My Family’s Passover Meal Plan

The first seder is in just 6 days, but I feel as though I’d need about 16 days to be fully ready for Pesach.

Do I feel this way every year? I can’t remember! I’m definitely behind the eight ball this year, though, that’s for sure. Can anyone commiserate? (By the way, if your house is already turned over and you’ve started cooking three days ago, no offense, but please don’t comment! ;-))

Anyway, as I promised last week – when Caroline shared her Easy Pesach Menu Planning method – I am going to share today our meal plan for the week of Pesach. Bear in mind that we have friends coming to visit for the whole chag … and they have 5 kids! Some of my meals aren’t all that creative, but I figure we’re going for quantity over originality.

Monday, April 18, 2011 – 1st Night of Passover

  • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, fuit
  • Lunch: Baked potatoes, cottage cheese, cut-up veggies
  • Seder #1 (23 people, including kids):

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 – 2nd Night of Passover

  • Breakfast: Oven-baked matzah brie, cut-up fruit
  • Lunch: Oven-baked trout, sauteed vegetables, quinoa pilaf
  • Seder #2 (14 people, including kids):
  • All the pre-meal stuff – charoset, etc.,
  • Matzah Ball Soup
  • Hard Boiled Eggs w/ salt water
  • Stuffed chicken
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Green salad
  • Roasted asparagus
  • Chocolate covered matzah
  • Fruit salad

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

  • Breakfast: fruit, cottage cheese
  • Lunch: Left-overs, green salad
  • Dinner: matzah with spreads – egg salad, avocado, cream cheese, etc., cut-up veggies

Thursday, April 21, 2011

  • Breakfast: coffee cake, eggs, juice
  • Lunch: picnic lunch – matzah “sandwiches”, fruit, veggies, potato chips
  • Dinner: matzah pizza, fruit salad

Friday, April 22, 2011

Shabbat, April 23, 2011

  • Breakfast: coffee cake, hard-boiled eggs, fruit
  • Lunch: cold fruit soup, poached salmon, balsamic roasted brussels sprouts, green salad, Levana’s brownies again, cut-up fruit
  • Dinner: matzah with spreads – egg salad, avocado, cream cheese, etc., cut-up veggies

Sunday, April 24, 2011

  • Breakfast: matzah brie, fruit
  • Lunch: left-overs (picnic? Not sure what our plans are for this day)
  • Dinner: matzah ball soup, Brisket, vegetable kugel, quinoa pilaf, something from the Smitten Kitchen for dessert (or just some cut-up fruit, if I’m too burned out to do anything else!)

Monday, April 25, 2011

  • Breakfast: coffee cake, hard-boiled eggs, fruit
  • Lunch: Annual 1st Lunch BBQ (28+ people)
  • rib-eye steaks for grown-ups
  • hamburgers, hot dogs for kids
  • pot-luck side dishes & dessert
  • watermelon
  • Dinner: either left-overs or I’m winging it! (I may even put my kids to bed first!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

  • Breakfast: scrambled eggs, matzah with cream cheese, fruit
  • Lunch: Matzah lasagna, steamed broccoli
  • Pre-dinner snack: Any left-overs that have matzah in them!
  • Dinner: ??? probably pasta after we turn the kitchen back over


Yikes! That’s a lot of food. No wonder I had to increase my food budget for the month of April. (I just hope I increased it enough!)

So, friends, tell me: What’s on your Passover menu? If you’ve blogged about any of your Pesach menus, please include a link in your comment to the post. I can’t wait to read about what you’re serving!


  1. TP in Houston says

    Hi Mara!
    Here is my menu: ( which reminds me I need to figure out an erev yomtov menu:
    1st seder ( 10-11 pple )
    -seder plate stuff
    -matza ball soup
    -chicken tyriaki in oven
    -Potato Kugel ( I don’t have a recipe for veg kugel that freezes well…care to share yours please?)
    -Roasted veggies
    -Slush/sorbet ( berries or pineapple)
    ## Tuesday Lunch ( 13 pple)
    -Salamon in oven ( i am not sure of the recipe yet)
    -roasted pepper/grilled pepper
    -Israeli Salad
    -Mango avocado salad
    -Slush/Sorbet…matza cream cheese and jelly available :-))
    ##Going out the rest of yomtov

    ##Fri nite:
    -Meat loaf ( from freezer)
    -2 types of salads
    ##Going out shabbos day

    I am still not sure about rest of yomtov…I am borrowing some of your ideas and hopefully some of the other posters, this will be be”H the 1st time I am making pesach EVAAAA!!!! We don’t have kids yet so it is just me and Husband 🙂
    PS: Could you please share your veggie kugel recipe? I am looking for one that freezes well.

