This Gluten Free Passover Recipe Roundup is full of store-bought and homemade ideas for keeping your Passover deliciously gluten free.
In fact, there are loads of Kosher for Passover gluten free foods available at this time of year because wheat, barley, rye, oats and spelt are forbidden in any form other than matzo. This restriction is because within 18 minutes of coming into contact with water, these grains begin to ferment and rise.
Matzo is required on the first night of Passover, so these grains are permitted if making matzo and baking before fermentation, in other words, baked within 18 minutes.
You’ll probably recognize that wheat, barley and rye (and spelt is a wheat cousin) all happen to be gluten-containing grains. So, bonus! Gluten free is what most people are already keeping during Passover.
A quick review of what foods are considered off limits when keeping kosher Passover:
First off, only foods that are certified kosher are considered acceptable. The Orthodox Union or the Chicago Rabbinical Council are the two Kosher certifiers which brand certified products. Look for one of these two logos on processed foods when you shop:
Many meats are off limits during Passover. These include, but are not limited to: pork, rabbit, shellfish (oysters, mussels, crab, shrimp, lobster, etc.) and seafood without fins or scales (like swordfish, shark and catfish). Foods made from those meats — like non-kosher gelatin — are also forbidden. Other fish like Kosher certified Salmon (with rinsing) are permitted, as are Cod, Sea Bass, Gefilte fish, Tilapia and others.
If serving accepted meats during Passover, no dairy may be served with them, so no cheese or milk/cream-based sauces. Eggs are acceptable (and by the way, are not “dairy”).
A note about NEW food traditions during Passover. It’s remarkable to say, but age-old Jewish traditions have actually changed in the past few years. The Rabbinical Assembly (the governing body for the Conservative movement of Judaism) voted and declared in 2015 that kitniyot: rice, corn and legumes (including peanuts, peas, beans and peas) ARE Kosher for Passover. Previously, Ashkenazi Jews had banned these foods during Passover, but Reform and Sephardic Jews had not.
This declaration recognizes that the reasons for the old restrictions from Ashkenazi tradition are no longer concerns in modern times. The change brings Eastern European Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews (those originally from Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the Middle East) together in shared food customs allowing more foods during Passover.
The tradition remains that Jews still can’t eat chametz for nine days though, so leavened products like pasta, bread, cake and beer are still forbidden.
My gfJules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour — the foundation for nearly all the yummy recipes you’ll find on my site — is made from tapioca, corn, potato and rice. These ingredients are allowed during Passover under the new rules. As with any religion, culture, or tradition, however, stick to what you feel is right in order to keep your faith.
Store-Bought & Homemade Gluten Free Passover Foods
Take a few extra minutes the next time you’re in the grocery store and peruse the kosher section! Look for certified gluten free products or those labeled Kosher for Passover AND “Non-Gebrokts” (“Non-Gebroktz” or “Non-Gebroks”) or “Gluten Free.” The ingredients should show that the product does not include matzo as ingredient.
When you shop, watch for all kinds of Kosher for Passover products made with potato starch instead of regular flour. Products include potato starch noodles, potato starch cake mixes, Passover cereals made without wheat, and even frozen foods like potato starch pizza crusts, blintzes, waffles and knishes. You can even now find gluten-free Kosher for Passover Cake Meal.
Gluten Free Potato Pancakes or latkes, are another product you may find in a box mix, but can easily be made from scratch recipes instead, using any kind of potato or sweet potato or even spaghetti squash!
Is there Gluten Free Matzo or Matzah?
While foods containing gluten grains are generally forbidden during Passover, there is one very important exception — matzo. This unleavened bread actually must be made with one of the aforementioned gluten grains or oats in order to duplicate those used by the Hebrews making bread in haste when fleeing Egypt.
Matzo is the oldest and most well-known (edible) symbol of the exodus of the Jews from Egyptian slavery.
According to the Bible, Aaron and Moses warned of 10 plagues sent to cause Pharaoh to free the Jews. When the final plague killed all the first-born sons of Egypt but passed over the Jewish houses, Pharaoh finally released the Jews from their bondage in Egypt.
However, they were forced to leave in such great haste that their bread dough did not have time to rise, leaving them with what we now know as “matzo” (matzah, matza, matzoth, matzot), or unleavened bread.
Since matzo is typically made with wheat flour, gluten-free folks must think outside the proverbial cracker box for safe and tasty options.Fortunately, there are now some gluten free “Mazo-Style” oat cracker alternatives available, and of course you can always make your own gluten free matzo!
Like any other wheat flour recipe we might long to enjoy again, devising a gluten-free solution is simple: modify, substitute and perfect using the right gluten free ingredients.
My recipe for Gluten Free Matzo made with gluten-free grains and certified gluten free and purity protocol oat flour, is simple and can be made and baked within 18 minutes to prevent any leavening in the dough. It’s an easy 5 ingredient recipe that takes only 20 minutes from start to finish! (Note: my gfJules Flour and all my products are certified Kosher by the OU).
However, Orthodox Jews and others wishing to only serve Kosher for Passover, Gluten-Free Shemura (supervised grains, watched from time of harvest to be sure no fermentation occurs) matzo, will need to buy Gluten Free oat matzo made in that manner instead. Fair warning: gluten-free Shemura Oat Matzo is expensive! One 1 pound box can cost $32.00, while regular Kosher for Passover (non-gluten-free) Matzo is generally 14 times less expensive (around $2.75-$3.00/ 1 pound box).
Non Kosher for Passover, gluten-free “Matzo Style” crackers made from tapioca and potato are available at a much lower cost, but they are not suggested “as a replacement for matzo at the seder.” Consult with your family and religious leaders to see what works best for your needs this holiday.
Beyond Gluten Free Matzah
Other Kosher for Passover foods include all fresh fruits and most vegetables, though most Jews refrain from eating other grains, pasta, soy products like tofu, or many seeds during Passover. Beans, corn and rice are now considered acceptable during Passover for many in the Jewish faith.
Eggs (think quiches, omelets and frittatas) and dairy are Kosher for Passover, and many yogurts, cream cheeses, and other dairy products will bear that special certification. Or go all out and make Gluten Free Blintzes!!
Other grains like quinoa are also a wonderful addition to your gluten free Passover menu.
And don’t forget dessert! Try this Gluten Free Lemon Almond Cake for a delicious finale everyone will celebrate. Light and airy, but full of flavor from delicious tart lemon and sweet, nutty almonds.
Serve with or without fresh berries and whipped cream.
For more information on gluten free Kosher for Passover Candies, store-bought gluten free matzo options and more, check out my overview gluten free Passover post.
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