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12 Healthy Passover Recipes You'll Actually Want to Eat

Step away from the jarred gefilte fish, put down the Manischewitz macaroons, and make a Passover dinner you and your guests will actually be excited to eat!

Most Jews—observant and otherwise—have heard the running joke that explains why and how we commemorate our people's history: "They tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat." And while we may actually be excited to eat hamentashen on Purum or latkes on Hanukkah, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who gets pumped for the Passover seder spread. And to be frank, I'm one of those people. When the seder plate parsley with salt-water is your favorite part of the entire meal, something's not right. (One cannot survive solely on a dinner of salty garnishes.)

Thankfully, times are changin'! Jarred gefilte fish and stale-tasting macaroons are no longer the only options for those retelling the Passover tale. Thanks to New York Times bestselling author and recipe developer Elana Amsterdam, easy and healthy Passover recipes are now a thing. They don't taste like cardboard and they're things you'll want to make again and again after the holiday week has passed—and we have the best of her holiday recipe collection below! Peruse the dishes, whip up the ones that make your mouth water, and sit back and wait for the compliments to roll in! And after Pesach is through, be sure to check out these 20 Best-Ever Recipes for Zero Belly to stay healthy and fit all year round.



gefilte fish

Yields: 25 balls

Nutrition: 53 calories, 2.3 g fat, 0 saturated fat, 103 mg sodium, 1.4 g carbs, 0.5 g sugar, 6.7 g protein

Jarred gefilte fish is one of the most controversial dishes on the Passover table; either you love it or the thought of eating it makes you want to barf. (The gooey gel-like gunk that surrounds the stuff is a total appetite suppressant for many.) To ensure you won't be left with 10 jars of fish after your seder, make a homemade batch that will please even the biggest gefilte fish-haters at your table. And not only does this dish actually taste good, it's easy to pull together. Made with a blend of halibut and salmon (we suggest wild salmon for added nutrition) and just nine other easy to find ingredients, this is one flavorful, protein-rich dish you don't want to miss.

Get the recipe here.



Serves: 8

Nutrition: 231 calories, 18.6 g fat, 1.1 g saturated fat, 2 mg sodium, 12.7 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 8 g protein

This Seder plate classic is arguably one of the tastier Passover dishes. However, if you're looking to stray from a traditional recipe this year (or just make a better-for-you dish), give Amsterdam's version a try. She replaces the wine and honey typically used in charoset with a combination of OJ and lemon juice which brings down the sugar count—without sacrificing flavor. Her dish also calls for currents, a nod to the Sephardic take on charoset, which commonly includes raisins, figs (one of these 30 High Fiber Foods That Should Be in Your Diet, dates, and sesame seeds.

Get the recipe here.



Yields: 1 batch

Nutrition per batch: 8 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 32 mg sodium, 1.3 g carbs, 0.9 g sugar, 0 g protein

While many people simply throw jarred horseradish on the table in place of homemade maror, making the real deal is actually really simple—and in my opinion, easier to swallow, too. Made with two ingredients—horseradish root and apple cider vinegar—this is one recipe even the most culinary-challenged chefs will be able to master!

Get the recipe here.


matzoh ball soup

Serves: 6

Nutrition: 209 calories, 4.3 g fat, 1,123 mg sodium, 32.8 g carbs, 1.1 g fiber, 1.1 g sugar, 9.2 g protein (calculated with low-sodium chicken stock and 1 teaspoon sea salt)

No sedar (or trip to the diner) would be complete with a steaming hot bowl of matzoh ball soup. To healthify this dish and add some protein while still keeping it Kosher for Passover, Elana swaps out matzoh meal for almond flour. If you are hardcore about following the holiday's dietary restrictions, check out the Oh! Nuts Passover store. If your aim is to simply keep things Kosher-ish for Passover, any almond flour will do.

Get the recipe here.



Serves: 5

Nutrition: 257 calories, 7.9 g fat, 325 mg sodium, 3.2 g carbs, 0.8 g fiber, 0.9 g sugar, 41.5 g protein (calculated with 2.5 lbs. chicken and 1 tsp. salt )

Though super-observant Jews don't consume a pan-roasted meat of any kind during Passover (they don't want to give off the vibe they're trying to "replace" the Paschal lamb), roasted chicken is a Pesach dinner mainstay for those who are less strict. We like Amsterdam's dish because it's easy to make, full of flavor, and relies on wholesome ingredients like thyme, black pepper, lemon, garlic, onion, and olive oil, one of the 8 Best Fats for Fat Loss.

Get the recipe here.


Serves: 5

Nutrition: 341 calories, 8.7 g fat, 3.2 saturated fat, 392 mg sodium, 18.4 g carbs, 3.8 g fiber, 7.8 g sugar, 45.8 g protein (calculated with low-sodium chicken stock and flank steak)

The humble beef brisket, a flavorful meal comprised of beef and root veggies, is one of my favorite Jewish dishes. If you've decided to stray from Bubby's recipe this Pesach, we suggest making Amsterdam's recipe with low-sodium chicken stock and grass-fed beef. Grass-fed is naturally leaner and has fewer calories than conventional meat and serves up to five times more CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) than its corn and grain fed counterparts. CLA contains a group of chemicals which provides a wide variety of health benefits, including immune and inflammatory system support, improved bone mass, improved blood sugar regulation, reduced body fat, reduced risk of heart attack, and maintenance of lean body mass. For even more ways to eat your way to a smaller gut, check out these 25 Best Foods for a Toned Body.

