Can you cook matzo balls in advance?

Quick Answers

Yes, you can cook matzo balls in advance before serving them in soup. Matzo balls can be cooked up to a few days ahead of time and then reheated in the soup when ready to eat. Some tips for cooking matzo balls in advance:

  • Shape raw matzo balls and store them tightly wrapped in the fridge for up to 2 days before cooking.
  • After cooking, let matzo balls cool completely before storing in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • To reheat, drop matzo balls directly into simmering soup and cook for a few minutes until heated through.
  • For best results, avoid freezing cooked matzo balls which can make them mushy.

Cooking matzo balls ahead helps streamline preparation when serving homemade chicken soup and matzo ball soup for holidays, Shabbat dinners, or anytime you want to enjoy this classic Jewish comfort food. With some advance planning, you can have perfect, fluffy matzo balls without last minute cooking.

Storing Raw Matzo Balls

One convenient option for getting a head start on matzo balls is shaping the raw dough balls ahead of time and storing them until you are ready to cook them. Here are some tips for properly storing uncooked matzo balls:

  • After mixing up your matzo ball dough, shape it into evenly sized balls. Aim for balls around 1 inch in diameter if making standard sized matzo balls.
  • Place the raw matzo balls in a single layer on a plate or baking sheet lined with plastic wrap. Make sure they are not touching.
  • Cover the matzo balls tightly with more plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  • Properly stored, raw matzo balls will keep for up to 2 days in the fridge before cooking.
  • Try to avoid freezing uncooked matzo balls, as this can dry them out and affect the texture.

Having pre-shaped raw matzo balls ready to go cuts down on prep time later on. When you’re ready to cook them, simply drop them into gently simmering liquid. The raw matzo balls just need to fully cook through before they can be served or saved for later.

Tips for Shaping Raw Matzo Balls

When shaping matzo balls ahead of time, keep these tips in mind for best results:

– Chill the matzo ball dough first to make it easier to handle. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

– Lightly wet your hands to prevent sticking as you shape.

– Roll dough into 1-inch balls and arrange neatly on prepared tray.

– Make sure balls are evenly sized for even cooking later.

– Don’t overcrowd matzo balls or let them touch on the tray.

– Check after refrigerating to ensure they haven’t flattened out and reshape if needed.

With practice, you’ll get comfortable forming uniform raw matzo balls. Just be gentle when handling them to avoid overworking the dough. Well-chilled and properly shaped, the uncooked matzo balls will hold their round form until you are ready to drop them into your soup broth.

Cooking Matzo Balls in Advance

Fully cooked matzo balls can also be prepared ahead of time and enjoy later. Here are some tips for cooking matzo balls in advance:

  • Boil matzo balls in salted water or broth until they float and are cooked through, about 30 minutes.
  • Drain and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet to cool completely.
  • Once cooled, place matzo balls in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • To reheat, simply drop matzo balls into simmering soup, broth, or water and cook a few minutes until warmed through.

Ideally, cooled matzo balls should be placed in a single layer with parchment paper between layers when storing to prevent sticking. Be sure to use an airtight container for storing in the fridge. Glass or plastic containers with tight fitting lids work best.

Always make sure matzo balls are completely cooled before refrigerating or moisture can develop in the container which impacts texture. Cooked matzo balls stored properly will retain their light, fluffy texture when reheated later on.

Tips for Cooking Matzo Balls in Advance

Follow these tips when cooking matzo balls ahead of time to ensure delicious results:

– Don’t undercook matzo balls initially or they won’t reheat well. Make sure they are fully cooked through when boiling the first time.

– Avoid freezing cooked matzo balls which impacts their texture. Simply refrigerate for storage.

– Let matzo balls cool completely, about 1-2 hours, before storing to prevent moisture build up.

– Use parchment or wax paper between layers of matzo balls in the storage container so they don’t stick together.

– Choose an airtight storage container and press out excess air before sealing. Glass or plastic work best.

– Limit refrigerated storage to up to 3 days for best flavor and texture.

– Reheat gently in simmering liquid just until warmed through, about 2-3 minutes. Don’t overcook.

With proper cooking, cooling, and storage, you can enjoy light and fluffy matzo balls again later in the week without all the work. Just drop them into hot soup and enjoy.

Reheating Matzo Balls

When ready to enjoy matzo balls that were cooked and stored in advance, follow these recommendations for reheating:

  • In a pot, bring your soup broth, water, or chicken stock to a gentle simmer.
  • Gently drop matzo balls directly into the hot liquid. Do not overcrowd.
  • Heat matzo balls for 2-3 minutes, turning occasionally, until heated through.
  • Avoid boiling or overcooking matzo balls when reheating or they can get dense.
  • For soup, taste and season broth again as needed before serving.

