When Shavuos comes around, we tend to get a little over-excited about all of the possibilities. There are the classics (blintzes, cheesecake…), and then there are endless variations to try too. Where’s anyone to start when it comes to menu planning?
Look no further! We’ve compiled the ultimate list of recipes- from appetizer through main course- to fill your menus with creative, inspired dishes that will wow your family and friends. Whether you go all out with dairy or stick to pareve, there’s plenty here for everybody!
1. Mac-and-Cheese Balls by Rivky Kleiman
A great way to make an all-time family favorite party friendly.
2. Fresh Spring Rolls by Rena Tuchinsky
3. Elegant Avocado with Smoked Salmon by Estee Kafra
This simple and elegant appetizer is a wonderful combination of smooth and salty, with a nice contrast in colors as well. For the lox, I like the ones cured pastrami style with whole black peppercorns and spices. Dill is good too, and plain lox is fine if the others aren’t available.
4. Teriyaki Salmon Chunks with Zesty Mushrooms by Leah Barzel
A light, Asian-style appetizer with a kick.
5. Medley of Fish Skewers by Estee Kafra
Serving fish on skewers is a wonderful way to use more expensive fish, such as sea bass, in a more economical way.
6. Marinated Sea Bass over Artichoke Salad by Michal Frischman
The sea bass in this recipe really picks up the marinade well. It tastes like you’ve been slaving over it all day when the whole dinner really only takes maybe 15 minutes to execute (well, plus marinating. That’s not work though!).
7. Coconut-Crusted Halibut, Tilapia, or Sea Bass by Rivky Kleiman
A spectacular burst of flavor that serves as either a starter or a main.
8. Lime and Dill Ocean Perch or Halibut by Rivky Kleiman
I’m always on the lookout for something new and not too time consuming. While shmoozing with my friend Raizy one evening, my antenna went up when she raved about the delicious, mild fish she had served for dinner. She graciously offered to share the recipe with me. We tweaked and added, and the result was nothing short of spectacular.
9. Coconut Tilapia with Tangy Dipping Sauce by Esther Deutsch
The pungent flavor of the chives in this recipe is tempered by the mild sea bass, complementing each other perfectly. When developing this recipe, I wanted to offer the option of a pesto sauce recipe to all the home cooks who do not use fresh herbs on Passover. Chives are one of the few herbs that are available greenhouse grown for Passover and can be found in most kosher supermarkets. If you are short on time, this recipe is spectacular with just the chive pesto. Steps two and three are optional enhancements. The chive pesto and the artichoke lemon cream both have an enduring versatile appeal that is also delicious as a salad dressing, a savory side dish when tossed with roasted potatoes, or a dip. On Passover, our quest for culinary ingenuity is intensified—hence the square French fries as a garnish.
11. Pastrami-Flavored Salmon by Brynie Greisman
The first time I tried this salmon, the kitchen was filled with that tantalizing aroma of pastrami — hence the unique name! Everyone wanted to know what I was experimenting with this time (they know I always have something up my sleeve, and it’s usually interesting). I told them to hold tight, and they would soon be able to savor it. Of course, meat of any sort may not be eaten together with fish, but somehow this salmon is reminiscent of pastrami. It’s unique, spicy, and really good.
12. Dijon-crusted Salmon by Rivky Kleiman
Here’s a fish that not only looks impressive but is also downright delicious. I know it sounds gourmet (it is), but don’t let that scare you. It’s simple to assemble and a definite crowd pleaser.
13. Crispy Salmon with Ginger Sauce by Michal Frischman
This crispy salmon is a staple in my house, usually served over a big green salad. For those squeamish about keeping the skin on, it’s really the best part. Try it! If it’s not for you, just pour the sauce over the salmon and bake it for 20 minutes on 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius).
14. Mozzarella Stick Salad by Brynie Greisman
I first tasted a version of this salad at my daughter-in-law Shoshi’s home. I go for a very well-seasoned salad that literally dazzles my palate. She graciously shared the recipe, and when she got to the oil, she apologetically said, “You can change it and do it your way.” She knows me already!
I cut down the oil considerably, redid the salad ingredients, and added baked (not fried) mozzarella sticks, à la Shavuos. Feel free to vary the veggies and do it “your way.” You can add cubed Feta cheese too.
