Can you eat pasta during passover?

In this article, I will answer the question: “Can you eat pasta during passover?” and I will provide information about the food that you should eat during passover.

Can you eat pasta during passover?

No, you can’t eat pasta during passover.

The Jewish kosher food laws are much more difficult to follow during Passover. As a result, during Passover, all leavened breads and bread products are forbidden. Certain grain-based foods (called “chametz”), such as breads, pasta, pastries, breadcrumbs, crackers, and other leavened products, are prohibited.

What is passover?

One of the most important Jewish festivals is Passover (or Pesach in Hebrew). It commemorates the story of Exodus. During Passover, Jews recall how Moses led their predecessors out of Egypt, freeing them from slavery. A multitude of rites are observed throughout Passover. Each ceremony represents a distinct aspect of the tale.

 The story of Passover is the story of the Exodus from Egypt, when God hears the cries of the enslaved Israelites and delivers them from bondage. God sends Moses as God’s representative to both the Israelites and to their tormentor, Pharaoh. After a considerable struggle, including the ten plagues, the Israelites leave Egypt at God’s command.  On the night that they leave, they must follow God’s instructions for a final meal in Egypt. Then they run, pursued by Pharaoh and his army, and are delivered from danger when God makes one last great miracle and parts the sea before them, then closes it over Pharoah and the Egyptian armies. At last, they are free (1).

The Passover is a spring holiday that begins on the 15th of Nisan, the Jewish calendar’s first month. Depending on where you live, the festivities span seven or eight days. In 2022, Passover will begin on April 15th.

How is Passover celebrated?

Jews hold a special service called a Seder (Order) on the evening before Passover begins. This occurs at home over a meal with family and friends.

The story of Exodus is recited throughout the meal from a book called the Haggadah (Narration). Everyone participates in the reading of the Haggadah. Some of the passages are read in Hebrew, while others are read in English.

At the Seder, everyone has a cushion to lean on. This serves as a reminder that they are no longer enslaved people.  Seder means “Order” because the evening follows a particular order (1).

Why is it forbidden to eat pasta during Passover?

The kosher (kashrus) dietary laws determine which foods are “fit or proper” for consumption by Jewish consumers who observe these laws. The laws are Biblical in origin, coming mainly from the original five books of the Holy Scriptures, the Torah, which has remained unchanged. Additionally, for the week of Passover (in late March or April) there are restrictions on “chametz,” or “chometz” the prohibited grains (wheat, rye, oats, barley, and spelt) in other than unleavened form (2).

It is forbidden to consume leavened food products (such as bread, pasta, etc.) throughout the duration of the vacation. The reason for this is that according to Jewish history, the Jews did not have enough time to wait for bread to rise in their rush to escape Egypt. Instead, they ate matzah, which is a type of unleavened bread. 

Exodus 12:14 specifies this dietary requirement: “You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwelling places you shall eat unleavened bread.”

During the Seder, an afikoman which is a piece that is broken off from matzah, is set aside to be eaten at the end of the meal. It is generally hidden so that the children present can find it.

Cleaning every area of the house and eliminating all leavened products, known as “chametz”, is an important part of many Jews’ Passover preparations. “Biur chametz” (burning chametz) is a Jewish tradition that certain Jews follow. Others keep all of the chametz in a separate area of the house where it won’t be seen and then sell it symbolically. Jews who observe the kosher laws cannot feed their domestic animals pet chometz on Passover , their pet food can contain kitnyos (products derived from corn, rice, legumes, mustard seed, buckwheat, and some other plants) only (2).

Many Jews have specific Passover recipes that are only served at the event once a year. 

What kind of foods are eaten during Passover?

Passover foods are very distinctive. In addition to the standard kosher restrictions, there are additional guidelines for making Passover meals.

Here’s everything you need to know about the food that should be eaten during Passover and its significance:

  1. Matzah:

As the Passover tale goes, the Jews didn’t have much time to prepare food for the long trek ahead of them.

They had no choice but to leave their houses with unleavened bread since the bread they were cooking had not had enough time to rise.

Plain matzah is made of flour and water, while other matzah varieties may include components like egg, milk, and fruit extracts. Special care is taken to assure that matzo does not have any time or opportunity to “rise.” In some cases, this literally means that products are made in cycles of less than 18 min. This is likely to be the case for handmade schmura matzo. In continuous large scale operations, the equipment is constantly vibrating so that there is no opportunity for the dough to rise. Anything made in less than 18 min has not fermented and has, therefore, not violated the prohibitions of Passover (2).

