Certain culinary knowledge lives inside the minds of our parents or grandparents, and this knowledge is rarely ever written down. Even when we ask repeatedly for a recipe, we often get vague answers and estimations instead of exact quantities. For sharing Passover recipes this year, we've turned 23 of those imprecise memories into detailed, replicable ones for a delicious, memorable seder table.
Browse our selection of beloved matzo ball soup, kugel, brisket, and other favorite Passover recipes to refresh your repertoire. You may even find your new go-to holiday dish.
The goal is for matzo balls to hold their shape (slightly firm) yet still feel soft throughout (fluffy). The flavor of the matzo balls is enhanced by the savory drippings of a freshly roasted chicken—that schmaltz is the secret ingredient. The bones of the chicken are then used to make a fortified stock that is warming and deeply satisfying.
2. Gefilte Fish
Gefilte fish is another essential part of the Passover meal, even though it can be highly controversial: Some people love it, while others refuse to try it. If you’re a skeptic, you should know that there is a huge difference between homemade gefilte fish and the stuff sold in glass jars at the supermarket. From scratch, the chilled and poached dish highlights the mild, sweet flavor of whitefish. Put a little horseradish on top and you'll see why gefilte fish has become (and remained) a Passover tradition.
Speaking of chicken, a perfectly roasted bird makes a delightful main course. This no-fail method couldn’t be easier—simply let the chicken come to room temperature, stuff it with a few aromatics, season, and roast at high heat for about 10 minutes per pound.
This exceedingly juicy brisket is rubbed with sweet paprika, topped with lots of onions and garlic, and cooked for hours. It forms its own savory, deeply flavored sauce that envelopes the fall-apart tender beef.
Charoset is an essential part of Passover Seder, often made using apple, wine, spices, and nuts. This elegantly simple and toasty version requires only two ingredients: toasted pecans and date syrup. Swirl any leftovers into your yogurt the next morning.
A rustic savory pie not unlike lasagna, mina is made with layers of matzo, meat, and vegetables. This recipe combines ground lamb with spices, tomato sauce, and potatoes, and the whole thing is bound together with eggs. The dish is extremely customizable—swap the meat for vegetables and moist cheese like cottage cheese or ricotta.
Classic macaroons are all well and good, but why not have fun with the basic cookie? Swap the standard bag of sweetened, flaked coconut for thick, unsweetened shavings, often labeled as coconut chips. And while you’re at it, jam a piece of chocolate in each still-hot cookie and watch it melt.
Bring some bitter herbs from the Seder plate to your Passover feast by serving a chicory salad that’s full of punchy flavor. Grilling chicories like treviso radicchio mellows their sharpness, giving way to a subtle sweetness and smokiness. Their boldness pairs well with the equally vibrant dressing.
tzimmes—part stew, part casserole, all delicious—is a sweet and tart addition to your Passover meal. It’s also a breeze to make. Par-cook the sweet potatoes and carrots before adding them to the other ingredients and baking for about half an hour. The aromatic, sweet flavors are lovely with meaty brisket.
Give your matzo ball soup some south of the border flair with the addition of dried chipotle chile. The quick addition is a game-changer, giving the soup a hint of chocolatey smoke. Top with cilantro and freshly squeezed lime and perhaps a few slices of ripe avocado.
This nutty, chocolatey cake gets its lift from egg whites beaten into a fluffy cloud. Combine all of the ingredients carefully, a little at a time, using a folding motion. This will ensure that your cake cooks up tall and tender.
This comforting potato kugel has a refreshingly bright flavor thanks to the addition of preserved lemons, fresh herbs, and lemon zest. Leftovers make a tasty breakfast re-toasted and topped with a runny egg.
Combine the main dish (roasted chicken) and a side dish (roast cabbage) onto a single pan for an attractive centerpiece that won’t hog the whole oven. Juicy, crispy-skinned chicken and sweet, tender cabbage are flavored by the spicy dressing and the flavorful drippings from the chicken.
Crispy, salty matzo is drenched in caramel and covered in chocolate before being broken up and mixed into homemade vanilla ice cream. If you don’t have time to churn your own, use the roca as a delicious topping for store-bought ice cream.
The combination of tomato sauce, brown sugar, and red wine vinegar results in a dish that nods to Texas barbecue but is also fitting for a Passover meal. If possible, make it the day before and reheat in the oven until bubbling. The flavors really shine after hanging out in the fridge for a night.
Crème fraîche, Parmesan cheese, and heavy cream add wonderful richness to sweet potatoes. Use a ricer if you have one for the fluffiest of fluffy mashed potatoes, and pair with tangy salads to play up the vegetable’s natural sweetness.
Not too sweet and oh-so-moist, the carrot ring is the non-leavened solution for anyone who likes to eat dessert while the brisket is still on the table. Use matzo meal instead of flour for Passover. It’s best served warm and with plenty of napkins—a generous amount of shortening makes for an oily treat.
Horseradish, which often appears on a seder plate as the bitter herb, adds bright spiciness to roasted spring vegetables. When combined with fresh thyme, butter, and sherry vinegar, it makes a balanced sauce you’ll want to put on just about everything.
Spring heralds the arrival of sweet little fiddlehead ferns. They become tender but still crisp when briefly blistered in a hot pan along with green beans. A salad of bitter greens and an orange dressing highlight their mild sweetness, making for a sophisticated and attractive side dish.
Break out of the charoset mold by combining lightly pickled dried figs with toasted walnuts, charred clementines, spices, and honey. The condiment is especially good paired with a roast chicken.
Somewhere between a giant truffle, chocolate mousse, and meringue, this cake is a showstopper. By adding whipped cream to the cake batter, you get a fudgier texture and richer flavor. Cut nice, big wedges with a serrated knife to keep the crispy top somewhat intact.
You could serve matzo balls with chicken soup, or you could put the chicken soup inside the matzo ball. To channel chicken soup vibes, sauté onions, carrots, and celery until browned before incorporating lots of dill and ground chicken.
This salad is further proof that Ottolenghi knows his way around an onion. Roasted until tender and caramelized, the red onions are perched atop peppery arugula and studded with goat cheese and parsley. An easy walnut salsa makes this a memorable salad.
What are your family's Passover traditions? Share them—and the menu, and how you've adapted it yourself—in the comments.
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