What can’t you eat on Passover?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question: “what can’t you eat on Passover?” and other related queries.

What can’t you eat on Passover? 

Generally, foods that are made from fermented grains should not be consumed on Passover. Also, five grains should be completely avoided on Passover. These grains are wheat, barley, oats, rye, and spelt. 

All foods like pasta, bread, tortilla, oatmeals, and many others that are made from or contain any of the previously stated grains should be completely avoided especially when fermented. Beans, corn, lentils and peanuts, and oils that derive from those products are avoided. 

Alcoholic beverages such as beer and whiskey should be avoided on Passover because they contain fermented grains such as rye and barley. However, if products are certified to be consumed on Passover, you will be fine to consume them. 

Not only grains but some types of meat should be avoided such as pork meat and seafood including lobster, crab, shrimp, sturgeon, and swordfish. Also, when you want to consume meat like lamb or beef on Passover, avoid mixing them with dairy products such as cheese or butter.

Moreover, restrictions depend on which group you are included in because there are two Jewish groups, the Sephardi and the Ashkenazi. Generally, both groups the Sephardi and Ashkenazi restrict the consumption of chametz on Passover.

Ashkenazi prohibit the consumption of chametz as well as kitniyot which include rice, soy, millet, corn, and many products that derive from these foods such as tofu, soy oil, corn oil, and many others. Sephardic people can consume kitniyot without restrictions. 

What is chametz?

Chametz is grains like wheat, oats, rye, barley, and spelt. Thes grains can be fermented and leavened within 18 minutes when they are in contact with water or moisture. When mixing the flour with water, the fermentation will take only 18 minutes to produce a piece of leavened bread.

Also, products made from sourdough or bread containing yeast are prohibited on Passover. There is a type of bread that is consumed on Passover that is called matzah. This type of bread is baked before getting the fermentation process which means within 18 minutes of preparation. 

What is the Passover?

Passover is a Jewish holiday. This holiday is celebrated for seven days in Israel and for eight days in the diaspora which means in countries where Jews live outside Israel. During this holiday many foods are allowed to be consumed and others are not. 

However, during this holiday a type of bread called matzo is consumed because it is unleavened bread which means that it is not fermented. After all, fermented products or those containing yeast are completely prohibited. 

The reason behind not consuming leavened and fermented bread is related to when Jews got their freedom or escaped from Egypt or Egyptian slavery. So, during that period, Jews did not have the time to leave their bread to be fermented before escaping to the deserts. 

That’s why chametz or products containing grains such as wheat, oats, barley, rye, and spelt are completely avoided because when they are in contact with water for eighteen minutes the fermentation process will start. For example, breadcrumbs, regular bread, and pasta are prohibited. 

The Passover starts on the evening of the fifteen of Nisan or in March or April. Generally, it is a spring festival. So, to be celebrated they wait for the barley to become ripe. If the barley is unripe this indicates that the spring has not arrived yet. The Passover is a seven days holiday.

What can I eat on Passover?

There is a wide variety of foods that can be consumed on Passover. First, matzo is the bread that replaces the regular bread that contains yeast during the seven or eight days holiday and it is encouraged to be consumed to its symbolic and historical meaning. 

So, any bread that is not fermented or does not contain yeast can be consumed on Passover including matzo farfel and matzo cake meal. Other than bread, all types of fruits and vegetables that are not included in the kitniyot list can be consumed.

Regarding proteins and meat, chicken, turkey, goose, and fish can be consumed on Passover but they need to be kosher in order to be consumed. This means that the meat should be sold as kosher or bought from a special butchery. Also, eggs can be consumed during the holiday.

For nuts, all nut and nut butter can be acceptable as long as they are not made from those that are prohibited such as peanuts and sesame seeds. Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt can be consumed if no corn syrup is added to them.

Also, meat should not be mixed with dairy products while cooking. For prepacked products, any food that is labeled as kosher or safe for Passover can be acceptable for consumption. So, look for the product label and read it carefully before buying it.


In this brief guide, we discussed the following question: “what can’t you eat on Passover?” and other related queries.



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