We refresh this post every year with several new recipes to help you plan a wonderful Passover or holiday meal.
We’ve put together some great Passover (or any holiday) Menu/Potluck ideas for main dishes, sides and desserts. Time to start planning.
Passover is around the corner and celebrators are either hosting a Passover seder or bringing a dish or two to someone else’s seder. While many stick to traditional Passover fare – gefilte fish, matzo ball soup, brisket, roast chicken, potato kugel (casserole) and tzimmes (carrot/prune stew), some of us try to change it up a bit – or at least mix old and new.
We chose 20 recipes that would work for a larger dinner party, for example, ones that can be successfully reheated or kept warm or that don’t need too much last minute fussing. We’ve also noted the following, where appropriate, for each recipe:
- Vegetarian – since many (most?) Passover gatherings include at least one vegetarian nowadays
- Potluck – meaning the dish can be made ahead and transported, with a few tips for reheating and serving where needed.
- Make-ahead – as this is critical for larger group gatherings. I try to make as much as possible ahead of time to reduce the stress.
- Under 30 minutes – because who doesn’t want a few things that can be made quickly?
Passover Restrictions (some are now changed)
The recipes below do not include bread, flour, grains and legumes that are not eaten on Passover by those who observe. Those who are more observant will only eat products and ingredients that are kosher for Passover. In my experience, almost everything is available now, labeled ‘kosher-for-Passover’. Here’s a good guide to foods that can be eaten during Passover.
Update as of 2016: Passover restrictions have changed according to the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards (CJLS), the legal body of the Conservative movement. Kitniyot such as rice, corn, sesame seeds, etc are now allowed. Some may disagree, so be sure to check with your guests or host before using previously restricted foods.
Helpful tips for Passover/Holiday dinners
- 10 Tips on Keeping Foods Warm get tips here
- 10 Tips for Great Dinner Parties get tips here
- If you have Sous Vide equipment, why not try some of our sous vide recipes for Passover, Easter or other holidays. Stress free! (Obviously not the pork recipes for Passover).
Main Dish Recipes
This chicken recipe has a wonderful complex flavor profile: oranges and lemons for zest; honey and prunes for sweetness;grainy mustard, garlic, onion and thyme for depth; chili flakes for a kick of heat; and pistachios, carrots and parsley for a little crunch and color. It presents beautifully for a dinner party. Make ahead: The whole thing can be made a day ahead (or in the morning) and popped into the oven before serving. Potluck: Typically, the host makes the main, but if you’re offering…transport the cooked chicken in a large roaster. Either complete the cooking and keep warm in the host’s oven or do the broiling just before serving at the host’s house. Bring the parsley and pistachios in a separate baggie to sprinkle on before serving.
This salmon is infused with delicate herbs, lemon and wine to create a delicious main dish. Succulent, healthy and ready in 20 minutes. For a Passover or holiday menu, use a whole side of salmon (instead of fillets) for a gorgeous presentation. Make ahead: This recipe can be refrigerated and brought to room temperature the next day. Sprinkle additional chopped herbs on top before serving along with lemon wedges and preferred garnish. Under 30 minutes. Potluck: This is a perfect potluck recipe, particularly if you serve it at room temperature (no reheating needed).
This classic prime rib roast recipe uses the reverse-sear method to create mouth watering, medium-rare meat throughout the entire roast. It doesn’t get better than that. And it makes a stunning and elegant holiday meal. The beauty of this method is that it’s perfect for make ahead: Once the slow portion of the roasting is done, it can sit on the counter covered for up to 90 minutes. Just before serving, roast it at very high heat for 6-10 minutes, slice and serve.
This Baked Apricot Onion Chicken is a much better and homemade version of that old recipe with onion soup, jam and Catalina dressing. Sticky, sweet, oniony deliciousness. Many of you might be familiar with that old popular chicken recipe. It’s impossible to find the origin as the recipe has been posted so many times on the internet by various authors. Regardless, it’s pretty darn tasty and very simple to make. Make ahead: Cook chicken to 155F on an instant read thermometer up to an hour ahead. Cover well with foil. Spoon sauce on top, then broil for 4 minutes 8-10 inches from heat.
This light, healthy turkey preparation is simple to make, yet looks and tastes elegant. The pear chutney is an excellent accompaniment – or how about using tsimmes instead to bring in a more traditional Passover ‘chutney’. I love the turkey with gravy too. The vegetable quinoa stuffing below would be a perfect side. Make ahead: Cook turkey to 160F or a little less. Cool down, then slice across the grain. Set slices in a pan and add a 1/4 broth to the pan. Cover tightly and reheat at 325F for about 10-15 minutes. Potluck: Transport in pan for reheating, covered with foil. Bring chutney on the side and serve warm or at room temperature.
Plump tender morsels of veal in a rich sauce of wine, tomatoes, thyme, garlic, carrots and onions, brightened with lemon zest and freshly chopped parsley. Perhaps instead of brisket? Make-ahead: absolutely – it’s even better the next day warmed up. Instant Pot Option: Here’s a very similar recipe, Instant Pot Veal Stew, if you prefer. Potluck: bring in a large pot and heat on low, stirring occasionally. Add parsley just before serving.
Side Dish Recipes
We love this Party Salad with Grilled Vegetables and Quinoa, loaded with eggplant, corn, peppers and maple-balsamic dressing. Three sides in one colourful dish – – grilled vegetables, quinoa and salad. The vegetables can be roasted instead of grilled. Make ahead: All the components for this salad can be made ahead. You just need to assemble the parts and drizzle on the dressing before serving. Vegetarian; Potluck: Assemble, cover and transport the salad with the dressing in a container to be added just before serving.
