Vegan Moussaka (Gluten-Free)

My dinner table is always full for Jewish holidays. Friends, family, visitors from afar, and strays and strangers from many backgrounds all cram into the dining room for Rosh Hashanah, Passover or other Jewish celebratory meals.

I like the food I serve to be diverse so all feel welcome no matter what food restrictions or preferences they may have so this Vegan Moussaka is also gluten free (see notes on how to adapt to make it nut free as well).

The Vegan Moussaka plays on flavors reminiscent to Jews in Turkey and Greece and features a white sauce made from almond milk. This recipe has four components, and all but making the white sauce can be done in advance. I recommend assembling and baking the moussaka the day before serving and reheating. To add oomph, I baked mine in a large, round springform pan. I’ve given alternative directions for an equally tasty if less dramatic version baked in a traditional pan.

Garlic sauce (see recipe) and pomegranate molasses are versatile kitchen staples with Middle Eastern backgrounds. Purchase pomegranate molasses (which is not true molasses, it is pomegranate juice simmered with lemon juice and sugar until thick and syrupy) online or in some grocery, specialty, kosher and Middle Eastern stores.


This newly created recipe was a hit with all the guests we hosted this weekend. Everyone asked for a second, third, and fourth piece. I was really pleased!

This divine baklava recipe features layers upon layers of crispy, golden-brown phyllo pastry that is generously stuffed with a delicious pistachio filling, scented with aromatic cardamom. After baking, this exquisite treat is then soaked in a sweet syrup flavored with rosewater that perfectly balances out the nuttiness of the pistachios. Sprinkled with dried rose petals and bright green ground pistachios, the end result is a mouthwatering and visually stunning dessert that is sure to be a hit with vegans and non-vegans alike. Check out the complete step-by-step guide to making this Vegan Baklava with Rosewater Syrup and Pistachios, along with information about modifying it to suit different dietary needs. This recipe was contributed by Chef Adam Sobel from The Cinnamon Snail, a vegan and kosher caterer located in New Jersey.

This super easy plate of Apple Nachos is perfect for Tu BiShvat! You can add many of The Seven Sacred Foods (Shivat HaMinim) mentioned in Deuteronomy / Devarim chapter 8 in the Torah. It also makes a great snack any other time of year.

Thanks to the magic of nature’s candy, there’s plenty of rich, sweet flavor in the filling to make up for any of matzah’s shortcomings. Bolstered by the warmth of ground cinnamon and dark brown sugar, it turns into a crisp, downright buttery streusel to cap off the tender berry jumble. Served warm with perhaps a scoop of ice cream melting luxuriously into all the cevasses, or a soft dollop of whipped coconut cream melding into each layer, there are few desserts more comforting.

Walnuts and mushrooms are used to get that nice meaty taste in these delicious, Passover-friendly “meatballs.”

What am I, chopped liver? Fortunately, no. Made of onions, mushrooms, and cashews, vegan mock chopped liver has replaced the classic Jewish pâté as a contemporary appetizer for special occasions.

This plant-based look-alike (though not taste-alike) is often served as a Passover appetizer with matzo or matzo crackers. You can serve it with raw vegetables, too.

A sister recipe: A similar, now-classic recipe is made with green beans or peas. In the Ashkenazi tradition, green beans and peas aren’t allowed foods during the Passover week. But if it’s not Passover, or you don’t strictly adhere to the chametz rules, feel free to replace the mushrooms with an equivalent amount of steamed fresh or frozen green beans.

Of course, you need not wait for a holiday, or to be Jewish, to make this delicious spread. It’s welcome all year round. This recipe makes about 2 cups.

Buttery golden-brown toffee shatters on top of crisp matzah boards, smothered with a soft layer of dark chocolate. It’s an essential staple for Passover, but so addictive that you’ll want to make it all year long.

Bourekas are a kind of baked pastry that’s popular in Sephardic Jewish cuisine. They are made in a wide variety of shapes, with a vast selection of fillings inside the flaky puff pastry. One bite of this spinach and almond cheese-filled version fresh from the oven and you’ll surely be a fan.

This simple, tasty, creamy dip is perfect as an easy side or as a schmear on your Yom Kippur break-fast bagel. It’s healthy, easy, and delicious!