A vegan seder plate for Passover, including an alternative vegetarian shankbone
Photo by Laura Gottlieb

How to Create a Vegan Seder Plate

Two small substitutions are all that is required to turn the traditional seder plate vegan.

Passover is a holiday replete with dietary restrictions, so it’s understandable that some might be reluctant to add to the already long list of prohibited foods on the holiday. But if you’re vegan, making the centerpiece of the Passover seder table free of all animal products might be among the easier steps to take on the holiday.

Four of the six traditional items on the seder plate are already vegan — haroset, maror, karpas and hazeret. That leaves just two — zeroah (the shankbone) and beitzah (egg) — that need replacing.

There is precedent for substituting two vegetables for the egg and shankbone in the Talmud, which records that Rav Huna would use beets and rice for the two cooked items on the seder plate.

While beets pose no issue, for Ashnenazi Jews who observe the traditional prohibition on kitniyot, rice isn’t allowed on Passover. Some have suggested using an avocado pit as an alternative. Or one could use an orange, a contemporary tradition some have adopted as a feminist gesture.

Need more ideas? Check out this guide to vegetarian Passover foods.

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