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Traditional Shavuot Meal Ideas

It’s time to feast, feast for weeks! For those who need a reminder, we celebrate Shavuot to commemorate the giving of the Torah to the Israelites on Mt. Sinai, as well as the harvest season. One of the best ways we know how to celebrate is through food. It is customary to eat dairy foods in particular for Shavuot to show restraint as the Israelites showed restraint when they received the Torah and followed God’s commandment to eat only kosher foods. Shavuot is also linked to the Exodus from Egypt into the Promised Land, “a country flowing with milk and honey.”

If you are in search of a new dairy recipe or perhaps a more traditional one to celebrate this holiday with your family, the chefs at JCHC have hand picked a few of their favorite Shavuot recipes for you to choose from!

Shavuot Recipe #1: Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes. Not only is this recipe delicious, it’s also quick to make – no more than 10 minutes! See below for a list of ingredients you’ll need.


  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Baby arugula
  • Goat cheese
  • Basil (finely chopped)
  • Honey
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil


First, cut your heirloom tomatoes into slices, about a quarter in. thick, and arrange them on each of your guest’s plates. Next, take a handful of baby arugula for each plate and place on top of the tomatoes. Our favorite part, the creamy goat cheese, crumble a generous amount on top of each handful of arugula. Now, for the homemade dressing: whisk together the finely chopped basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey and pour over top of each salad to your liking.

Shavuot Recipe #2: Vegetarian French Onion Soup. We love a good comfort meal here at JCHC, and we feel this vegetarian french onion soup is the perfect comfort food to bring the family together for Shavuot. Quick disclaimer, this recipe will take more time to make, but it’s well worth it.


  • Sweet onions (4)
  • Mushroom broth (6 cups)
  • Swiss cheese (As much as your heart desires)
  • Vegan worcestershire sauce
  • French baguette
  • Dry white wine (? cup)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Flour
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Sugar


Grab a large pot for soup and heat your olive oil. Once heated, add sliced sweet onions and salt and cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes. Next, add a teaspoon of sugar and continue cooking for another 30 minutes and stir frequently. Add flour, mix it well with the onions and cook for another 5 minutes. Then, add your mushroom broth, dry white wine, worcestershire sauce and pepper and let simmer for 20 minutes. While the soup is cooking, shred your swiss cheese and set aside in the fridge until it’s ready to be added. Pre slice your French baguette into rounds and toast until they’re nice and crunchy. After the soup simmers, preheat your oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place 4-6 oven proof bowls on the baking sheet and pour soup into each bowl. Add about 3 tbsp of shredded cheese to each bowl (or more, we don’t judge) and mix well. Next, add 1 or 2 slices of baguette to each bowl and then cover with more cheese before placing in the oven for 10 minutes.

Shavuot Recipe #3: Traditional Israeli Cheesecake. Shavuot isn’t complete without a traditional dairy dessert like a creamy cheesecake that features gevina levana, a soft Israeli white cheese. We like ours with a drizzle of honey on top.

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon dry instant decaf coffee
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 1/3 cups Israeli white cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 375 and spray a 9 x 13-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Next, combine butter, egg yolks, coffee, sugar, and flour in a bowl and mix with your hands until the mixture is crumbly. Press the mixture into the bottom of the cake pan to form the crust. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, white Israeli cheese, sugar, vanilla sugar, and flour. Once combined, pour over the crust to form your cheesecake. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese no longer “wiggles.” Once cooked, remove cake from the oven and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Drizzle with honey and serve.

Sharing Traditional Meals at Lester Senior Living in NJ

Come celebrate Shavuot with mom and dad at our lively campus in Whippany. Our beloved chefs at Lester look forward to serving traditional and new recipes to commemorate this holiday with residents and their families. If your loved one is craving something new, speak up! Our chefs are always open to new recipe suggestions that also accommodate the dietary restrictions or kosher needs of our senior living residents. Whether it’s a simple heirloom tomato salad or a warm french onion soup that needs a little extra time in the kitchen, there’s nothing they love more than serving the residents in assisted living and independent living.

For more information about our food and dining options for seniors in Whippany NJ, please come visit us for lunch or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org