When making matzo soup, making the matzo balls ahead of time can really help you save time. But how well do these delectable dumplings keep in storage? Are matzo balls freezer-friendly? Yes. Matzo balls can be prepared in advance and freeze well! Simply form the balls as you normally would, and then keep them at 0°F in a freezer-safe bag. The balls’ shape can be maintained and even their shelf life extended with freezing. Learn more about matzo balls in the sections below, including how to make them, preserve them, and use frozen matzo balls.
What Are Matzo Balls?
Jewish matzo balls are created from matzo meal, which is simply ground matzah flatbread, eggs, and seasonings. It’s a classic dish that many people look forward to eating every Passover. Although matzo balls are traditionally eaten with soup, they can be used in a variety of other dishes. Even the method for creating matzo balls varies. Though variations exist, these balls are often prepared using Kosher for Passover fare. The best part about creating these dumplings is that they can be stored in a variety of ways, but you’ll want to follow some best practices to ensure that they retain their shape and texture.
Making Matzo Balls
To begin making matzo balls, you’ll need a few basic materials. Let’s get started!
Flatbread is processed to make matzo meal. Most supermarkets carry this component. Even while you can create your own batch of matzo meal at home, we advise you to get a premade pack of matzo meal for convenience’s sake!
Matzo balls would not be the same without the use of eggs. Besides serving as a binder, they also give the dumplings a nice, fluffy texture. To hydrate the matzo meal, you can either guess how many eggs you’ll need or just use three full eggs for every cup of matzo meal. There will be other liquid ingredients, such as chicken stock, so there’s no need to add extra egg yolks.
Without chicken stock, no matzo ball recipe is complete. The matzo meal combines quite nicely with the rich, savory flavor that the stock imparts! The majority of people like to flavor the balls with homemade chicken stock, but you may also use store-bought stocks. Do you desire greater flavor? Then try substituting chicken fat for canola oil! The chicken fat will not only provide flavor, but it will also keep the balls’ shape when they freeze.
After the foundational components are incorporated, a wide variety of seasonings may be sprinkled on top. White pepper, garlic powder, dried dill, dried chives, dried parsley, and kosher salt are the traditional ingredients in matzo balls. However, there are some recipes that call for baking powder. And before you gasp, know that the use of baking powder in matzo balls can be interpreted in a few different ways.
For some, the fact that it contains a leavening agent disqualifies it as a Passover-appropriate kosher food. Baking powder is a chemical leavening ingredient that is not produced from grain, but some academics say that it is acceptable for Passover and can be used to make unusually soft matzo balls.
You can prepare these savory dumplings in accordance with Passover custom by omitting the baking powder, but try it out any time of year! Normally, matzo balls have a solid texture, but when baked with baking powder, they take on a softer, slightly chewier quality. To get the most out of the matzo ball’s texture, we suggest going with other Passover-approved chemical leavening products.
Shaping Matzo Balls for Storage
Once all the ingredients have been combined, cover the bowl with cling wrap and place it in the refrigerator set to 40°F for a few hours. This will improve the structural integrity of the matzo meal and aid in the incorporation of the components. When the balls are cool, start forming them with a scooper. As an alternative, you can make the balls whichever size you wish by guesswork. Matzo balls are typically a little bit smaller, and most people prefer to put 2-3 of them in their soup, but you may also use one big matzo ball!
The shaped balls should be placed on a baking tray covered with a layer of baking paper. Avoid packing the tray too tightly and leave space between each ball. The balls should be prepared the day you intend to use them and then kept in the refrigerator for two to three hours at 40°F before being added to the soup. The matzo balls will set better if they have time to rest. They won’t disintegrate during cooking when you do add them to matzo soup.
Freezing Matzo Balls
It is really simple to freeze matzo balls! After shaping the balls and allowing them to rest in the fridge, remove the tray and place it in the freezer. Make sure you have enough freezer space to fit the entire tray. If you move the dish too quickly, the matzo balls may fall out of place and collide with each other. If you don’t have enough freezer space, we recommend dividing the matzo balls into two tiny trays.
Don’t worry, the trays will be removed shortly! First, we must freeze the balls while they are set, allowing the surface moisture to evaporate and the water contained inside the balls to crystalize. This allows the balls to keep their shape for a longer period of time and makes them very easy to store. Freeze the balls overnight at 0°F before proceeding to the third stage – we recommend working swiftly because the balls should not defrost just yet!
Remove the matzo balls from the tray and place them in a freezer-safe plastic bag. To keep the dumplings fresh, store them in an airtight bag. Remember that matzo balls are heat sensitive and can even warm up in your hands, so use gloves or a spoon to scoop up the balls. Fill the bag halfway with matzo balls. Seal the bag and place it in the back of the freezer (away from the door). Frozen matzo balls will keep in the freezer for about 2-3 months. You might keep them for longer, but after 3-4 months, they would lose flavor and become crumbly.
Using Frozen Matzo Balls
While thawing the balls first might seem like a good idea, we advise against it to guarantee that they cook uniformly and that they don’t break apart. Instead, add the frozen matzo balls at the end of cooking your soup. If you want to use the balls in other dishes, thawing them might be a nice idea, but if you’re preparing soup, you can just drop the balls in gently and cook them as you normally would.
Avoid overstirring the pot to avoid fracturing the matzo balls. Always inspect the matzo balls for signs of deterioration before using them. While matzo balls that have been properly frozen can be kept without developing germs, power shortages or poor circulation could affect the flavor of the dumplings.
Before boiling the balls, always check them for a slimy texture, unpleasant smell, or color changes. Frozen matzo balls that are 4 to 6 months old may subtly change in appearance owing to oxidation, but as long as they don’t show overt indications of spoiling, they are acceptable to eat.
Matzo balls are simple to keep and can be frozen to save time and effort! Now that you know how to store them, consider the following questions.
How long can matzo balls last at room temperature?
It is not recommended to keep matzo balls out at room temperature for longer than 1-2 hours. Eggs and other ingredients in these dumplings have a high risk of spoilage. Before forming matzo balls, always chill the dough in the refrigerator. Even if you want to cook them immediately away, cooling them in the refrigerator first will help keep their shape.
Can you refreeze matzo balls?
When the frozen matzo balls have thawed, use them all at once. It is pointless to refreeze them since they may get contaminated. The shaped matzo balls should be stored in serving sizes. Only take out what you need and preserve the remainder frozen!