Three pieces of matzah are stacked on top of each other and covered with a napkin during the Seder feast. These three pieces of matzah represent three categories of Jews: Kohanim (priests), Levites (members of the Levi Hebrew tribe), and Israelites.

The matzah in the middle of the pile has been broken, and half of it has been hidden for an evening activity.

  1. Maror:

Maror, which is a bitter plant, particularly in the form of the root vegetable horseradish, appears on the Seder plate.

This item reflects the bitterness of the Jewish people’s lives in Egypt, where they were enslaved and forced to work for years.

“And they embittered their lives with hard labour, with mortar and with bricks and with all manner of labour in the field; any labour that they made them do was with hard labour.”, says a verse in the Torah.

Due to its bitter aftertaste, Romaine lettuce is widely used as maror.

  1. Charoset:

Charoset is a pasty concoction made from fruits and nuts that represents the mortar used by Jewish slaves in ancient Egypt for their arduous labor.

It is traditional to have a “Hillel sandwich” at the Seder dinner, which is made by layering charoset and maror between two pieces of matzah.

The ritual of eating charoset, which isn’t mentioned in the Torah, dates back to the ancient Romans, according to historians.

  1. Shank bone :

The shank bone (Z’roa in Hebrew) on the Seder plate is normally from a lamb, but other animals’ bones, such as chicken, are also used.

Shank bone represents the lamb that would be sacrificed as a Passover offering at the Holy Temple in ancient Jerusalem by the Jewish people.

The shank bone is no longer consumed as part of the celebration dinner. Instead, it serves as a visual reminder of the crucial events leading up to the Exodus.

  1. Beitzah:

The egg (beitzah in Hebrew), like the z’roa, represents a festive sacrifice once offered at the Holy Temple. The egg is also a global symbol of spring, new beginnings, and rebirth, all of which are themes that appear in the Exodus story.

The egg is not eaten during the ritual phase of the Seder, but many households serve chopped, hard boiled eggs with salt water as an appetizer before the main dish. This first dish serves as a reminder to those who consume it that, even as they start on new adventures, they must remember the difficulties that brought them to this point. Only eggs from Kosher fowl may be eaten (3).

  1. Karpas:

Parsley (Karpas in Hebrew), or any green vegetable (celery), appears on the Seder plate to symbolise optimism and renewal, in contrast to the bitter herbs.

This is particularly meaningful in the Passover story, because after years of enslavement, the Jewish people were allowed to look forward to a new life in the “promised land.”

It is traditional to consume parsley after dipping it in salt water, as a symbol of Jewish slaves’ tears.

  1. Wine:

Each adult diner drinks four cups of wine during a Seder, symbolizing the Israelites’ deliverance from Egyptian enslavement. A fifth cup is set aside for the prophet Elijah in the hopes that he will come to the celebration; it is left unconsumed, symbolizing future salvation.

In addition, these foods are permitted: Fresh fruits and vegetables (except peas and beans, but string beans are permitted). Fruits and those vegetables normally permitted for Passover use are permitted in their frozen state if they are not pre-cooked or processed. The following foods are permitted if they are in unopened packages or containers: natural coffee, sugar, tea, salt, pepper. If the food is certified for Passover use by Rabbinical Authority, these are permitted: Matzot, matzah flour, Passover noodles, candies, cakes, beverages, canned and processed foods, milk, butter, jams, cheese, jellies, relishes, dried fruits, salad oils, vegetable gelatin and shortenings, vinegar, wines and liquors. Labels and tags marked “Kosher L’Pesach” are of no value unless they bear rabbinical signature (3).

Other FAQs about Pasta that you may be interested in.

Can you get salmonella from pasta?

Can you get food poisoning from fresh pasta?

Can you eat 4 day old pasta?


In this essay, I answered the question: “Can you eat pasta during passover?” and explained why pasta is not allowed during this celebration. On the other hand, I provided you with a detailed description of the Passover meals, as well as historical and religious context.

If you require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.


  1. Adar, R. R. Passover. The Jewish Holidays. 
  2. Regenstein, Joe M., Muhammad M. Chaudry, and Carrie E. Regenstein. The kosher and halal food laws. Comprehen rev food sci food safe, 2003, 2, 111-127.
  3. ]Dresner, Samuel H., and Seymour Siegel. The Jewish dietary laws. U’d Syn Conservative Judaism, 1982.