Seudat HaMafseket: Menus for the Pre Yom Kippur Meal

Meal of Cessation (Seudat HaMafseket)

Roasted Vegetables on a platter
A variety of roasted vegetables on a serving platter. Credit: Kevin Summers / Getty Images

For Jews observing the Yom Kippur fast, it's traditional to eat a Seudat HaMafseket (Meal of Cessation). My family eats a meat meal for lunch, and then a hi-carb dairy dinner directly before the fast. The meal is generally a simple one, and it's smart to include fiber-rich, low-sodium foods that will offer those fasting sustained energy. Giora Shimoni's family usually enjoys a meat meal for lunch, then has a lighter dairy menu in the evening, shortly before the fast.

But if you prefer, you can stick to a less elaborate lunch, and opt for a menu like one of the two below for your pre-fast meal. 

Seudat HaMafseket Meat Menu and Recipes

  • Moroccan Lentil & Tomato Soup with Pasta (Harira) -- Harira is an iconic Moroccan soup made with lentils, tomatoes, and aromatic spices. Variations of this hearty, delicious soup can be found in North African and Middle Eastern Sephardi cuisine. Because it is full of protein and complex carbohydrates, harira makes an ideal pre-fast meal for erev Tisha B'Av or Yom Kippur -- just go easy on the salt so you don't get too thirsty during the fast.
  • Oven Fried Breaded Chicken (Meat) -- This kid-friendly recipe for Breaded Baked Chicken is quick, and easy to prepare.  
  • Lemony Greek Potatoes with Oregano and Garlic (Pareve) -- These tender on the inside, crisp on the outside potatoes get lots of flavor from lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, and garlic instead of salt, which makes this recipe more pre-fast friendly than other potato dishes. 
  • Roasted Vegetables (Pareve)  -- Choose one or several of your favorite veggies for roasting. Becuase they're rich in fiber, they'll help keep you satisfied during the fast. Just take care to go very light on the salt (or skip it altogether).  
  • Sour Cherry and Nectarine Crisp (Pareve)​ -- You can use fresh or frozen fruit in this crisp, which features an oat streusel. Opt for regular or white whole wheat flour in the topping to boost the fiber and protein.

    Seudat HaMafseket Dairy Menu and Recipes

    • Whole Wheat Bagels or Bread with spreads, including tuna salad, lettuce and tomato, cream cheese, and butter.
    • Crustless Cheese and Vegetable Quiche (Dairy) -- Think of this light and cheesy kosher dish as a cross between a frittata and a quiche, made sans crust, of course. Filled with mushrooms and topped with tomato rounds, it makes a light yet satisfying pre-fast entree. 
    • Spinach Noodle Kugel -- Fresh spinach and lots of onions add a homey, wholesome feel to this dairy-free kugel; the simple flavors make it a good complement to all sorts of entrees.
    • Fresh Fruit Salad -- Include lots of hydrating fruits, such as melon, pineapple, and orange segments, along with fiber-rich choices like apples and pears.