    • TP – check out the overnight potato kugel recipe on the Kosher Cooking for Ordinary People blog…I made it once…it froze well, was easy to make, and tasted just fine…

  2. This is first year I actually made a menu for the entire 8 days. It felt so good going to the grocery store – which I just did today – and knew exactly what I needed to get. My menu doesn’t look much different from yours. For me menu planning really took the stress out of the holiday. Splurging on cleaning people this Thursday and then turning over the kitchen Saturday night and Sunday!! Hag Sameach, Mara.

    • Chag Sameach to you, too, Elly – We were just at Cori’s the other day and she was asking about you! You are missed… by everyone! Glad the planning is making life easier. Enjoy the cleaning people (we’ve got them coming Thursday, too!) xxoo

  3. Your menu looks great! I’m very confused about quinoa this year because here in Baltimore the Star-K has said that it must now bear a “P” on the box and I didn’t see any at our huge grocery store, 7 Mile Market. Are there other kosher certifying agencies that say it does not need a P? Last year apparently they said that Trader Joe’s brand was fine without the P. Any insight??

    • Nicole: Here is what the CRC sent out in their Pesach alerts from March 28 (

      March 28, 2011

      The cRc approves the use of whole grain quinoa for Pesach on the following conditions:

      * The quinoa is imported exclusively from Bolivia and packed by companies that pack whole grain quinoa exclusively.

      While there may be others Sugat, Ancient Harvest and Trader Joe’s are two brands that only import quinoa from Bolivia and only pack whole grain quinoa.

      * The quinoa must be carefully inspected by hand before Pesach.

      This is done by spreading one layer of quinoa at a time on a board or plate and checked to be sure that there are no other grains or foreign matter mixed in with the quinoa.

      This does not apply to Quinoa flour, pasta or any other version of quinoa which are not permitted on Pesach.

      * The quinoa must be carefully inspected by hand before Pesach.

      • Forgot to add: Obviously I am not a halachic authority, so you should consult your LOR (local orthodox rabbi – or rabbi of the denomination of your choice, actually!).

  4. My husband spoke to Rabbi Heber of the Star K and he said that as of now, it may not be used for Pesach. This is because the companies that produce the quinoa started processing it together with other grains. Not sure what that means exactly besides for no side dishes for us 🙁

  5. I live on my own and can be flexible except for the seder (I will be a guest one night) and any other times I have guests, so I’m not planning every meal in advance.

    Seder menu:
    the usual preliminaries
    relish tray with Russian dressing
    gefilte fish with carrots
    matzah ball soup
    chicken baked in balsamic sauce (the old Empire Kosher recipe but with homemade balsamic vinaigrette instead of bottled salad dressing)
    roasted vegetables, not the same ones as on the relish tray (thank you for the suggestion)
    potato and carrot kugel
    fruit salad

    The chicken recipe is convenient for a cook who also leads the seder: put it in the oven when you sit down and it will be ready to take out when you serve the fish.

    Shabbat dinner:
    cold baked salmon (I’ll cook extra for dinner the day before)
    vegetable soup
    braised beef
    apple-walnut matzah kugel
    fruit salad
    chocolate-chip cake

  6. And here’s what the Orthodox Union says about quinoa (which amounts to, consult your local rabbi):

    Quinoa is a plant very similar in appearance to spinach. Commercially, it is not used as an alternate crop, and is never harvested with wheat. It even grows in different climates from those ideal for wheat. Industrially-packaged quinoa is processed on dedicated equipment, with no chance of contamination. However, retail-packaged quinoa may share equipment with chametz grains. Similar to other kinds of kitniyot, quinoa is commonly milled into flour.

    Kitniyot is a category with certain ambiguities. Local custom and tradition therefore play an important role in determining what is, and what is not, treated as kitniyot.

    Since quinoa was not used in Jewish communities in generations past, we do not have a precedent to refer to. The OU has not taken a position about the use of quinoa on Passover and believes that this decision should be made locally.

