Pre-Pesach Cleaning Recipes

March 12, 2014
Please note: fresh fruit and vegetables need to be inspected for insect infestation. Please consult our guide


Right after Purim is the time of year when we make those momentous, wake-up-from-the-dead-of-winter, OMG-4-weeks-to-Pesach cleaning decisions. Truthfully, it’s not always about what to clean but rather what to keep and what to throw away. Nowhere is this dilemma more evident than when confronting the kitchen pantry. Save it, sell it or serve it before Seder? Yes, all you pre-Pesach mavens, start your cooking/cleaning engines and pull out the half finished, how did that get back there packages, canisters and boxes of cereal that you know are too good to throw away but are too empty make something out of. 

The following recipes are all super duper easy and can be made with whatever’s in YOUR pantry. As long as what you have is kind of similar, it doesn’t have to be exactly what’s in the ingredients listed below. So make these treats and dishes to enjoy while the rest of your family is cleaning the rest of the house.


Oreo Cookie Candy Balls (dairy)

24 to 36 servings.


  • ½ package (4 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 18 to 20 OREO Cookies, finely crushed (about 3 cups) (or other sandwich cookies)
  • 8 to 10 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
  • Chocolate sprinkles or multi colored sprinkles


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese and cookie crumbs. Mix until well-blended.
  2. Using a melon baller or small ice cream scoop make 24 to 36 balls (just make sure they’re not too big). Place them on a cookie sheet (lined with wax paper) and freeze them for 15 minutes.
  3. Melt the semisweet chips in a bowl in the microwave and then dip the balls in melted chocolate. Place them back on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle a few sprinkles on top.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Modified from

Fig Newton Carrot Cake (dairy or pareve)

10 to 12 servings


  • 1 package (2-layer size) carrot cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup oil
  • 15 Fig Newton’s (or generic fig cookies), chopped (about 1½ cups)
  • ½ cup coconut
  • 1 cups powdered sugar
  • 1½ Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • Zest of 1 orange


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch pan.
  2. In a bowl, combine the cake mix, water, and eggs. Mix to combine then add the chopped cookies and coconut.
  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake 25 to 28 minutes until golden brown on top. Cool on a rack.
  5. To frost, combine the powdered sugar, zest and orange juice. Drizzle the frosting over the cake.

Cereal Energy Bar (pareve or dairy)

24 bars


  • 4 cups Cheerios or Rice Chex or Cinnamon Life Cereal (or a mixture)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • ½ cup chopped dates (optional)
  • ⅓ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Grease a 9×13-inch pan. In large bowl combine the cereal, cranberries or cherries, pecans and sunflower seeds.
  2. In a saucepan combine the corn syrup, brown sugar and peanut butter. Bring to a boil, stir constantly for 1 minute then remove from the heat. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
  3. Pour the hot mixture over cereal mixture and mix to combine.
  4. Let cool slightly then press the cereal fruit mixture (with your hands) into the greased pan.
  5. Cool for 30 to 45 minute then cut into 24 pieces.

My files source unknown

Breakfast Cereal Cookies (pareve or dairy)

Yields 12 to 16 cookies, depending on size


  • 1¼cups sugar
  • ½ cup butter or margarine, softened
  • ½ cup chunky peanut butter
  • ¼ cup water or milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 cup oatmeal (NOT instant)
  • 1 cup raisins (I like golden)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 cups cinnamon cereal (ie Cinnamon Toast Crunch)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter, peanut butter, water, vanilla and egg. Mix to combine. Add the oatmeal, flour, raisins, salt, baking soda and cereal. Mix to combine.
  3. Using a ½ cup measuring cup, scoop the mixture onto a cookie sheet with parchment paper on it. Only place 6 cookies on each cookie sheet.
  4. On an ungreased large cookie sheet, drop dough by rounded 1/3 or ½ cupfuls 4 inches apart. Flatten the dough slightly.
  5. Bake immediately for a crispy cookie or let the mixture sit in the fridge ½ hour and the cereal will soften and the cookies will be softer. Do not over bake.  Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Let stand 5 minutes before removing from cookie sheet.

My file source unknown

Mashed Potato Pancakes (dairy)

8 to 10 servings


  • 2 to 3 cups mashed potatoes
  • ½ cup chopped spinach (frozen, defrosted or leftovers)
  • 3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • Salt and fresh pepper
  • 2 to 4 Tablespoons butter or olive oil for frying


  1. In a bowl combine all the ingredient except the bread crumbs and butter/oil. Mix to combine. You can add an egg if you’d like.
  2. Form the mixture into 2 to 3 inch round balls then roll them in the bread crumbs. Press the balls down slightly to flatten.
  3. Heat the oil or butter in a skillet and fry until golden on one side. Flip and cook until golden on the other, 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Modified from

Spaghetti Casserole (dairy)

8 servings


  • 1 (16 oz.) package spaghetti, cooked al dente and rinsed
  • 3 to 4 cups prepared spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup small curd cottage cheese
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • ½ cup sliced black olives
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 (12 oz.) package shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
  2. In a bowl combine the noodles with the spaghetti sauce, chopped pepper and olives and set aside.
  3. In a bowl, combine the cottage cheese and sour cream.
  4. Spread half the spaghetti mixture on the bottom of the pan. Spread the cottage cheese mixture on top of the noodles then spread the remaining noodles on top of the cottage cheese mixture. Sprinkle the top with the Parmesan.
  5. Bake 30 to 40 minutes until bubbly.

Modified from

© Eileen Goltz leftovers 14a

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.