Apple Charoset and matzah bread

A Jewish custom is for children to take naps on the afternoon of “Erev Pesach(er-REV PAY-sok) the evening of the Passover Seder (SAY-der), so that they will be able to stay awake during the Seder, which can run quite long. Among the Orthodox, a traditional Seder may last until well past midnight, with the supper served late in the evening and full texts from the Torah and Psalms read.

A typical Passover supper has many courses. It is a festive holiday meal that has been fussed over for many hours. Often, many family members and friends contribute, finding creative recipes that substitute matzah (MAHT-zah) flour for white flour, which may contain leavening agents. Traditional appetizers include gefilte fish and chopped liver hors d’oeuvres, served with red horseradish and matzah, of course.

The second course is generally a luscious bowl of chicken soup with fluffy matzah balls, followed by a salad of spring greens with vinaigrette dressing. The main course may be braised lamb, beef brisket, or a savory roast chicken. Side dishes consist of a variety of fancy vegetable dishes, matzah kugels, and possibly braised fruits. “Kosher for Passover” coconut macaroon cookies are an ever-present accompaniment to coffee, as the dinner table is cleared to prepare for the conclusion of the Passover Seder.

We often receive requests for Passover recipes. We’ve collected several for you from various staff members and family. Chag sameach (khag sah-MAY-ock)! Have a joyous holiday!

Get the Passover Infographic

This enlightening infographic will teach you the meaning of the Passover seder plate, the elements to include and the significance behind them.

Yummy Charoset

Former Jewish Voice Publications Editor Sarah Weiner contributed this delicous Passover Charoset (khar-O-set) recipe, and we think you’ll love it.



4 red apples, finely chopped

2 t. honey

2-3 T. kosher wine (or Concord grape juice if preferred)

Cinnamon to taste

Optional: 1/4 c. chopped raisins and/or 2 T. chopped walnuts



  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, cover & refrigerate. It will turn brown.

  • I make huge amounts of charoset for the entire week of Unleavened Bread. My son would even take it to school every day for lunch with his matzah & Seder guests always left with a bowl.

Makes 8 servings.

Get Yeshua's Final Passover DVD

In this inspirational DVD, filmed on location in Jerusalem in the Upper Room, Rabbi Jonathan Bernis teaches us how to observe the rich traditions of the Passover Seder — just as Yeshua (Jesus) did with His disciples over 2,000 years ago, known as the Last Supper. 

Matzah Ball Soup

Submitted by Rebbetzin Sandie Zimmerman, wife of Rabbi Jack Zimmerman, Senior Rabbi at Tree of Life Messianic Congregation and Jewish Voice staff member since 2004. Sandie doesn’t use written recipes, but cooks from memory using recipes handed down to her from her and Jack’s grandmothers. This recipe admittedly uses some estimated or generalized measurements, estimated times, and a lot of “to taste.” That’s just how it is with some of the best cooks.

For this traditional Passover soup, you’ll need to begin the day before.




Kosher whole chicken (or pieces) – Kosher tastes so much better

2-3 Whole or halved carrots

2-3 Whole or halves stalks of celery

Turnip, cut into approximately 4 pieces (optional)

Parsnip, cut into approximately 4 pieces (optional)

Fresh Dill

Kosher Salt

Kosher Pepper

Organic Chicken Broth (to have on hand in case you don’t get enough broth from the cooking, remembering that the matzah balls will absorb some of it)


INGREDIENTS - For Matzah Balls

Mazto Meal

Seltzer water

Vegetable Oil



DIRECTIONS - Day Before For Broth

  • In a Dutch oven, place olive oil, whole or halved carrots, whole or halved celery, parsley, garlic, and dill to taste. Sauté vegetables for 3-4 minutes but don’t let them burn

  • Fill the pot ½ way with water

  • Add a whole chicken. You can also use chicken pieces equivalent to a whole chicken

  • Slow cook for 8 hours

  • Chicken will be off the bones

  • Remove good chicken pieces and reserve for another use

  • Strain broth into a clean container. Let cool, then refrigerate overnight

  • If needed, add organic chicken broth to stretch your yield of broth

  • Discard bones and strained solids


DIRECTIONS - Day Before For Matzah Balls

  • Follow the directions for making matzah balls listed on the Matzo Meal packaging to make the size and number of matzah balls you desire, BUT substitute seltzer for the water. It makes the matzah balls nice and fluffy

