My Nonna Stella’s Passover Magina
PassoverFood and Wine

My Nonna Stella’s Passover Magina

A Passover recipe for dairy-free meat casserole, otherwise known as Passover lasagne.

My family are Mizrahi/Sephardic Jews. They were originally from Spain. Most of our families fled in 1492, expelled by the Spanish. My family found refuge and a home in Cairo and Alexandra, Egypt.

At Passover, one of the staples of our seder meal is a megina, a lasagna made with onions, meat, and matzah. It’s constructed like a meat lasagna, by softening the matzah with water and creating layers of matzah, meat and onions.


1 onion, chopped

2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced or chopped small

1 to 2 jars of kosher for Passover marinara sauce

1 pound of extra lean ground beef



olive oil

6 to 8 matzot, dipped in water until pliable but not too mushy.


Preheat oven to 375 F.

Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Add onions and stir until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the beef and continue cooking until the meat has browned. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and stir for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the marinara sauce and mix well to combine all the ingredients.

In a 9-by-13 pan, pour the marinara sauce in the pan to coat the bottom. Alternate layering the softened matzah and meat sauce by first starting with matzah and ending with the matzah on top. Pour any remaining marinara sauce over the top layer and spread out over the matzah.

Cover well with aluminum foil and bake, covered, for 1 hour. 

read more: