How to Make Matzo Balls

This matzo ball recipe will teach you how to make the essential Passover food as good as Bubbe's.

For many people around the world, there is no greater comfort food than a warm bowl of matzo ball soup. It was my family’s starter for every Jewish holiday and often made an appearance at our Friday night Shabbat dinner. I would forget there was a full meal to follow and instead fill up on the fluffy, slightly salty matzo balls. I couldn’t get enough!

For a long time, I only used a matzo ball mix. Once I learned how to make a matzo ball recipe from scratch, though, I’ve never gone back to a mix. Matzo balls are fast to make and only use a handful of ingredients. You’re sure to love them, but what’s more, everyone else is sure to love you for bringing the best-ever matzo balls to the table.

What Are Matzo Balls Made Of?

Matzo balls are made from matzo meal. Matzo is an unleavened bread made of flour and water that’s eaten during Passover. The matzo is baked, and has the texture and look of a really large cracker. There are plenty of ways to cook with matzo, and it makes a versatile ingredient for Passover because it can be used whole, cracked or ground.

Matzo balls are also made of a few other key ingredients that generally include oil or schmaltz, eggs, baking powder or soda water, and sometimes herbs.

There’s a longstanding debate of which matzo balls are better: floaters vs. sinkers—or light and airy vs. dense. The baking soda and soda water are key for a good floater, which is my personal favorite type.

Matzo Ball Recipe

portioned out ingredients on a white counter topJamie Thrower for Taste of Home


  • 3/4 cup matzo meal
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons schmaltz or neutral oil
  • 2 tablespoons seltzer
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill


Step 1: Mix matzo ingredients

two mixing bowls, one with breadcrumbs and the other with eggs and a whiskJamie Thrower for Taste of Home

Mix the matzo meal, baking powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs for a minute until they’re beaten together. Add the schmaltz or oil, seltzer and dill to the eggs and mix.

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk just until incorporated. Do not overmix! The batter will be on the runnier side at this point.

Step 2: Rest the batter

Allow the batter to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. When it’s done resting, it will no longer be runny, and the batter will be thick enough to form into balls.

While it’s resting, heat a large pot of water with plenty of salt.

Step 3: Shape matzo balls

a bowl with matzo batter next to a cookie sheet with an ice cream scoop for shaping into ballsJamie Thrower for Taste of Home

Using a cookie scoop is the easiest way to form matzo balls. If you don’t have a scoop, use a spoon instead.

Have a small bowl of water ready and a plate with a drizzle of olive oil on it. Scoop out evenly sized matzo balls, roughly 1 ounce each. Then wet the palms of your hands and, gently but quickly, shape the matzo balls. Place them on the oiled plate after they’re formed.

Step 4: Cook matzo balls

matzo balls in a pot of water on a stoveJamie Thrower for Taste of Home

When the water is up to a boil and well salted (take a taste; it should taste like salt water), it’s time to cook the matzo balls. Gently drop them into the boiling water one at a time, being careful not to splash hot water.

Cover the pot and turn down the heat to a gentle simmer for 30 minutes. Peek on them a few times to make sure they’re still at a gentle simmer.

Step 5: Cool and serve

Remove matzo balls from the liquid. Let them cool, which will allow them to tighten up a bit and create the right texture.

If you want to store the matzo balls overnight, pour some of the liquid back over them to hold them. Otherwise, serve immediately with some chicken soup.

Tips for Making Matzo Balls

Serving matzo in a bowl with chicken soup brothJamie Thrower for Taste of Home

Can you make matzo balls without matzo meal?

You’ve got a few different options. There’s quinoa flour or almond flour, or if it’s not Passover, you can use regular bread crumbs. But since matzo is baked, it absorbs liquid differently than other flours or bread crumbs, so the closest you’ll come to matzo meal will be matzo cake meal or making your own meal by grinding up matzo.

How do you keep matzo balls fluffy?

Nobody wants tough matzo balls in their soup for a Passover Seder. Baking powder and seltzer are the ingredients in a matzo ball recipe that are going to result in a fluffy texture and make for good floaters. If you used baking powder and seltzer and your matzo balls are still turning out dense, this could be because you over-mixed the ingredients. Mixing the ingredients until just incorporated will ensure that the air bubbles needed for a fluffy texture aren’t whipped out.

How can you prevent your matzo balls from falling apart?

The egg and the matzo meal should do the binding for you if you allow your batter to rest properly. Be careful when handling the matzo balls—from the shaping to the cooking and even while they’re cooling—because they will break or fall apart if you handle them too much.

Can you make matzo balls ahead of time?

You can definitely make matzo balls ahead of time! You can make the batter and shape your balls and let them sit overnight to cook off the next day. Or you can cook them fully, then cover them with cooking water and store in the fridge. You can either reheat them in the soup or separately in some simmering salted water.

Can you freeze matzo balls?

If you’re a make-ahead kind of cook, then you’ll be happy to know that you can freeze matzo balls. In order to retain their shape, it is best to simmer the matzo balls as normal, and then let them cool. Once cooled, transfer the matzo balls to a baking sheet to freeze for a couple hours. When the balls are firm, you can transfer them to a freezer-safe container or a freezer bag. To thaw, simple place the matzo balls in a broth or chicken soup to reheat them.

Are matzo balls healthy?

While the ingredient makeup of matzo balls themselves is not too nutrient-dense, matzo ball soup is sometimes referred to as “Jewish penicillin” for its restorative properties. Like many healthy soups, low-sodium broths and nutrient-dense vegetables like carrots and celery add many beneficial vitamins and antioxidants to the dish.

Recipes to Make for Passover
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Risa Lichtman
Risa Lichtman is a chef and writer living in Portland, Oregon. She is the owner/chef of Lepage Food & Drinks, a small food company featuring Jewish seasonal foods, providing takeaway all around Portland. She has previously published poems in Poetica Magazine, the anthology The Art of Bicycling, Maggid: A Journal of Jewish Literature, and The Dos Passos Review. She lives with her wife Jamie, their dog Isaac, and their cat Sylvia. Follow her at @risaexpizza, or find her delicious food offerings on @lepagefoodanddrinks.