Passover Side Dishes

I’m in denial. Pesach is two and a half weeks away and I haven’t even made my  menu plan yet! Uhh… Meat? Vegetables? Matzah ball soup? DE.NIAL.

Now I don’t know about you, but I find that by the time we get to the actual meal, I am so … weighted down… with all the matzah that I don’t want a huge and heavy plateful of food. Plus, it’s usually 10:30 at night by this point!

So, while I do make a brisket (yes, heavy and huge), I like to serve it with some lighter dishes. And one of my absolute favorite side dishes for Pesach is a platter of roasted vegetables.

There are a few tricks to making roasted veggies, so this is more of a “tricks” list than a recipe.

  • Roasted vegetables must be roasted, which means a very high temperature to caramelize the sugars. Too high, though, equals charred veggies. I usually start at 425°/450° and bump up to 450º/475° for the last minute.
  • Cut your pieces in either one-inch cubes or two-inch oblongs – these shapes and sizes seems to promote better carmalezation.
  • Toss veggies with good Extra Virgin Olive Oil and salt and pepper to taste. We go light on the latter, as I really like the taste of the vegetables to shine through.
  • Pour onto a big roasted pan (a heavier cookie tray will do in a pinch) and make sure your veggies are in a single layer – again, to get maximum caramelization.

Pretty much any vegetable other than leafy greens can be roasted, but here are my favorites:

  • sweet potatoes
  • onions
  • leeks
  • bell peppers
  • fennel
  • brussel sprouts (mmmmm)
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • eggplant
  • carrots
  • zuchhini, squash
  • mushrooms
  • garlic

The more tender the vegetable, the faster it cooks. So don’t forget to check your veggies – otherwise they might turn into burnt hockey pucks (not that I’ve ever done that.) And I find broccoli needs a bit more oil than the others or it gets dried out.

If I’m going to serve the vegetables hot in a casserole dish, I like to roast sweet potatoes, onions, carrots and red, orange or yellow bell peppers (thrown in about half way through the cooking time.) Since it’s chag, I love that these don’t have to be warmed up on a plata (aka blech, warming plate) – since that always kills the lovely caramelization that I worked so hard to get.

If I’m serving the veggies on a platter, I roast them and store them individually in the fridge. Then about an hour before serving, I remove the veggies from the fridge and arrange them on the platter, so they are served at room temperature.

Finally, I often serve the veggies with a bowl of thick herb vinaigrette. My Pesach recipe is EVOO, lemon juice, garlic, and loads of finely chopped herbs – usually a combination of dill, basil and cilantro, but anything is delicious!

If you’re looking for more vegetarian Passover side dishes, be sure to check out this list of 25 Vegetarian Passover Recipes – many of which are sides.

I can’t wait to hear what you will be serving as side dishes or appetizers at your seder this year.



  1. I’m a sucker for mashed potatoes. I also like using spaghetti squash as a side (or pasta replacement).

    • I also love mashed potatoes! I think I’m putting them on the menu for the second seder (maybe with roasted turkey breast? Still checking prices…)

  2. oh and i recently came across a pretty yummy recipe for pureed broccoli : steam the broc, then puree with a bit of margarine. I added cream cheese to enhance the creaminess of it, and it came out quite nice, and slightly different than the usual steamed vegetable version.

  3. Tziporah says

    Surprisingly we have the whole week planned out. (Pesach falls out the same days as last year;) )
    Seder we only shmura so no, matzah meal (too expensive) lots of roasted veggies.
    But I am excited about trying carrot muffins. Some of the gerber baby food is KFP.

    • can you post the carrot muffin recipe, please?

      • Ditto!

        • It’s the one from Kids in the Kitchen. Just you have to use the conversions for pesach (ie. flour to cake/matzah meal)
          1 c sugar
          1 c flour
          3/4 c oil
          12 oz carrot baby food (you can actually use any food for this, I even use fruit)
          1 tsp baking soda
          1 teaspoon cinnamon
          2 large eggs
          It says to mix the dry ingredients together and the wet together then mix all together. I just throw it all in one bowl.
          Bake for 30 at 350

  4. Raw Veggie Ideas:
    Carrot Apple Salad (we add raisins)
    Purple Cabbage (or Kale) Orange (or Grapefruit) Apple Salad

    Cooked Vege ideas:
    Sweet Potato Kugel with Matzo Meal (disclaimer: I’ve only made this during the rest of the year with brown rice flour, but it’s delicious and not overly sweet) or a tzimmes.

    Roasted beets or root vegetables

    A quinoa dish if you eat quinoa. One of our favorites is this Thai Quinoa Salad with mango (we add avocado too)

    Here’s a whole roundup at GF By the Bay.

    We also have, at other points of the meal, chicken soup, hard-boiled eggs, crudite, and either gefilte fish or an appetizer portion of salmon. Sometimes we make an Israeli salad. And there’s always dessert! Nobody goes hungry!

