I’m a Vegetarian/Vegan. What Adjustments Can I Make to My Seder Plate?

Answered by
Rabbi Victor S. Appell

The Passover seder plateSeder plateקְעָרָה שֶׁל פֶּסַח A plate that holds ritual foods used throughout the Pesach (Passover) seder. Each item on a seder plate is a symbol of the Exodus story and helps participants at the seder retell the story each year. traditionally features two items that are not vegetarian or vegan. The roasted shank bone represents the sacrifice brought to the Temple in Jerusalem in ancient days. Even though its use is symbolic and it is not eaten, many vegetarians may prefer not to prepare a roasted shank bone or to have one on their seder plate. A common substitution is a roasted beet. The red color of the beet is considered reminiscent of the Passover sacrifice.

Those who are vegan may wish to replace the roasted egg commonly found on the seder plate. In addition to representing new life and the new season, the roasted egg is a reminder of the special festival offering brought to the Temple. Some substitute a decorative wooden egg or an egg-shaped shaker or other object. A small flower can be a reminder of renewal and the spring season.

For more ideas, see "Vegan and Vegetarian Ideas for Your Passover Seder and Beyond."