  7. I am impressed that you can get the kitchen turned back over on Tuesday night and plan to have pasta. We just fcontinue with another day (or two) of matzah brie until we get it turned over. It is a family tradition.

    We did our BIG Costco run last night. Time got away from us and we got to the store with only TEN minutes before they closed. Thank goodness we had a list. So we went running in and only spent $240 (which I thought was fairly good). Had we either not had a list or had a lot more time I am sure the bill would have been much more substantial.

  8. Who are these people with 5 children who think it’s OK to come for all of chag???? Ha ha ha ha ha! 🙂

  9. Our menu will be *very* simple as I gave birth less than 2 weeks ago! Sedarim are fairly easy (as in, not a lot of food is needed), and so far we are invited out for 2 lunches. Fortunately, my family would be satisfied with plain chicken or hot dogs for a week.

    • I’ve been thinking of you! Mazal Tov. My kids would think Pesach was beyond awesome if they got to eat hot dogs for a week!

  10. My family always does hard boiled eggs and cold potatoes in salt water, so it made me happy to see it on your seder menu as well!

  11. Mara, I’d love to see your vegetable kugel recipe also!

    In addition to the typical sedarim items (we also do the eggs and potatoes), first night for us will include the classics: Brisket (I use Mark Bittman’s recipe from How To Cook Everything – it’s fantastic and easy), Matz Soup, etc. We always have asparagus – a tradition in my husband’s family. Israeli or other salads and lots of fruit are definites in our house to counteract the vast quantity of matza!

    We have a friend with her 3 young daughters for the first night, so 5 kids and 3 adults; I’ll be making some child-friendly things for them.
    We love quinoa but will save that most likely for 2nd night – we love the “one pot kale and quinoa” that I found on the website – I make it often! I also make a quinoa salad (served cold) with corn, edamame and cumin/olive oil but some might not find that very KLP….(we eat kitniyot)

    Later when we’re eating dairy for shabbat lunch, I’ll make a matza “petit four” 8-layer “cake” for special desert!

    • I am PUMPED about this one pot Kale and Quinoa. Wasn’t aware of it and totally stealing this wonderful suggestion for my family (probably year round!). p.s. I’m an ashkenazi who always grew up eating kitniyot. Not too proud to admit it. I am looking forward to many healthy “favorite dishes” that also happen to be KFP, like Chicken Marbella, salads, and huge quantities of fresh fruit. Happy pesach. So delighted to find this blog post! M

  12. My plan is done too and looks a lot like yours. I like how you wrote out matzah and cream cheese. The only way we survive Passover breakfast 😉 We go to my parents for the Sedarim so a lot less work for me.

    PLEASE tell me about “oven-baked” matzah brie and Matzah Lasagna.

    I would be willing to modify my plans for those 🙂

  13. Lisa Betman says

    I too would love your vegetable kugel recipe –

    I am doing the second seder (for the first time ever!) and am a bit nervous. I have not changed over my kitchen and so it will be a mad rush from Sunday on…no choice! am not changing the kitchen any sooner then necessary!!!

    chopped liver/tam tams -hors d’oeuvres
    seder plate/charoset
    chicken soup/matzoh balls
    gefilte fish/carrots
    Apricot Soup Nut Chicken (so good we eat all year round!)
    farfel kugelettes
    roasted asparagas
    veg kugel??? (if i get your recipe 🙂 )
    sponge cake/strawberries

    other night meals include:
    pesach meatballs
    blintze souffle/tuna
    chicken with duck sauce

    just a lot of standing and cooking in my kitchen all week – oh vey! I am tired already! My kids exist on tuna and tam tams and matzoh pizza for all lunches and snacks, plus my awesome chocolate chip cookies. not a diet week at all!!!

  14. Since I’m lactose-intolerant, cream cheese doesn’t figure in my plans… the rest of the year I use the tofu-based imitation.

    But one of the markets in Monsey (which is nowhere near me, but that’s not the point) now has KLP almond butter. Two brands, in fact: Gefen and Haddar.

    I awoke with a start this morning. Some of my seder guests are people I don’t know well, and what if they are vegetarian? I can cope with it but the sooner I know the easier it would be.

  15. Uh….is it bad that I haven’t yet done a thing for Pesach other than get my car cleaned? Haven’t planned a menu, or started cleaning, or anything besides food purchases. And I’m not stressed?