The hot simmering liquid will evenly reheat refrigerated matzo balls without overcooking them. Be careful not to let the broth come to a full rolling boil or it can make matzo balls mushy.

Matzo balls don’t necessarily have to be reheated in soup broth. You can also reheat them gently in water, chicken stock or vegetable broth before adding to soup. Just bring the liquid to a gentle simmer first.

If you want to reheat matzo balls in the microwave, place them in a microwave-safe dish with a small amount of broth or water. Cover and microwave in 30 second intervals, checking frequently, until warmed through. Take care not to overcook.

With a little trial and error, you’ll get the hang of properly reheating matzo balls to retain their light, airy texture. Having cooked matzo balls stored in the fridge lets you quickly prepare chicken soup anytime.

Serving Suggestions

When serving matzo ball soup with pre-cooked matzo balls, here are some ideas to consider:

– For richer flavor, you can saute aromatics like onion, celery, and carrots before reheating matzo balls in the broth.

– Whisk in some beaten egg whites while reheating to add body back to the broth.

– Garnish bowls of soup with chopped fresh dill or parsley.

– Offer sliced cooked chicken breast or rotisserie chicken on the side.

– Let guests sprinkle extra salt, pepper, or hot sauce over their bowl of soup.

– For a heartier soup meal, add cooked noodles, rice or vegetables.

– Offer crusty bread or rolls to dip into the delicious broth.

With pre-made matzo balls you can create flavorful, customized chicken soup creations for your family while avoiding last minute cooking. Everyone will love the comforting, homemade taste.

Matzo Ball Soup for Holidays

Cooking matzo balls in advance is especially helpful when making large batches for holiday meals or entertaining. Here are some benefits of preparing your matzo balls ahead of time for special occasions:

  • Saves time and allows you to focus on other parts of the meal.
  • Makes it easy to get freshly cooked matzo ball soup on the table.
  • Lets you prep matzo balls over a few days rather than all at once.
  • Allows make-ahead matzo balls to soak up delicious flavors of the soup.

Matzo ball soup is a beloved tradition at many holiday celebrations:

  • Serve as a first course at a Passover Seder.
  • Enjoy for Hanukkah or other Jewish holidays.
  • Offer as a hearty appetizer or side for Rosh Hashanah.
  • Ladle up as comfort food at Thanksgiving.

With matzo balls ready to go in the fridge, putting together homemade matzo ball soup for holidays or guests is much easier. You don’t have to be stuck in the kitchen while everyone else enjoys the festivities. Simply reheat, season the broth and ladle into bowls for an easy, comforting addition to any special meal.

Tips for Making Matzo Ball Soup for Crowds

When cooking matzo ball soup for a large holiday gathering, potluck, or other big event, these tips will help:

– Consider making the matzo balls a day or two ahead. Refrigerate cooked, cooled balls to reheat later.

– Prep and store the soup broth in advance too. Strain and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

– Cook an extra large batch of broth to allow for leftovers. Broth freezes well.

– Use very large pots and pans when reheating soup and matzo balls to serve a crowd.

– Keep soup at a simmer on the stovetop or in a slow cooker set on low to avoid drying out.

– Set up a soup station so guests can ladle their own bowls self-serve style.

– Have extra toppings and seasonings available for customizing individual soups.

With the right tools and some advance preparation, serving homemade matzo ball soup for a holiday crowd is totally doable. The favor of the scratch-made broth and tender matzo balls is sure to satisfy.

Storing Leftover Matzo Ball Soup

Like many soups and stews, matzo ball soup often tastes even better the next day once flavors have melded. Here are some tips for storing leftover matzo ball soup:

  • Refrigerate leftover matzo ball soup within 2 hours of cooking.
  • Place matzo balls and broth in separate shallow containers to allow for quick cooling.
  • Cover both containers tightly before refrigerating.
  • Eat refrigerated soup within 3-4 days.
  • Reheat gently on the stovetop just until hot, adding more broth if too thick.

The cooked matzo balls and broth both keep well in the fridge but should be stored separately. This prevents the matzo balls from absorbing too much liquid and becoming mushy.

For longer term storage, matzo ball soup also freezes nicely:

  • Let soup cool completely before freezing.
  • Portion into freezer bags or containers, leaving headspace.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw in fridge before gently reheating on the stovetop.

