Here are delicious vegan Passover recipes for a memorable Seder, celebrating freedom and the arrival of spring.
The Passover Seder is a religious service as well as a feast, during which which celebrants gather around the table and recount the story of the Exodus as told by the Haggadah (Passover prayer book). Sampling many symbolic foods and drinking sweet wine an intrinsic part of this ritual.
Matzo is perhaps the most important of the symbolic foods, representing the unleavened bread the Jews hastily gathered as they fled Egypt thousands of years ago. The holiday embraces the struggle for the attainment of freedom, something that is in the present time, still not a given human right for all.
During Passover week, many Jews remove hametz — leavened bread and any products made from wheat, as well as other grains and legumes — from their homes.
Sephardic Jews continue to use some grains, other than those considered hametz, as well as legumes, during the holiday week. These foods are in the category of Kitniyot, which you can learn about in more detail here. It seems like the rules on kitniyot have been updated!
To paraphrase one of the Four Questions asked at the Passover table, “Why is a vegan Seder different from a traditional Seder menu?”
Traditional Eastern European-style seder meals feature meat, fish, and eggs in addition to the symbolic Passover foods, plus salads and spring vegetables. The vegan Passover Seder focuses on the fresh produce of the season, and incorporates new Passover traditions (including the use of quinoa) while giving nostalgia some due.
Here are a few other vegan Passover roundups for you to explore:
The Passover Seder Plate
The Passover Seder Plate: Here’s how to create a beautiful plant-based Seder plate for vegans and vegetarians at your Passover table with easy replacements for two of the components.
Ashkenazi Haroset: Eastern European-style, or Ashkenazi haroset (sometimes spelled charoset) is a must-have at any traditional Passover seder.
Appetizers & Soup
Mock Chopped Liver: What am I, chopped liver? Fortunately, no. Made of onions, mushrooms, and cashews, vegan mock chopped liver has replaced the classic Jewish pâté as a contemporary appetizer, especially for special occasions.
Vegan Matzo Balls: Figuring out how to make vegan matzo balls was a surprisingly challenging process. The secret is to bake rather than cook them.
Vegan Matzo Ball Soup: Vegan matzo ball soup is a must for the Passover Seder, but you don’t have to wait for a holiday to enjoy it!
Avocado & Radicchio Salad: Sometimes, it’s the combination of ingredients rather than a lot of ingredients than makes a great salad. Case in point, this colorful avocado and radicchio salad.
Watercress Salad with Oranges and Cucumber: This simple watercress salad, embellished with oranges, cucumber, and sprouts is a lovely way to highlight this delectable leafy green.
Festive Beet and Carrot Salad: The classic beet and carrot salad is made even tastier with chopped walnuts and parsley. It brightens everyday meals and dresses up holiday fare.
Tzimmes: You don’t have to wait for a holiday — or be Jewish — to enjoy carrot and sweet potato tzimmes. It’s a festive dish for any cool-weather occasion.
Potato Kugel: This vegan potato kugel is easy to make, though it requires at least an hour in the oven — so plan ahead! Make sure to see the Passover variation.
Moroccan Carrots: This recipe for Moroccan carrots makes a generous portion for a side dish perfect for special occasions and spring holidays like Passover.
Lemony Asparagus and Mushrooms: Here’s a simple springtime side dish that can be sautéed or roasted.
Layered Spinach and Potato Matzo Gratin: This tasty vegan matzo gratin, with layers of spinach, potato, and a creamy cashew-avocado blend, is a perfect plant-based Passover main dish.
Quinoa and Cauliflower Pilaf with Nuts and Dried Fruits: Quinoa, ancient grain that it may be, is being touted as the “new” go-to grain for Passover, a week when many (if not most) grains and grain products aren’t used. Why quinoa is acceptable has a complicated answer which I’m not equipped to give, so learn more about that here. Suffice it to say that quinoa is now just as welcome at the Passover table as it is at any other meal of the year.
Roasted Acorn Squash with Quinoa Stuffing: Another lovely quinoa entree, each full squash makes a nice-sized main dish portion. Or, if you have lots of other food at the holiday table, each stuffed squash can be cut in half to serve 8.
Coconut Macaroons: Though they’re especially appreciated as a Passover treat, you can enjoy these easy vegan coconut macaroons any time of year.
Dairy-Free Chocolate Truffles: Contributed by Beth Corman Lee of OMG Yummy, these orange cardamom chocolate truffles use coconut cream and coconut oil making them the perfect Passover dessert — dairy free and vegan. Make ahead and switch up the flavors and coatings to create a magical plate of sweets.
Dairy-Free Chocolate Covered Matzo: For an easy Passover dessert or a way to use up surplus matzo after the holiday, dairy-free chocolate covered matzo is an easy treat to make.
Vegan Matzo Brei: Matzo brei is a kind of flat omelet that’s a classic breakfast during Passover week and beyond. This recipe will show you how to make a vegan matzo brei, without the customary eggs.