The one ingredient that makes perfect matzo balls (September 2023)

The one ingredient that makes perfect matzo balls (September 2023) Credit: Marge Perry

I am handing you the keys to matzo ball heaven. For years, I have been making matzo balls the way my grandmother did — and they were great. I lightened the matzo balls with beaten egg whites and they came out exactly right: Light but not too light, with a bit of chew to them. I am not a fan of spongy, heavy matzo balls, so my grandmother’s recipe hit the perfect balance. But last year I learned a new trick that has greatly simplified my matzo ball making. I end up with the same perfect texture, but without the bother of the beaten egg whites. That means if I have a lot of matzo balls to make, I no longer have to work in batches. I now use baking powder in the mix.

Not only does this make cooking for a crowd easier, you can even do it on Passover (look for baking powder marked “kosher for Passover”). If you want your matzo balls lighter than air, increase the baking powder a little; for heavier balls, cut back to ½ teaspoon. (I find 1 teaspoon of baking powder to one cup of matzo meal is ideal).

Matzo balls may be made well in advance and frozen on a sheet pan. After about 2 hours in the freezer, you can transfer the frozen balls to a bag. In my home, we consider matzo ball soup to be an essential part of our break fast. It is easy to eat and digest — and just tastes so good after the fast.

I would love to hear if you have the same epiphany as I did when you make your matzo balls with baking powder, email me at

Matzo Balls

1 cup matzo meal

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

¼ cup canola (or other vegetable) oil

1. Combine the matzo meal, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

2. In a second bowl, lightly beat the eggs and stir in the oil. Stir the mixture in to the matzo meal until just combined. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes or so.

3. Meanwhile, bring water or chicken stock to boil in a large pot.

4. Form the chilled mixture into 1-inch balls — again, take care to not overwork the dough. When the water or broth comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and add the matzo balls. Cover the pot and cook until the matzo balls are floating and soft and fluffy, about 35 minutes. You can test the doneness with a toothpick, or you can cut one of the balls in half and see if the texture looks nice and even throughout. The matzo balls may be made ahead and frozen at this point.

5. The matzo balls may be added directly to your soup without thawing. Simmer them gently until they are warmed through.

Makes 4 to 6 servings, about 12 matzo balls.

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