gefilte fish

Gefilte Fish

If you’ve gone on a gluten-free diet and thought you’d have to give up Gefilte Fish, guess again. My Paleo Gefilte Fish are gluten-free. They’re also every bit as tasty as the dish that is typically made with matzo meal.

We make this homemade Gefilte Fish recipe once a year. Since they’re not easy to make, we save them for the special occasion of Passover. Growing up my Bubby was a powerhouse in the kitchen. She cooked up her homemade Gefilte Fish for us often.

We serve this healthy Passover recipe with Maror, which is made of ground horseradish.

Print Recipe
Gefilte Fish
  • 1 pound halibut fillets, skinned and boned
  • ½ pound salmon fillets, skinned and boned
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • ½ cup parsley, finely chopped
  1. Cut the fish into large chunks and place in a food processor
  2. Pulse until finely ground; do not puree
  3. Heat oil in a large frying pan
  4. Saute onion over medium-low heat until soft and transparent, cool for 10 minutes
  5. Pulse onions, eggs, salt, pepper, and lemon juice into fish mixture
  6. Pulse in dill, carrots and parsley
  7. Refrigerate mixture for 3 hours
  8. Heat a large pot of water and bring to a boil
  9. Shape fish mixture into 1 ½ inch balls
  10. Drop balls into water and cook for 15-20 minutes until cooked through
  11. Place balls in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and refrigerate to cool
  12. Serve with Horseradish Sauce and garnish with fresh sprigs of parsley

This Gefilte Fish recipe was inspired by one from Ellyn Goodrich called “Alaskan Halibut and Salmon Gefilte Fish Terrine.” While Goodrich’s recipe makes a “loaf,” mine is made into the more traditional balls. I’ve also added more vegetables to make the dish lighter. Finally, while hers contains gluten, I’ve created a gluten-free Gefilte Fish.

What are Gefilte Fish? They are simply fish balls made from a mixture of deboned fish that is then ground. This traditional dish is popular with Ashkenazi Jews and is served on Shabbat as well as Jewish holidays such as Passover.

Here are some of my other healthy Paleo Passover recipes:


  1. Ricki says

    This was much easier than expected. Except may need a little more seasoning. A little bland but overall good. The only real complaint my table had was they were a little watery. I’ve never made gefilte fish before so what did I do wrong?

  2. Amy says

    Thank you for this recipe! I hate gefilte fish but Whole Foods had fresh raw “gefilte fish” so I thought I’d try making it. After looking through lots of recipes I realized there’s way more to it than just ground fish, which is what whole foods packages and sells as “gefilte fish”. I settled on your recipe because it sounded the least disgusting. Well I made it tonight and it’s actually really good!! Although the fish was already ground it worked beautifully. I will finally eat gefilte fish! So glad to have found this recipe.

  3. Greg says

    I have to tell you these tasted even better than they looked. Almost everyone at our Seder table of 34 loved them (always a few fish-adverse people in any crowd). The gefilte fish was light, delicious and most of all fresh. Both of you Marror recipes were excellent as well. Especially the beet Marror. I got about 24 – 26 balls out of each batch. Thanks for the great addition to our table.

  4. scilla says

    How interesting! I know very little about Kosher foods. You say the gefilte fish is not easy to make but this recipe sounds pretty straightforward. What do you think is the hardest part?

  5. Samantha says

    Your gluten free gefilte fish looks wonderful, but I am also allergic to eggs. Do you have any suggestions for a way to hold the fish together without eggs? I would love to make this and surprise my family.

  6. says

    Oy vey! These actually look edible — and delicious!
    I’ll be away from my family this Passover so will definitely try them out for a (better) taste of home in Paris.
    Just discovered your blog when looking for a coconut frosting recipe and have made your cupcakes here in my tiny Parisian kitchen and they’re DELICIOUS. I think your frosting changed my life :) Thanks and keep up the fab recipes!
    Bisous from Paris, Rebecca

  7. says

    This is going to be my first Passover without my grandma’s Gefilte around (she is well, it’s me who went far away). I never liked G”F but this one looks GOOOD.
    Since I have tons of salmon in me freezer I will probably use only salmon. If you think it’s a big mistake – please stop me :-)

  8. says

    You wouldn’t believe my reaction when I read the title – Gefilte Fish – my favorite! I seriously munch on it and chrain all the time. Blame my boyfriend’s Bubbie for introducing it to me (I’m Sephardic – and my family doesn’t serve it)
    I just bookmarked this recipe for Sunday – can’t wait to see how my attempt turns out!

  9. says

    Elana — what is holding them together? I also use vegetables and do not use matzah meal in the gefilte fish on Pesach, but use potato starch, and ground nuts to hold the fish together. Does frying the onions eliminate some of the liquid which occurs when using raw onions?

    Zingara: Yes — usually matzah meal is an ingredient, or during the year except for Passover, some people use bread crumbs.

  10. zingara says

    i love gefilte fish! when i was a little kid, mrs. soloman lived next door to us. i loved her, too. she used to let me watch her cook & sometimes help, also. on friday nights, my mother, who was not jewish, went over to turn on mrs. soloman’s stove, b/c mrs. S. was very orthodox & could not perform tasks on sabbath. when mrs.S made the fish balls, i distinctly recall that she used some sort of bread or cracker crumbs in the ingredients. could i have been mistaken? is there a recipe for gefilte fish that uses crumbs?

  11. Erin says

    I am not Jewish, but our church has a Passover meal that this would be wonderful for! This looks so much better than the gefilte I remember from growing up. thanks!

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