Going into Passover with ease and a sense of calm is all about the prep work and feeling that it’s all more or less under control. I find the more organized I am with what I can make and clean ahead of time the less stressed I feel and more prepared I really am. Generally, saucey meats and chicken, soups, baked goods, dressings, and some kugels can be made ahead of time and frozen. To keep items fresh tasting and to avoid “freezer burn” tasting food, make sure each item is fully cooled, then it’s sealed tightly with heavy duty foil (so no moisture can get in), and place in the freezer.

When ready to use, move it from the freezer to the refrigerator 24 hours ahead of when you need it (it takes about that long to defrost in the refrigerator). Then bring it to room temperature and rewarm gently. I prefer glass containers over plastic in freezers as well. The best part about these recipes is they can be used at any point over Passover or after!

It goes without saying that all these dishes need to be made in a kosher for Passover kitchen.

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup

Photo by Delish.com

Serves 5

This soup can be made dairy or pareve. It’s rich, creamy and decadent yet simple and light. I make this all year long. Freezer friendly.

  • 5 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 5 ounces fresh portobello mushrooms
  • 5 ounces fresh cremini (or porcini) mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted margarine or butter, divided
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme plus 1 teaspoon minced thyme leaves, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped leeks (2 leeks), white and light green parts
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups milk (if making pareve, use pareve milk equivalent like almond milk or non-dairy creamer)
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Clean the mushrooms and dry them very well. Separate the stems, and coarsely chop the stems. Slice the mushroom caps 1/4-inch thick and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

To make the stock, heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the margarine in a large pot. Add the chopped mushroom stems, the onion, carrot, the sprig of thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add 6 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid. You should have about 4 1/2 cups of stock. If not, add some water.

Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat the remaining 1/4 pound of margarine and add the leeks. Cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the leeks begin to brown. Add the sliced mushroom caps and cook for 10 minutes, or until they are browned and tender. Add the potato starch, whisk in vigorously, and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and stir for another minute, scraping the bottom of the pot and blending until incorporated. Add the mushroom stock, minced thyme leaves, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the pareve milk, and parsley, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and heat through but do not boil. Serve hot.

Slow Cooked Brisket with Wine, Rosemary and Thyme

Serves 8 - 10

This recipe was given to me by my cousin Esther. We call it “Cousin Esther meat”. All ages love it and I enjoy making traditional recipes over the holidays that feel like yontif. Freezes well.

  • 1 ( 6 pound) brisket ( I use first cut but feel free to use 2nd cut as well)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 onions, cut into big chunks
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 2-inch chunks
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and sliced into 2-inch chunks
  • 2½ cups beef broth
  • 1 cup red wine, Cabernet or Merlot
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Passover soy sauce, optional
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (4-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 300° F.

Season the brisket on both sides with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, brown the brisket in the olive oil on both sides for 6 to 8 minutes per side. Set aside.

Add the onions, carrots and parsnips to the same pot and saute until lightly browned. Add the broth, wine, brown sugar, Passover soy sauce, garlic and tomato paste and stir together. Put the brisket on top and place the sprigs of rosemary and thyme around the brisket. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pot, transfer to the oven and cook until the meat is fork-tender, about 4 hours.

Remove the brisket from the pot and cover it in foil to rest for 10 minutes. Remove the herbs from the sauce and skim off any fat from the top. Slice the meat and return it to the pot to warm up. Sprinkle with the parsley before serving.

Balsamic Chicken with Sweet Peppers and Onions

Serves 10

My kids love this chicken! During the year I serve it with fresh rice but over pesach I make mashed potatoes. The chicken freezes beautifully since it has a good amount of sauce and isn’t roasted. Freezes well but defrost in the refrigerator as instructed in the header.

  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 12 chicken cutlets, boneless and skinless
  • 3 red peppers, sliced into strips
  • 2 yellow peppers, sliced into strips
  • 2 red onions, sliced into strips
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Place the potato starch in a shallow baking dish. Put the egg whites in a separate dish and the matzo meal in a third dish. Dust the chicken pieces with the potato starch, shaking off any excess, then dip in the egg whites, and finally in the matzo meal, coating the chicken completely but not glopping it on.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and the margarine over high heat. Working in batches, brown the chicken on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the pan (they will finish cooking in the sauce).

In the same skillet (add a little more olive oil if needed), add the red pepper, yellow pepper, and red onions and cook for 8 minutes until softened. Add the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft and the vinegar has reduced a little. Add chicken back to pan, reduce heat to simmer and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 7 more minutes.

Serve the chicken topped with onions and peppers and sauce.

Sweet Potato Almond Butter Muffins

Makes about 16 muffins

These are a breakfast staple in my house over pesach. They’re easy on the go- perfect for day trips and travel, sweet, filling and not Passover tasting :) These freeze well.

  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup sweet potato puree or sweet potato baby food
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon cottonseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or milk
  • 1 cup matzo cake meal
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup roasted salted almond butter

Preheat the oven to 375°F and line muffin tin with Passover paper liners.

In a large bowl, mix egg, sweet potato puree, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla extract and mix. Add almond milk and stir.

In a small bowl, stir matzo cake meal, potato starch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, until just combined. Add to sweet potato mixture and mix gently until all ingredients are wet and combined but do not overmix.

Spoon batter into muffin tins until filled ⅔ to the top. Then drop about 1 tsp almond butter onto the center of each muffin and gently swirl around with a toothpick or knife.

Bake for 20-22 minutes (or more) until golden brown and a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let rest in tins for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack to let cool completely.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Blondie Bars

Makes 24 bars

These bars taste just like chametz cookie bars. They don’t have a lot of potato starch and no matzo meal so they are crunchy, sweet and a big fan fave. They taste a bit like a nutty biscotti. Freezer friendly.

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup neutral oil (like grape seed oil), plus extra for greasing pan
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
  • 3 ¼ cups ground almonds
  • ¼ cup potato starch
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips or other mix-ins like nuts, coconut, or white chips

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13-inch pan. Press in a piece of Passover parchment paper that is big enough to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Grease the top and sides of the parchment. Set it aside.

Place the sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla sugar into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add the ground almonds and potato starch and mix well. Add the chocolate chips and mix to distribute.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and use a spatula to spread it evenly.

Bake for 35 minutes or until the edges are brown, or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs on it. Let it cool. Lift out the parchment and then cut into squares or bars. Store at room temperature for up to five days or freeze up to three months.