Easy Vegan Jewish Recipes for Any Occasion
It’s never been easier to enjoy traditional foods we know and love without causing harm to our animal friends, and Jewish dishes are no exception. These vegan Jewish recipes are not only delicious. They’re fairly easy to make too!
Here are 15 of our favorite vegan Jewish recipes to make during the holidays or year-round:
Vegan Matzah Ball Soup
Matzah (or matzo) ball soup consists of broth with several soft, round dumplings known as matzah balls. Luckily, both of these main elements are easy to make vegan. This recipe gives a super-simple way to make this delicious soup. While it calls for flaxseeds to make the matzah balls, you can use a commercial egg replacer if you prefer, such as those from Ener-G, Bob’s Red Mill, JUST, or Follow Your Heart.
Although most breads are vegan, challah is one of the few exceptions. Don’t worry, though—challah can be made without eggs! This recipe is a Mercy For Animals staff favorite.
Latkes (aka potato pancakes) are a traditional staple and a must for any Jewish celebration! Typically, latkes are made with white potatoes and onions, but if you’re feeling adventurous, there are tons of unique vegan latke recipes online. They can be made with sweet potatoes, zucchini, and even chickpeas. To keep things simple, we’ve found this delicious classic latke recipe.
Vegan Spinach Keftes
Keftes are small fritters or fried patties also known as Syrian meatballs, and they’re popular in the Sephardic Jewish community. Typically a vegetarian dish, keftes are often made with lentils, potatoes, or spinach, and they’re so easy to veganize. This recipe can be made vegan by using a product like JUST Egg instead of chicken eggs.
Tzimmes (or tsimmes) is a traditional stew often served as part of a Passover or Rosh Hashanah meal. While there are tons of variations, the base ingredients are carrots or other root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, and dried fruit. Since most of the typical ingredients are already plant-based, veganizing this comforting dish is easy.
Hamantaschen are triangular pastries stuffed with various fillings. These little cookies are so much fun to make and very easy to make vegan with an egg replacer. This recipe uses apple sauce and cornstarch to replace egg in the dough.
Vegan Hot Deli Sandwich
Enjoying animal-free versions of all the foods we grew up loving is easier than ever. Jewish deli staples are no exception! Deli slices from plant-based meat company Unreal Deli are available online, at many mainstream grocery stores, and on restaurant menus at chains like Veggie Grill and Quiznos. This Reuben recipe is super delicious and takes only a few minutes to prepare.
Vegan Matzah Brei
Matzah brei is a dish of matzah and scrambled eggs, which can easily be made vegan with an egg replacer. Often enjoyed on the morning after a Passover seder and throughout the week, matzah brei can be made sweet and reminiscent of French toast or savory. This decadent vegan matzah brei recipe takes the dish up a notch by adding chocolate, coconut, and bananas.
Kugel is a baked casserole, most commonly made with egg noodles (lokshen) or potato. This super-simple recipe uses egg-free ingredients that are easy to find at the grocery store, including many you may already have at home.
Vegan Sephardic Date Haroset
Haroset (or charoset) is a condiment made from fruit, nuts, and wine and served with matzah. While typically served during a Passover seder, it can be enjoyed year-round. For an alcohol-free haroset, you can use grape juice instead of wine. This Sephardic haroset recipe is super simple and delicious.
Gefilte is popular on Shabbat and holidays such as Passover. You’ll find many takes on veganizing this unique appetizer, with a variety of ingredients to mimic the traditional gefilte texture, from potatoes to chickpeas. This recipe uses tofu, seaweed, and other ingredients that are fairly affordable and easy to track down at mainstream grocery stores (if they’re not already in your cabinet.)
Rugelach is a delicious pastry typically filled with chocolate, jam, nuts, or poppy-seed paste. The quickest and easiest way to make rugelach is to use store-bought puff pastry. (Many common brands are vegan; just check the label.) This recipe allows for a variety of fillings and takes only 30 minutes to make.
Vegan Sufganiyot (Jelly Donuts)
A Hanukkah staple, traditional sufganiyot are fried balls of dough filled with strawberry jelly and coated with powdered sugar. Making these can be a bit of a challenge, but they’re well worth the effort! This recipe breaks it down simply.
Bagels and Dairy-Free Cream Cheese
OK, so this isn’t a recipe, but having lots of bagels and vegan cream cheese on hand during any Jewish holiday is never a bad idea. Most bagels from grocery stores or eateries are already vegan, and vegan cream cheeses are becoming more common in mainstream grocery stores, such as Kroger or Trader Joes, or online.
Vegan Flourless Chocolate Cake
Because it contains no grain, flourless cake is a perfect dessert to enjoy on Passover, when any grain that has risen or is fermented is avoided. This vegan fudgy flourless chocolate cake recipe from the Jewish Food Hero cookbook Beyond Chopped Liver: 59 Jewish Recipes Get a Vegan Makeover is gluten-free and delicious.
Is it your first time celebrating Passover, Hanukkah, or another holiday while eating plant-based? Check out our guide to navigating vegan holiday dinners with family and friends. And remember, every time you choose plant-based foods, you’re benefiting animals, the environment, and your health!