Pan Pals Share Favourite Passover Vegetarian Recipes

Did you know that early 100,000 Jews throughout the world close up their kitchens and go to a hotel for Passover? If you’re not one of the lucky ones and have to cook and prepare for Passover, you’re probably busy going through your cookbooks trying to decide on your menu, checking what the supermarkets are stocking on their shelves this year, and preparing your shopping list.

It’s always fun to know what my foodie-friends have on their menu for Passover and this year is no exception. I always get requests from my readers for recipes that will be suitable for the vegetarians at their Passover table and so I asked my “pan pals” to share some of their favourite recipes for your enjoyment. Here are some delicious Passover dishes to help you be well prepared so that when diners declare that they’re vegetarian you can happily accommodate their needs.

Kugels are always a favourite dish for Passover as they can be made in advance, reheat easily and can be multiplied to serve a crowd. I brought this yummy kugel (below) to a dinner party and never admitted that I made it with cauliflower and packaged products. The guests thought it was potato kugel that was made from scratch. It was devoured in moments.

While I was writing this article, I received an email from Daniella Bitton of Toronto. She wrote, “I made the ‘potato’ kugel in your new book Norene’s Healthy Kitchen, the one with cauliflower but I changed it a bit. I made the cauliflower one, the broccoli one and the spinach one and then I layered it. The only problem was that the mixture is very dense so you didn’t get three distinct layers but it was devoured nonetheless. Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes..they are an absolute joy and pleasure to make, eat and serve.”

So make this kugel my way, Daniella’s way, or maybe you’ll create your own version! If you make the three-layered version, increase the cooking time to about 1 hour, or until set and golden. Enjoy…


Source: Norene’s Healthy Kitchen

5 cups frozen chopped cauliflower or 1 small fresh cauliflower
3 large eggs (or 2 large eggs plus 2 egg whites)
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
3 Tbsp onion soup mix (about 1/2 of an envelope)
1 Tbsp potato starch (you can substitute all-purpose or whole wheat flour during the year)

  1. Thaw the frozen cauliflower; drain thoroughly. (If using fresh cauliflower, steam until tender, about 12 to 15 minutes; drain well.) In a large bowl, mash the cauliflower well. Add the eggs, mayonnaise, onion soup mix, and flour; mix until well combined. (The mashing and combining of ingredients can be done quickly in a food processor fitted with the steel blade.)
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 10-inch ceramic quiche dish or 7- × 11-inch oblong glass dish with cooking spray.
  3. Spread the cauliflower mixture evenly in the prepared dish. Bake, uncovered, for 40 to 45 minutes or until firm and golden. Remove from the oven and let the kugel stand a few minutes to firm up before serving.

Yield: 8 servings. Keeps 2 days in the refrigerator; reheats well. Freezes well for up to 2 months.

93 calories per serving, 7.6 g carbohydrate, 3.2 g fiber, 5 g protein, 5.5 g fat (1.1 g saturated), 83 mg cholesterol, 355 mg sodium, 188 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 35 mg calcium

BROCCOLI SPINACH KUGEL: Substitute 1 package (10 oz/300 g) frozen broccoli and 1 package (10 oz/300 g) frozen spinach for the cauliflower. (You can also make this kugel with 2 packages of either broccoli or spinach.) Defrost completely and squeeze well to remove any excess water before preparing as directed above.

Chef’s Secret:
• Frozen Assets: To reheat the frozen kugel, remove it from the freezer, unwrap, and transfer it to a preheated 375F oven. Don’t defrost it first or it will be too soft. Reheat, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until piping hot. If the kugel begins to brown too much, cover loosely with foil.


The following vegetarian main dish was developed by Amanda Lubin of Montreal. It makes a tasty vegan main dish or can be served as a side dish to the non-vegetarians at your Passover table – or all year round. Amanda is a Holistic Health Counselor who also has a diploma in hotel and restaurant management. For more information, visit her website at, an on-line health and wellness directory for the city of Montreal, which includes articles, healthy recipes, upcoming events and more.


Enjoy this nutrition-packed vegan recipe for Passover or all-year round. For Passover, omit the maple syrup or agave nectar – the recipe will work just fine without them.

