Everything but the Seders — Recipes for the Rest of Passover

published Apr 7, 2022
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platter of chicken being passed across the table
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Micah Morton; Prop Styling: Gerri Williams

While Passover is perhaps best known for the Seders, the holiday goes beyond the ceremonial meal: Throughout the long week, eating chametz — food products made from wheat, barley, rye, oats, or spelt that have been allowed to rise — is strictly forbidden. And for Ashkenazi Jews like myself, eating kitniyot (or rice, corn, millet, seeds, and legumes) is also traditionally off-limits.

That’s eight days with no bread, pasta, rice, beans, peanut butter, or soy. (New guidelines from the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly actually open up kitniyot as acceptable during Passover, but it still feels weird to me!) Matzo, that legendary bread of affliction and one of the few permitted carbs, becomes friend and foe all at once. Even the word “matzo” begins to lose all shape and meaning by about day five.

I’m a weekly meal planner, but on busy weeks, especially holiday weeks, I find that the meal plan — usually more of a list of suggestions tacked to the fridge — becomes its own kind of holy text. I need it to help me answer the tough questions like, “What day is it?” and, “Can I have bread yet?” While most Jewish families have their Seder meals on lock, the days following the Seders can be a little up in the air. The meal plan below is designed to help you eat well throughout Passover, and includes breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and treats in a mix-and-match menu. I’ve also included a shopping list to help you put it all together.

But First, the Seders

For our family, the first Seder is very formal, perhaps the most dignified dinner of the year. We dress up and gather with dear family friends to observe a traditional meal with matzo ball soup, brisket, chopped liver, and, of course, plenty of matzo. My daughters, Hazel, 4, and Lily, 10, recognize its importance, calling on manners I didn’t even know they had, having been promised a viewing of Rugrats Passover and a modest fortune in matzo brittle when the meal is over. 

After we’ve tidied up from the Seder, stowing our 12 Plagues finger puppets, our Haggadahs, and our matzo cover in the cabinet for another year, we still have six days of keeping Kosher for Passover (K4P) ahead. And while I relax my restrictions a bit as the week goes on, I make an effort to stay pretty close to the program — chametz-free at least, even if some kitniyot (maybe hummus or corn-syrup-sweetened sodas) end up finding their way in. Read on for my meal plan to see how I put it all together.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Micah Morton; Prop Styling: Gerri Williams
These cola-braised short ribs can be made ahead and are even better after resting in the fridge.

My Post-Seder Passover Meal Plan

The Post-Seder Cooking Day: Sweets and More

This year, the Seders fall on Friday, April 15, and Saturday, April 16, which gives me the next day, Sunday, to think about prep for the week ahead. I’ll set aside a few hours to hard-boil some eggs, make batches of matzo granola for breakfast and, for treats, matzo brittle and matzo farfel “Kit Kat.”

Making these two treats in advance is especially useful because so many of the sweet treats we love are prohibited, and having two delicious options on hand helps us stick to the plan. 

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Micah Morton; Prop Styling: Gerri Williams
Matzo Farfel "Kit Kat" is a treat that can be made ahead and enjoyed all week.

Crunchy, chocolatey matzo brittle is a Passover classic, and I like topping mine with toasted, chopped pistachios or flaky sea salt.

Matzo farfel “Kit Kat,” a simple combination of a crunchy chocolate-matzo layer and a light chocolate mousse layer, is my original recipe, inspired by a dessert I made as a line cook. My older daughter (who insisted on adding “Farfel” to the title) assures me it’s destined to be a new Passover standard, at least in our house. 

I’ll also knock out a batch of cola-braised short ribs, which I’ll reheat the next day for an easy Monday dinner, served over potatoes with a simple salad. If I run short on time or ambition, I might end up making it from start to finish on Monday, as it doesn’t take much active time to get started, but I prefer it after some time in the fridge.

These short ribs are made with K4P Coca-Cola, which enjoys a brief, very limited release leading up to Passover, and is noted by a yellow lid that lets us know this Coke is different from all others because it’s been made using cane sugar (not corn syrup) under the supervision of a Rabbi.

