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Passover Cooking: Plan Ahead

April 4, 2011 | by Gitta Bixenspanner

Enjoy the holiday. Be prepared.

These days, Passover has changed faces completely. When I was growing up there was very limited items with which to prepare for the holiday, nowadays the shelves are filled with every kind of ingredient possible to make Passover as easy and pleasant as possible. Those who clean early (or have a Passover kitchen!) can afford the luxury of preparing some dishes ahead. Meats, side dishes and desserts that freeze well can be cooked ahead and kept frozen until needed. Here are some delicious, practical, tried-and-tested recipes that can be planned ahead and will come in handy when needed.

Fried onions

Almost every dish I prepare on Passover needs a generous portion of fried onions. The first thing I do is to chop up 5-10 lbs of onions and fry them in oil. That is the base for so many dishes, that I do not even get a chance to freeze them, even though I do divide the ready onions in individual portions in Ziploc bags for use as needed.

This is a great time-saver and allows to create many dishes that have onions as a starter. To save even more time, I use Spanish onions that are faster to peel and chop in the food processor.


  • 5 Spanish onions
  • 4 Tbs oil

In a food processor, with the knife blade, chop half an onion at the time and put into a deep frying pan coated with the oil. Chop remaining onions until all are done and place on a medium heat. Allow to fry for a while. Stir occasionally. Remove from the fire when slightly brown. Allow to cool and package according to your specific needs. I put it into 1 pound containers. Freeze until needed.

Mock tomato sauce

This mock tomato sauce can be the perfect substitute for the real tomato sauce in dishes that usually call for it. Use liberally over fish or meat and even roasted vegetables. It adds a lot of flavor to any dish! A large batch can be prepared and packed away in 4-oz. containers or plastic Ziploc bags for use whenever a recipe calls for tomato sauce.


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 medium beet
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 small celery root
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of water

Blend raw ingredients in the food processor. Use liberally in any recipe that calls for tomato sauce.

Versatile Vegetable Kugel

Any combination of vegetable can be used to create a variety of kugels. Be daring, and mix ‘n match vegetables for surprising results. The sweet potato gives this kugel a slightly sweet flavor.


  • ½ cup grated carrots
  • ½ cup grated sweet potato
  • ½ cup grated daikon
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbs potato starch
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup of Seltzer

Mix all ingredients well. Bake in a well greased 9-inch round casserole for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Delicious hot or cold!

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Baking time: 45 minutes

Serves 8-10

Fluffy Vegetable Soufflé

Even though this kugel is very similar to the one above, it is prepared with cooked vegetables for a smoother texture


  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 3 medium squash
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 medium onion
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ tsp salt

Cook vegetables until tender. Drain liquid and set aside for broth to be added to any soup. Mash vegetables and drain all liquid. Add salt to taste, then combine vegetable mixture with well-beaten eggs. Pour into a well oiled 9x13 or 2 9-inch round pans. Bake for 1 ½ hours at 350. They can also be baked in individual ramekins or cupcake tins for individual portions. Bake for 30 minutes or until slightly browned.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Baking time: 1 ½ hour

Serves 12

Special Potato and Vegetable Ring

This dish looks pretty, is a little different, yet simple and delicious.


  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1 large or ½ cup fried onion
  • 1 egg
  • 2 carrots shredded
  • 2 zucchini shredded
  • 1 rutabaga or kohlrabi shredded
  • Salt to taste

Steam fry chopped onions until translucent. Add shredded carrots, zucchini, rutabaga or kohlrabi until vegetables are soft. Set aside.

While vegetables are cooking, cook up the potatoes in salt water. Drain. Mash potatoes add 2 Tbs fried onions. Beat in the egg and mix until it is very smooth.

To assemble, line a 9' round pan with the mashed potatoes around the edges, then add sautéed vegetables into the center. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes before serving.

Never-fail Blintzes

This recipe has become standard in our circle of friends because it never fails, and yields at least 50 perfect blintzes that can be used in a variety of recipes. Furthermore, blintzes are ever-so versatile as you can fill it with potatoes, vegetables, chicken, liver, or even fruits. Feel free to halve or double the recipe according to your needs. These blintzes freeze well and can be adapted even for cheese blintzes.


  • 24 eggs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ cup oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sifted potato starch

Whisk eggs salt and oil until well blended. In a separate container, mix potato starch and water. Then blend both mixtures and fry a ladleful in a heated, oiled crepe pan. Make thin layer.

Yields 50 crepes

Noodles for Chicken Soup

Wrap 5 blintzes in silver foil. Freeze them and defrost them before the Seder. Then cut them into thin strips and serve in the soup. This has been an all-time favorite in our household. Noodles are best re-warmed in the chicken soup.

Original Blintzes Meat Pie

Instead of filling each blintz, Layer them with the filling below to create a pretty pie that serves 8-10


  • 10 blintz sheets
  • 1 lb. ground meat, cooked
  • 1/2 onion, grated finely
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. minced parsley

Mix all ingredients together and season to taste. Spread mixture between the layers of blintzes. Reheat in the oven for 20 minutes before serving.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Serves 8-10

Tempting Apple Nut Blintzes Pie

Apples, nuts and cinnamon can also create a pretty, festive pie for dessert.


  • 10 blintz sheets
  • 6 Fuji apples cut in slices
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ water
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup walnuts with 1 Tbs sugar

Place sliced apples in a pot with the sugar and water. Cook apples until soft, but not dissolved, about 20-30 minutes. Add the cinnamon and thicken with the potato starch. Allow to cool, then layer the blintzes with the apple filling. Decorate with chopped ground walnuts.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Serves 8-12

Heavenly Chocolate Cake

The secret of fluffy cakes for Passover is in the beating of the egg yolks. They should be beaten together with the sugar for at least 20 minutes until they become a lemony color; only then add remaining ingredients. Mixing the egg yolks and whites should be done by hand so the cake will come out lighter.

This recipe is very simple to make and so popular that there never seems to be enough to go around. I make sure to prepare two or three at a time and keep them in the freezer until needed.


  • 9 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 1 Tbs coffee
  • 3/4 cup potato starch

Preheat oven to 350. In a mixer bowl, beat egg whites with half the sugar until stiff peaks form. Beat yolks with other half of sugar. In a separate bowl, make a paste of coffee oil and cocoa. Add paste to beaten yolks. Fold in egg whites, mixing gently and thoroughly. Add in sifted potato starch by hand until both mixtures are well-blended. Oil a tube pan or line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper. Pour batter into pan, distributing evenly.

Bake for 45 minutes in preheated oven. For cupcakes 25 minutes should suffice, but test for doneness. If top springs back, it is done. (This recipe can also be baked in cupcake tins for little fingers.)

Preparation: 40 minutes

Serves 12


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