Can You Freeze Matzo Balls?
Making matzo balls in advance can be a great way to save time when you need to make matzo soup. But just how storage-friendly are these delicious dumplings?
Can you freeze matzo balls? Yes. Matzo balls freeze well and can be made in advance! Just shape the balls as you would and then store them in a freezer-safe bag at 0°F. Freezing can help maintain the shape of the balls and can even increase their shelf life.
Read below to learn more about matzo balls, how they are made, how to store them, and how to use frozen matzo balls!
What Are Matzo Balls?
Matzo balls are Jewish dumplings that are made from eggs, seasonings, and matzo meal, which is just ground matzah flatbread. It’s a very popular recipe that is usually served during Passover!
Most people prefer to eat matzo balls with soup, but there are several ways they can be used in other recipes.
The recipe for making matzo balls isn’t fixed either. Everyone has their take on it, but in almost all cases, you will find these balls to be made from ingredients fit for Passover.
The best thing about making these dumplings is that they can be stored in convenient ways — but you need to employ some best practices to get the most out of their shape and texture.
Making Matzo Balls
To make matzo balls, you will need to start with a few fundamental ingredients. Let’s get to it!
Matzo meal is made from ground flatbread.
This ingredient can be found in most stores. You can even make your own batch of matzo meal at home, but for convenience purposes, we recommend that you buy a prepackaged pack of matzo meal!
Eggs play a vital role in the making of matzo balls. Not only do they act as a binding agent, but they also lend a soft texture to the dumplings.
You can either come up with an approximate of how many eggs you will need to hydrate the matzo meal or you could just start with three whole eggs for every cup of matzo meal.
Please keep in mind that you will also be adding other liquid ingredients like chicken stock, so you don’t have to go overboard by adding extra egg yolks.
No matzo ball recipe is complete without adding chicken stock.
The stock lends a deep savory flavor that blends extremely well with the matzo meal! Most people prefer to use homemade chicken stock to flavor the balls but you can also go with commercial stocks.
Want even more flavor? Then try adding chicken fat instead of canola oil! Not only will the chicken fat lend flavor, but it will also support the structure of the balls as they freeze.
Once the base ingredients have been added, you can top the mixture with quite a few seasonings!
Traditionally, matzo balls include white pepper, garlic powder, dried dill, dried chives, dried parsley, and of course, kosher salt.
But you may also come across some recipes that call for baking powder. Now, before you gasp, there are several interpretations of using baking powder in matzo balls.
Some people believe that since it is a leavening agent, it is not kosher and not fit for Passover.
But scholars argue that since baking powder is a chemical leavening agent that is not derived from grain, it is fit for Passover and can be used in the making of exceptionally soft matzo balls.
If you want to keep things traditional then you can skip baking powder to make these savory dumplings during Passover — but we encourage you to experiment with it during the rest of the year!
Baking powder adds a soft and lightly chewy texture to the matzo balls, which can otherwise be a bit firm.
For the best experience, we recommend going for other Passover-approved chemical leavening products to get the most out of the texture of the matzo balls.
Shaping Matzo Balls for Storage
Once all the ingredients have been mixed, seal the top of the bowl with cling wrap and let the mixture sit for a few hours in the fridge at 40°F.
This will help the ingredients incorporate into the matzo meal and will increase their structural integrity too.
When cool, begin by shaping the balls using a scooper. You can alternatively use guesswork to shape the balls in any size you want.
Traditionally, matzo balls are meant to be a bit smaller and most people prefer to have 2-3 matzo balls in soup — but you can go for one large matzo ball too!
Line up a sheet of baking paper over a baking tray and set the shaped balls on it. Leave space between each ball and don’t overcrowd the tray.
If you wish to make the balls on the same day you plan to use them, then you should store them in the fridge for 2-3 hours at 40°F before adding them to the soup.
Giving the matzo balls some time to rest will help them set. So, when you do add them to matzo soup, they won’t break apart during the cooking process.
Freezing Matzo Balls
Freezing matzo balls is very easy!
Once you have shaped the balls and allowed them to rest in the fridge, take out the tray and put it straight into the freezer.
Make sure that you have enough room in the freezer to fit the entire tray. Do not forcefully move the tray around or the matzo balls might move out of position and bump into each other.
If you don’t have enough room in the freezer, we suggest that you divide the matzo balls into two small trays.
Don’t worry, we’ll get rid of the trays in a bit!
First, we need to freeze the balls while they are set so that the superficial moisture around the exterior evaporates, and the water trapped inside the balls crystalizes.
This will help the balls maintain their shape for longer and will also make them very easy to store.
Freeze the balls overnight at 0°F then get ready for the final step — we recommend working quickly because you wouldn’t want the balls to thaw just yet!
Take out the tray and move the matzo balls into a freezer-safe plastic bag. An airtight bag is recommended to preserve the quality of the dumplings.
Remember: matzo balls are susceptible to heat and can even warm up in your hands, so try to wear gloves or use a spoon to scoop up the balls.
Fill up the bag with just enough matzo balls. Close the seal and store the bag at the back of the freezer (away from the door).
Frozen matzo balls will last about 2-3 months in the freezer. You could store them for longer, but they will start to lose flavor and even become crumbly after 3-4 months.
Using Frozen Matzo Balls
While thawing the balls first may seem like a good idea, we recommend that you just drop in the frozen matzo balls at the end of cooking your soup to ensure that they don’t break apart and that they cook evenly.
Thawing might be a good option if you wish to use the balls in other recipes but for making soup, you can just gently drop them and cook them as usual.
Do not over-stir the pot or you might end up breaking the matzo balls!
Remember: always check the matzo balls for signs of spoilage before you use them.
While properly frozen matzo balls can be stored without accumulating bacteria, power outages or poor circulation may compromise the quality of the dumplings.
Always inspect the balls for a slimy texture, foul odor, or color changes before cooking them.
4- to 6-month-old frozen matzo balls may subtly change their appearance due to oxidization, but they won’t be unsafe to eat as long as they don’t exhibit obvious signs of spoilage.
Here’s a chart for the storage time of matzo balls:
|Refrigerator (40°F)||Freezer (0°F)|
|Shaped Matzo Balls Storage Life||1-3 days||2-3 months|
Matzo balls are easy to store and freezing them can be a great way to save time and effort! Now that you know how to store them, here are some related questions.
How long can matzo balls last at room temperature?
Matzo balls should not be left out at room temperature for more than 1-2 hours.
These dumplings contain eggs and other ingredients that can go bad very easily. Always refrigerate a matzo ball mixture in the fridge before shaping them.
Even if you plan to cook them right away, the best way to maintain their shape is to first cool them in the fridge!
Can you refreeze matzo balls?
Once the frozen matzo balls have thawed, you should use all of them at once.
There is no point in refreezing them as they might become compromised. We recommend storing the shaped matzo balls according to serving sizes.
Only take out as much as you need and then keep the rest frozen!