Enjoy leftover matzo ball soup for lunches or quick meals later in the week. The complex flavors continue developing as it sits. With proper storage, you can enjoy delicious homemade matzo ball soup whenever the craving strikes.

Troubleshooting Leftover Matzo Balls

If leftover matzo balls stored in soup broth end up a bit dense, soggy or heavy when reheated, try these fixes:

– Cut matzo balls in half or quarters so the insides can soak up some broth and become tender again.

– Lightly toast cut matzo balls pieces in the oven or toaster oven to revive texture.

– Fry matzo ball chunks briefly in a little oil or schmaltz for more flavor and crunch.

– Use extra matzo ball pieces as filler in egg or chicken salads instead of croutons.

– Purée smaller matzo ball pieces with broth for thickening soups or gravy.

While reheated whole matzo balls are best, you still have options for using up leftovers if they lose their fluffiness during storage. Get creative with ways to revive or repurpose less than perfect matzo balls.

Substituting Cooked Matzo Balls

If you end up short on already cooked matzo balls, don’t worry. You can stretch them out in your soup in a pinch. Try these ideas:

  • Add torn up pieces of egg bread or challah.
  • Cook some mini gnocchi directly in the broth.
  • Drop in wide egg noodles or soaked rice.
  • Add prepared mini potato or spinach dumplings.
  • Stir in peeled, cubed potatoes and simmer until tender.
  • Mix in store-bought frozen matzo balls to supplement homemade.

While nothing quite matches the unique taste and texture of homemade matzo balls, adding in some substitutes can help bulk up your soup. Opt for small pasta shapes, soft bread cubes, or quick-cooking dumplings for best results.

In a pinch, boosting your matzo ball soup with a combination of replacements plus your remaining pre-cooked matzo balls can help stretch servings. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed for this hybrid soup creation.

Serving Substituted Matzo Ball Soup

If you end up replacing some of your matzo balls with other ingredients, keep these serving tips in mind:

– Sauté aromatics like onions, carrots and celery in the broth for extra flavor.

– Add a splash of lemon juice or vinegar for brightness.

– Offer more toppings like fresh herbs, hot sauce, diced avocado or radish.

– Make it a meal by serving alongside cooked chicken, challah bread or a salad.

– Ladle substituted matzo ball soup into mugs for a cozy meal, if it seems thin.

– Embrace the unique mash-up soup you created and enjoy the improvised flavors!

Even if it’s not 100% authentic, your on-the-fly matzo ball substitute soup still provides comfort. Focus on the delicious broth, which is the star of this Jewish staple.

Matzo Ball Soup Alternatives

If you don’t have the time or ingredients to make matzo ball soup from scratch, these alternatives all offer similar comfort:

Canned Condensed Soup

  • Look for canned matzo ball, chicken noodle, or vegetable noodle soups near the canned broth.
  • Heat and add water according to package directions.
  • Jazz it up by stirring in fresh herbs, lemon juice, chili crisp, or noodles.

Boxed Soup Mix

  • Make DIY matzo ball soup with store-bought matzo ball mix + homemade broth.
  • Use chicken and rice or vegetable soup mixes. Cook noodles on the side.
  • Spruce up packaged mix with extra vegetables, chicken chunks, or seasonings.

Prepared Broth + Add-Ins

  • Heat ready-to-use chicken or veggie broth and drop in prepared dumplings or tortellini.
  • Add cooked rice noodles, torn up bread cubes, diced potato or spinach.
  • Stir in pesto, shredded carrot, chopped greens or parsley.

When you need matzo ball soup in a hurry, start with good quality store-bought broth then customize it. With a little creativity, you can come close to the homemade version in short order for a quick weeknight dinner.

In a pinch, lean on time-saving soup options like canned, boxed, or prepared broth short cuts. Then enhance them with spices, textures, noodles or garnishes for an easy, comforting meal.


Cooking matzo balls in advance allows you to enjoy light, fluffy matzo balls in your homemade chicken soup anytime without last minute prep. Shaping and refrigerating raw dough, or cooking matzo balls completely then storing for later, both work well. Be sure to properly store in the fridge and gently reheat in simmering liquid to retain the perfect tender yet firm texture. Preparing matzo balls ahead helps streamline holiday or Shabbat dinners. With some planning, you can serve from-scratch matzo ball soup for a crowd with ease. While the baked matzo balls will be best, you have options for stretching leftovers or substituting with other ingredients if needed. With the rich chicken broth as the foundation, adding almost any small dumplings, pastas or tender vegetables will result in a comforting, satisfying soup creation.

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