12 Essentials for Your Passover Seder Shopping List, Because You Can't Screw This Up

SOUTHFIELD, MI - APRIL 5: A seder plate lies on a table in Sharona Shapiro's home prior to an interfaith Passover celebration April 5, 2004 in West Bloomfield, Michigan. Shapiro, the Michigan area director of the American Jewish Committee, held the function in an effort to reach out to non-Jewish people, and invited guests who were Muslim, Polish, Hindu, Chaldean, African American, Nigerian as well as Japanese. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Source: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If you're hosting a Passover seder (for you gentiles, that's the traditional meal on the first and second nights of Passover that includes the retelling of the Israelite's exodus from slavery in Egypt) for the first time or the tenth time, there's no question you'll be making dozens of trips to the grocery store in the days before the big event. Here's a shopping list to keep you organized, so you can focus on hosting the best seder since Moses parted the Red Sea.


Matzo

This may seem like a no-brainer as it’s the symbol of Passover, but something so obvious can be easy to forget!  Make sure to have matzos available for your seder rituals (like hiding the afikomen), as well as for eating and cooking.


Parsley

A traditional part of the seder is dipping greens in salt water. Make sure to pick up fresh parsley (or lettuce, or celery) for this tradition. Leftover parsley also makes a great garnish on serving plates.


Horseradish

The bitter herbs are an essential part of the Seder. Remembering the pain of the Israelites in Egypt, as well as flavoring your gefilte fish, cannot be forgotten.  

Image: elizaveta66/Fotolia

Charoset

This cold fruit salad is made to represent the mortar the Israelites used while laying bricks during their enslavement.  Every family has its own recipe, but be sure to have apples, walnuts, wine, and cinnamon on hand to make your own. 

Image: Olaf Speier/Fotolia

Eggs

Not only does a baked egg belong on the Seder plate, but hard boiled eggs (usually served sliced and floating in salt water) are a super easy and filling hors d’oeuvre to pass to guests during the telling of the Passover story before the main meal.  


Shank Bone (Or Veggie Equivalent)

The lamb bone represents the sacrificed lamb whose blood was used in the Passover story to denote the homes of Jews. Vegetarians often opt for a beet or avocado seed instead of the animal bone.  


Orange

Rumor has it that a rabbi once said that a woman belongs on a bema like an orange belongs on a seder plate.  Women around the world now put oranges on their seder plates as a symbol of the fruitfulness of all Jews, including women and LGBTQ people.


Wine

The traditional four glasses of wine need to be consumed!  Be sure to have enough wine — or request your guests bring some — in order to live up to tradition. 


Matzo Ball Soup

A Seder without matzo ball soup is barely worth having!  Check out our top recipes or cheat a little and get the pre-made mix and some broth at your grocery store.

Image: Fotolia

Gefilte Fish

This iconic Jewish food is worth serving at every Jewish meal.  Though some may shy away from the ground, chilled fish, it’s amazing what some horseradish and fresh carrots can do. 


Chopped Liver

The original foie gras? Kind of. This rich, fatty spread will bring your matzo to the next level. 

Image: ulteriorepicure / Flickr

Fresh Fruit

With all this heavy, starchy, rich food, the absolute best Passover dessert (especially after an hours-long meal) is fruit. Make a fruit tray before you start cooking and then share it with your likely-stuffed guests at the end of the meal.