Monday, March 15, 2021

Tips to Update Passover with Plant-based Recipes and Ideas

Passover Story, Vegan Recipes and Ideas
Photo credit Nancy Andres

When I host a Seder this spring, you can bet we'll retell the Passover story and feast on foods that feature whole food plant-based ingredients.

Post updated 3/24/2024

Passover is a festive Jewish holiday that starts this year at sundown on Monday
  • April 22 and ends at nightfall on Tuesday April 30, 2024.

Jewish people from around the world will gather in their homes to mark Passover in many ways.

The Passover story is outlined below. It shows which foods are a big part of Seder rituals, and identifies which plant-based products veganize the traditional animal-based ones. 

Discover Passover whole food plant-based recipes that are colorful, flavorful, healthy, and fun to eat. 

Do you want to learn more about Jewish culture or want to refresh your memory? There's something for you as well.

This blog highlights recipes that are low fat, low refined sugar, and low sodium. Each can easily transform ingredients that are traditional including eggs, brisket, chicken soup, and capon into healthier vegan ones. 

An eating plan that uses unprocessed vegan foods is good for our health and the environment.

Eating no animal products is a great way to reduce our carbon footprint and prevent cruelty to animals as well. See more at PETA.

Note: Although foods including tofu, lentils, and quinoa may not be considered suitable to eat for Passover by some Jews, I believe these things are an update for better nutrition. They include nutrients I need to stay healthy. I prefer to eat them holiday or not.

The Passover Story and Recipes

Please understand, you don't have to be Jewish or vegan to explore them.

Passover commemorates the Hebrews’ Exodus from Egypt, and our peoples’ journey from slavery to freedom.

At the Seder, a ceremonial event/meal which takes place on the first night or first two nights of the holiday, those gathered round the table read portions of the Haggadah.

The Haggadah is a guide that sets out the rituals and steps in the re-telling of the Exodus story. It originally comes from the Jewish Bible, in the Biblical Book of Exodus. 

Our story starts in ancient Egypt, where a particularly hostile pharaoh orders the enslavement of the Jewish people, as well as the systematic drowning of all Hebrew firstborn sons.

The pharaoh's daughter spies and rescues one baby she sees floating down the Nile. 

When this baby (Moses) grows up he discovers his true identity as a Hebrew. He also recalls the Egyptians' harsh treatment of his people.

Moses kills the Egyptian slave master and escapes to the Sinai Peninsula, where he lives as a humble shepherd for 40 years.

Let my People Go.

One day, however, Moses receives a command from God to return to Egypt and free his people from slavery.

At first, the pharaoh refuses to let the Israelites go. Here are words to the song that describes the Israelitesplight.

As a result, God unleashes 10 plagues on the Egyptians including turning water to blood, boils, locusts, darkness, and death to all firstborns. 

At the Seder we re-tell an important part of the Passover story as described below.

This quote comes from the American Jewish World Service Website. 
"We spill drops of wine from our cups, mourning the suffering the Egyptians endured so that we could be free. This year, as these drops spread across our plates, let us turn our hearts toward the millions of people around the world suffering today’s plagues of hatred, prejudice, baseless violence and war."

Only then do the Egyptians convince the pharaoh to let the Hebrews go. 

Passover Story Moses at Red Sea
                     Illustration from Pixabay has been altered

Moses guides his people to the Red Sea, but the pharaoh's army pursues them.

A miracle occurs, and the Red Sea parts long enough for the Jews to get across. The passage closes and the Egyptians drown.

The Haggadah is a book that serves as the guide to retelling the Passover story and outlines particular blessings, traditions, and symbolic foods for Seder and Seder Plate.

Passover celebrations may vary from home to home, country to country, and some customs are based on whether we are orthodox or not, and which part of the world our ancestors were born.

A staple at a Vegan Seder is Matzo, Matzoh, or Matzah. No matter which spelling you prefer, make sure it isn't egg matzo. That isn't vegan.

Matzo, an important Food for Passover

Matzo doesn't go on the Seder plate, but plays an important part in the ceremony. Matzo symbolizes the unleavened bread eaten when the Israelites fled Egypt, and didn't have time to bake leavened bread. 

We abstain from eating leavened bread throughout the holiday, and eat no food that is leavened (chametz). 

Maror, a portion of bitter herbs, which can be horseradish, romaine lettuce, celery, or cilantro signifies the bitterness of slavery. The Seder plate pictured above and credited to me contains celery, because I couldn't find a fresh horseradish in the market. 

Look below at a picture of horseradish. It tastes spicy and wonderful when you peel it, wash it, grate it, and combine it with a few drops of olive oil, teaspoon of black pepper, and a few drops of lemon juice.

