Horseradish: How to Make Maror

Every year, as part of the Passover Seder, we eat Maror. The bitter herb reminds us of the bitter times the Jewish people have faced. Growing up we used ground horseradish straight out of a bottle for this ritual. Of course there’s nothing wrong with that. We enjoyed the Maror product made by Manischewitz at each of our Seders. When I began making my own Seder one of the first things I was curious about was how to make Maror from scratch. I had no concept of where this spicy horseradish sauce came from, or how it was prepared.

Now, I make my own Maror, or spicy horseradish sauce, every year at Passover. I start by buying fresh horseradish root. Most health food stores carry it during this time of year. Fresh horseradish root is about the size of a carrot, and it is light brown in color, like a parsnip. After I buy the horseradish I get down to business!

If you’re wondering how to make Maror from scratch, fear not, this is an easy 2-ingredient recipe. Please though, read the instructions for the recipe below in detail. If you don’t follow the directions you can burn your nasal passages, so be careful.

Horseradish: How To Make Maror
  1. Combine all ingredients in food processor
  2. Pulse until horseradish is well ground
  3. Carefully remove lid; do not inhale or smell mixture, as it may burn eyes and nasal passages
  4. Store in a glass container
  5. Serve

Recently, I taught my older son’s third grade class how to make Maror along with my healthy Charoset recipe. We made enough of each to feed more than 100 people. It was so fun working with them to make Passover food! All of the third grade families attend the class Sedar, and the children were very proud of their work. So, no Manischewitz Maror for these little ones. They will not grow up thinking that ground horseradish comes from a bottle!

Making your own Maror, or spicy horseradish sauce from scratch, is easier than you think, and it tastes far better than store bought horseradish sauce! Here are some of my healthy gluten-free Passover recipes that we serve at our Seder. The Gefilte Fish is absolutely amazing with homemade Maror!


  1. Renee says

    I just discovered the wonders and EASE of making my own horseradish a couple weeks ago. I’m on my third batch because it’s good on everything – meat, salad dressing, eggs… I add a bit of my homemade mayo to make it creamy. I’m going to offer to bring it along with a few of your other recipes to a seder I’ve been invited to. Thanks for all the great recipes and inspiration.

  2. Stephanie says

    For the last seder we hosted I made my husband grate the root until he cried. We just used a microplane so it didn’t get as crazy as using the food processor sounds. Yikes. That sounds painful.

  3. susan says

    i realize i’m writing this comment 4 years after your post, but this brought to mind a favorite memory of mine. one pesach i was going to try to make the chrain recipe my grandmother (now of blessed memory) told me that they used to make. similar to this one. so at the time i was living in a microscopic-sized apartment in san francisco and had a kitchen the size of a postage stamp. i made the horseradish in the food processor, and proceeded to send most of my neighbors on the 4th floor running for cover. my cats hid on the top shelf of the coat closet and wouldn’t be lured out even with a can of tuna. i had to prop open all the windows for about 6 hours to air the place out. my head nearly exploded from the fumes. when i told me grandmother about it she laughed and asked me why i did that indoors? they always made chrain in the middle of the back yard, wearing scarves over their faces as a gas mask. well she forgot to tell me that part ahead of time, and i was only about 25 and inexperienced in the kitchen. who knew? also, i didn’t have a back yard. thanks for triggering a wonderful memory.

  4. AnnMarie Deis says

    I know this is more than three years old, but I am just reading this as I am looking at your vanilla cupcakes recipe. (I know, I know — I am slightly distracted today!). My grandmother and her mother and siblings were taken from their village in Ukraine during WWII. The only things they were allowed to take with them as they scrambled to leave were those roots that they had put up for the next year: dried corn on the cob and horseradish root. Now, I don’t know how those two items made their eventual trip to America after WWII was over (my grandmother REFUSED to ever talk about her time spent in a work camp in Germany), but the corn and horseradish that were harvested every year came from those two items that travelled so far. NOTE: My grandmother and her mother and siblings were housed in work camps, not concentration camps, but they were each allowed to live with their respective German officer family for whom they cared (housekeeping, cooking, nannying) until the war was over. The only thing my grandmother would say about her time there was that she was treated very well.

    My horseradish story is that the men in my family would take part in a “Strongman” competition every year at the Easter table — the first to “cry” at the horseradish was . . . well, a crybaby. We ate horseradish peeled right atop paska (Ukrainian bread) and home-churned butter for Easter. YUM!

  5. Scott says

    If I were to go buy some store bought horseradish would it be less strong? I plan to make this and allow some 3rd-6th grade kids sample it in a Sader we are doing.

