Make-Ahead Passover Dinner Menu

March 27, 2017

6 min read


Delicious and easy to make recipes that also rewarm well.

Although I keep my Seders quite traditional, I like to make unique or new recipes for some of the other Yom Tov meals. Additionally, I like Yom Tov recipes that are make-ahead friendly and rewarm well. This meal fits those criteria. The Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup is better made a day or two ahead of time and can be served both warm or at room temperature and of course freezes well. Beef Stew Shepherd’s Pie with special Passover Horseradish Mashed Potatoes is the ultimate comfort food. Feel free to serve the Beef Stew over baked potatoes or sweet potatoes too. And lastly, I’m always on the hunt for a new side dish. Carrots and Parsnips are perfect for Passover and the vinaigrette drizzled on top, gives them a dressy and tasty finish.

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup with Basil and Orange

Serves 5, can be doubled

This is good warm or cold so it’s a great for Yom Tov. The orange zest gives the soup a great flavor boost and makes it interesting.

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1-1/2 pounds red bell peppers (about 3 large), quartered, seeded
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, quartered, seeded
  • 1 pound plum tomatoes, trimmed, quartered
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 3/4 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth (or pareve broth), divided
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Spray 2 large rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray. Arrange all bell peppers on one sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon oil. On second baking sheet place tomatoes, onions and garlic in a single layer and toss with remaining oil. Sprinkle both sheets with salt and pepper. Roast both sheets of vegetables until peppers are soft and beginning to brown around edges, turning occasionally, about 35 minutes - 45 minutes. Remove from oven. Enclose red and yellow peppers in a zip top bag for 10 minutes (this will enable the skin to be removed). Remove thin skins and throw them away. Slice the yellow pepper and set aside for garnish.

Place red peppers and roasted tomatoes and onions and all of their juices in large stock pot.(keep the yellow peppers separate). Add broth, 3 tablespoons basil and orange zest. Heat over medium high heat for 10 minutes until fully warmed. With an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Add salt and pepper if needed. Rewarm soup over medium heat, if desired. Ladle hot or chilled soup into bowls. Sprinkle with reserved chopped yellow pepper and remaining basil and serve.

DO AHEAD: Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Beef Stew Shepherd's Pie with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

Serves 10

Beef Stew:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 heaping tablespoons potato starch, optional
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 ¼ cup red wine, use Cabernet, Bordeaux, or hearty dry wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Passover Worcestershire sauce, or Passover soy sauce (or omit)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Minced fresh parsley, optional, for serving

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes:

  • 4 pounds russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 10 tablespoons margarine, at room temperature
  • ½ cup non-dairy creamer
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

For the beef stew:

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown the meat in 2 batches, 2 to 3 minutes per batch; set aside on a plate.

Add the onions to the pot. Stir and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the potato starch, if using, and stir to coat the onions and garlic. Pour in the beef stock, wine and a splash of water, then add the tomato paste, Passover Worcestershire, sugar, paprika, salt and pepper. Add the beef back to the pot and stir to combine. Cover and simmer until the beef is cooked and the mixture has thickened, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Top with the parsley if using.

Note: The liquid should cook down to a thicker state. If it gets too thick/reduces too much, add water as needed.

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes:

Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until fork-tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Drain the potatoes in a large colander. Put them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Gently mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape before adding in the other ingredients.

Turn off the heat and add the margarine, creamer, almond milk, horseradish, kosher salt and pepper. Mash to combine. Add the chopped parsley and mix in. Add more salt if needed.

To assemble and serve:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Put the Beef Stew in an oven-safe baking dish. Spoon the Horseradish Mashed Potatoes all over the surface of the stew and spread to cover meat. Bake for 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Serve warm.

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips with Drizzled Vinaigrette

Serves 6

  • 2 pounds carrots, trimmed and peeled
  • 2 pounds parsnips, trimmed and peeled
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Passover Dijon mustard or 1 generous teaspoon horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and minced
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed and minced

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

Cut the carrots and parsnips in long spears lengthwise, then into 2- to 3-inch pieces. Spread carrots and parsnips onto 2 baking sheets in single layer. Toss with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake, tossing them once or twice, until the carrots are tender and brown along the edges, about 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, Passover mustard, garlic, thyme, rosemary, some salt and pepper and the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil to emulsify.

Transfer the vegetables to a platter, pour over the vinaigrette and serve. The carrots will keep for 2 days in the refrigerator; serve either at room temperature or reheat.

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