Pesach Menus

Dov Bear complained that the “women in his life” spend too much time worrying about the Pesach menu. So he made his own suggestions:

First night: Steak, potatoes

First day: Fish, Israeli Salad

Second night: Steak, Israeli salad

Second day: Fish, potatoes

I thought it would be bad when I married into a family that doesn’t eat gebrokt (soaked matzah). Once I realized that non-gebrokt spared me from spending all my time in the kitchen cooking matzah balls, matzah stuffing, matzah rolls and all those other goodies I shut up pretty fast. After all, who needs more matzah, eggs, and oil? One type of meat or fish, potatoes, salad, and a cooked vegetable or two covers the menu quite nicely.

I still have a few quibbles about DB’s menu. Steak? First of all, halacha maintains that roasted lamb may not be eaten at the seder, and in our home we extend that to other meats. If it weren’t for that I would love an invitation to DB’s seder. We’re eight, and should we come I suggest he count ten steaks for us–we have two teenage boys. Double the potatoes too. There’s a reason that steak is not traditional Pesach fare.

Our seder menu consists of soup and a pot-roast with potatoes, carrots, onions and whatever else I feel like. And a salad, although I admit that one year we forgot to serve it and no one noticed. We abandoned the fish course early on, but haven’t yet let go of the soup. I make enough strawberry “ice cream” to last the whole week (and my kids vie over who gets to stand next to the mixer making it; it’s not even my job), but unless we have a lot of guests we skip it at the seder. Sometimes we pass around chocolate.

I’ll put more effort into lunch, because people will be pretty hungry then. Fish or soup for the appetizer, chicken, potatoes, and a couple of salads (probably beet, avocado, Israeli, and cole slaw). And some sweet potatoes. I’d rather people fill up on vegetables than on meat and potatoes, and whatever’s left will get eaten later. Depending on the kids’ level of cooperation and my energy level, I can cut back if necessary. I pretty much do the same thing every year. No obsessing here. Oh, and have I mentioned that we only have one seder? ๐Ÿ™‚

My goal all year round is meals that are tasty, nutritionally balanced, reasonably priced, and simple to cook and serve. And they should reflect the traditions of the holidays.

Passover recipes at Cooking Manager

Passover 2011


  1. mominisrael says

    I know someone who cooks for the whole week in advance–that way they are free on Chol Hamoed. I make those Pesach egg noodles. I do miss matzah balls, but we can make them some other time. I don’t miss the eighth day LOL.

  2. how do you live without the matzo balls????
    We always have a massive meal prepared for the seder, but the truth is nobody is really that hungry after all the matza already consumed… a lot of that food is “wasted” (of course it will get eaten as leftovers during hol hamoed..)

  3. I stopped making side dishes, as we never eat them. WE give out chocolate lolipops during the seder – so no need for dessert – and it also ruins the kids appetite so they dont eat food either. ๐Ÿ™‚ Real food is easier to make than chocolate lollipops – maybe I am doing something wrong…This year we are going away for the seder..someone else’s headache! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. no side dishes? you must make a lot of meat to fill your eaters, if you are not stuffing them with good potatoes on the side…

  5. mominisrael says

    Happy–nice to see you, hope you are doing well.

  6. Can we come to YOUR house for seder? ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. mominisrael says

    A couple and a baby? Just let me know in time to set the table.

  8. Aargh, my comment just disappeared. Just wanted to say that I’m with you, I keep the Pesach meals (especially the seder and yom tov) very basic- tasty, but basic. I’m interested in how you make cole slaw without vinegar- do you use lemon juice instead?

  9. My mom usually makes a whole turkey for Seder and it lasts most of the chag…
    You can read about her adventures in finding a mehadrin turkey at

  10. mominisrael says

    RR–why not mayonnaise (just a bit, not so the cole slaw is swimming in it)? I make my own with walnut oil.
    Leah–good story!! My aunt used to order whole turkeys and insited that she could never live without an American oven. Esp. because the American ones used gas and her cakes wouldn’t fall during a blackout!

  11. mominisrael says

    RR—and lemon juice. I don’t buy vinegar, just a few lemons.

  12. Thanks, I think I’m going to try it- I figured it was mayo with lemon juice, but I’ve never tried it that way before. My sister-in-law is bringing her famous baked salmon to the seder and coleslaw always goes so well with that.

  13. Wihsing you, Mom in Israel, and your whole family a joyous Chag Pesach Sameach v’Kasher. I’m making the seder tonight and I make enough dishes for EVERYONE. THe leftovers are just fine for taking for lunch. We’re having Matzo Balls in Chicken Soup, Chopped LIver, Chicken in a sauce made of Apricot Jam, Sabra Liqueur, Onion soup mix, mayonnaise and other stuff. Absolutely delicious! And HOrseradish/potato crusted Salmon, and Spinach pie for those who don’t eat meat. The meat course will be Brisket in wine/ketchup/honey/spices. And banana-nut kugel, green salad, fresh fruit, and three desserts: lemon meringue pie, strawberry fluff, and a chocolate mousse torte. Takes me two days to make all this stuff but it’s yummy! The best part of it all, is my husband’s face when he walks through the door after work. The table is set spectacularly, the food aromas are enticing and the best of friends and family are here to share with us. This makes me feel so richly blessed beyond belief. My husband is truly king of the manor!!!! And then we all have fun singing and telling the story of the Exodus!!!! May you have a wonderful Chag.
    B’vracha, Helene in California

  14. mominisrael says

    Helene, I hope you had a wonderful seder and enjoy the rest of the holiday! My husband complains if I make too many dishes; he gently refused my offers of the various salads LOL.

  15. Strawberry ice cream recipe, please!