Elegant Passover Recipes

Passover may just be the ultimate food holiday: The menu for the 8-day celebration is one of spring vegetables, hearty meats and soups, and every possible variation of matzo. Depending on the religious sect, different dietary rules apply: Sephardic Jews from Spain, North Africa, and the Middle East welcome beans and legumes on Passover, while Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe eschew them. Some communities serve lamb to welcome spring, while others avoid it in recognition of the paschal sacrifice. Whatever traditions your family hews to, you'll find great ideas—and more than a few great takes on matzo ball soup—in this gallery.

Apricot and Currant Chicken

Apricot and Currant Chicken

This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for larger parties. It comes from The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins with Sarah Leah Chase. Apricot and Currant Chicken »Farideh Sadeghin
Aunt Gillie's Matzo Ball Soup

Aunt Gillie's Matzo Ball Soup

Margarine is the key to getting plump and floaty matzo balls for this Deli classic. See the recipe for Aunt Gillie's Matzo Ball Soup »Laura Sant
Rack of Lamb with Rosemary and Thyme

Rack of Lamb with Rosemary and Thyme

Frenched rack of lamb with rosemary and thyme combines classic flavor with classic, sophisticated presentation. See the recipe for Rack of Lamb with Rosemary and Thyme »André Baranowski
Double Chocolate Macaroons

Double Chocolate Macaroons

In these luscious cookies from cookbook author Leah Koenig, the traditional shredded coconut version gets hit with a double dose of chocolate: cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate chips. Get the recipe for Double Chocolate Macaroons »Zoe Schaeffer
Brussels Sprouts Salad

Brussels Sprouts Salad

When shopping for brussels sprouts for this appealing side dish, look for small ones that have a bright green color. Brown spots on the cut edge of the stem or yellowing of the leaves usually signifies older sprouts, which tend to have a more bitter flavor. Store brussels sprouts in the refrigerator in a paper bag. See the recipe for Brussels Sprouts Salad »André Baranowski
Asparagus with Citrus and Oregano

Asparagus with Citrus and Oregano

Microwaving asparagus in a tightly covered dish with a little water and olive oil is a fast and easy way to steam the vegetable while preserving its color, texture, and flavor. See the recipe for Asparagus with Citrus and Oregano »André Baranowski
Rosemary-Maple Roast Chicken

Rosemary-Maple Roast Chicken

Cookbook author Leah Koenig bastes roast chicken with a mix of maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and fresh rosemary for a flavorful take on a classic. It makes a lovely centerpiece on Passover, or any night of the year. This recipe is from her forthcoming book, Modern Jewish Cooking (Chronicle, 2015).Laura Sant
Beet Tartare

Beet Tartare

Earthy roasted beets are brightened by fresh orange zest and tangy balsamic in this clever appetizer, which looks beautiful presented in individual endive spears. To make this dish dairy-free, omit the Greek yogurt or use a non-dairy yogurt alternative. See the recipe for Beet Tartare »Yossy Arefi
Matzo Balls and Goose Soup

Knaidelach (Matzo Balls and Goose Soup)

Crumbling matzo to make the matzo balls gives them a striated texture but if you want them even more springy and airy, use baking powder. See the recipe for Knaidelach »Landon Nordeman
Tzimmes Root Vegetable Stew

Tzimmes (Root Vegetable Stew)

Sweetened with honey and prunes, this beef and root vegetable stew is perfect for Passover. See the recipe for Tzimmes (Root Vegetable Stew) »Todd Coleman
Winter Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Winter Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

If you're avoiding dairy, this salad of apples, beets, and toasted walnuts works just as well with a simple vinaigrette. See the Recipe for Winter Salad with Buttermilk Dressing »André Baranowski
Puréed Carrots with Orange and Ginger

Puréed Carrots with Orange and Ginger

Cookbook author Leah Koenig's family always served puréed carrots as part of their Jewish holiday repertoire. This version, from her forthcoming book The Modern Jewish Cookbook (Chronicle, 2015), gets amped up with ginger, garlic, and bright citrus.Cory Baldwin
Catalan Asparagus Vinaigrette

Catalan Asparagus Vinaigrette

Simple blanched asparagus is transformed when topped with a vinaigrette of finely chopped tomatoes, parsley, red onion, capers, and lemon juice. See the recipe for Catalan Asparagus Vinaigrette »Penny De Los Santos
Roasted Parsnips with Horseradish Mayonnaise

