Post-Seder Passover Recipes to Get You Through the Week
The oft-neglected remaining days of Passover need some love, too. Check out these kosher-for-Passover meals and snacks that also happen to be allergy-friendly, gluten-free, or vegetarian.
Whether you grew up in a strictly kosher home or dabble in Jewish observance, figuring out what to eat on Passover can stress out even the most creative cooks. Folks who maintain a kosher kitchen year-round already follow lots of rules about permissible foods, food combos, and even cooking techniques and timing (since from-scratch cooking on Shabbat and certain holidays is verboten). But Passover (aka Pesach in Hebrew) is a whole other ball game.
After a major deep clean and kitchen turnover (think different plates, cutlery, dishes, cookware, etc.), all chametz has to be destroyed (or fully sequestered and sold for the duration of the holiday). That means any wheat, oats, rye, barley, spelt, and anything derived from those grains — flour, pasta, cereals, breadcrumbs, many vinegars or alcohol-based extracts, and all sorts of random by-products that are common fixtures in convenience foods — are totally off the table for the entire eight-day holiday. Interestingly, matzah must be made from one of the five chametz grains, but has to be produced on a swift 18-minute start-to-finish timeline that mitigates any risk of the flour fermenting and rising.
Passover-observant Ashkenazi Jews also have a long-held minhag (basically, a Hebrew term meaning a custom that carries the weight of law) to avoid a category of foods called kitniyot (“small things” in Hebrew), including beans, legumes, rice, and certain seeds and spices, among other things. Plus, certain communities follow additional strictures, such as skipping produce that can’t be peeled, only eating homemade food, or eschewing gebrokts, which literally means “broken” but refers to recipes that mix liquid with matzah or matzah products — in other words, no matzah balls, matzah brei, or matzah meal-based cakes and cookies.
If you’ve got food allergies, a medical condition like celiac disease that requires dietary management, or are vegetarian, things get even trickier. But the truth is that even nimble cooks without extra dietary concerns can feel stymied, especially once the Seders — the big ceremonial feasts that kick off the holiday — are through. Not that there’s anything wrong with living on a steady diet of matzah pizza or leftover brisket, but if you want to mix things up for the rest of the holiday, the options abound. Sometimes it just takes a reminder to think about what you can eat (loads of produce, to start), instead of trying to approximate what you can’t (bread, or that late-night bowl o’ cereal). Here are some tips and recipes to get you started.
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Answers to your burning Passover questions
Can’t I just use any gluten-free recipe on Passover?
Not really. Oats, for example, may be gluten-free, but they’re also a grain that’s classified as chametz, so they’re a definite no-go on Passover. Many gluten-free recipes also contain kitniyot, so may need adaptation or a hard pass depending on your family tradition.
But all Passover recipes are gluten-free, right?
Wrong. Many Passover recipes use matzah, matzah meal, matzah cake meal, or matzah farfel (so much matzah!!!). With the exception of oat matzah (which is hard to find and often expensive), these products all contain gluten. In recent years, a couple of manufacturers have come out with gluten-free versions of these Passover staples, but they may behave differently in recipes.
If I can eat gluten, can I swap matzah meal or cake meal for flour in everyday recipes?
While matzah meal and cake meal (essentially ground matzah and even more finely-ground matzah, respectively) are handy for making pancakes, cakes, cookies, etc., neither is a true 1-to-1 flour substitute. Both are made from pre-baked matzah, so they don’t absorb liquid or bind baked goods in the same way that regular flour would. You can certainly experiment, but many find that tried-and-true Passover recipes are a safer bet. If you’re not allergic to nuts, there are lots of nut flour-based recipes that are good fits for Passover. (In fact, long before paleo and Whole30 boosted the popularity of nut flour, kosher cooks were leaning on it for Passover baking!)
What’s the difference between chametz and kitniyot?
The biggest distinction is that chametz is unequivocally forbidden on Passover. Not only can you not eat it, you can’t own or derive benefit from it either. You can’t even feed it to your pets or farm animals, who have no obligation to keep kosher. Kitniyot, on the other hand, are foods that Ashkenazi authorities deemed inappropriate for Passover use centuries ago out of concern that they might be confused for or adulterated with chametz. The Talmud reveals that adoption of the kitniyot ban was not initially universal among Ashkenazim, nor was it without controversy. Because kitniyot foods are not chametz, some Orthodox rabbis allow leniencies for their consumption on a case-by-case basis for children or those who are ill. The Reform, and more recently, Conservative Jewish movements put forth teshuvot (rabbinic rulings) allowing kitniyot for Ashkenazim; likewise, in Israel, where Ashkenazim may live in predominantly Sephardi or Mizrahi communities, some authorities deem it permissible for Ashkenazi Jews to dine with their neighbors, and even partake of certain kitniyot-containing dishes. Incidentally, not all Sephardi or Mizrahi Jews eat all types of kitniyot. And for those who do, there are rules about how to check rice, lentils, etc. before the holiday to ensure that there’s no chametz present.
Passover breakfast recipes
Search for Passover recipes and — aside from matzah brei, which is pretty much the Passover version of French toast — you’ll rarely find any for breakfast. We’ve got ‘em, though!
