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Planning a Passover seder always feels challenging.  There are traditional foods you must serve and there are dishes passed down from generation to generation in every family that dictate a large portion of the meal.  Still, if you are on this website you probably are looking for something new, maybe a unique twist or something completely different.  Thus is the challenge for me as I attempt to help you with a couple menu ideas.  

MORE: The Ultimate Seder Checklist

The good thing about those living outside of Israel and keeping two seders is that you have the chance to do both traditional and non traditional menus. With that in mind here are my suggestions for this year's Passover seders, noting the extra challenge of Shabbat.

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

matzo ball soup

For my family the Seder must begin with matzo ball soup, I have tried several variations from Egg Drop Soup with Matzotons to Spanish Soup with Sofrito and Saffron Matzo Balls, but I always start with the basic Matzo Ball recipe, just like Jamie shows in this video. 

Roasted Garlic Brisket

roasted garlic brisket

Usually I don't feel obligated to make two mains, but on Passover I make an exception, it is the cooking holiday after all, and there are often a lot of mouths to feed.  Brisket is on everyone's Passover menu and for good reason.  It actually gets better if you make it in advance and it reheats perfectly.  I love this very garlicky version. 

Chicken with Prunes, Apricots and Olives

Chicken with Olives and prunes

A saucy baked chicken is best for an easy dish that sits well. 

Hasselback Potatoes

Hasselback Potatoes with Balsamic Mayonnaise Dipping Sauce

Hasselback Potatoes are a fun side dish that steps away from the often served potato kugel, for a more elegant side dish. 

Zucchini and Red Pepper Saute


Use a vegetable that pops with color and maybe even add a salad for an extra side. 

Parve Passover Desserts

Passover Cookie Platter

A lot of people feel the need to make cake for the seder, but I really prefer this platter of desserts idea.  No one is happy with one dessert anyways, so go with a few easier light desserts. 

For the second menu I like to go a little more ethnic.  If you have been following my menus you can see I have had a Chinese Seder and a Spanish Seder and this year I am going to try an Italian Seder with a variation on this menu, see the notes to go Italian with me and hopefully next year I will share my final recipes. 

Italian Wedding Soup with Matzo Balls

Italian Wedding Soup

To start my Italian feast I will do a riff off of Italian Wedding Soup, but instead of meatballs I will use Matzo Balls and of course no pasta, but I will try the traditional egg threads.  

Chicken Marsala

chicken marsala

The perfect Italian chicken dish that you can make with potato starch instead of flour.  

Veal Meatballs

veal meatballs

Italian meatballs are a no brainer that everyone will love and can be made affordably. Just sub the breadcrumbs for matzo meal. 

Roasted Potatoes

New World Potatoes

Roast up some simple potatoes.  You can even make these fresh on Saturday night, while you are talking throw them in the oven. 

Wilted Spinach with Crispy Garlic

Wilted Spinach with Crispy Garlic

Saute the spinach just before serving, but make the garlic chips ahead. 

If you want to add a Caesar salad without cheese, try this Kale Caesar With Oyster Mushrooms


Pistachio Meringues

Any version of meringues are the perfect ending to this Italian seder. 

What are you serving for seder?