Beautiful, delicious and satisfying as a vegetarian main or side, this butternut squash salad will get rave reviews at your next Passover or holiday event. We love the gorgeous colors it adds to the table. Make Ahead: All components (squash, onions, dressing) can be made up to a day or two ahead and kept in the fridge, covered. Bring the butternut squash and onions to room temperature before serving or warm them for 30-60 seconds in the microwave. Potluck: Assemble the salad before transporting. Bring the dressing separately in a container. Before serving, heat the dressing in the microwave, drizzle over the salad and serve. Vegetarian.
Here’s a bold, colorful, earthy, nutritious, textured side dish for your holiday table. It’s mixed with apple and avocado, then dressed with a light honey Dijon dressing. There are lots of variations to consider in the post. To make ahead, add dressing at least half hour before to meld the flavors. Potluck; Vegetarian. Under 30 minutes (actually 12 minutes!)
We recently discovered that quinoa can be eaten during Passover. This stuffing or side dish is made with quinoa, sweet potatoes, peppers, celery, onions and nuts – with lots of other possible variations you will see in the post. Easy and delicious. Make ahead; Vegetarian; Potluck; Under 30 minutes.
A perfect side for Rosh Hashanah, Passover or any feast, Roasted Glazed Carrot Tzimmes fuses the delicious, rich flavours of balsamic, maple, orange and cinnamon. Sweet flavourful comfort food. Amazing with turkey, beef, pork, chicken or lamb. Make ahead – see two options in the post; Vegetarian.
Invariably there are always a couple of guests eating ‘lite’ at a holiday gathering. This side dish is an easy and healthy 12 minute low calorie option and the bright spring colors are lovely on the table. Delicious with a drizzle of balsamic reduction and sprinkle of sesame seeds (now ok for Passover). Make ahead: Everything can be prepped ahead of time on a pan. Just roast for 6 minutes before serving. You can also complete the dish and warm it in a hot oven for a few minutes before serving. Vegetarian; Under 30 minutes (in fact 12 minutes). Potluck.
Company-worthy Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Fresh Grape Relish becomes a beautiful centerpiece with its bright fruity zesty topping. Perfect for a holiday dinner if you’re looking to impress your guests. We like to serve it on a platter with quinoa. It does take a bit of oven time, but we offer some shortcuts and you can partially make it ahead of time. Make Ahead: The cauliflower can be made ahead the same day and kept in a warm oven, then topped with the relish at serving time. Or, do the covered part of the cauliflower roasting ahead of time, then the final uncovered roasting before serving. Potluck: Make and bring the fully roasted cauliflower and grape relish separately. Reheat in a 350F-375F oven for 10-15 minutes and top with relish. Vegetarian.
This dish is a beautiful combination of flavors. The texture is more creamy than crispy. Real comfort food and a great side for any protein. Make ahead: Just follow the directions for roasting. Let everything cool. Refrigerate overnight. Then reheat the next day by drizzling a little olive oil on top and roasting at 425F for about 15-20 minutes. Potluck: Bring to host in pans to reheat before serving (make sure your host has oven space to spare); Vegetarian.
Quinoa and Glazed Butternut Squash salad is a hearty, healthy salad that can be served as a main vegetarian dish or side dish with a protein. The colours are beautiful, making it a perfect dish for a holiday. Lots of variations possible. Serve warm or at room temperature. Leave out the sesame seeds for Passover. Make ahead; Vegetarian; Potluck.
This side/salad is substantial. It has lots of interesting flavors and textures – from earthy (beets) to creamy (avocado) to caramelized (roasted carrots) to zesty (orange) to slightly crunchy (quinoa). And the orange-balsamic-honey dressing is rich, bright and smooth. Hey, substitute the beets with prunes and you practically have a modern Passover tsimmes! Make ahead: Prepare the salad and add the dressing just before serving. Potluck: take dressing separately in different container and add just before serving; Vegetarian.
Caramel toffee married with chocolate over a crunchy matzo (or graham cracker) crust topped with roasted salted almonds. Yum. Make ahead; Vegetarian; Potluck; Under 30 minutes (plus chill time); Gift/loot bag.
This yummy Passover treat is a twist on the more familiar matzo almond crunch (above) and even easier and quicker to make. We dare you to eat just one handful. It’s addictive! We serve it as a snack, a topping for ice cream or fruit crisps or even in take-home loot bags. Make ahead; Vegetarian; Potluck; Under 30 minutes
This golden Orange Polenta Cake is moist, rich and bursting with zesty orange flavor. Easy and delish! In the past, corn was not allowed on Passover. Since 2016, it has now been approved. We love this cake with whipped cream to balance the intensity of the orange. Make Ahead: the cake can be made ahead and kept covered in the fridge. We suggest bringing it to room temperature before serving or warming it for a few seconds in the microwave. The cake can also be frozen. Vegetarian. Potluck friendly.
Elegant and sinfully rich, this Frozen Chocolate Coconut Mousse with Warm Caramel Sauce is simply sensational. Your guests will groan with pleasure. It’s hard to believe that only 7 ingredients can create such a decadent dessert. If you want to serve something extra special for a holiday meal, this would be a good choice. Contains dairy. Make ahead; Vegetarian; Potluck
3 ingredients. 3 steps. 3 minutes. That’s what is takes to make this delicious, easy, creamy chocolate fudge. Use Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk for a dairy free alternative. Make ahead; Vegetarian; Potluck; Under 30 minutes (plus chill time); Gift/loot bag.
Buttery, nutty, chocolate-y, crunchy – scrumptious. Like Skor bars, but way better. This treat takes a bit more effort, but it’s worth it for a special person or occasion. And it’s easier to make than you might think, so don’t be intimidated like we were. We’ve provided clear simple instructions. Make ahead; Vegetarian; Potluck; Gift/loot bag.