What Are the 6 Things on The Seder Plate and How to Make Your Own

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March 31, 2022

2 min read

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Everything you need to know to make and assemble your seder plate even at the last minute.

Are you hosting a seder for the first time? Or do you forget what actually goes on the seder plate every year? Don't have a seder plate?

Here is your guide to what goes on the seder plate and how to craft your own out of household goods.

The seder plate is the focal point of the Passover seder. Set at the head or the middle of the table where everyone can see it, it holds the 6 symbolic, ceremonial foods for the night: matzo, shank bone, egg, bitter herb, charoset, and vegetable.

Matzah: Set three layers of matzah on the table and cover them. It is best to put your seder plate on top of the matzah, there are some seder plates that come with three layers underneath to hold the matzah. If you are afraid of breaking the matzah, put the plate next to them. You can use the matzah box to hold the 3 pieces and set the seder plate over the box.

If you don't have a seder plate of your own, don't worry, all you really need is a plate or a bento box or piece of cardboard and some jars to DIY.

Here, we used a large board painted with chalkboard paint and set out small mason jars to hold the ingredients. We used chalk to label them and added some fun decorations to the sides.

Many seder plates are round signifying the circle of life, but that is not a requirement. Here are the 6 foods to fill your seder plate.

  1. Zaroa/Shankbone – this will not be eaten, it is purely symbolic of the Passover sacrifice in the time of the temple, you can use a roasted chicken bone or lamb shank bone if you can find it. Some vegetarians use a broiled beet for their shankbone.
  2. Charoset – this is the most delicious part of the seder plate. Symbolizing the mortar the Jews used when slaves in Egypt it is almost like a chutney. Made from a mixture of fruits and nuts, it is a bittersweet concoction with many variations and adaptations, learn more about charoset and get all our recipes here.
  3. Beitzah/Egg – the egg should be hard-boiled and then roasted a bit to look like it is burnt (be careful that it doesn't explode). It symbolizes the regular holiday offering.
  4. Karpas/Vegetable – this can be any green vegetable, but is most commonly parsley or celery, which we dip in salt water, don’t forget to place a small bowl of salt water on the table.
  5. Maror/Bitter Herbs – this is to symbolize the bitter taste of slavery. We like to use fresh horseradish for this, but you can also use bitter lettuce. Learn more about maror here.
  6. Chazeret – this is another form of bitter herb. You can use ground horseradish or Romaine lettuce and it is used as part of the Hillel sandwich in which we eat the matzo and the bitter herb together. Many people like to use horseradish for maror and lettuce for chazeret.
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