This easy charoset recipe is a staple for any Passover meal – no seder plate is complete without it. It’s a sweet blend of fruits, nuts, and cinnamon enjoyed on its own or as a condiment with some matzo. It’s so simple and comes together quickly. This haroset recipe is naturally gluten-free and is wonderful.
Charoset Recipe for Passover
Passover is one of the biggest Jewish holidays and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone’s seder plate without charoset, being a staple for the Passover holiday. Growing up, we would all covet the little bowl of cinnamon laced fruit and nuts and either shovel it into our mouths with a spoon or pile it onto pieces of matzo.
Traditional charoset is simply made of apples, walnuts, red wine, and cinnamon. I always add in raisins, honey, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. It’s an essential part of this Jewish holiday, but I often times will make it throughout the year because it’s so simple and completely delicious!
Symbolism and Meaning of Charoset
Charoset is a spread (or paste) made up of blended dried fruit and nuts, which is a staple on the seder plate during the Jewish Passover holiday. It represents the mortar used by the Israelites to make bricks when they were enslaved in Egypt. The sweetness of charoset offsets the bitterness of the horseradish (maror) on the seder plate. It is said that the balance of sweet and bitter signifies the optimism of the seder.
The meaning of charoset, also known as Haroset or Haroseth, is derived from the Hebrew word “cheres”, which means “clay”.
This charoset recipe is a delicious mixture of apples, walnuts, and raisins, along with a few other ingredients to bring it together as a sweet spread. It’s a staple at any Passover meal. Charoset is quick and easy to make, and is always a big hit with family and friends.
Traditional charoset is made of apples, walnuts, red wine, and cinnamon. I always add in raisins, honey, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.
(Scroll to the bottom for our easy printable recipe with the complete directions.)
We love this dish as is, but you can easily change up the flavors to suit your taste.
- Shred the apples. I always dice my apples, but my mom shreds hers for a smoother texture. After shredding, chop with knife until desired texture is reached.
- Replace the dried fruit. If you don’t like raisins, chopped up dates or apricots are also delicious.
- Try a different nut. We love walnuts in this recipe, but pecans or almonds are great also.
- Change the sweetener. Swap out the honey for maple syrup, if preferred.
- Add ins. Add in a bit of apricot jam, orange zest, and a pinch of nutmeg.
- Charoset without wine. If you don’t want to use wine, grape juice is a good substitute.
How to Make Charoset
Start by peeling and dicing the apples into very small pieces (about the size of the raisins.) Then transfer to a bowl with all the other ingredients and mix to combine. Let it stand for about 30 minutes so the flavors can come together. That’s it! Serve as is or with some matzo. (To make this recipe, scroll to the bottom for our easy printable recipe with the complete directions.)
Tips for the Best Charoset
- Use sweet, firm apples. Our favorite apples for this recipe are Pink Lady, Fuji, or Honeycrisp, which all have the best flavor and perfect texture for this dish. Choose one, or combine them. Peeling or not, as well as shredding verses dicing, is a matter of preference. I like my apples peeled and diced, but my mom always shreds them.
- Toast the walnuts. For the best flavor, I highly recommend toasting the walnuts first and then chopping them. It only takes a few minutes and the pay off in taste is so worth it. Toast them in the oven or dry pan on the stovetop just until golden and fragrant – keep an eye on them because they can turn golden to burnt in an instant!
Serving and Proper Storage
This recipe has the best flavor when made at least 30 minutes prior to serving so all the flavors can meld. However, I recommend serving it within 8 hours of putting it together. I prefer making it ahead of time so the flavor can not only meld, but it also cuts the strong wine flavor that is pretty noticeable when eaten right away.
Any leftovers should be stored, covered, in the refrigerator. It will keep up to 3 days. Charoset is not freezer friendly, as the apples develop an unpleasant texture once thawed.
More Passover Recipes:
- 2 medium apples , peeled, very finely chopped (Fuji or Honeycrisp are preferred)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped lightly toasted walnuts
- 1/4 cup raisins (I like a mixture of regular and golden)
- 1 tablespoon sweet red wine , such as Manischewitz
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of kosher salt
- Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl, then stir until thoroughly combined. Taste and add more cinnamon or honey, if desired.
- Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving (or up to 8 hours, covered, in the fridge.)
- Enjoy on its own or with matzo.