6 matzo boards
1 bunch collard greens, washed, remove stalks
3 tbsp olive oil, divided use
1 red onion, sliced julienne style
1 yellow onion, sliced julienne style
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 tsp. mixture of dried garlic, thyme, marjoram and rosemary (optional)
4 tbsp matzo meal, divided use
1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (omit for Passover use)
1/2 cup vegetable stock

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Take 6 boards of matzo and break each one into thirds. Place in hot water and let soak for a few minutes. Then drain the water. Set aside.
  3. Boil 8 cups of water in a large saucepan. Layer several collard leaves one on top of the other and roll them width-wise. Slice them julienne style. Repeat with remaining collard leaves. Place them in the boiling water for about 5 minutes or until tender-crisp. Drain them and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, place 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add red and yellow onions and cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes, until onions are caramelized, stirring occasionally. Add collard greens to the onions and mix until evenly distributed. Add salt, pepper and herb mixture. Add 2 tbsp matzo meal and mix for about 1 minute. Once the mixture has thickened, add the maple syrup (if using) and vegetable stock. If you don’t use the maple syrup, just use a bit more vegetable stock. Mix until desired thickness.
  5. In a greased 9 x 13-inch oven-safe dish, layer half the matzo on the bottom. Pour half the mixture onto the matzo and spread evenly. Repeat one more time. Sprinkle remaining 2 tbsp matzo meal over top and then drizzle with remaining olive oil.
  6. Bake in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes, until golden.

Makes 8 servings.


My friend Cheryl Goldberg of Toronto makes this delicious vegetarian roast every year for Passover. Her vegetarian husband Len doesn’t like eggplant but you can’t tell that there’s some in the recipe, so there are no complaints from him – he loves it and so do all the non-vegetarians at her Passover table! She adapted the recipe from Rose Friedman’s cookbook, Jewish Vegetarian Cooking. Cheryl doesn’t use garlic during Passover so to boost the flavour, she added dill and thinly sliced mushrooms to the original recipe.


1 medium eggplant, peeled and sliced in rounds
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic (optional)
3 carrots, chopped
2 medium zucchini, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 to 2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup fresh dill, minced
Water, if needed
3 potatoes, peeled (leave them whole)
4 to 6 tbsp matzo meal (as needed)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten
Paprika to taste

  1. Place eggplant slices in a colander, salting each layer. Let stand for 30 minutes. (Cheryl prefers to let it stand for up to 2 hours.) Rinse, pat dry and chop in small pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet or pot. Fry onions (and garlic, if using) in oil on medium heat until golden. Add carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, dill and chopped eggplant. Stir well. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes, until tender, stirring occasionally. Add a little water if mixture becomes too dry.
  3. Meanwhile, cook potatoes in boiling salted water until nearly tender. Let them cool, then slice into rounds. Set aside.
  4. Remove pot containing vegetable mixture from heat and mash briefly with a fork. Don’t make the mixture too smooth – it should be somewhat chunky. Add matzo meal, salt and pepper. Add egg and stir well.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 2 quart round ovenproof casserole with nonstick spray. Spoon in vegetable mixture and spread evenly. Top with sliced potatoes and sprinkle with paprika.
  6. Bake uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes, until golden.

Makes 6 servings.


My friend Sue Epstein of Efrat, Israel, a cookbook author and food writer, shared this luscious vegetarian dish from her recipe files. We’ve never met face to face, but you’d never guess that from our emails and phone calls! Like most good friends, we share recipes, cooking techniques, tricks and tips over the miles, culinarily connected by our love of good food. This is delicious served as a side dish with either a meat or dairy meal. It can be served warmed or at room temperature and can be enjoyed for Passover or any time of year. Enjoy…


2 tbsp butter or margarine
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
700 grams (1 1/2 lbs) zucchini, ends trimmed and thinly sliced (do not peel)
1/2 tsp sea salt
10 grinds black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper or chili powder (omit for Passover)
1 heaping tbsp chopped fresh parsley
3 hard-boiled eggs, cut into quarters

Melt the butter or margarine in a medium-sized pan over low heat and cook the onion, stirring frequently, until it has turned a rich gold, about 6 minutes. Add the zucchini and seasonings and toss well. Cook over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until the zucchini feel tender when pierced with a sharp knife and is golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Put the parsley in a food processor with the eggs and the cooked vegetable mixture, together with any pan juices. Process until the mixture becomes a smooth pate, about 30 seconds. Check the seasoning, adding a little more salt or pepper to taste. Turn into a terrine or pottery serving dish, cover and chill for several hours.

To serve, leave at room temperature for half an hour, then lightly sprinkle the top with a little paprika.

Makes 6 servings.