    • Pam says

      Horseradish can be fairly mild if it is coarsely ground. It is when it is finely ground that it becomes more powerful. If you try two different bottles with a coarse or fine grind, you will quickly tell the difference and learn how to adjust for tne presentation.

  6. says

    I grew my own horseradish. Beautiful leafy plant. I used a vinegar based recipe with the horseradish. OMG! It was so strong I am afraid to serve it. It is sitting in my refrigerator in a glass jar. I was hoping it would lose it smell. Um, no.

    Great to clear your sinuses…

  7. ~M says

    Hi Elana,

    My dad really likes horseradish and, after trying some homemade horseradish at a party, he hasn’t been content with the pre-jarred stuff. I have two questions about this recipe. First, how strong is this to eat? Second, have you ever made a red/beet version? Thanks!

  8. Sarah says

    you can use soy sour cream if you can have soy. tofutti makes great soy sour cream i use to eat when i was vegan in college. it was really, really tasty and about the same consistency and taste.

  9. ERH says

    Hi Elana,

    I emailed with you over a year ago when I was first diagnosed with Celiac. You were so kind and gave me a quick orientation to my new life. I love my new life with my GF diet – my husband and I are enjoying the creativity of cooking whole, delicious, healthy food.

    Your website is my favorite GF recipe resource! I have never been much of a cook and I have enjoyed the easy and healthy recipes you post – even I can make them without screwing it up! My favorites of course are the sweets – Almond Blondies (my book club asks for them everytime), Brownies, Lemon Poppyseed muffins, and yesterday I made the Macadamia nut clusters (with cashews). YUMMY!

    With Passover approaching, I was wondering if you had come up with a way to make GF matzah? Or do you know where I could buy some?


    Elana from Denver

  10. says

    Konnie- thanks for reiterating what I detailed in step 3 of the recipe. I haven’t actually had to air out my house after making this, perhaps the horseradish I’ve used has not been as potent as yours. Though I have been making this for close to a decade…

  11. konnie says



    This city girl moved to the country with an already established garden with a patch of horseradish. I remember the rhyme to only
    pick it in months that end in an “r”. So i waited until Novembe”r”. Needless to say within
    moments of peeling and grinding the horseradish my
    two little girls were wrapped in blankets sitting
    outside on the cold front steps waiting for the
    house to air out! This simple warning should be
    the first line in any recipe!

  12. says

    Hi Vege-
    Thanks for stopping by! I really like your horseradish recipe (I will make it with the lemon juice) not sure what to use in place of the cream, since I have gone dairy-free during the past year. Love the idea to spread on avocados. I think a sesame cracker, topped with avo and horseradish sounds like the perfect snack.

  13. says

    I used to grow my own horseradish and love horseradish with cream. Try this:

    100 grams freshly grated horseradish
    200 grams creme fraiche or cream
    juice of 1 lemon

    Slowly add lemon juice to the cream. Continue to stir until it has thickened. Add the horseradish and leave to sit at room temperature for 1 hour or more.

    Use on avocado slices, for potato salad, on bean salads, as a mayonnaise, any any other way you can think of.

  14. says

    Paige– I just figured out that you are the Paige who is a friend of a friend. I hang out on your blog now and then and hope you all have made the transition with your move to NY. It took us a couple of years to adapt when we moved from NY to CO. Love your horseradish-scuba mask story. Thanks.

    Leah– Hope you have fun grating your own this year. Happy Pesach.

    Gina – I think I received an email from you about this on Friday. I am going to call the company this week and beg them not to discontinue the product. Last time I did this they reinstated it. However, they also said that with fuel prices and food prices escalating they would need to start charging an outrageous amount per box (somewhere around $8 +). Maybe they can’t keep up with costs and this product will kick the bucket. I sure hope not as it is the only high protein pasta I know of and I will be so bummed if they don’t have it –no more pasta for me and I sure do like my spaghetti and turkey meatballs.

  15. Gina says

    I am new to this site & just learned about the lentil pasta, only to find out that IT HAS BEEN CONTINUED ! AHHHHHHH…….. Does anyone else make lentil pasta ???? Thanks , Gina

  16. says

    oh yum! Last year I was walking in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and happened upon a corner store that was selling fresh horseradish root. My jaw completely dropped – I’d never even thought about where the jarred stuff came from before! I made a promise to myself to grate my own from then on.

    The Jew & The Carrot

  17. says

    One of my favorite Passover memories, and, mind you, I’m not Jewish, but I love Passover and until we moved away, celebrated it with dear, dear friends every year–is our dear friend David, grating fresh horseradish for dinner–wearing a diving mask, and snorkel. That stuff is PUNGENT.

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