year-round for anyone who needs to avoid gluten.
02 of 20
Ashkenazi Apple and Walnut Charoset
Charoset, an integral part of the Passover Seder, is a combination of fruit, nuts, spices, and wine meant to symbolize the mortar used by the enslaved Israelites in Egypt. There are countless variations on charoset from Jewish communities around the world, but this apple and walnut version is very typical of the style made by Ashkenazi Jews who hail from Eastern Europe.
03 of 20
Even matzo lovers can get bored of the stuff midway through Passover. If you've exhausted all of the creative ways to top matzo, or just want to bite into a kosher-for-Passover sandwich that doesn't have a major crunch and crumble factor than these Passover Rolls are for you.
04 of 20
Roasted Carrot, Apple, and Celery Soup (Pareve or Dairy)
Roasting intensifies the flavors and smooths the texture of the vegetables and fruit in this vibrant carrot, apple, and celery soup. It's truly more than the sum of its parts—you probably won't be able to pick out the individual flavors of apple or celery, but both add nuance and depth to the recipe.Continue to 5 of 20 below.
05 of 20
Israeli Charoset With Mixed Nuts
Before the festive meal gets underway, there are several symbolic foods served at the Passover seder, including matzo, maror (bitter herbs), and karpas (a spring green, often parsley). But charoset may be the most interesting, culinarily speaking. Recipes for the fruit and nut mixture reflect the diversity of Jewish diaspora cuisine, so serving an international version alongside a family favorite is a great way to inspire discussion about Jewish traditions around the world. Bonus: the leftovers make a great condiment throughout the week!
06 of 20
Chicken Matzo Ball Soup
Matzo ball soup is a classic seder starter. In this version, which features a homemade chicken broth, whipped egg whites are folded into the matzo ball batter to lighten their texture.
07 of 20
Savory Simmered Matzo Farfel
Farfel is an Ashkenazi Jewish egg pasta similar to spaetzle or nokedli, and sometimes referred to as "egg barley." This may sound confusing, but pasta isn't kosher for Passover, so this recipe for matzo farfel, which is simply crushed up matzo crackers, takes its place.
08 of 20
Kosher Vegetable Kugel
When you think of kugel, you often think of rich, creamy, and sweet kugel. But it doesn't have to be that way. If you are looking for a healthy, tasty Passover side dish that is relatively easy to prepare and flavorful, look no further. This delicious vegetable kugel recipe contains grated carrots, zucchini, celery, potatoes, onion, and garlic mixed with eggs, oil, potato starch, and spices.Continue to 9 of 20 below.
09 of 20
Instant Pot Matzo Ball Soup
The broth for this Instant Pot matzo ball soup is so rich, your guests will think it simmered all day long on the stovetop. Thanks to the pressure cooker, it is possible to have a flavorful broth in just 35 minutes. This version uses chicken thighs, but a cut-up three-pound chicken is an excellent alternative. Just make sure to use bone-in chicken for the very best flavor.
10 of 20
No-Chicken Matzo Ball Soup (Pareve)
If you need a vegetarian matzo ball soup, look no further than this deliciously savory recipe. The secret to the homemade broth? In addition to the usual roundup of vegetables and herbs, mushrooms add a fabulous umami quality to the soup (and no, it doesn't end up tasting mushroomy at all!).
11 of 20
This carrot ring recipe is made with grated carrots and is suitable for Passover. It makes a great side dish for beef brisket or baked chicken. It can be baked in an 8-cup ring mold or Bundt pan or in 8 mini Bundt pans.
12 of 20
Gefilte Fish (Pareve)
Gefilte fish is a popular Seder meal starter in Ashkenazi households. You can try your hand at making the minced fish patties from scratch with this step-by-step tutorial. Or, skip the fuss, and doctor jarred gefilte fish with this recipe for a baked gefilte fish loaf.Continue to 13 of 20 below.
13 of 20
Lemon-Garlic Baked Salmon (Pareve)
If you don't care for gefilte fish, or want an easy starter or entree option for pescatarians, try this simple lemon-garlic baked salmon fillet. The recipe quantities serve 8 to 10, but are easily doubled.
14 of 20
Easy Sweet and Sour Brisket (Meat)
This sweet and sour brisket recipe is super simple, and can not only be made a day or two ahead to minimize last-minute meal prep, but it's also actually better for it. The fuss-free preparation is a boon too: simply marinate the meat overnight in a mixture of jarred sauerkraut, canned tomatoes, and brown sugar, then cook low and slow until the meat is tender.
15 of 20
Persian Roast Chicken
If your Seder is on the smaller side and you want to minimize leftovers, consider this Persian roast chicken (you can double the recipe quantities and roast a couple of chickens side by side in a large roasting pan if you're serving 8 to 10). This is also a great recipe for family meals or Shabbat or Yom Tov dinners later in the week.
16 of 20
Lemony Potatoes With Oregano and Garlic (Pareve)
Passover is also known as Chag Ha'Aviv, or "the Holiday of Spring," so why not pay homage to the new season by roasting potatoes with fresh herbs? If you can't find fingerlings, small new potatoes will work beautifully, too. And on a grain-free menu (matzo-excepted, of course), they make a satisfying, gluten-free side dish, and welcome vegetarian addition to the meal.Continue to 17 of 20 below.
17 of 20
Coffee Meringues (Pareve)
Instant-coffee folded into vanilla meringue infuses these light, gluten-free, nut-free sweets with lovely flavor. You can make them a few days ahead to reduce last-minute prep.
18 of 20
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Want a more formal dessert to go with that cookie platter? This flourless chocolate cake is surprisingly low-fuss: Since it's made with oil instead of butter or margarine, you can mix it easily by hand. And unlike most Passover cake recipes, it uses only four eggs—and you don't have to separate them. Best of all, this allergy-friendly recipe is intensely chocolatey, yet not too sweet. In other words, perfect with coffee as a satisfying finish to a fabulous meal.
19 of 20
Whether or not you use Kosher ingredients and follow the rules of Kosher cooking, this is the perfect treat for Passover. Coconut macaroons are the ideal dessert during the holiday as they do not contain any flour or other forbidden Passover foods, but offer a delicious sweet ending to the meal.
20 of 20
Wine is a big part of the Seder—it's traditional to drink four cups throughout the evening. So it's well worthwhile to select bottles you and your guests will enjoy. And that doesn't have to be a super-expensive proposition, as you'll see from this evolving roundup of great—and affordable—kosher wines.
But keep in mind that while there's a tradition to drink wine, some guests prefer grape juice for medical or other reasons. Make it available on the table so that anyone who needs it can choose the beverage that works best for them, without having to disclose a medical condition or feel like they're imposing.