Say cheese: 3 dairy recipes to try for Shavuot

    After surviving the grain-free holiday of Passover it’s time to celebrate no restrictions and mostly dairy food AKA Shavuot. As every Jewish holiday consists of lots of food, Shavuot is no different. This holiday theme is Dairy, and we are up for the task.

    Here are some of the best Shavuot recipes you can make:

    1. Blintz

    By Claudia Roden (From The Book of Jewish Food)


    Outside Pancake:

    1 cup flour

    1 1/4 cups milk

    2/3 cup water

    1/2 Tablespoon oil plus more for greasing the pan

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1 egg


    1/2 lb cream cheese

    1 lb cheese curd

    3 egg yolks

    zest of 1 and 1/2 lemons

    1/2 cup or more sugar, to taste

    2-3 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter

    A few drops of vanilla extract (optional)

    3/4 cup currants or raisins soaked in a little rum for 1/2 hour (optional)


    Confectioners’ sugar to sprinkle on top (optional)

    2 teaspoons cinnamon to sprinkle on top (optional)

    Sour cream to pass around (optional)


    Add the milk and water to the flour gradually, beating vigorously. Add the egg, salt, and oil and beat the batter until smooth. Leave to rest for 1-2 hours.

    Heat a preferably nonstick frying pan–with a bottom not wider than 8 inches (20 cm)–and grease very slightly with oil. Pour about half a ladleful of batter into the frying pan and move the pan around so the entire surface is covered with batter. The batter and the resulting pancake should be thin. As soon as the pancake is slightly browned and detached, turn it over with a spatula and cook a moment only on the other side. Continue until all the batter is used and put the pancakes in a pile.

    For the filling, blend the curd and cream cheese with the sugar, lemon zest, egg yolks, and vanilla, if you like, in a food processor. Then stir in the raisins, if using.

    Take each pancake, 1 at a time, put 2 heaping tablespoons of filling on the bottom half, fold the edge of the pancake over the filling, tuck in the sides so that it is trapped, and roll up into a slim roll. Place the rolls side by side in a greased oven dish. Sprinkle with butter and bake in a preheated 375 F (190 C) oven for 20 minutes.

    Serve hot, dusted with confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon, if you like, and pass the sour cream for people to help themselves if they want to.

    2. Cheesecake




    1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1/3 cup unsalted butter or margarine, melted


    4 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

    1 1/4 cups sugar

    1/2 cup sour cream

    2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    5 large eggs


    1/2 cup sour cream

    2 teaspoons sugar


    Preheat oven to 475°F. Place a large pan filled with 1/2 inch water in oven.

    Make crust: Mix graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon; add butter or margarine. Press crust onto bottom and 2/3 of the way up a 9-inch springform pan lined with parchment. Wrap a large piece of foil around bottom of pan. Freeze until filling is prepared.

    Make filling: Use an electric mixer to mix cream cheese, sugar, sour cream and vanilla. Blend until smooth and creamy. Scrape down sides of bowl. Whisk eggs in a bowl; add to cream cheese mixture. Blend just until eggs are incorporated.

    Remove crust from freezer and pour in filling. Carefully place cheesecake into preheated water bath. Bake for 12 minutes; turn oven to 350°F and bake until top of cheesecake turns golden, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove cake to a wire rack to cool.

    Make topping: Combine sour cream and sugar; spread over cake. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

    3. Creamy Spinach Fettuccini

    By Jamie Geller


    1 pound box of pasta

    For Sauce:

    1 cup chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained

    1 cup heavy cream

    ½ cup butter

    ½ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

    1/8 teaspoon onion powder

    1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

    1 teaspoon salt


    Additional fresh grated parmesan (optional)


    Cook fettuccini according to package directions. While pasta is cooking prepare sauce. 

    In a 4-quart saucepan mix spinach, cream, butter, parmesan, onion and garlic powders, and salt, and simmer over low heat until combined and heated through. 

    Pour sauce over fettuccini and mix well. Serve immediately with parmesan cheese on the side, if desired.

    Tip: If not served immediately, the sauce will dry out on the pasta. So if not serving immediately, keep sauce and pasta separate.

    Go into Shavuot hungry and enjoy!



    Want to learn more about the Shavuot holiday and its roots? Check out this post from The Jewish Agency for Israel.

    American-Israeli in her 20’s • Lover of fashion, food and art • Honorably discharged from the IDF and currently in the Reserves.