7 Great Substitutes for the Usual Foods on a Passover Plate

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Passover starts this weekend, and with it comes one of the most important cultural and religious meals of the year for Jewish people. With the rising inflation, however, many traditional Passover foods have become expensive this year, so many families are looking for alternatives. Whether you’re looking to save money or just switch things up, here are seven great substitutes for the usual foods on a Passover plate.


One of the most important foods associated with Passover, matzoh is a traditional unleavened bread. Matzoh is typically made from just flour and water, but for a gluten-free option, you can use oat flour and potato starch as a replacement. You can also use almond flour or quinoa flour to try something different or meet a health need.


A representation of redemption and hope, karpas is one important piece of a Passover meal. Karpas is usually a leafy vegetable like celery or parsley but can be replaced with a boiled potato or a raw onion in some Jewish cultures. The karpas is typically dipped in vinegar or saltwater before being eaten.


Charoset is a Passover food meant to be a reminder of the mortar that Jewish slaves used to construct buildings for the Egyptians. Charoset can be a mixture of dried fruit, nuts, wine, and a variety of spices, so there are many different ways to make it. Try a charoset recipe with apples, walnuts, and wine, or try this recipe with raisins and honey for a sweet and sticky take.


Maror, or the bitter herb, is eaten at Passover to represent the bitterness of slavery that the Jewish people have been through. The most common herb used for maror is fresh horseradish, but romaine lettuce and the escarole plant are both acceptable options as well.


Chazeret is a second bitter herb on the Passover plate, which is often represented by the same herb as the first. You can use horseradish for both maror and chazeret or horseradish for maror and romaine lettuce for chazeret. Some customs don’t include chazeret in the Passover meal at all, so this one is really up to you.


As a symbol of life, birth, and the reality of the afterlife, a roasted egg is often eaten at Passover. This egg is known as beitzah, and it’s usually cooked in an oven and rotated as the shell browns until the egg inside is cooked. You can use a hard-boiled egg as an alternative to the traditional roasted one.


Zeroah is traditionally a piece of shank bone from a roasted lamb. Lamb can be expensive and difficult to find, especially in years like this one when inflation is high, so roasted poultry can be used as a replacement. A chicken or turkey neck or wing bone is a suitable substitute for a lamb bone for the zeroah component of your Passover meal.

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