The Shabbat table – Innovative twists on Passover traditions

Passover Seder table
Passover Seder table

Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom! Every family has their favourite Passover recipes, tried and true dishes that have been passed down from generations past. Traditional dishes in our family included charoset, gefilte fish, chopped liver, chicken soup with matzo balls (kneidlach), sweet and sour meatballs, roast chicken, brisket, assorted kugels, potatoes of all sorts, matzo meal rolls, sponge cake, jelly roll, coconut macaroons, stewed fruit compote, and Passover apple cake.

The search for interesting Passover dishes is always a challenge. If you’re looking for some new twists on old traditions, look no further. Here are some non-traditional recipes that your Bubby would never have dreamed of making.

No one will believe that these innovative dishes are made with Passover ingredients, so don’t be surprised if people ask, “Are you sure this is kosher for Passover?”



Szechuan duck sauce certainly wasn’t available when my Bubby made roast chicken, and pineapple was considered as dessert. You’ll get rave reviews when you serve this terrific dish to family and friends at your Passover table!


3 onions, sliced

2 chickens (3 lbs/1.4 kg each), cut up

Pepper and paprika, to taste

1 1/2 cups Szechuan-style duck sauce

1 can (19 oz) pineapple chunks, drained (reserve liquid)


  1. Place onions in the bottom of a large sprayed roasting pan. Remove and discard excess fat from chickens but do not remove skin. Place chicken pieces on top of onions. Sprinkle lightly with seasonings.
  2. Pour duck sauce and pineapple chunks over chicken, along with half of the reserved liquid.
  3. Bake covered at 400°F for 1/2 hour. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake 1 hour longer, basting occasionally.
  4. When cool, refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  5. Discard chicken skin and congealed fat from pan juices. Reheat covered at 350°F for 25 minutes.

Yield: 12 servings. Reheats and/or freezes well.



Potato kugel was always on the menu at Bubby’s house, but cauliflower is the mystery ingredient in this tasty imposter. I often made this delicious, gluten-free kugel for Passover and never told anyone that it was made with cauliflower. It’s always devoured in a matter of minutes.


5 cups frozen chopped cauliflower (or 1 small fresh cauliflower)

3 large eggs

1/3 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons onion soup mix (about 1/2 of an envelope)

1 Tbsp potato starch


  1. Thaw frozen cauliflower and drain it thoroughly. (If using fresh cauliflower, break it into florets and steam until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Drain well.) In a large bowl, mash the cauliflower very well.
  2. Add eggs, mayonnaise, onion soup mix, and potato starch. Mix until well combined. (You can also do this quickly in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.)
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 10-inch ceramic or glass quiche dish (or a 7 x 11-inch oblong glass baking dish) with cooking spray.
  4. Spread cauliflower mixture evenly in prepared baking dish.
  5. Bake uncovered for 40–45 minutes or until firm and golden. Remove from oven and let stand a few minutes before serving.

Yields 6–8 servings. Keeps 2 days in the refrigerator; freezes well.


Norene’s Notes:

  • Freezer Fare: To reheat the frozen kugel, remove it from the freezer, unwrap, and transfer to a preheated 375°F oven. Don’t defrost it first or it will be too soft. Reheat uncovered for 20–25 minutes or until piping hot. If the kugel begins to brown too much, cover it loosely with foil.
  • Broccoli Spinach Kugel: Substitute 4 cups frozen broccoli and 1 (10 oz/300 g) package frozen spinach for the cauliflower. Defrost completely and squeeze well to remove any excess water before preparing as directed above. If desired, sauté 1 chopped onion and 1 chopped red bell pepper in 2 tablespoons hot oil in a skillet on medium heat until golden. Add to kugel mixture and stir to combine. Bake as directed.



This scrumptious kugel serves a large crowd, making it perfect for Passover entertaining. It’s a great way to incorporate some vegetables into your traditional farfel kugel.


4 cups matzo farfel

3 cups vegetable broth

3 cups frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and well-drained

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped

2 cups sliced mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried)

1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

1/2 tsp black pepper

5 eggs

Paprika for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine matzo farfel with broth. Let stand for 10 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed.
  3. Pat the broccoli with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Add to farfel.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add onions, bell pepper, mushrooms, and garlic (if using). Sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly.
  5. Add the sautéed vegetables, parsley, salt and pepper to farfel/broccoli mixture. Add eggs one at a time and mix well.
  6. Spread mixture evenly in prepared baking dish and sprinkle with paprika.
  7. Bake uncovered for 45–55 minutes, until golden and crusty.

Yields 12 servings. Keeps up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Freezes and reheats well.

  • Variations: Instead of broccoli, substitute cauliflower florets. For an elegant twist, use a mixture of mushrooms (e.g., Cremini, Shiitake, Portobello).
  • Individual Farfel Kugels: Fill sprayed muffin pans three-quarters full. Bake at 375°F about 25 to 30 minutes, until golden. Great for a crowd.





This is a wonderful way to use up stale sponge cake or leftover macaroons. Bubby never liked to throw anything out so I’m sure she would have approved!


2 cups almonds or hazelnuts

4 cups stale Passover sponge cake or macaroons (any flavour), cut into chunks

2 cups Passover icing sugar

3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup pareve margarine

1/4 cup non-dairy creamer

2 Tbsp Passover chocolate liqueur or wine


  1. Insert steel blade in food processor bowl. Process nuts until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Empty bowl.
  2. Process cake or macaroons until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Measure 4 cups.
  3. Process icing sugar with cocoa, margarine, creamer, and liqueur until blended, 15–20 seconds. Add cake crumbs and 1/2 cup of the ground nuts; process until well mixed.
  4. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll in reserved nuts. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheets and refrigerate or freeze until firm. Serve in paper cups.

Yields about 5 dozen. These are delicious right from the freezer.