Holidays and special occasions

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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25 Comments

  • Reply
    Josh
    April 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    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 🙂

  • Reply
    AnaVar
    April 17, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Great tips, thanks for sharing.

    Ana

  • Reply
    Randi
    April 18, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    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.

  • Reply
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    […] dear friend Nava Atlas’s vegan Passover guide (Nava is an incredible resource for all holiday dining, […]

  • Reply
    Ilene
    April 7, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    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. 🙂

  • Reply
    Nava
    April 12, 2012 at 10:02 pm

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

  • Reply
    Kim
    March 25, 2014 at 11:53 am

    You can also try a Pascal Yam on the seder plate! 😉

    • Reply
      Nava
      March 25, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      LOL, I love that, Kim …

  • Reply
    Marlene
    April 7, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    I can’t wait to make these recipes… Thank you for these delicious recipes.

    • Reply
      Nava
      April 7, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      You’re most welcome, Marlene! Happy holiday and hope you enjoy the recipes.

  • Reply
    Cava
    April 17, 2014 at 7:17 pm

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

  • Reply
    Amy
    March 12, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Thanks for sharing. Everything looks great.

  • Reply
    10 Healthy Passover Short Cuts! Just for you!
    March 17, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    […] Nava Atlas’s book Vegan Holiday Kitchen is always my go-to, as is the Passover section on her website. […]

  • Reply
    Nat Wenger
    March 22, 2015 at 10:26 am

    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!

  • Reply
    naomi herz
    April 1, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Will definitely be on my Passover dinner list.Is looking good and Healthy

  • Reply
    Sa
    April 2, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Much better than typical Passover food, which is always 50 shades of brown.

  • Reply
    Sharon
    April 11, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    Cava,

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

  • Reply
    Sharon
    April 16, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    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

    • Reply
      Nava
      April 18, 2016 at 10:19 am

      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!

  • Reply
    Leona
    April 17, 2016 at 6:42 am

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

  • Reply
    Rachel
    March 1, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    I’m still looking for the perfect Passover main course – Ashkenazi or Sephardi — not too complicated since we’re a large group, a meat substitute that will satisfy all those who expect a roast chicken or brisket. Not too starchy, like the mina that has lots of potatoes, though it looks delish. Help!!

  • Reply
    brenda borenstein
    March 8, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    Anything for freeze ahead

  • Reply
    Johanna Bronsztein
    April 9, 2017 at 6:47 am

    I will go now and do them .I am turning into a vegan and just today I found this vegan Passover page thank you ,cannot wait to do it.

  • Reply
    JoAnn
    March 16, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Nava, I LOVE your recipes, and that so many are also GF! Your recipes are delicious and your pictures are so beautiful. I’d like to let you know that I have created a (vegan) Haggadah inspired by the concept of Holistic Non-violence, as put forth by Tribe of Heart Filmmakers. It is free to use and download in a PDF format, on my special Passover page: http://joannfarb.weebly.com/passover.html

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