Roasted Parsnips with Horseradish Mayonnaise

Horseradish is a staple of many Passover seder tables. In this dish from cookbook author Leah Koenig, it gets mixed with mayonnaise and fresh rosemary in a piquant dip for roasted parsnips. See the recipe for Roasted Parsnips with Horseradish Mayonnaise »Cory Baldwin
Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms

Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms

You can replace panko bread crumbs with coarse matzo meal to make these retro-inspired, two-bite hors d'oeuvres--which can be assembled up to two days ahead of time and baked off before guests arrive.Todd Coleman
Herbed Lemon Quinoa

Herbed Lemon Quinoa

Quinoa, which is botanically a seed and not a grain, is widely accepted as a Passover-friendly starch. In this recipe from cookbook author Leah Koenig, it gets dressed up for the seder table with a mix of sweet sautéed shallots, lemon, and parsley. Get the recipe for Herbed Lemon Quinoa »Cory Baldwin
Mixed Green Salad with Horseradish Dressing

Mixed Green Salad with Horseradish Dressing

A simple salad gets a bite from dressing made with fresh horseradish, which you can add to taste. See the recipe for Mixed Green Salad with Horseradish Dressing »MacKenzie Smith
Creamed Brussels Sprouts

Creamed Brussels Sprouts

Bring out Brussels sprouts' cruciferous softness with this simple, savory preparation. Don't skimp on the salt: it lends depth and highlights the sprouts' natural sweetness. See the recipe for Creamed Brussels Sprouts »Maxime Iattoni
Lil Pachter's Jewish-Style Braised Brisket

Lil Pachter's Jewish-Style Braised Brisket

This brisket tastes even better the next day. See the recipe for Lil Pachter's Jewish-Style Braised Brisket »Christopher Hirsheimer
Pickled Beets and Hard-Cooked Eggs

Pickled Beets and Hard-Cooked Eggs

This dish combines the three highly symbolic foods--beets, boiled eggs, and horseradish--to make a stunning addition to your appetizer spread. See the recipe for Pickled Beets and Hard-Cooked Eggs »Ben Fink
Kale and Sweet Potato Gratin

Kale and Sweet Potato Gratin

In this cheesy, rich gratin, clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg take a savory note alongside kale, sweet potatoes, and sharp white cheddar. See the recipe for Kale and Sweet Potato Gratin »Maxime Iattoni
Maple Syrup-Roasted Tomatoes

Maple Syrup-Roasted Tomatoes

Maple syrup intensifies the sweetness of tomatoes in this recipe for Tomate Confite au Sirop d'Érable. Serve these tossed into a salad, or with toothpicks as an appetizer. See the recipe for Maple Syrup-Roasted Tomatoes »Landon Nordeman
Lemon-and-Herb-Roasted Vegetables

Lemon-and-Herb-Roasted Vegetables

Chopped whole lemon and spicy fresh ginger lend brightness to these hearty roasted vegetables, which can complement a rich roast or brisket. See the recipe for Lemon-and-Herb-Roasted Vegetables »Todd Coleman
Roasted Potatoes

Roasted Potatoes

Roasting potatoes at a high temperature turns them golden brown on the outside and creamy within. See the recipe for Roasted Potatoes »Todd Coleman
Beet Stew with Lamb Meatballs

Beet Stew with Lamb Meatballs

For this traditional Iraqi-Jewish dish, ground-lamb meatballs are braised in a vibrant beet stew.Andrè Baranowski
Katzs Chopped Liver

Katz's Chopped Liver

Enriched with schmaltz (rendered chicken fat), this famous chicken liver spread from Katz's Delicatessen on New York City's Lower East Side is great served on matzoh as an appetizer. See the recipe for Katz's Chopped Liver »Michael Kraus
Matzo Ball Soup

Matzo Ball Soup

This classic Passover recipe is served as the first course of the seder meal in Jewish homes all around the world. This version comes from Renee Renner, a home cook in the Bronx, New York, who adds seltzer to the matzo balls to ensure that they turn out light and airy.André Baranowski
Roasted Beets with Garlic-Potato Spread

Roasted Beets with Garlic-Potato Spread (Pantzaria me Skordalia)

This classic taverna dish pairs sweet roasted beets with a garlicky skordalia made with potatoes and walnuts. See the recipe for Roasted Beets with Garlic-Potato Spread »James Oseland