Haroset or charoset are two spellings for the chopped nuts, apples, and grape juice or wine mixture on the Seder plate. It represents the mortar used to build the pyramids in Egypt, while the Hebrews were in bondage.

Karpas or parsley is a symbol of spring and the initial flourishing of the Hebrews during Joseph's time (before slavery in Egypt) and today as free people. 

Zeroa or Z'roa, which is a roasted beet, in lieu of a shank bone,  represents the sacrifice made the night the Hebrews fled Egypt. 

Beitzah, is an avocado pit, white eggplant, wooden egg, or seeds instead of an egg, to symbolize the circle of life, spring, new beginnings, and hope. 

Now on to the Recipes...

The first one comes from Nava Atlas at the Vegan Atlas. She's a fabulous food blogger and cookbook author. Her recipe is for Ashkenazi Haroset for the Passover Seder.

Nava Atlas Passover Recipe
Photo Credit Nava Atlas

Here's a link for vegan Cream of Leek and Asparagus Soup from Nichole Milak at VegKitchen. She uses scrumptious ingredients for Passover, and her recipe has no cream or other fattening animal products.  

Next up is Judee Algazi, the Real Food Blogger at Gluten Free A-Z. Her recipe is a colorful main dish that's suitable for any holiday or weekday meal. See Vegan Stuffed Roasted Peppers. 

Gluten -Free Vegan Recipe
Photo Credit Judee Algazi

Next up is my recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Enjoy it at a Passover Seder or eat this nutrient dense savory side dish in-season in spring or fall. 

Photo Credit Nancy Andres

To finish off the meal on a sweet note try one of these...

I've shared my take on the Passover Story and what to put on the Seder Plate, and posted mouthwatering whole food plant-based recipe ideas.

Please comment about them at the link below (no link in your comment as it won't be published that way). 

I'd appreciate re-shares on social media to share the love. 

Don't forget to visit the blogger sites included above and leave comments there as well.

Wishing you Happiness and Health in Every Season. 

Nancy Andres' Motto at

This post has been shared at April 2024 Edition of The Hearth and Soul Link Party

This post has been shared at Happiness Is Homemade Link Party #526

This post has been shared at Senior Salon Pit Stop #304



  1. This is a well thought out and interesting post. I'm always happy to find more recipes I can make on Passover and thank you for including my stuffed pepper recipe.

    1. Thanks so much Judee for participating and appreciate your comment. Have a beautiful day.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your post with us at the Exploring World Religions Linkup 5 so that we can better understand each other through our religions, faiths, and beliefs. Pinned!

    1. What a great idea to have a link up to Explore World Religions. Learning about others, respecting each other, and understanding each other through our religions, faiths, and beliefs is such a positive way to raise world vibrations.

  3. Nancy, what a fantastic post filled with so much interesting and valuable information! I enjoyed the text and the graphics. And I appreciate you offering vegan substitutions for traditional Passover ingredients. I hope many readers will take your ideas to heart and use plants to celebrate the holiday. We need to help our planet escape from the crisis of climate change as well as help people escape the deadly foods that cause disease and enable animals to escape the suffering humans inflict upon them. For all these reasons, your post is so very relevant to the Passover story! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks so much for the affirmation. Just love your expression "use plants to celebrate the holiday." Wishing you a happy spring filled with many moments to celebrate.

  4. Hi Nan, Loved the Passover story and how food played an integral part and still does today in celebrating this this blessed holiday.

    1. Thanks so much Beth for your thoughtful comment. Wishing you sunny skies.

  5. Thank-you for sharing the Passover story and the recipes!

  6. CONGRATS! Your post is FEATURED at the Exploring World Religions Linkup 6!

  7. Thanks so much Dee for this honor. It makes me feel good that my post has been recognized, and new people may choose to learn about Passover. Have a great day. You sure made mine.

  8. Thank you so much for helping us understand Passover better. Such an interesting post!

    1. Thanks Donna for your kind words. No matter what spring holidays you celebrate, hope they are peaceful and happy.

  9. Great blog. Do appreciate the vegan recipes--I am going to make that asparagus leek soup soon.

    1. Thanks Nan for the visit and kind comment. Happy Pesach and be well.

  10. This is such an interesting post with a modern-day twist. As a noon-Jewish person, I'm always interested in learning more about Jewish traditions and how they originated. Thank you for sharing this post in the Talent-Sharing Tuesdays Link-Up 59.

    1. So happy to know this post helped you learn more about Jewish Traditions and how they originated. That's for hosting and have an amazing day.

  11. What interesting recipes! I've only been to a few Seders, but I've never seen celery as the bitter herb, only horseradish. I like seeing all these different possibilities. Visiting from the Hearth and Soul linkup.