Skip to main content
  1. Blog

  2. Apr 17, 2024

Celebrating Passover With Plant-Based Meals

Celebrating Passover With Plant-Based Meals
Food for Life Instructor Suzanne Fellows

Passover is a time for reflection and gratitude and for gathering with family and friends to share a seder dinner at the beginning of the holiday. Simple recipe substitutes and additions, like swapping chia seeds for eggs or adding vegetables to traditional recipes, can accommodate a plant-based diet while observing Passover.

In addition to the Zucchini and Artichoke Kugel recipe below, grilled portobellos, cauliflower steaks, jackfruit brisket, and a roasted vegetable and quinoa dish are other entrees on our seder table. Great seder side dishes include roasted green vegetables, sweet potatoes, or carrots.

Below, I also share a healthier version of Matzo Brei, a delicious breakfast recipe that I loved making with my mom.

Egg Replacements for Passover Recipes

Most traditional Passover recipes use numerous eggs, but I have altered our traditional recipes to accommodate a plant-based diet without altering the wonderful flavors and delicious meals that we share. Take time to read labels to check for eggs in many ingredients in prepackaged Passover foods.

For most recipes, I substitute eggs with flaxseed or chia seeds; for those who do not eat flaxseed on Passover, use chia seed. A flaxseed or chia seed egg can be made by mixing 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed or whole chia seed with 3 tablespoons of water and letting sit for 10 minutes until congealed. For recipes with more than 2 eggs, I will use another substitute, such as banana or applesauce for baked goods or seltzer water for savory dishes. Check out the 10 egg replacement tips on the Physicians Committee’s website.

Matzo Brei Pancakes

Here is a recipe for one of my favorite Passover breakfast dishes, Matzo Brei. Most matzo is vegan, as it is only made with flour and water. This delicious breakfast staple was made many times during the eight days of Passover by my mom, grandmother, and aunt. I have also made this many times for my kids before adopting a plant-based lifestyle. The original recipe calls for many eggs, like most of these holiday dishes. Veganizing this recipe has been a hit, and the eggs are not missed. Bananas, flaxseed, and nondairy milk add a wonderful flavor and texture to re-create this delicious recipe. I hope your family enjoys this classic Passover breakfast dish, too.

Makes 12-15 pancakes


2 ripe bananas, mashed (if not ripe, place in oven at 250 F for 15 minutes until skin is brown)
1 1/4 cups nondairy milk (I like flax milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
3 cups matzo farfel, or matzo broken into tiny pieces


Mix bananas, nondairy milk, vanilla, maple syrup, flaxseed, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.

Add matzo farfel, or if it is not in your local grocer, just break matzo into tiny pieces by placing in a plastic bag and pounding with your fist.

Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes so the matzo absorbs the liquid. The matzo will become more mushy, and the consistency will be a thick, moldable batter/dough.

Heat a nonstick griddle or a frying pan to medium heat (no need for oil if using a nonstick pan). If you prefer, grease the pan with nonstick cooking spray or a vegan butter substitute such as Miyoko’s cashew butter.

For Pancakes: Use a 1/4-cup scoop to scoop and mold dough into a ball. Then press flat in your hands, place onto the hot pan, and flip when edges look crisp, after approximately 3-4 minutes. Heat on the other side until the pancake is steaming.

For a Brei/Scramble: Place all of the dough onto the heated pan or griddle, and continually scramble and break apart the pieces with a spatula until the edges are brown and the scramble is steaming.

Eat as is, or top with fresh berries, bananas, grape jam, or syrup. Enjoy!

Matzo Ball Soup

Matzo ball soup is seder staple that can be easily transitioned for a vegan seder. Fill a pot with chopped fresh onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, dill, and water; season with salt, pepper, and turmeric for a beautiful golden color; and let boil into a delicious vegetable soup. There are many vegan matzo ball recipes online. I have tried combining a few variations and found that the best way for vegan matzo balls not to fall apart is to bake them instead of boil. Just add to soup when serving no matter which recipe you choose.

Zucchini and Artichoke Kugel

Kugel is a baked casserole commonly made from noodles or potatoes. During Passover, most Kugels are made with matzo or potatoes. This recipe is made with nutritious zucchini, artichokes, and potatoes, and does not contain eggs, as traditional kugels do.


3 medium zucchinis, finely shredded
1 golden potato, shredded
1 cup canned artichokes, drain and chop, squeeze out excess liquid
1 onion, finely chopped 
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 flaxseed or chia seed eggs*
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoon cumin
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup seltzer 
1 cup matzo meal**
1/4 cup potato starch


Preheat the oven to 375F. Prepare casserole dish with parchment paper or olive oil nonstick spray.

Make flaxseed or chia seed eggs.*

Heat pan to medium, and saute chopped onion and garlic with olive oil spray or water until caramelized and lightly brown, 5 -10 minutes.

Shred zucchini and potatoes into a large bowl. Add the sauteed onions, artichokes, flaxseed/chia seed mixture, seltzer, tahini, seasonings, potato starch, and matzo meal to the bowl. Mix it all together, do not over mix and place the entire mixture into the prepared pan.

Lightly spray olive oil over mixture and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 45 minutes. The kugel should be golden brown. If you wish, low broil for the last 3-4 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing into squares to serve.

*To make flaxseed or chia seed eggs, combine 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed or whole chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water for each egg. Let sit for 10 minutes until congealed.

**If you would like a gluten-free version, substitute chickpea flour for the matzo meal. Most store-bought gluten-free matzo contains egg.

By Food for Life Instructor Suzanne Fellows

More on Good Nutrition