    • Clearly you are a cooler cucumber than I! As for cleaning, this may be my worst year yet. That’s one thing I miss about my single days – when my house was actually SPOTLESS. Tonight, my house looks like it threw up on itself. I can’t imagine it will get much better in the next 4 days. Ugh.

  16. Can you also share your oven baked matza brie recipe? Sounds good…

  17. Pesach Menus – 2011
    Tuesday Lunch

    Pesach Rolls
    Grilled chicken salad – lettuce, grapes, mayo dressing
    Meat Loaf
    Mashed Potatoes
    Cucumber Salad
    Cole Slaw

    Tuesday Night – Seder II – Pareve ( Sooo excited)

    Zucchini Soup – potatoes, leeks, zucchini, cauliflower
    Fried flounder – mango, cucumber, scallion (chutney)
    Accordian whole baked potatoes w/ garlic margarine
    Omelette Roulade – peppers, mushrooms, onions and scallions
    Steamed Broccoli
    Individual Cheese Cakes – whipped cream cheese, sour crème, farmer cheese, vanilla (Geller magazine)
    Ice Cream

    Wednesday Lunch

    Pesach Rolls & Spreads
    Strawberry Rhubarb Soup
    Crustless Tuna and Onion Quiche
    Green Salad
    Sliced Oranges
    Coffee Crumb Cake

    Friday Night Dinner

    Chicken Soup w/ Matzah Balls – parsnip, sweet potato, carrots, dill, celery
    Pepper Steak with Pesach noodles
    Chicken Cutlets – teriyaki, breaded, sweet & sour
    Matzah Farfel & Onions
    Bok Choy Salad

    Shabbos Lunch

    Pesach Rolls
    Gefilte Fish
    Pesach Cholent – kolichel roast, potatoes, onions, kishke
    Deli Meat – Turkey, corned beef
    Pastrami Quiche – pastrami, olives, eggs
    Cranberry Crunch – cranberry sauce, pineapple chunks, chunked apples, topping from crumb cake mix
    Cole Slaw


    Monday Lunch

    Fruit or Chilled Zucchini Soup
    Potato & Cheese Blintzes w/ sour cream
    Matzah Lasagne
    Hearts of Palm Salad – hearts of palm, cherry tomatoes, onions, parsley
    Strawberries, Melon
    Cake (cheese, brownies)
    Ice Cream
    Monday Dinner
    Hot Dogs – mustard
    Pesach Rolls
    French Fries
    Sour Kraut

    Tuesday Lunch

    Fruit Soup or Chilled Cream of Zucchini Soup
    Fried Fish
    Cheesy Potatoes
    Popcorn Cauliflower
    Matza Brie
    Fried Onion Quiche – fried onions and scallions
    Strawberries & Cream
    Cheese Cake & Brownies

    • Oh my wow – I am moving in with YOU!

      • Come on down ! It’s really easy preparation – 5 or less ingredients to almost every dish …It’s the shopping that’s the killer !

        • Someone has Susie Fishbein’s cookbooks too! I love popcorn cauliflower. my husband usually makes it perfectly! We’re doing a potluck seder the first night and it should turn out beautifully. I hope! Love all the cool ideas. I just found this blog and I’m excited to look through the rest of it!

    • Barbie, I’d love to see recipes for some of these. Specifically Fried Onion Quiche, Crustless Tuna and Onion Quiche, and what are accordion potatoes?

  18. Thanks for all the ideas! I’m so glad we’re not the only ones who don’t go totally over-the-top for every meal. You guys eat a lot like we do, I think.

  19. Soup Nut Chicken
    4 boneless chicken breasts
    2 pkg soup nuts, crushed
    1 tsp ground ginger
    1 tsp garlic powder
    salt & pepper
    2 eggs, well beaten
    1 cup apricot preserves
    1/2 cup white wine
    2 tbsp margarine

    preheat oven to 350 degrees
    cut chicken breasts in half
    rinse with cold water and dry well with paper towel
    combine crushed soup nuts with ginger, garlic powder, salt & pepper
    dip chicken in beaten eggs then soup nut mixture
    arrange in a single layer in pan
    combine preserves, wine & margarine
    microwave on high for 5 minutes
    pour over chicken and bake for 30 minutes (covered)
    then uncover and cook 15 more minutes

    Delicious! We eat it all year old even though it is a pesach recipe, because we like it so much! Hope you try it – I think you will like it too!
    chag sameach!


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