Get the recipe here.



roasted asparagus

Serves: 4

Nutrition: 89 calories, 7.2 g fat, 1.1 g saturated fat, 120 mg sodium, 4.6 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 2.7 g sugar, 3.2 g protein (calculated with ¼ teaspoon sea salt)

Made with just three ingredients (asparagus, olive oil, and sea salt), this side dish is beyond simple to pull together for your seder. Plus, the green veggie is rich in potassium, a nutrient that helps the body flush out all the bloat-causing salt that tends to sneak its way into holiday dinners. For more ways to beat the bloat all year round, check out these 24 Ways to Flatten Your Belly in 24 Hours.

Get the recipe here.


carrot kugel

Serves: 8

Nutrition: 106 calories, 2 g fat, 0.6 g saturated fat, 79 mg sodium, 19.7 g carbs, 2.2 g fiber, 12.6 g sugar, 3.4 g protein (calculated with honey)

While potato kugel may have been the star side dish of seders past, we think it's time you give a lighter alternative a try. Not only does this option's low-calorie count ensure you'll have plenty of room left for dessert, it carries a bit of fiber and protein, too. Still not convinced it deserves a place on your table? Thanks to the addition of honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange rind, it carries a similar flavor palate as your favorite Thanksgiving dessert: pumpkin pie. It doesn't get much better than that!

Get the recipe here.


radicchio apple salad

Serves: 5

Nutrition: 129 calories, 9 g fat, 0.7 g saturated fat, 37 mg sodium, 10.4 g carbs, 4.8 g fiber, 4.5 g sugar, 4.5 g protein (calculated with 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil)

Whenever you're throwing a dinner party—religious or otherwise—it's always a smart idea to serve a salad. (Just be sure to check it for bugs first!) The reason: If all else fails, picky eaters and those who are very health-conscious will generally be cool with a bed of greens. I'm a fan of this salad because it calls for apples and walnuts for some sweetness and crunch—two ingredients you'll already have in your kitchen if you're making a batch of Amsterdam's delicious charoset. When you're stocking up for a big dinner, choosing recipes that allow you to streamline your shopping list is always a smart move. Fewer things to buy = less stress and more cash left in your bank account. For even more smart shopping hacks, check out these 46 Best Supermarket Shopping Tips Ever.

Get the recipe here.



flourless chocolate banana cake

Serves: 8

Nutrition: 190 calories, 9.5 g fat, 1.7 g saturated fat, 87 mg sodium, 27.3 g carbs, 2.4 g fiber, 21.2 g sugar, 3.7 g protein

What makes this night different than all other nights? On all other nights, dessert is everyone's favorite part of the meal. On Passover, however, it's the course many people dread the most. That's because 99.9 percent of kosher for Passover packaged sweets taste about as delicious as a container of PlayDoh. Aside from putting out some boxed chocolate-covered matzoh (somehow they've managed to keep that dessert from tasting like cardboard), your best move is to make your own cakes and cookies. This flourless cake, for example, is not only Kosher for Passover, but it's relatively easy on the waistline as far as cakes go. Plus, it's 100 percent sweetened with bananas and honey, making it a great dish for clean eaters and Paleo-followers alike. Interested in hopping on the clean-eating bandwagon? Check out Your Ultimate Plan for Eating Clean to get started!

Get the recipe here.


almond honey cake

Serves: 8

Nutrition: 313 calories, 8.5 g fat, 1.1 g saturated fat, 296 mg sodium, 54.8 g carbs, 1.6 g fiber, 6 g protein (calculated with grapeseed oil )

As shocking as it may seem, not everyone likes chocolate, so it's a good idea to set out an alternative dessert. This naturally gluten-free honey cake is made with coffee grounds, almond flour, cinnamon, raisins and a handful of other easy-to-find ingredients. If you strictly observe Passover, check out Oh! Nuts Passover store for a Kosher for Passover almond flour.

Get the recipe here.


low sugar paleo coconut macaroons

Serves: 8

Nutrition: 125 calories, 8.4 g fat, 7.4 g saturated fat, 72 mg sodium, 12.6 g carbs, 2.3 fiber, 10.3 g sugar, 1.8 g protein

Skip the flavorless Manischewitz macaroons this year, and instead, roll up your selves to make a homemade batch. This recipe calls for just four "clean" ingredients and it will wow your guests, too! For even more healthy dessert ideas, check out these 20 Easy Dessert Recipes!

Get the recipe here.


Dana Leigh Smith
Dana has written for Women's Health, Prevention, Reader's Digest, and countless other publications. Read more about Dana Leigh