Small Batch Charoses

What is charoses? It’s part of the Passover celebration and is meant to represent the mortar that the Israelites used to build Pharoah’s cities when we were slaves in Egypt. My grandma used to make enormous batches of it, but being unable to eat 5 or 6 apples worth of food, this is a small batch charoses recipe.

If you are not familiar with charoses, the Ashkenazi (Eastern European) version is a mixture of nuts, apples, wine, and sugar.  The Sephardim (Jews from Spain and the Middle East) make it with dates and oranges. Think of it as sort of a chunky applesauce with nuts and wine.

Charoses is traditionally eaten each year as part of the Seder (the Passover service) with matzo. It’s also good as a snack on more matzo during the week.

It’s both vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Charoses is traditionally made with red wine, but if you don’t want wine, you could substitute grape juice instead. I’m sure my grandma used something like Manischewitz concord grape wine or malaga (both heavy and super-sweet). However, I find both undrinkable, so I used old vine zinfandel instead.

More Passover Recipes

homemade small batch matzoHomemade Small Batch Matzo

Eat your charoses with a small batch of homemade matzo. Unlike the stuff from the store, this has actual flavor!


small batch matzo ball soup

Small Batch Matzo Ball Soup

Once you’ve made your matzo, it’s time for the soup. This is rich, flavorful, and really the centerpiece of the Passover meal as far as I’m concerned. And your house will smell wonderful while it’s cooking.

stovetop coq au vin

Stovetop Coq au Vin Chicken with Red Wine Sauce

An easy version of a French classic. This is much less effort than the usual, but still special/fancy enough for a special occasion. Use potato starch instead of flour to make in Passover-friendly. If you don’t want to mix meat and dairy, use oil instead of butter.

crispy garlic basil potato bitesCrispy Garlic Basil Potato Bites

Tiny bits of potato kicked up with garlic and basil. Crispy outside and tender inside.  Almost like fries (but a lot less messy).


Cinnamon Sugar Brandy Bananascinnamon sugar bananas

Finish off with these easy-to-make bananas, sprinkled with cinnamon. They take only a few minutes to make and the brandy is OK for Passover.