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

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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.