  • Moisten hands with cold water, and shape pieces of matzo ball mixture into balls of desired size, usually a little smaller than a ping-pong ball, but this is up to your personal preference. NOTE: Keep in mind that the smaller the matzo balls they more quickly they’ll absorb the broth once added to the soup

  • Place matzah balls on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper, and refrigerate overnight so they hold their shape


DIRECTIONS - Serving Day – No more than three hours before serving

  • Remove broth from fridge. Fat will have separated to the top. Skim and remove fat

  • Place broth in pot or Dutch oven

  • Add fresh, sliced carrots

  • Season to taste with: fresh dill, kosher salt and pepper

  • Bring soup to a boil

  • Add Matzah balls. You can do this ahead and let them sit for a while, but don’t add them any earlier than three hours before serving so they don’t get too mushy

  • Reduce heat to simmer soup. Cover and cook for 30 minutes until matzah balls are soft and fluffy

Get the Biblical Feast Tent Cards

Discover the significance of Jewish feasts with these beautifully designed table-top tent cards. 

Beef Brisket with Leeks & Tsimmes

Contributed by Sarah Weiner, former JVMI employee and editor of Jewish Voice Today magazine.



2 T. extra-virgin olive oil

2 t. kosher salt

1 t. ea. cumin & coriander

1 t. ground black pepper

1 t. cinnamon

2 1/2 T. honey

4 1/2 - 5 1/2-pound flat-cut beef brisket, well-trimmed 

2 leeks, chopped (white & pale green parts only)

1 med. onion, chopped

12 dried apricots, halved

6 sprigs fresh thyme

10 cloves garlic, peeled

2 bay leaves

2 c. dry red wine

1 T. matzah cake meal

12 dried apricots, halved


DIRECTIONS for Brisket and Tsimmes

Tsimmes”(SIM-mes) is a kind of sweet vegetable stew.

  • Combine first 7 ingredients. Spread evenly over both sides of brisket. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

  • Next afternoon, broil until brown, about 5 minutes per side. Turn brisket fat side up in pan for roasting.

  • Sprinkle leeks, onion, 12 apricot halves, thyme, garlic, and bay leaves around brisket. Pour wine & cover pan with heavy-duty foil. Bake at 325 F. until tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Uncover; cool 1 1/2 hours.

  • Transfer brisket to work surface. Pour off juices into a small bowl, and spoon off fat, reserving 1 T. Thinly slice brisket across grain on slight diagonal; overlap slices in 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Spoon 1 c. degreased pan juices over brisket; cover with foil.


DIRECTIONS for the Savory Sauce

  • Stir reserved 1 T. fat and matzah cake meal in medium saucepan over medium heat 3 minutes

  • Add degreased pan juices and remaining 12 apricot halves

  • Simmer until sauce thickens and boils, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes

  • Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over brisket and serve hot


OPTIONAL TSIMMES INGREDIENTS: prunes, dried cranberries, carrots

Brisket and sauce can be made 2 days ahead. Store brisket and sauce separately in the refrigerator. Rewarm covered brisket in 350 F oven for 30 or 45 minutes if starting chilled. Rewarm sauce over low heat.


Makes 8 servings.

Get the Passover Infographic

This enlightening infographic will teach you the meaning of the Passover seder plate, the elements to include and the significance behind them.

Sweet Apple-Raisin Kugel

Contributed by Sarah Weiner, former JVMI employee and editor of Jewish Voice Today magazine.



12 oz. wide egg noodles kosher-for-Passover
4 apples, cored & thinly sliced (4 cups)
4 eggs, beaten
4 T. melted butter
2 c. apple juice
3/4 c. raw sugar
2 T. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla
1 c. raisins (pref. golden)
Opt. 1/2 c. chopped nuts



  • You can generally find “Kosher-for-Passover” noodles made from matzah flour at Passover time in most grocery stores. They are a bit heavier, so be sure to compensate with moisture in your recipes. Cook noodles according to directions, drain and pour into a greased 3 qt. glass baking dish. Toss gently with melted butter.

