What Is Matzo Meal, and How Does It Differ From Matzo and Matzo Farfel?

Wondering exactly what is matzo meal and how it's different from other matzo products? You aren’t alone (and we’re here to help).

If you’re new to planning a Passover Seder, the different types of matzo can get a little confusing—but it’s actually pretty simple. Matzo meal, matzo cake meal and matzo farfel are all made from the same thing (you guessed it): matzo.

What Is Matzo?

Matzo is an unleavened bread traditionally associated with Passover. It is made from a mix of flour and water, and needs to be prepared quickly in order to keep its flatbread appearance. It’s important to keep in mind that not all matzo is kosher, which is a requirement for a Passover meal. Skip over the matzo packages labeled “not kosher for Passover” when shopping for ingredients for your dish to pass.

What Is Matzo Meal?

Matzo meal is ground matzo. It’s slightly coarse, like the texture of breadcrumbs, and is essential to making matzo balls. Matzo ball mix is basically seasoned matzo meal.

Matzo cake meal is finely ground matzo and has a similar consistency to flour. It’s commonly used to make Passover baked goods and crusts. It’s also in our gefilte fish recipe!

What Is Matzo Farfel?

Matzo farfel is simply crumbled matzo. It’s not finely ground, but closer to the size of coarsely crushed crackers. While there are quite a few uses for matzo, the bigger size of matzo farfel makes it particularly ideal for bready stuffings, crunchy toppings, and sweet or savory kugels.

To make things a little big more confusing, there are matzo farfel noodles, which are completely different than matzo farfel. They are tiny, pellet-shaped egg noodles made with flour, egg and salt.

Can You Make Your Own Matzo?

You can definitely make your own matzo (just make sure the recipe you use is kosher if you’re following strict Passover rules). If you’re new to matzo, it might be helpful to buy prepared until you have a better sense of what the texture of each product should be like before trying new recipes for Passover. You can also buy matzo from the store and make your own meal, cake meal and farfel as needed.

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Peggy Woodward, RDN
Peggy is a Senior Food Editor for Taste of Home. In addition to curating recipes, she writes articles, develops recipes and is our in-house nutrition expert. She studied dietetics at the University of Illinois and completed post-graduate studies at the Medical University of South Carolina to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. Peggy has more than 20 years of experience in the industry. She’s a mom, a foodie and enjoys being active in her rural Wisconsin community.