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34 Passover Seder recipes — from brisket to kugel

Raise the Passover roof with these Seder recipes.
/ Source: TODAY

Preparing for your Passover Seder? These kosher recipes will make for an unforgettable spread.

This year, Passover (aka Pesach) begins Friday, April 15 and ends Saturday, April 23. The first Seder takes place after sundown on the 15th and the second Seder will be on Saturday, April 16. The Seder, which occurs on the first two nights of the holiday, is the height of the celebratory observance and the point for which family and friends gather at nightfall to enjoy a festival feast. During Seder, which translates to "order," the the exodus of the Israelites from enslavement in Egypt is celebrated through through story, song, prayer and the tasting of symbolic foods, including four cups of wine, matzo and bitter herbs, accompanied by a feast of kosher foods.

If it's your first time having a Passover Seder, this Passover guide can be helpful to your preparations. While some foods, such as the matzo and bitter herbs, are eaten on certain nights, others (including leavened bread) are forbidden. Some Jews don't store those forbidden items in their homes or eat from dishes or cutlery that have touched them. But no two Seders are exactly the same: The diversity of American Jews results in many different ways of celebrating.

To make menu planning easy, here are some of our favorite Passover recipes. From inventive takes like cacio de pepe kugel and a rich, chocolaty matzo cake to more traditional (but still standout) dishes like brisket, these these delicious sides, entrées and desserts are perfect for any Seder.

Passover side dishes and appetizers

Matzo Lasagna

Matzo Lasagna

Melissa Clark

This recipe is a Passover game-changer. It can be assembled a day before you bake it! Just store the lasagna in the fridge and add a few minutes onto your cook time.

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

"Every good Jewish boy loves his mother's chicken soup," Adam Richman says. "It's part of our DNA. It is penicillin when we are sick; it is comfort food when we are sad; it is communal food when we are celebrating; and it has its roots in the traditions of relatives that we no longer have with us or ones we never got a chance to meet."

It doesn't need to be Passover to enjoy this creative and crunchy spin on pizza. This dish is a great late night-snack or a shoe-in at the Seder dinner table.

The Best, Easiest Deviled Eggs

Make this enjoyable spring appetizer extra special by adding a tad of vinegar for punch and some curry powder for warmth. This is Elena Besser's go-to when she need to bring something to a gathering but is short on time.

Crunchy, fresh and little sweet, this is a terrific salad for when there's no lettuce around. And you can make it a day ahead. It gets even better as it sits, absorbing more of the dressing.

Salmon and Avocado Tartare

Perfect for a light meal or elegant appetizer, this tartare has layers of fish, avocado puree and a crunchy, shaved raw vegetables, all topped with a bright, citrusy vinaigrette.

Chicken Fat Matzo Ball Soup

Make matzo ball soup the comforting, old-fashioned way — with chicken fat, dill and vodka (yes, vodka!).

This refreshing salad will prepare the palate for an unforgettable meal. Since citrus is often in season in the U.S. and Canada around Passover, this makes for the perfect healthy appetizer or side dish.

Cacio e Pepe Kugel

Cacio e Pepe Kugel

Missy Robbins

This dish takes Missy Robbins' Jewish heritage and love for Italian food and combines them in a traditional kugel filled with the flavors of cacio e pepe, a Roman spaghetti dish. The result is a mouthwatering side packed with tons of pepper and the creaminess of Pecorino, creating an indulgent comfort food from two cultures meeting in the middle.

Rather than make individual potato pancakes and poached eggs, take a note from the Swiss and make one big, communal potato cake (known as rösti in Switzerland and Germany) and top it with eggs poached in a muffin tin.

Roasted Asparagus with Almonds

Looking for a simple side dish? Try this easy-to-make, oven-roasted asparagus with fresh garlic and crunchy almonds.

Bring fresh spring colors to the table with an heirloom beet salad tossed with tangy capers and buttery pistachios.

Pickled Beet Deviled Eggs

These magenta-colored, beet pickled eggs are southern classics. Here they are deviled, so the yolks become creamy and the beautiful hues pop when sliced and plated.

These carrots are just as good served warm or at room temperature, so they’re ideal for entertaining when you have other dishes to make and serve all at once.

Fava Bean and Herb Salad with Toum

This fresh, sharp salad and toum-yogurt makes a lovely side to heartier dishes and grilled meat (particularly when rich and fatty). Toum, which literally translates to "garlic" in Arabic, is a Levantine condiment made by whipping together raw garlic and oil with a good amount of lemon juice.

