passover cooking

Passover Cooking: Just the thought makes everyone shudder

Let me start with my induction  Boot Camp Crash Course in Passover Cooking, read my Passover Kitchen Diaries: Anatomy of a Week in the Home Kitchen Trenches.

I grew up in a very modest household, but I remember fabulous food at every meal at my home, especially my mother’s Passover Cooking. So much so that, fast forward more years than I care to admit, I actually wait for that time of year to showcase my culinary stars. So, what’s wrong with me? No, I don’t have one goodie-goodie bone in my body! Waiting for Pessach to be over and slavery to be back, we are all familiar with, but actually waiting for it to come around? Get real, right?

I can hear all of your concerns because they are often mine as well: “I have to cook with my hands tied behind my back; Passover Cooking is triple the price; this celebration of freedom is such slavery I barely survive it; I need a week’s vacation when Passover Cooking ends just to recuperate and get back to normal; I don’t have my regular amenities at my disposal”, and on and on…..

I have for the most part recovered from the dread of Passover Cooking, and I am thinking, with great glee: “This week is my gastronomic week; never mind the rarefied setting: the week of Passover Cooking I can go for broke – a life-long habit I am not even trying to shake: why should I? I credit it in great part for making me the cook and hostess that I am; I am “stuck” with only the best and most seasonal; here is my chance to streamline in style recipes and ingredient selections; staying away from bread and rice and ice cream and pizza and other delicious nemeses is a given, because it is halachically verbotten”. And on and on….

On Passover we naturally turn to all fresh seasonal produce and fresh herbs. Many desserts hardly suffer from not being made with flour, if at all: In fact my new cookbook, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen: Glorious Meals Pure and Simple, bears this out in full: I should tell you it includes, in addition to a very extensive general index and a gluten-free index, a Passover index with more than 200  Passover-friendly recipes, all natural, naturally, what else, since I only have eyes for whole foods: It’s like having 3 books rolled into one!

As I mention, for Passover Cooking we are stuck with only the best.

For instance, now that quinoa has been approved for Pessach, I make tabouleh and pilaf with it, which liberates me from the compulsory potato dish at every meal. Let me start by telling you something I hope you won’t be too disappointed about: I am afraid you won’t find a single recipe for Passover blintzes, lasagna, pizza and other gimmicky ersatz renditions of chametz dishes. I ask you: Who needs it?! Respect the seasons and give tribute to what each has to offer, then eat all the pizza and blintzes you want during the rest of the year! Deal with the usual suspects fifty one weeks out of the year and give them – and us – time out for one week, and pay special Thanksgiving to all the wondrous foods Nature has to offer in the spring, and every single day of our lives!

Oh, just one more thing before I get into the trenches: No Chametz-like food whatsoever served at any point during the Passover week in my kitchen or at my table. What for? Who needs it? After denouncing pizza, pasta, layer cakes and other starches as our year-round tormentors, why look for a way to make Passover Cooking knockoffs of these nemeses? I don’t think so! So long, see you next week, I will subsist beautifully on…. everything else, and then some. I love love love Passover Cooking! Just my One, Two and Turmeric Chapter on Tajines will give you more than three dozen dishes made in a snap.

Just a few words before you dig into your Passover Cooking:

And I mean planning, every single step: Here is my Mega File again: The Passover Kitchen Diaries: Anatomy of a Week in the Home Kitchen Trenches. Please read it, you’ll be glad you did, it will make you a pro!

So: Still stressing about Passover? Here are my Passover Seder Menu ideas:  pick and choose from several options.  Just a few picks from my Cookbook more-than-200-Passover Recipes Click the links to view the full recipes. All recipes are Non-Gebroks! If you still don’t have the book, order the EBook: Beautiful, and a snap to download on any screen.

Attention Vegan and Vegetarian Passover Guests:

You will certainly not be wallflowers with me! I am clearly marking all vegan and vegetarian dishes on the following list.


You will find no end of Salads on my blog. They are much too numerous to list. Simply skip the ones that look decidedly Chametz, such as barley salad or corn salad, and adapt some of the ingredients in all other salads for Passover Vegan

Appetizers and Side Dishes

Cabbage Fennel Apple Compote Vegan

Moroccan Swiss Chard Carrot Salad Vegan

 Tricolor Vegetable Terrine with Red Pepper Sauce Vegan (no problem skipping the eggs)

Almond-Stuffed Salmon

Potato Kugel

Baked Snapper in Sweet and Sour Sauce

Roasted Salmon Moroccan Style 

Artichokes and Carrots in Lemon Sauce Vegan

Mixed Grilled Vegetables  Vegan

Quinoa with Fried Onions and Chestnuts Vegan

Brussels Sprouts and Zucchini in Tomato Sauce Recipe Vegan


Cholent Soup (Shabbos)  Vegan

Mushroom Soup Vegan

 Cabbage Cranberry Soup Vegan

Roasted Garlic Artichoke Soup Vegan

Moroccan Fish Soup

Chicken Vegetable Soup

Apple Parsnip Soup Vegan

Celery Root, Fennel and Chestnut Soup Vegan


Lamb Dried Fruit Tajine
Cholent (Passover Variation)
Roast Beef with Wild Mushroom Sauce
 Beef Tajine with Lemon and Oregano Sauce
Lamb Shanks with Artichokes and Mushrooms 
 One, Two and Turmeric  Chicken. Beef and Fish Tajines (any except the one with corn)
Beef Bourguignon
Balsamic-Roasted Chicken Breasts
Moroccan Roasted Chicken
(adjust ingredients that need adjusting for Passover)
Chicken Tajine with Prunes and Almonds
Brisket in Sweet and Sour Sauce
Brisket in Coffee Brandy Sauce
Beef Tongue Tajine with Swiss Chard
Nori Rolls Vegan
(skip the soy sauce and wasabi, it will still be great. No problem using quinoa here)

Desserts. All Pareve

Flourless Almond Apricot Chocolate Chip Torte with Chocolate Frosting
Pecan Brownies
Almond Wine Cake
Chocolate Beet Coconut Cake
Molten-Chocolate Cakes
Strawberry and Rhubarb Sauce Vegan
Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Meringues
Fruit Salads  Vegan
Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries  Vegan
Quinoa Muesli (substitute quinoa for the oats) Vegan
Passover Granola and Energy Balls Vegan 

9 replies
  1. Chani Capland
    Chani Capland says:

    Hi Levana , hope all is well.
    I am dying to make your chestnut mushroom soup for pesach think I could just add extra salt to substitute for the miso.?

  2. Vickie Morell
    Vickie Morell says:

    Help! This will be my first time preparing a Passover sedar and I don’t know where to start. Any ideals will be helpful.

    Thank you

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Well Vickie you have here an enormous file, with menus and recipes. this should be most helpful:-)))

  3. Joanne Smith
    Joanne Smith says:

    Thankyou so much Levana, for helping me to attend my very first passover dinner coming up on April 18, 2011. My daughter has converted and then she met her soulmate, was married in Feb. 2011 and now expecting her first child. We are celebrating Passover with her new family. I’m making your chocolate molten cake, who doesn’t like chocolate???

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      That’s right: who doesn’t like chocolate? You’re in for a treat!
      Welcome to your own first Seder! Only simchas,

  4. says:

    je souhaite recevoir tes recettes .du changement pour pessah
    pessah cacher ve sameah
    bientot dolly

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      A vous aussi! Pessach Kasher VeSameach. J’espere qu’on pourra se parler avants les fetes! Shabbat Shalom xoxoxo

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