Matzo balls, also known as kneidlach or matzah balls, are a traditional Jewish dumpling made from matzo meal, eggs, oil or shortening, and salt and pepper. They are a popular accompaniment to chicken soup, often served during Passover. However, preparing matzo balls takes time and effort, so you may want to make a large batch and save some for later. Proper storage is important for keeping matzo balls fresh and tasty. Here are some tips for storing leftover matzo balls.
Should You Refrigerate or Freeze Matzo Balls?
Both refrigerating and freezing are good options for storing matzo balls. Refrigeration will keep cooked matzo balls fresh for 3-4 days. Freezing will allow you to store them for longer periods, up to 3 months.
Refrigeration is preferable if you think you will consume the matzo balls within a few days. It retains texture and flavor better. Frozen matzo balls are convenient for longer storage but can suffer some degradation in taste and texture over time in the freezer.
Storing Matzo Balls in the Refrigerator
If planning to eat your leftover matzo balls within 3-4 days, refrigeration is the best storage method. Here are some tips:
– Let matzo balls cool completely before refrigerating. Matzo balls should be chilled within 2 hours of cooking.
– Store in an airtight container. A container with a tight sealing lid will prevent drying out. Glass or plastic containers work well.
– Add a little broth to the storage container. This will keep the matzo balls moist.
– Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. Label container with date cooked or use within this timeframe.
– Matzo balls may be reheated directly from the refrigerator by boiling, steaming or microwaving with a little broth.
Freezing Matzo Balls for Long Term Storage
For storage beyond 4 days, freezing is recommended. Follow these guidelines:
– As with refrigerating, cool matzo balls completely before freezing, within 2 hours of cooking.
– Portion matzo balls into freezer bags or airtight containers, leaving a little space for expansion. Flat packages freeze and thaw faster.
– Add a small amount of broth to each bag or container before sealing. About 1-2 tablespoons per dozen balls.
– Squeeze out excess air and seal bags. For containers, leave 1⁄2 to 1-inch headspace.
– Label with contents and freeze-by date (3 months from freezing date).
– For quick thawing, run cold water over freezer bag or place in refrigerator overnight. Do not thaw at room temperature.
– Reheat frozen matzo balls by boiling, steaming or microwaving with broth. They can go straight from freezer to cooking.
What is the Best Way to Reheat Matzo Balls?
The best reheating methods for both refrigerated and frozen matzo balls are:
On the Stovetop
– In a pot, bring chicken broth to a gentle simmer.
– Carefully add matzo balls and heat through, about 5-10 minutes. Take care not to boil vigorously or balls may fall apart.
– Alternatively, steam over simmering broth for 10 minutes.
In the Microwave
– Place matzo balls in a microwave-safe bowl with a small amount of broth.
– Microwave on medium power for 1-2 minutes until heated through.
– Take care not to overheat as they can become rubbery.
In the Oven
– Preheat oven to 325°F.
– Place matzo balls in an oven-safe baking dish with broth.
– Cover and bake for 15-20 minutes until hot.
Tips for reheating:
– Add just enough broth to moisten and prevent drying out.
– Heat thoroughly until steaming hot, at least 165°F.
– Do not overcook or matzo balls will be dense and dry.
– Cook in broth for best flavor and moisture retention.
How Can You Keep Matzo Balls Moist When Reheating?
Matzo balls can dry out when reheated. Here are some tips to keep them moist and flavorful:
– Always reheat with broth, not plain water. The broth adds flavor and keeps matzo balls from drying out. Chicken or vegetable broth work well.
– Do not overcook. Heat just until matzo balls are hot, about 165°F. Extended cooking makes them rubbery.
– Steam or bake in a covered dish to lock in moisture. Microwaving can dry them out so use broth and use care.
– Add extra broth or water if needed during reheating. It should be absorbed into the matzo balls.
– Allow a little time after reheating for broth to fully permeate matzo balls before serving.
– Brush on a little olive oil or coat with broth before serving reheated matzo balls.
– Serve with extra hot broth for dipping to add moisture with each bite.
What are Some Serving Ideas for Leftover Matzo Balls?
Leftover matzo balls offer a quick and easy addition to meals. Here are some serving ideas:
– Chicken soup – Add reheated matzo balls to chicken broth with vegetables like carrots, onions, celery, and chicken.
– Vegetable soup – Drop them into vegetable or tomato-based soups.
– Beef and barley soup – The heartiness of matzo balls pairs well with beef soup.
– Mix into tuna or chicken casseroles in place of egg noodles or rice.
– Bake into a matzo ball casserole layered with cheese and tomato sauce.
– Toss chilled, diced matzo balls into tuna salad, chicken salad or egg salad.
– Make a matzo ball “crouton” Caesar salad with chopped chilled balls.
– Include chopped matzo balls in egg scrambles or frittatas.
– Top a matzo brei egg cake with extra crumbled matzo balls.
– Munch on cold matzo balls straight from the refrigerator.
– Fry or bake until crispy as a high protein snack.
– Stuff into pita sandwiches similarly to falafel.
Get creative with leftover matzo balls! They make fast, tasty additions to meals, snacks and more. With proper refrigeration or freezing, you can enjoy homemade matzo balls whenever the craving strikes.
What Are Some Cooking Substitutions If You Don’t Have Matzo Meal?
Matzo meal gives matzo balls their signature flavor and texture. But if you’re out of matzo meal, these substitutes can work in a pinch:
Breadcrumbs or Crackers
– Plain breadcrumbs – Use dry unseasoned breadcrumbs. Panko will make balls crispy.
– Crushed crackers – Saltines, matzo crackers, or water crackers crushed into crumbs.
– Cook and crumble – Lightly toast bread and process into fine crumbs.
Use a 2:1 ratio, replacing 2 cups matzo meal with 1 cup breadcrumb substitute.
– All-purpose flour – Substitute an equal amount of all-purpose flour for matzo meal.
– Potato starch – For gluten-free, use 1/4 cup potato starch per 1 cup matzo meal.
– Almond or coconut flour – Replace 1:1 but may alter texture slightly.
Flour gives a slightly different, denser texture. Add a little baking powder to lighten.
Quick Cooking Oats
– Finely grind dry oats into a meal.
– Use a 1:1 ratio to replace matzo meal.
– Oats add fiber and complement the dumpling texture.
While not exactly the same, these handy pantry items can be used to make matzo ball approximations in a pinch!
Storing matzo balls properly lets you enjoy homemade taste conveniently for days after cooking. Refrigerating keeps them fresh for 3-4 days, while freezing extends storage to 3 months. Reheat with care to prevent drying out. Matzo balls can be easily reinvented into soups, salads, snacks and more. With a little planning, you can have perfect matzo balls ready when the craving strikes.