Sunday Dinner

Dinner on the first post-Seder night will be matzo schnitzel — satisfyingly crispy matzo-meal-crusted chicken cutlets, which I’ll serve with a bright spring salad. I never follow a recipe for matzo schnitzel, and winging it hasn’t failed me yet. I pound out boneless, skinless chicken breasts until they’re equally thin; season some matzo meal with paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper; and then I double dredge them (matzo meal, egg, matzo meal) before pan-frying in an inch or two of cooking oil. Served with lemon wedges and a sprinkle of chopped parsley, it’s an easy family favorite.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Micah Morton; Prop Styling: Gerri Williams
Tik Tok-inspired matzo with butter, avocado, and grated egg is a tasty five-minute breakfast.

Passover Breakfasts

For breakfast during the week ahead, there will be matzo brei with gravlax and fresh dill. It’s bright and filling with a good amount of protein to start the day. Plenty of reasonable people enjoy a sweet version of matzo brei, and that’s certainly your right, although we are firmly #TeamSavory at Chez Ganz.

We’ll also use matzo as a canvas for a version of the popular TikTok toast with avocado and grated egg. In my take, matzo is topped with butter, avocado, a flurry of grated hard-boiled egg, a squeeze of lemon juice, chile flakes, and a sprinkle of kosher salt.

Both matzo brei and matzo toast are enjoyable enough to revisit for a couple days, with matzo granola over yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit rounding out the rest of the week.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Micah Morton; Prop Styling: Gerri Williams
You can use leftover chopped liver from your Seder to whip together these open-face matzo sandwiches with chopped liver, egg, and red onion for lunch.

Passover Lunches

For lunch, I call dibs on all the leftovers, using chopped liver to make a matzo sandwich with gobs of sinus-clearing horseradish, hard-boiled egg, and onion. Having prepped a half-dozen hard-boiled eggs in advance for the week makes this meal (and the aforementioned TikTok matzo) possible in about five minutes.

For lunch another day, I’ll reheat the remaining matzo ball soup with extra lemon and dill.

Or, I’ll use leftover chicken to make a quick chicken salad, which I’ll scoop up with, you guessed it, more matzo.

Matzo nachos, a softball lunch of lightly crushed matzo pieces, melted cheese, and salsa is another failsafe.

And on a day when I can’t so much as look at another piece of matzo, I’ll make a simple shakshuka, simmering eggs in jarred tomato sauce (it’s Rao’s or bust for me) with a few squirts from a tube of harissa. (If you’d rather go completely from scratch, try Kitchn’s shakshuka recipe.)

My daughters, thankfully, pack their own lunches. Lily has a bit more leeway at her public school to pack whatever she wants, and I take a pretty hands-off approach there; but Hazel goes to a Jewish preschool, where kosher standards are taken seriously, so her bento box-style lunches typically consist of matzo, cheese, pickles, and fruit.

Almond butter and jelly on matzo is another good option for her. I help her spread the almond butter on both pieces of matzo, putting the jelly in the middle so the matzo stays crispy in her lunch box. 

Midweek Passover Dinners

For midweek dinners, one night I’ll make salmon with broccoli and capers, a tried-and-true meal that I can get on the table in about 30 minutes. (While the salmon recipe calls for everything bagel seasoning, if you are avoiding seeds, simply swap the seasoning for a sprinkling of salt, pepper, and garlic powder.)

Another night I’ll make steak with roasted baby potatoes, which also comes together in well under an hour.

Every year, I make a resolution to rid my house of matzo by Passover’s end, although usually, thanks to a mid-week run for more matzo, I end up with what feels like a lifetime supply. But in an effort to deplete the stash, one dinner is reserved for a matzo board. It’s basically a collection of all the things that would potentially taste good on matzo — cheese, a jar of roasted peppers, olive spread, tinned fish, etc. — artfully arranged on a cutting board and plopped in the middle of the table for all to enjoy. (If I do have opened matzo boxes left at the end of Passover, and somehow, I always do, I blitz it up in the food processor to make matzo meal, which I store in an airtight container.)

