Vegan Passover Seder Recipes and Menus

vegan matzo ball soup recipe

These vegan Passover Seder recipes and menus (great for vegetarians too) focus on the fresh produce of early spring — very fitting, as the holiday has connotations of renewal and rebirth. Though there’s flexibility in what may be served for the meal itself, there are also many restrictions. Ashkenazic Jews avoid, aside from bread-related products, many other grains and legumes. For Sephardic Jews, leavened wheat products are avoided, but rice and other grains can be used, as well as legumes. Shown above: Spring Vegetable Soup with Vegan Matzo Balls; photo by Susan Voisin.

The biggest challenge for vegans is how to create eggless versions of egg-y classics like matzo balls. No worries, VegKitchen’s vegan matzo balls (with a gluten-free variation) are awesome. Both traditions have lately embraced the use of quinoa during Passover week. And since Passover once had a strong seasonal festival aspect, spring’s bountiful produce is most welcome.

Spinach and potato matzo gratin (mina)

Spinach, Leek, and Potato Matzo Gratin; photo by Hannah Kaminsky

Passover Mock chopped liver (Mushroom, Cashew, and Onion)

Passover Mock Chopped Liver (Mushroom, Cashew, and Onion)


Ashkenazik (Eastern European) and Sephardic Passover Menu Options

Additions to the menu: Serve plenty of matzo throughout the meal. Though this is an abundant menu, you may also wish to add a seasonal green salad and a simply prepared green vegetable such as asparagus or broccoli. And choose from one or two of the Passover Desserts, below.

Passover Quinoa Pilaf

Passover Quinoa Pilaf

Passover Carrot Raisin Pudding

Carrot-Apple Pudding


Passover Desserts

Chocolate Matzo brittle

Chocolate Matzo Brittle

Passover Pineapple Crumble

Passover Pineapple Crumble


The Seder Plate, Vegan Version

Parsley bunchDuring the course of the Seder and the meal that follows the reading of the Haggaddah, a plate of matzos is served, as is plenty of Passover wine. Central to the table is the Seder plate, a round dish with designated spots for placement of the symbolic foods to be sampled during the reading of the Haggadah. The foods are not eaten from this plate, but everyone gets a sampling of the foods to be tasted from separate platters.

Karpas: A mild green vegetable or herb, such as celery or parsley. This symbolizes the new growth of spring. A small leaf of romaine lettuce or other mild green might be used. It’s sometimes dipped into salt water or vinegar as a reminder of the tears shed by enslaved Jews.

Maror: A bitter herb, usually horseradish for Ashkenazic Jews or a bitter green such as escarole or endive for Sephardic jews. This represents the bitterness of slavery suffered by the Jews in Egypt.

Haroset: This mixture of nuts, wine, and apples, as Ashkenazic Jews make it, or nuts, wine, and dried fruits, as Sephardic Jews make it, has a brick-like color to symbolize the bricks used by the Jewish slaves to build Pharoah’s cities.

Hazeret: Another bitter herb or green, such as watercress or chicory. Some believe that two bitter herbs should be tasted, though this component of the Seder plate is optional. Two components of the Seder plate that vegans obviously skip or replace: zoreah, the shank bone, and Beytzah, a hard-boiled egg. To fill all the spots in the vegan Passover plate, the former is sometimes replaced with a roasted beet, and the latter, a boiled potato (more for its shape than any symbolic similarity).

And for using up all that leftover matzo, here’s Vegan Matzo Brei, the Passover breakfast classic:

Vegan Matzo Brei

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21 comments on “Vegan Passover Seder Recipes and Menus

  1. Josh

    Wow I am going to try to bring those my grandma but I doubt it she will be willing to change a 80 years tradition 🙂

  2. Randi

    Hard to get past the traditional menu for my family and friends who are not vegetarian or vegan. I may try an alternative seder on the third night.

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  4. Ilene

    Thanks for the great recipes.
    I made the Spring Vegetable soup and the Quinoa Pilaf last night for Seder. Yum! My hubby liked the soup too – haven’t got him to try quinoa yet. 🙂

  5. Nava Post author

    Thanks for your comments, everyone! Glad you enjoyed this Passover fare and hope you all had a nice holiday.

  6. Cava

    Thanks for the tips! I did a variation on the spinach/leek/potato gratin and it came out amazing! THANK YOU! Mazel! 😉

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  8. Nat Wenger

    Last year I made an entirely vegan Ashkenazi Passover for 36 people, only two of whom were vegan. It’s not too difficult. Just be clever!

  9. Sharon

    Cava,

    I\’m curious what your variation was on the spinach leek potato gratin if you don\’t mind sharing. Thanks so much!!

  10. Sharon

    I’m sorry Cava…. My question was meant for Nava. Thank you for replying though. Nava, do you mind sharing your variation that you said was amazing?
    Sharon

  11. Leona

    This is the first year I’m making a vegan Seder so really appreciate your recipes and menu ideas. Very helpful – thank you!!

  12. Nava Post author

    Hi Sharon — I’m still not clear which recipe you’re referring to, as this is the landing page for the Passover recipes. Could you clarify, and I’ll respond. Thanks!

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