This feast is sure to delight everyone at the Seder table, and you'll be delighted by how simple it is to prepare.

By Laura Rege
April 03, 2020
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instant-pot brisket
Credit: Bryan Gardner

With Passover on the horizon, it's time to start planning the Seder. A typical Seder is composed of multiple courses, rituals, and traditions, including lots of time with friends and family, but long meals don't have to mean tons of time in the kitchen. This year, try our quick Passover menu for less prep, less cook time, and a lot more time enjoying the meal and time with your family.

The secret to getting this meal on the table in a flash is utilizing modern tools to make cooking easier and faster without sacrificing flavor; we also made sure to select our most delicious recipes with minimum prep. The meal also blends past and present traditions, which means there are options for modern inclusions. A smoked salmon appetizer is fast to put together and can be made ahead of time. Rather than slow braising the brisket in the oven, use the Instant Pot to reduce cooking time by half. And for dessert, turn matzo into a frozen layered dessert, that is so pretty and tastes as good as it looks.

Salmon Rillette

Break out the Manischewitz, a sweet kosher wine often drunk at Passover, or whatever drink you will partake in and enjoy a glass with the salmon rillette as your starter. To speed up prep, this French-inspired dip uses store-bought hot smoked salmon. It can also be made up to three days ahead. Crunchy matzo is the perfect vehicle for scooping up bites.

Seder Plate

One of the important rituals and traditions of Passover centers around the Seder plate. Each item on the plate symbolizes a tribulation that the Jewish community has faced—our guide to the traditional and modern seder plate outlines each one. And don't forget to try our Haroset recipe, a chunky sauce of apples, walnuts, honey, and few generous splashes of kosher sweet wine.

Matzo Ball Soup

It's no surprise that our second dish also includes matzo—after all, it is a classic Passover food and there are so many inventive ways to cook with it. Our favorite just might be this comforting matzo ball soup. Speed up prep by using store-bought broth. Then let the matzo balls simmer while you prepare the rest of the meal.

Roasted Beet and Dandelion Greens Salad

This salad really only has three ingredients: beets, dandelions, and cumin. Roast the beets a few days ahead and store them in the refrigerator. You can save even more time by buying the precooked beets found in cryovac packaging in the produce aisle. Add a generous squeeze of lemon juice to accentuate the flavors of this salad.

Instant Pot Brisket

Here's a recipe for sweet and sour brisket just like your Bubbeh used to make, but in half the time. A modern marvel, the Instant Pot, makes traditional dishes faster to cook and just as tasty. The brisket is perfectly tender and adding in the vegetables at the end keeps them from getting mushy. The delicious liquid in the pot is perfect gravy consistency, so this dish comes with a sauce and all.

Vegan Mashed Potatoes

Now comes for the perfect accompaniment to soak up all the delectable brisket gravy: vegan mashed potatoes. Don't let the word vegan fool you, though; these mashed potatoes are as creamy and smooth as their dairy counterparts. The secret? Stir in a speedy homemade garlic and rosemary infused oil that is full of flavor and richness.

Matzo Chocolate-Mint Ice Cream Cake

Last but not least, a sweet bite to end your meal. Instead of baking a Passover-friendly unleavened cake, assemble a layered frozen dessert, using—you guessed it!—matzo. Chocolate-coated matzo is sandwiched with ice cream scoops to create an impressive icebox treat. Not eating dairy? Try a plant-based ice cream like coconut milk, oat milk, or cashew. Any flavor would be delicious in this dessert.

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