  • Whisk together the eggs, apple juice, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix with apples and raisins and pour into the baking dish with noodles. Toss gently.

  • Cover dish with foil and bake at 350 F. for 45 minutes.

  • Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes.

  • Cool on a wire rack 30 minutes. Serve warm, although some enjoy it at room temperature or cold right out of the refrigerator.

Makes 12 servings.


Nana’s Matzo Brei (Fried Matzah)

Submitted by Roz, a Yiddishe Momma who knows Yeshua. Roz is the mother of former JVMI employee Sarah Weiner.

Matzo Brie, also called Fried Matzah, is a Passover breakfast staple. It is basically matzah and egg fried together. This traditional dish is great anytime, but everyone really looks forward to Matzo Brei during Passover. You may add a little cinnamon to the egg batter for extra flavor, or get really creative and fry with onions, green peppers, or scallions.


4 Sheets of Matzah
4 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
Butter or margarine for frying



  • Break the matzah into pieces in a bowl. Cover with water for a minute. Then squeeze out the water.

  • In another bowl, beat egg with salt and pepper to taste and add to matzah and toss to coat. Be careful not break down the individual pieces you do not want it to be a batter!

  • Heat frying pan with butter or margarine. Pour mixture into the pan. Brown one side, break up and turn, until entire batch is golden brown.

  • Serve with sugar, honey, or preserves.

Serves Four

Get Yeshua's Final Passover DVD

In this inspirational DVD, filmed on location in Jerusalem in the Upper Room, Rabbi Jonathan Bernis teaches us how to observe the rich traditions of the Passover Seder — just as Yeshua (Jesus) did with His disciples over 2,000 years ago, known as the Last Supper. 

Veggie Paté

This recipe makes a wonderful spread for matzah, and was contributed by Elisangela Bernis, Jonathan’s wife. Jonathan’s mother, Fayanne, passed this family recipe down to Elisangela.



1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped onions
3 tbsp margarine
3 hard-cooked eggs
1/4 lb walnuts
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper



  • Sauté mushrooms and onions until golden brown

  • Process all in food processor

  • Serve with matzah bread


Vegetable Kugel

Contributed by Elisangela Bernis, this side dish is another Bernis family recipe passed down from Jonathan’s mother.



4 Matzos
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion (more if you like a lot of onion)
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 cups grated carrots
2 cups grated zucchini
6 eggs
3/4 cup finely chopped flat parsley
salt and pepper



  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Grease a 2-quart baking pan

  • Break matzos into pieces about the size of a quarter. In a large bowl, soak matzah pieces in water until soft. Squeeze water from matzah (this takes just a few moments) and return matzah to dry bowl

  • Sauté onion and celery in 1/3 cup oil until soft. Add mushrooms, sauté until they are soft. Add vegetable mixture to matzah

  • Wipe out your cooking pan, and add the remaining oil. Heat until oil is hot, then add carrots. Sauté for 4 minutes, and add zucchini. Sauté until all are soft. Add carrots and zucchini to the matzah mixture

  • Stir in eggs, parsley, salt, and pepper

  • Pour into prepared pan

  • Bake 30 minutes until brown on top


Passover Matzah Pizza

Elisangela Bernis shares this favorite for breaking the matzah monotony. This familiar recipe is a good snack when you are running out of menu ideas in the middle of the week.



1/4 cup spaghetti sauce
2 matzo crackers
1 pinch garlic salt
1 pinch dried oregano
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tomato, sliced
1/4 cup sliced black olives



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

  • Spread marinara sauce on the pieces of matzo. Sprinkle garlic salt and oregano over the tomato sauce Cover with cheese, tomato slices, and olives. Place pizzas on cookie sheets

  • Bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), or until cheese has melted


Passover Rolls

Messianic Jewish evangelist and friend of Jewish Voice, Ronna Mathetes, contributed her favorite recipe for Passover Rolls from her Mom, Rena.



2 cups matzo meal
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs



  • Combine meal, salt and sugar

  • Bring oil and water to a boil. Add to matzo meal mixture

  • Beat in eggs one at a time

  • Let mixture stand for 15 minutes

  • Oil hands with cooking oil so the dough doesn’t stick, then shape rolls

  • Place on a well-greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown


Share this article