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4 Light and Healthy Passover Recipes

Serve these celebratory meals at your holiday table.

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Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, is an eight-day religious observance celebrated by Jewish people each spring. It commemorates the liberation of the ancient Israelites from slavery in Egypt more than 3,000 years ago.

The celebration begins with a special dinner called a Seder on the first night of Passover. Families and friends gather to eat and read the story of the exodus from Egypt. The Seder typically features a number of ceremonial foods including herbs and veggies dipped in saltwater, matzo (a kind of unleavened bread) and haroset (typically a mixture of diced apples, walnuts, wine and cinnamon). The main course often includes a meat such as chicken or beef.

For the full eight days, Kosher dietary restrictions are typically followed. For example, certain meats like pork, shellfish and seafood without fins or scales aren't allowed, and meat cannot be eaten with dairy products like cheese. There are also some guidelines specific to Passover, including avoiding chametz—leavened foods or those made with wheat, oats, rye, barley and spelt.

If you're looking for new Passover-friendly recipe ideas this year, here are four healthy options.

Medically reviewed in August 2020. Updated in January 2021.

Note: Be sure to look for products marked certified kosher for Passover if you’re keeping kosher during the holiday.

BASIL CHIVE CHICKEN

2 / 5 BASIL CHIVE CHICKEN

1/3 ounce dried basil
1/4 ounce dried chives
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 ounce minced garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 4 ounces each

Whisk together basil, chives, lemon juice, white wine, garlic, black pepper and olive oil. Pour over chicken, turning to coat evenly. Refrigerate for 24 hours. When you’re ready to cook, heat oven to 350°F, then remove chicken from marinade and discard the rest of the marinade. Arrange chicken on baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Get the nutrition information for this tasty dish here.

CHICKEN WITH RED GRAPES

3 / 5 CHICKEN WITH RED GRAPES

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 ounces each)
1 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided
5/8 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallots or yellow onions
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or pinch of dried thyme
1 1/2 cups halved seedless red grapes
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 350°F, then season both sides of the chicken with 1 teaspoon of the pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, then add chicken to the pan and sear for 2 minutes. Turn and cook for 1 minute on the second side. Remove the pan from the heat.

Transfer the chicken to a baking dish and roast until the chicken is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Return the pan to medium heat, then add the shallots or onions and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt to the browned bits remaining in the pan. Cook, stirring, with a wooden spoon, until the onions are soft, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Add the wine and lemon juice and cook until nearly evaporated, about 30 seconds.

Add the broth and thyme and stir to incorporate. Increase the heat, bring the broth to a simmer, and cook until the liquid begins to reduce, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the grapes and cook until they are softened and the sauce is reduced by half, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Plate your chicken, then spoon the sauce and grapes over each chicken breast and serve immediately.

Get the nutrition information for this tangy dish here.

ROASTED SLICED BEETS

4 / 5 ROASTED SLICED BEETS

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
2 cups fresh sliced beets, cut into 1/8-inch slices

Preheat oven to 350°F then wash, peel and slice beets into 1/8-inch thick pieces. In a medium size bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the beets, mix thoroughly and set aside. Place prepared beets in bowl with marinade and toss to coat, then spread beets out on a non-stick sheet pan and bake in the oven for 25 minutes or to desired degree of doneness.

Get the nutrition information for this fresh and flavorful side dish here.

GRILLED ASPARAGUS AND PEACHES WITH CARAMELIZED SHALLOTS AND HAZELNUTS

5 / 5 GRILLED ASPARAGUS AND PEACHES WITH CARAMELIZED SHALLOTS AND HAZELNUTS

Extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped shallots
1/4 cup toasted, skinned and coarsely chopped hazelnuts
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds thin asparagus, woody stems snapped off and discarded
1 large firm-ripe freestone peach, cut into 12 wedges

Prepare an outdoor grill for direct cooking over medium (400°F) heat, then heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until they are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the hazelnuts. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

Place the asparagus on a large-rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with a tablespoon or two of oil, and roll them in the oil to coat them. Lightly brush the peach wedges with oil to coat them.

Place the asparagus on one side of the grill, perpendicular to the grill grid. Place the peaches, also running perpendicular to the grid, on the grill. Cover the grill and cook, occasionally rolling the asparagus to turn them and flipping the peaches once, until the asparagus is crisp-tender and the peaches have sear marks, about 6 minutes. Remove the asparagus and peaches from the grill. Season them to taste with salt and pepper.

Spread the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet (or the toaster oven tray). Bake at 350°F, stirring occasionally, until the skins are curling and the nut flesh is lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Let the hazelnuts cool until easy to handle, about 20 minutes. Wrap the hazelnuts in a kitchen towel, and use the towel to rub the nuts against one another to remove the skins.

Arrange the asparagus on a serving platter. Top with the peaches, followed by the hazelnut mixture, and serve.

Get notes and suggestions for this spring favorite here.

Sources:

History.com. “Passover.” March 30, 2020. Accessed January 13, 2021.
Britannica.com. “Passover.” 2021. Accessed January 22, 2021.
Kosher Certification. “Kosher Basics – Meat, Dairy and Pareve.” 2021. Accessed January 13, 2021.
Shoshana Kordova. “What Goes on a Seder Plate?” Haaretz.com. May 4, 2020.

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