This Passover Charoset Recipe is a classic recipe that we enjoy every single year. It’s sweet and fragrant, and I get compliments on it every time I make it. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
Passover is not just a celebration of the Jews release from Egyptian slavery; rather, it’s the birthday of the Jewish people. It’s the celebration of the Jews receiving the Torah directly from G-d and it’s the celebration of the birth of a people, a nation.
During Passover, we serve many symbolic foods to recognize where we came from as to never forget our history.
Most people are familiar with the symbolic food of matzo, which is an unleavened cracker typically made from wheat. I can’t eat regular matzo anymore, but I’m able to purchase gluten-free matzo or make my gluten-free oat matzo so I can still enjoy the mitzvah of taking matzah along with my family.
Related Reading: How to Make Your Own Gluten-Free Matzah with Oat Flour
One of my favorite symbolic foods to eat, however, is charoset. It is a sweet concoction of apples, wine, walnuts, and cinnamon.
Charoset is symbolic of the mortar the Jewish people used to build bricks as slaves in Egypt. The shredded apples look like straw and the walnuts look like mud. This is the food that reminds us we were once slaves in the land of Egypt.
Blended together, the dish doesn’t look very appetizing… but once you bite into it, you’ll taste the sweet apples and wine and forget all about how bad it looks.
How to Make Charoset
To make this charoset recipe, you’ll need a good food processor like this beautiful one by Cuisinart. Shredding apples individually will be such a chore, so invest in a food processor to do it right and with ease.
(Alternatively, you could use a grater, especially if you’re only making a small amount of charoset.)
You’ll first want to peel, core and shred all the apples before processing them. This is what the apples look like when shredded in the food processor.
Then you’ll want to process the walnuts in the food processor until they are finely chopped. Do not overprocess or you’ll have walnut butter!
Then you’ll want to combine the shredded apples and crushed walnuts, along with some cinnamon and Kosher for Passover red wine or grape juice. Mix it all together, adding more wine and cinnamon to taste.
The apples will soak up the wine, so if it tastes dry, add more wine. You will want to fudge with the recipe to make it taste to your liking.
The best part is that charoset is naturally gluten free. Unlike matzo ball soup, gefilte fish, and matzah farfel, which are other foods eaten on Passover that contain gluten, charoset does not.
Gluten-free Jews everywhere can eat charoset with confidence, along with a square of gluten-free oat matzo, which I also make by hand so I can complete the mitzvah of the matzo.
Be sure to double the recipe if you’re cooking for a crowd, making it for both sedars, or just want to have leftovers to nosh on all week long. Charoset makes the perfect snack during Passover week.
A Few Notes
Here are a few notes to make your Passover Charoset work well.
Apple Type: I use and prefer Red Delicious apples because they are sweet and make a wonderful texture for charoset. I also like Fuji and Honeycrisp. Look for a sweet apple vs. tart apple. You could experiment with different apples to find one you like. Try it with Red Delicious, Fuji or Honeycrisp and notice the exceptional texture and taste.
Make Sure Wine is Kosher for Passover: Always use Kosher for Passover red wine (labeled with a circle P) when making charoset for Passover.
Make Ahead: This recipe can be made 1-2 days prior to Passover. Store it in the fridge in a sealed container. It will taste great for 4-5 days after making it.
Like a Different Texture? I like the straw-like apple shreds, but you could take about 1/3 of the apple shreds and process them in your food processor with the chopping blade (the same blade used to chop the walnuts). This will make the apples a bit more mushy in texture. Then mix the chopped apple shreds with the straw-like shredded apples to get a wonderful texture.
More Passover Recipes
Be sure to view some of my other Passover recipes too:
- Gluten-Free Chocolate Quinoa Cake (pictured)
- Almond Flour Lemon Crinkle Cookies (pictured)
- Flourless Chocolate Torte (pictured)
- Chocolate Matzah Cake (pictured)
- Homemade Gluten-Free Oat Matzah
- Easy Beef Brisket
- Sweet BBQ Cola Chicken
- No-Bake Gluten-Free Chocolate Matzah Cake
- Overnight Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies
- 5 lbs Red Delicious, Fuji or Honeycrisp apples or apples of choice (see notes)
- 3 cups walnuts shelled, about 12 ounces
- 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon more to taste
- 1 1/2 cups Kosher for Passover red wine or grape juice, more to taste
- Peel and core all apples and cut them into large chunks. Then, working in batches, run each apple chunk through your food processor using the shredding disk. Set aside in a large bowl.
- Optional: If you like your apples more chopped, change to the stainless steel blade and then pulse about 1/3 of the shredded apples mixture 3-5 times in your food processor, working in batches. Combine with the shredded apples.
- Add walnuts to food processor (using the stainless steel blade) and pulse 4-6 times to finely chop the walnuts into small pieces. Do not overmix, otherwise you'll have walnut paste. Add chopped walnuts to apple mixture.
- Add cinnamon and wine to the apple mixture and mix well by hand. Add more cinnamon and wine to taste. The apples will soak up the wine and taste amazing!