How to Make Homemade Gluten-Free Matzah Balls
Matzah balls may be a part of your Passover celebration, or maybe you’ve just been curious to try this historically profound food.
I had never tried matzah balls myself until I was an adult. I was asked to cook for a private event at a client’s home and they requested matzah ball soup. They also needed to be gluten free. As always, I was up for the culinary challenge. I already make a delicious chicken soup (my hints below), I just needed to learn how to make the matzah.
Basically, the matzah is an unleavened bread, not very different than making a cracker. You can purchase matzah meal, but making it is quite easy and since my clients didn’t need their food to be Kosher, I could add lots of flavoring (see disclaimer below). I will also give you some delicious ideas for using your leftover matzah.
I played around with a few different techniques and found this to be the most delicious recipe. The dough is quite sticky, but rolling it between wax paper works well! Turning the matzah into a matzah ball is great fun, fairly easy and once you try this recipe simmered in a pot of gloriously comforting chicken soup you’ll be hooked on this “Jewish penicillin” yourself!
- 2/3 cup oat flour (you can make your own by finely processing certified gluten free oats in the food processor until finely ground)
- 2/3 cup potato starch
- 1/8 cup chickpea flour
- ½ tsp Kosher/sea salt
- ¼ cup chicken fat or olive oil
- 4 Tbsp water
- Optional additions of dried dill, thyme or finely chopped rosemary
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Place the oat flour, potato starch, chickpea flour and salt, plus any herbs, into a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine.
- Add the chicken fat or olive oil and water.
- Pulse until the mixture forms a ball in the processor. If you need to, add 1 tsp of additional water at a time until it forms a ball.
- Sprinkle your surface with additional potato starch.
- Pour the dough onto the floured surface and knead a few times. Cut the dough in half.
- Prepare 4 large pieces of waxed paper or parchment paper.
- Lay 2 sheets out and wet the paper with a bit of water.
- Place the dough in the center of the paper.
- Wet the second sheet of paper with water and place, wet side down, on top of the dough.
- Roll out the dough very, very thin, to about ¼” thick.
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. The dough won’t raise or grow, so you can place them right next to each other.
- Carefully take the top sheet of waxed paper off and bring the piece of paper with the dough on it to the baking sheet. Very carefully flip the dough onto the baking sheet, slowly removing the bottom piece of paper. Do the same with the second round.
- Using a fork, prick holes all over the dough.
- Bake for just about 10 minutes until crispy and golden brown around the edges. Cool and use as you wish!
To make matzah meal simple pulse the broken crackers in the food processor until you have a very fine crumb.
Leftover matzah? Use as a cracker and spread with a bit of cream cheese and smoked salmon. Or, crush and use to top any casserole.
You’ll want to prepare the matzo ball dough the day before you make your soup as they need to chill over night or at least 8 hours, plus at least 2 hours for the dough balls to chill after forming.
- 4 large eggs
- 2 Tb chicken fat, or olive oil
- 1 large shallot, finely minced and squeezed dry in a paper towel
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 Tb finely minced fresh dill, rosemary or parsley or a combination of them all
- 1 tsp Kosher/sea salt
- ¼ cup homemade or high quality organic broth
- 1 cup matzah meal
- Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir well, beating as you would a cookie dough, with a wooden spoon.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
- 2 hours or so prior to serving, wet or oil your hands and pinch off about 1 tablespoon of the dough and roll into a ball then place on a wax or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Once you have formed all of the balls cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours.
- About 45 minutes prior to serving, when your soup is ready, cook the matzah balls.
- Drop each ball carefully into the simmering (just under a boil but not a fast bubble) soup.
- Cover and cook for 35-40 minutes, until the balls are fluffy and tender.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
Chef Kirsten’s tips for delicious chicken soup:
- Use chicken on the bone as the bone imparts tons of flavor and texture to the finished soup.
- Simmer the soup using fresh herbs in a bouquet garni for the freshest taste.
- Simmer your broth, chicken and vegetables first. For the final soup start in a fresh pot and sauté onions or shallots, garlic, minced carrots and celery then season this mirepoix with plenty of salt, pepper and fresh thyme if you like the flavor. After sweating these ingredients pour in ½ cup white wine or ¼ cup apple juice and ¼ lemon juice. Simmer for at least 5 minutes. Then pour in your prepared broth, chicken and herbs for your final soup.
- Sprinkle in fresh chopped parsley just before serving.
- Change your chicken soup up with different herbs and spices. Make it Mexican inspired with dried ground chiles, cumin and fresh cilantro. Make it Middle Eastern with dried coriander, mustard seeds, turmeric, ground cloves, dried ground chiles and fresh cilantro. Make it Italian with dried oregano, basil and finishing with fresh basil.
Chef Kirsten Helle is a personal chef, nutrition consultant and lifestyle and weight management specialist. She is the CEO of Mesa de Vida…Table of Life and Menus by Mesa de Vida which helps members easily enjoy more homemade meals and become healthy kitchen rock stars. Mesa de Vida was voted the top 2 food blog in Seattle this past year on the Evening Magazine Best of polls. Kirsten shares hundreds of recipes, and more about her 100 lb weight loss and resources to help you create a healthy family legacy as well!
Disclaimer – if you need your matzah ball recipe to be Kosher, for Passover or otherwise, then you will need to purchase certified Kosher matzah meal or crackers as this recipe would not be considered to be processed according to Jewish law. No claims are made that this recipe is Kosher.