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Micah Morton; Prop Styling: Gerri Williams
This lemon-sumac chicken is perfect for Shabbat (the final day of Passover this year).

Shabbat Dinner for the Final Day of Passover

This year, the final day of Passover falls on Shabbat, so I know I’ll be making my usual lemon-sumac roasted chicken. Spatchcocking helps me get the roast chicken on the table in just a little over an hour. And roasting a chicken at the end of the week lets me use up all the little bits I’ve got lurking in the fridge — half-spent lemons go under the roasting bird to imbue it with a lemony perfume. The potatoes and shallots that roast in the schmaltz are a built-in side dish, so all I need is a salad to complete the meal. After dinner, I pick the chicken carcass clean and throw it in a pot with the onion ends, stalks of celery, parsley stems, and carrot tops I’ve amassed after a week of heavy-duty cooking. The smell of gently bubbling chicken stock fills the house with an aroma that signals the end of another long and, in this case, special week.

The Full Post-Seder Passover Meal Plan

Here’s how to put together this week of meals, starting with what you can make ahead. We’ve left the Seder-planning to you, but this plan includes everything else you need.

Meal Prep Goals

  • Breakfast: Quick, filling breakfasts
  • Lunch: Easy matzo-centric lunches that use up leftovers
  • Dinner: Chametz-free meals the whole family will enjoy

Prep in Advance

Make the week ahead a little easier by preparing these items on Sunday. 





Shopping List

This shopping list corresponds to the meal plan grid, but feel free to pick and choose recipes, mixing and matching to your heart’s delight.

Cooking oils (olive oil and frying oil), kosher salt, and black pepper are not included in the list, so check your pantry before heading to the store. If observing Kosher for Passover standards, check for the Kosher for Passover symbol on the label of any prepared foods, spices, dairy products, beverages, or meat. 

You’ll need at least 3 (1-pound) boxes of matzo, but I suggest picking up one of the 5-pound boxes just for good measure.

Produce: 4 tablespoons fresh dill, 2 avocados, 5 lemons, 3 yellow onions, 5 shallots, 11 cloves garlic, 1 1/2 red onions, 1 bunch parsley, 6 carrots (1 pound), 4 stalks celery (12 oz), 4 sprigs thyme, 2 bay leaves, 1 pound broccoli, 3 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes, 2 pounds baby Yukon gold potatoes

Dry Goods: 3 (1-pound) boxes matzo, 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper, 1/2 cup almonds, 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, 1 teaspoon cardamom, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 cup white wine, 3/4 cup prepared horseradish, 1 (24-ounce) jar marinara sauce (such as Rao’s), 1 to 2 tablespoons harissa, 1/2 cup almond butter, 1/4 cup strawberry jelly, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon paprika, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 2 cups cane sugar-sweetened Coca-Cola, 4 cups beef broth, 2 tablespoons everything bagel seasoning (or swap for salt, pepper, and garlic powder), 2 tablespoons capers, 2 tablespoons sumac, 15 oz bittersweet chocolate, 3/4 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread, 1 teaspoon cocoa powder, 1 cup brown sugar

Meat & Seafood: 4 oz gravlax, 1 pound chicken livers, 2 teaspoons schmaltz (or use oil), 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 4 pounds bone-in short ribs, 4 (6-oz) skin-on salmon filets, 1 to 1 1/2 pounds ribeye, T-bone, filet mignon, or strip steak, 1 (4 1/2 pound) whole chicken

Dairy: 16 ounces cottage cheese, 19 large eggs, 12 ounces yogurt, 1 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1 pound butter

Optional ingredients: Fruit, such as strawberries, blueberries, bananas, and mangos for breakfast and treats. Leftover or store-bought matzo ball soup and chicken salad for lunches. Tinned fish, olives, cheese, and/or preserves the for matzo snack board. Nuts or flaky sea salt for topping the matzo brittle.