The dressing can be made in advance, and there is no need to use a food processor. Altogether a real pleasure to make and savor.
15. Butternut Squash Kale Salad by Chaia Frishman
Come into my home during the winter and you will find butternut squash in many different forms. Muffins, soufflé and soup are foods that make this gourd the star. But nothing seems to be as easy and popular as slicing, seeding and baking a whole squash in the oven. I sometimes get carried away and make portions to feed more than enough. So I have this back-up salad which utilizes the leftovers. Just be sure to bake it in a pareve oven so that you can make the salad with either a meat or dairy meal.
16. Medley of Nuts Salad by Chanie Nayman
I named this salad after the nuts because they’re what makes the salad so amazing. I got this recipe from my friend Simone with these ingredients, but you are free to substitute as you wish. I have a feeling sautéed mushrooms will do very well here. Either way, it’s a huge crowd pleaser!
17. Dairy Cabbage Salad by Brynie Greisman
My daughter Gitel knows I’m always on the lookout for a new salad, so when she made this one, she brought me some to taste. I was hooked! The assortment of ingredients combined with a sweet/tart dressing make this colorful salad very appealing. The toasted sunflower seeds add just the right touch of crunch.
Mains and Sides
18. Spinach Cannelloni by Chanie Nayman
I love spinach and cheese together. They’re a perfect combination. This is a simple recipe that is sure to become a favorite!
19. Kani Wontons by Danielle Renov
20. Goat Cheese-Olive Turnovers by Chayala Grunwald
21. Milchig Noodle Kugel by Brynie Greisman
I first tasted this years ago at my aunt Chashie’s Chanukah party. It has since become a real favorite in my family. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and savory and full of calcium for all those picky eaters who’d never eat these cheeses on their own! What’s more — you can even make it low-fat. You can even sneak in some whole wheat noodles — it’ll be two-toned and “fancy” then!
22. Roasted Vegetable Torte by Rivky Kleiman
I will always remember my close friend’s reaction to this dish: “Wow, I knew this was right up my alley, but to have my picky ‘meat-n-potatoes’ husband lick his plate clean?!” Be prepared for a dish that is both brilliant and delicious.
23. Cheesy Potato Dish by Esther Ottensoser
When discussing ideas for this photo shoot with Mishpacha’s Chanie Nayman, she mentioned that her mother-in-law has a fabulous recipe for a cheesy potato dish — oh my, was she right! Thank you, Mrs. Nayman of Lawrence, New York, for sharing this spectacular dish.
24. Breaded Cauliflower with Srirachanaise Dipping Sauce by Rivky Kleiman
25. Grilled Vegetable Linguine by Rivky Kleiman
26. Basic Quiche by Estee Kafra
Quiche is a great main dish for any milchig party. Here is a basic, really simple recipe that tastes great, no matter what you choose to add. Mix and match the add-ins, and enjoy!
27. Pasta with Spinach and Chunky Tomato Sauce by Brynie Greisman
It does take some time (and a few pots) to put this together, but you’ll be happy you did. This is not your typical pasta dish with lots of cream and shredded cheese. There’s none of either of them here! It’s delicious, filling, and low fat. Go for it!
28. Kani Quiche by Rivky Kleiman
Love kani, no matter how it’s prepared. Here’s a unique and tasty dish that is sure to please your crowd.
Check out the Family Table Dessert Roundup here!
29. Cheese Blintzes With Blueberry Lemon Sauce by Sina Mizrahi
Blintzes are a summer meal your entire family will enjoy: light, yet satisfying. And they come in different flavors and variations — with these six delicious recipes, you will have a great deal of variety for several milchig meals. Begin with the basic blintz recipe.
30. Heavenly Mini Blinnies by Brynie Greisman
These are everything you want in a dessert — and you can’t stop at just one! The first time I tested this recipe, I knew I would be in trouble, so I quickly put a piece of turkey roll in my mouth! They are small, easy to make, freeze well, and taste out of this world. You’ll make them for many occasions, including kiddushim and family parties. Thanks to my cousin Pammy for this awesome recipe. (Original recipe printed in “Babi Braun & Family, Recipes from Home”)