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Best Charoset Recipe (Traditional Apple and Walnut)

Are you looking for a charoset recipe just as good as your grandmother used to make? You’re in luck with this version!

It’s one of the simplest charoset recipes you’ll ever see. It uses only five ingredients and comes together in just a few minutes. 

Bowl of Homemade Charoset with Matzo Crackers
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The bright tanginess of Gala (or Fuji) apples pairs well with the earthy walnuts. And the red wine, sugar, and cinnamon add the other classic charoset flavors.  

Whether you’re planning for Passover or just want a tasty treat, try this simple recipe. You won’t be disappointed. 

What Is Charoset? 

Charoset is an essential dish for those of the Jewish faith. It’s meat-free and usually made with apples, figs, dates, almonds, walnuts, or other fruits and nuts.

Also known as charoises or haroset, charoset takes its name from the Hebrew word for “clay.” And the dish itself resembles clay, or at least mud before it becomes clay. 

Jewish people commonly consume it during the Passover Seder. Its clay-like appearance represents the mud Israelites used to make bricks in Egypt. 

Besides fruit and nuts, the recipe also includes wine and cinnamon. (Grape juice sometimes takes the place of red wine.)  And despite its potentially unappetizing name, it’s pretty tasty. 

It’s sweet and fruity and helps offset some of the more bitter dishes on the Seder table. 

Charoset Ingredients - Apples, Walnuts, Sugar, Cinnamon and Red Wine

Ingredients 

Some charoset recipes go super heavy on the fruit. This one, though, keeps things simple. You only need five ingredients: 

  • Apples The best apples for this recipe are Fuji or Gala. They’re juicy, sweet and taste phenomenal with some sugar and cinnamon. However, I occasionally use Granny Smith apples instead. Try them if you prefer a slightly tarter dish.
  • Walnuts As with fruit, the nuts in this recipe are entirely up to you. Some people use hazelnuts or almonds, but I prefer walnuts. Toast them lightly in the oven before adding them for a bolder flavor. 
  • Sugar I like to add a little extra sugar to my charoset. Some people let the fruit and wine sweeten the dish for them. But I find that a bit of sugar (white or brown) adds just the right touch of sweetness. 
  • Cinnamon Cinnamon and apples are two things that always go well together. 
  • Red wine If you abstain from alcohol, you can substitute grape juice.

You can also serve the charoset with matzo crackers if you like. Their crunchiness and savoriness help offset the charoset’s sweetness.

How to Make Charoset

This recipe is impossibly easy to make. It comes down to three simple steps: 

1. Prepare. Peel and chop your apples, and chop and toast your walnuts. Measure out the sugar, wine, and cinnamon so they’re ready to dump in when it’s time.

2. Mix. First, mix the apples and walnuts. Then, add the wine and toss everything to evenly coat the fruit and nuts. 

Then, mix the cinnamon and sugar in a second bowl. Once it’s mixed well, sprinkle that over the larger mixture of apples, walnuts, and wine. Again, toss the mixture to coat it well. 

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3. Chill. Finally, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid. Then, pop the charoset in the fridge to chill for an hour before serving. 

Once it’s ready, you can serve it alone or with matzo crackers. Enjoy! 

Charoset: A Bowl of Apples and Walnuts with Cinnamon

Tips for the Best Charoset 

Here are a few tips to keep in mind: 

  • Slash your prep time. You don’t have to chop the apples and walnuts yourself. Instead, toss them in a food processor and give them a pulse or two. Don’t over-process them, though. You don’t want them ground into a liquid. 
  • Be picky when picking your apples. Don’t use apples that are soft or starting to turn. Stick to crisp, brightly colored apples. They have the best taste and texture. 
  • Dip the apples in lemon juice. Are you making the charoset ahead of time, or are you likely to have leftovers? If so, dip the apples in lemon juice before adding them to the recipe. That’ll keep them from turning brown later on. 
  • Consistency is key. Traditionally, charoset should be thick and paste-like. (Remember, it should resemble mud.) However, some prefer to keep the individual ingredients chunky and more visible. Stick to whatever you like best texture-wise.
  • Keep it kosher. Remember to select kosher wine!

Variations 

Try these tasty variations for a fun twist on the recipe.

  • Get fruity. Different charoset recipes use other fruits, so you can swap out the apples or add extras. Try figs, dates, raisins, pears, peaches, bananas, etc. 
  • Go nuts. Almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans are all good alternatives to walnuts. 
  • Sweeten the pot. Sugar isn’t your only option for sweetening this dish. Try maple syrup, honey, or other sweeteners. 
  • Spice it up. I’ve made charoset with ginger, lemon zest, orange zest, nutmeg, and more. It’s your recipe, so make it however you like! 
Bowl of Apple Charoset with Matzo Crackers

Can You Make Charoset Ahead of Time? 

You can make charoset ahead of time. The recipe needs at least 1 hour to chill, anyway. 

However, you can make it up to 24 hours before serving it. Leftovers only last about 3 days, so I don’t recommend making it any earlier than that. 

If the charoset seems dry, add another splash of wine or grape juice before serving. 

How to Store 

Charoset is best when served chilled, so it makes storing leftovers easy. Simply re-cover the bowl and stick it back in the fridge. 

It should remain fresh for up to 3 days, though the apples may start to darken. Even if this happens, it should be fine if you’re still in the 3-day window and have stored it properly.

I don’t recommend freezing charoset. The apples are too grainy and unpleasant when thawed. 

Charoset Recipe (Traditional Apple and Walnut)

Servings

6

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Calories

116

kcal

This is the best charoset recipe you’ll ever have! In just a few minutes, you can savor the apple and walnut goodness you know and love.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium Gala or Fuji apples, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, toasted

  • 2 tablespoons sweet red wine (or grape juice)

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • matzo crackers (optional)

Instructions

  • Combine the apples and walnuts in a large bowl. Then, toss them with wine or grape juice until well-coated.
  • Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a separate small bowl. Then, sprinkle the mixture over the apple-walnut mixture. Toss to combine.
  • Cover the charoset with an airtight lid or plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. Let it chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Then, serve with matzo crackers (if desired) and enjoy!
Charoset Recipe

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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