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
This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for larger parties. It comes from
by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins with Sarah Leah Chase. The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook
Apricot and Currant Chicken »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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
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 »
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 »
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) »
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 »
Puréed Carrots with Orange and Ginger
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 »
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 »
Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms
Herbed Lemon Quinoa
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Roasting potatoes at a high temperature turns them golden brown on the outside and creamy within.
See the recipe for Roasted Potatoes »
For this traditional Iraqi-Jewish dish, ground-lamb meatballs are braised in a vibrant beet stew.
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 »
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.
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 »