Bright citrus, briny olives and zesty za'atar spice make this simple salad a fresh and flavorful start to any meal.

Passover main courses

Passover Brisket with Carrot and Onion Gravy

This mouthwatering brisket from David Kolotkin serves up to eight people. The carrots and onions get caramelized from the meat's juices.

"My grandmother, Bella, used to make a potted turkey dish with similar ingredients, which my mother later turned into a pot roast," he says. "It's perfect for the holidays."

Layers of flavor infuse every bit of these tender short ribs. Serving this ultra-hearty dish with horseradish-spiked mashed potatoes helps brighten everything up and adds a wonderfully creamy complement to the beef. Tangy, spicy and creamy mashers for the win!

Slow-Braised Brisket and Onions

There is nothing more comforting and familiar than the knowledge that a brisket is quietly simmering away. Brisket has some of the tastiest and richest meat and fat of any cut of beef. A second cut or, even better yet, a whole brisket, will feed an army with tender, melt-in-your-mouth meat.

Harissa Roasted Chicken

This vibrant, warming roast chicken is coveted for its simplicity and wonderful flavor. Plus, you can use leftovers to create a completely different dish, like Alon Shaya's tahini chicken salad or arugula-citrus salad.

The prep is so simple for Joy Bauer's recipe: Just sprinkle the dry rub on your meat and place it in the slow cooker along with a few simple ingredients — then set it, forget it and let the love affair begin. As the hours go by and the carrots and onions melt into the beef, your kitchen will be infused with the cozy, nostalgic aroma of your grandmother's brisket.

Perfect for Passover — or really, any holiday — the combination of the juicy meat with the lemony potatoes is always an entertaining crowd-pleasing centerpiece.

Horseradish Brisket

This one-pot wonder by Gail Simmons was inspired by her mother's traditional brisket recipe. She adds horseradish to give it a a special kick. Luckily for home cooks, this rich and rewarding dish only takes 15 minutes to prepare.

One of the best parts about brisket is that it can be cooked when you have time and then savored either during one dinner or as leftovers reinvented into tasty new meals. If you don't have harissa paste, you can use a combination of tomato paste and crushed red pepper or tomato paste and harissa seasoning. You could also use pot roast or short ribs in place of brisket.

Brighten up your spread with this roast chicken that pops with color. Taking only 15 minutes to prepare, this dish is bursting with flavor thanks to clementines and rosemary.

"I can't tell you how many times I've made this!" says Ina Garten. "I have the butcher butterfly the chicken so all I do is grind the thyme, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper, mix it with olive oil, and brush it on the chicken. When the lemon slices are roasted and caramelized, you can eat them with the chicken."

A far cry from a classic shakshuka, yes, but we've found that sweet potatoes provide just the right amount of moisture and heft to serve as a base for these eggs.

Baked Masala-Spiced Salmon

Baked Masala-Spiced Salmon

Madeleine Smithberg

This recipe is simple, easy, fast and flavorful. It is also easy to adapt to small or large group. The basic recipe is one part mustard to three parts maple syrup with one generous part masala. It goes great with a simple green salad.

Passover desserts

6-Ingredient Chocolate Ganache Soufflé Cake

Finish your meal with this kosher chocolate ganache soufflé cake from pastry chef Sandra Holl at Chicago's Floriole bakery. It will add a little decadence to any celebration.

Chocolate-Covered Matzo Bark

For something sweet, salty and satisfying, try this chocolate-covered matzo bark. It's easy to serve to a crowd and has a fruity, nutty flavor.

Brown Butter Matzo Brei Pie

This sweet 15-minute treat can be enjoyed after dinner or for breakfast. It's a wonderfully easy specialty that can be enjoyed whether or not it's Passover. You'll want it all year long.

Seven is such an important number in Judaism but it's also an especially delicious one when it involves wine-soaked matzo covered in chocolate.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

This truly is one of the easiest cakes in the world to make, but the result is incredibly elegant. The simplest and most classic of ingredients create this decadent dessert.

Banana and Peach Matzo Brie Bake

The classic and quintessential holiday breakfast (or dessert) gets a creamy fruity makeover. No standing over a stove and frying for endless hours with this baked, layered twist on an old favorite. Assemble the day before for easy entertaining.