You could top this hot porridge with everything from berries to nuts and honey, but if you’ve got time, the silan roasted figs are pretty special.
Most Passover pancakes rely on matzah meal or cake meal and potato starch, but these gluten-free goodies are made from bananas, eggs, almond butter, and cinnamon. If you can’t eat nuts, no worries — there are lots of 2-ingredient banana-egg pancake recipes out there, so you can omit the almond butter if necessary.
If you need a daily cereal fix, this should keep you going through the holiday. I’ve got a nut-allergic kiddo, so I’ve stopped making it with almonds and still think it’s delish. Experiment with your favorite dried fruit and/or nut combos for a bespoke granola.
If your breakfast tastes skew savory, avocado-topped matzah may be your new go-to. Note that hemp and sesame seeds are considered kitniyot, but chia seeds are not.
Vegetarian Passover recipes
From chicken soup to brisket, meat tends to feature big during the festive Seder meals. Meatless meals make for a nice change of pace during the rest of the week, but with vegetarian mainstays like pasta or grains out of the picture, it’s sometimes hard to know where to start. The trick is to find produce-forward recipes like these.
Zucchini noodles, aka zoodles, are perfect for Passover. Cherry tomatoes, pesto, and pine nuts elevate this dish to legit entrée status.
This frittata-style tapa works any time of day. Serve it with a salad and gazpacho (pick a bread-free recipe, obviously) for a Spanish cuisine-inspired menu. Sangria is optional, but highly recommended.
This is eggplant parmesan at its most elemental — you don’t have to dredge, fry, or layer the eggplant — just broil it, top with sauce and cheese, and bake!
Allergy-friendly Passover recipes
Passover can be challenging on the food allergy front because a lot of recipes rely on major allergens — particularly nuts, eggs, and wheat-based matzah products. These recipes make it a little easier to navigate through the holiday safely.
Despite the name, there’s no dairy in this Top 9 allergen-free recipe; pureeing the soup with some of the cooked quinoa is what makes it creamy. The quinoa-herb gremolata adds textural interest and lots of flavor.
Not only is this recipe allergy-friendly, but prep and cleanup are a cinch.
Roasted beets pair wonderfully with creamy avocado and crisp, juicy Asian pear. If you can’t find the pears, orange segments would be delicious, too.
Passover recipes for those who eat kitniyot
It’s rare to see kitniyot-containing recipes in Passover cookbooks or on kosher websites, since most (at least in the US) focus on an Ashkenazi audience. But having additional ingredients at their disposal doesn’t mean kitniyot-eaters don’t want a little Passover recipe inspiration, too.
Beluga lentils, grape tomatoes, avocado, and cucumber are dressed in a simple lemon vinaigrette; this nutritious, allergy-friendly salad would work just as well as a main dish or colorful side.
For kitniyot eaters who use rice on Passover, this eggplant, carrot, and chickpea-studded dish would make a beautiful one-dish entrée, or a lovely side for roasted fish or chicken.
If the spring weather turns fickle, warm up with this simple, satisfying soup. Pair it with a salad or matzah toasted with cheese.
Non-gebrokts and gluten-free recipes
If you don't do gebrokts (recipes that mix liquid with matzah or matzah products), or you can't eat gluten, try these deliciously matzah-free recipes
This sprightly salad partners salty, creamy feta with sweet pears, refreshing cucumbers, and a tangy lemon vinaigrette.
Sure, the pesto chicken-roasted tomato combo sounds delicious. But it’s the inventive pan-grilled portobello mushrooms as burger buns that really got our attention.
Macerated strawberries are an unexpected, yet fresh, accent to pan-seared salmon. This recipe is quick and easy, but it’s elegant enough to make a weeknight Passover meal feel special.
Matzah pizza is practically iconic, but it’s not the only way to get a pizza fix on Passover
You probably don’t really need a recipe for matzah pizza … unless you want to get a little creative with herbs, onions, olives, and a cream cheesy-tomato spread.
These adorable little pizzas use pan-fried quinoa cakes as a base. That makes them protein-rich, gluten-free, and super tasty.
Riced cauliflower makes a great alternative base for pizza; if you don’t have a food processor, use a box grater instead (or eliminate the work and pick up some frozen riced cauliflower). Brush your baking pan with olive oil if you don’t have kosher-for-Passover cooking spray.
Easy Passover dessert recipes
Passover desserts that don’t require 8 eggs, ground nuts, and lots of whipping? Yes, please!
The start of strawberry season often coincides with Passover, and this gluten-free, allergy-friendly recipe is a great way to showcase them. You don’t need an ice cream maker, but you will need a blender.
I tested this versatile recipe several ways, so you’ll find lots of substitution suggestions and tips. However you make them, they’re dairy-free and allergy-friendly.
If you use almond flour, check out this maple-sweetened loaf cake recipe. Bonus: It features a DIY flour replacer you can try in other recipes, too. If you need an egg-free cake, you can use applesauce.
More Passover articles
We've got plenty more inspiration to ensure a delicious Passover!