    • Thanks! I think those of you who are GF have a real “leg up” on this chag – you don’t have to retrain your brains b/c you already know how to focus on the amazing flavors of food. I love your Thai quinoa salad – and yes, we’ll be doing quinoa, provided I get it and check it in time!

  5. i’ll be making this for one of my Seders (we’re out for the other one)

  6. I tend to feel that seder menus are often too heavy and sticky, so I usually serve asparagus, broccoli, or cauliflower at room temperature in a vinaigrette. Roasting seems like a good idea and maybe I’ll include Brussels sprouts since I like them best roasted.

  7. This is my fave Pesach side dish. Been making it for the last few years thanks to the folks at Bon Appetit (they do a Pesach menu each year in the March/April issue).

    Cauliflower-Leek Kugel with Almond-Herb Crust

    • Yum! Thank you so much for sharing – this looks wonderful! Cauliflower and leek together – doesn’t get better. I’m putting this on my menu 🙂

  8. Thanks for the roundup! You’ve got some great ideas here, and I’m a big fan of roasted veggies too. For the seders, I usually make basic side dishes that can come right out of the fridge when we’re ready to eat. Our favorites are cucumber salad and roasted peppers. All of our lunches are dairy (who can eat all that meat??) and I try to prepare simple sauteed vegetables adorned with fresh herbs. There’s so much heavy food, I find we just don’t need more kugels and potatoes. I linked up a recent favorite recipe above. Thanks again!

    • I think I’d like to eat at your house for chag, Rivki!

    • Sides that can come straight out of the refrigerator, or off the counter, are essential here, because I am both the cook and the seder leader. I need dishes that require a minimum of attention and last-minute cooking.

      But seriously, I thought that one could never have too many kugels.

  9. Passover Popovers

    Note: these should be made on the day when they will be served.

    Put 1 cup water, 1/2 cup oil, and 1 tsp. salt in a medium pot.

    Boil for 3 minutes. Reduce to low flame, and add 2 T. sugar and 1.5 cups matzah meal.

    Remove from fire and add 5 eggs ONE AT A TIME.

    Spoon into well-greased muffin pan–makes 12 muffins.

    Bake on 425 for 20 minutes. Then reduce to 375 for 20 more minutes.


    • I’m fairly certain this is the recipe I used last year to my hamburger “buns” for our BBQ. (We always have a big cook-out during chag sheni.)

  10. We love any veggie drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt placed int he broiler. This is both a Shabbat favorite and a Passover favorite. Passover is a fabulous time to eat fresh vegetable and tubers – sweet potatoes are so yummy. Last year we ate at a friends and had artichokes. It was a load of fun and the kids enjoyed it immensely.

    I know this post is about side dishes, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE making my Pesach desserts, and I am talking beyond compote. The stuff in the store is minuscule, only adequately tasting, and prohibitively expensive to feed to 20+ people for each meal. Favorites are homemade macaroons and almond cookies. Almonds are not inexpensive but we much prefer our desserts over the Streit’s any day. We go through dozens of egg whites making our desserts each year. Sometimes I make meringues for Passover too. Mmmm mouth is watering just thinking of all the goodies I hope to make.

  11. Picking up on a discussion we were having under another topic, how many side dishes does everyone plan to make for the seder? As I noted there, most of my guests don’t expect and probably wouldn’t welcome a large number. The custom in my family (I am not from here but the outlook is very similar) is to serve potato kugel, a cooked vegetable (always carrot tzimmes, but I don’t make that), and a raw vegetable (often a relish tray).

    And does it depend at all on the number of people? It starts to make more sense to me to prepare multiple sides when the number is large enough that you’d have to make multiple batches of each if you served fewer.

  12. My kids love twice baked potatoes. And I’m also big on adding lots of salads. This cabbage salad is yummy –

  13. Mini individual potato kugels – that can be frozen ahead:) Grated potatoes, some grated onion if wanted, eggs, lots of garlic, salt, pepper, oil – make into little nests, bake, then cool on rack and later freeze.

  14. We always have a Apple Matzah Kugel. It’s a bit on the sweet side, but I always liked the contrast with something savory like brisket or roasted turkey. I can’t imagine Seder without it. Here’s my recipe:

    Apple Matzah Kugel

    8 sheets matzah
    4 apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
    ½ cup raisins
    1 t cinnamon
    ½ cup brown sugar
    ¼ butter or margarine, melted
    4 eggs, beaten until light and thick

    Soak matzahs in cool water until thoroughly moistened, squeeze dry
    Stir apples, raisins, sugar, cinnamon and butter together in bowl with crushed matzah. Stir in eggs. Spoon into 9×13 greased casserole dish
    Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until golden

  15. Just linked up to my antipasti post. A simple side dish that works just as well on Pesach as it does the rest of the year!

  16. Pat Stackhouse says

    Many Thanks for the recipe for Apple matzah kugel.sounds delicious .

    Pat. Stackhouse

Leave a Comment