Your ultimate Passover seder substitutes guide

A seder plate is an integral part of any Passover seder, but its ingredients aren't always easy to find. Luckily, there are a few foods you can use as substitutes to make your Passover seder plate complete so you can celebrate the Jewish people's escape from Egypt your way.

Your ultimate Passover seder substitutes guide

Shank bone substitute: roasted beet

  • The shank bone on a seder plate represents the Paschal lamb that was sacrificed on the night that the Jews left Egypt.
  • Some families may find it difficult to find a proper shank bone, and others might object to using an animal part on the plate.
  • As a substitute, rabbis have explained that families can use a roasted beet on their seder plates.
  • Beets are mentioned in the Talmud, in Tractate 114b, and their blood red colour is supposed to be reminiscent of the bright red blood of the Paschal lamb.

Egg substitute: sunflower seeds

  • The hard-boiled egg on the seder plate serves as a reminder of the meat that was eaten in the Temple in Jerusalem at seder meals.
  • It also serves as a symbol of birth and fertility in the spring.
  • Vegan families may not want to use an egg on their seder plates, so many use sunflower seeds to symbolize the potential of growth and the birth of a new plant in the springtime.

Bitter herb substitute: romaine lettuce

  • The bitter herb on the seder plate is usually raw, chopped horseradish root. The bitter herb is used to represent the bitterness of slavery.
  • However, raw horseradish can be difficult to find in grocery stores. Many families use romaine lettuce instead, which is often considered to be the leafy green that is the most bitter in taste.

Green vegetable substitute: boiled potato

  • One of the symbolic foods on the seder plate is a green vegetable, or karpas. Karpas symbolizes springtime and new growth.
  • Most people use parsley on their seder plates for the karpas. However, in some regions, fresh green vegetables are not always available, and people substitute a boiled potato on their plates instead.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu