Vegan Matzo Balls (with a Gluten-Free Variation)

Sephardic-Style Matzo Ball Soup (vegan)

These vegan matzo balls aren’t like the Jewish grandmothers’ classic recipe for the big, fluffy variety, but are delicious, easy to make, and soy-free. Many vegan matzo ball recipes on the web use tofu as a binder, which, for many Jews, is not an allowable Passover food; these use quinoa flakes. They’re baked at a low temperature rather than boiled. Without egg as a binder, vegan matzo balls of any kind are more likely than not to fall apart in water.

I’ve also included a gluten-free variation using additional dry quinoa flakes instead of matzo meal (though with only quinoa, technically they’re not “matzo” at all, just matzo-like). More quinoa flakes are needed than matzo meal to hold these together, as they’re less dense.

These go very quickly and everyone usually wants more, so if you’re increasing the amount of soup to accommodate a larger crowd, or serving more than 8 people, you would do well to double this recipe, which makes about 24 matzo balls. These are delicious in either the simple Vegan Matzo Ball Soup or the Moroccan-Style Matzo Ball Soup. Adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Vegan Matzo Balls (with a Gluten-Free Variation)
Author: 
Recipe type: Passover
Cuisine: Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 to 8
 
These vegan matzo balls aren't like the Jewish grandmothers' classic recipe for the big, fluffy variety, but are delicious, easy to make, and soy-free.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes (see Note)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup matzo meal (or 1½ cups quinoa flakes for a gluten-free version)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or more, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder. optional
  • ¼ cup neutral vegetable oil (like safflower)
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cover the quinoa flakes with the water. Let stand for 2 or 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the matzo meal (or additional quinoa flakes for GF), salt, pepper, optional onion powder, and oil. Mix until well blended. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Just before baking, preheat the oven to 275º F.
  4. Form the matzo meal mixture into approximately 1-inch balls; don’t pack them too firmly. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, carefully turning the matzo balls after 10 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch; don’t let them brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before distributing among soup bowls, allowing 3 to 4 per serving.

 

Tip: If making ahead of time, let the matzo balls cool completely, then cover until needed. Warm them briefly in a medium-hot oven or in the microwave, and distribute them among the soup bowls, allowing 3 or 4 matzo balls per serving.

Note: Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes are certified Kosher, but not Kosher for Passover. If this is important to you for the Passover holiday, please make that distinction. Perhaps this will change in time, and we’ll keep readers updated!

If your local natural foods retailer doesn’t carry them, they can order a box or two for you. Or look for them online.

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68 comments on “Vegan Matzo Balls (with a Gluten-Free Variation)

  1. Molly

    Are you sure these flakes are KfP? I just checked on-line and it doesn’t seem like they are (anymore). All I see that is KfP from this company is straight quinoa…

  2. Andrea Krinsky

    Where do you buy quinoa flakes?
    No Kosher store in Chi town?
    Do t hey have it at whole foods?
    My husband is vegan

  3. Nava Post author

    Molly, the quinoa flakes are Kosher, though I’m not sure Kosher for Passover. Here’s what it says on the company site:

    “The flaking process used by our exclusive processor is a patented trade secret, but what we can tell you is that it’s fully certified organic and kosher.”

  4. Yale

    The Spring Vegetable Soup with matzah balls has become a staple for our seder dinner. In order to cut more oil out of our diet, we replaced the 1/4 cup of oil from the matzah ball recipe with 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth. The matzah balls came out exactly the same.

  5. Sylvia Murray

    We in England can’t get kosher for Passover quinoa, but ground almonds work very well.

  6. Naomi

    Passover again, and this year I am not going to try to boil those eggless matzoh balls! What a great idea to bake them. Why not potato starch as a binder? But the best vegan binder is ground soaked flaxseed — it does not appear to be on the list of kitniot not to use on Pesach, does anyone know for sure?

  7. Deanne

    Everyone relax a bit about quinoa. It is officially a seed – not a grain. Because it expands when it is boiled, it tends to act more like a grain. Technically it is referred to as a pseudocereal but is more closely related to spinach and beets than to cereals or grains. So enjoy your quinoa for Pesach … and Chag Sameach!

  8. Nava Post author

    I agree, Deanne, so thanks for weighing in! It’s interesting to see how important tradition becomes in the celebration of holidays. It’s great to have ways to recreate old favorites, even after going plant-based. Enjoy the holiday!

  9. Nava Post author

    Rachel, the quinoa flakes are what holds these together as the “glue” instead of eggs. With just matzo meal they’d fall apart. Depending on how strictly you adhere to the rules of Ashkenazic Passover, you could use oatmeal.

  10. JE

    Can I grind my own quinoa and use it instead of quinoa flakes? Or will the end result be different? Anyone know?

  11. Sara Ross

    So I have been vegan for over 25 years. I have created my own matzoh ball recipe. I make my own matzoh meal by processing in the food processor.

    4 matzohs (ground in Food Processor)
    4 whole wheat matzohs (Ground in Food Processor)
    1/4 cup flax seeds
    1/4 cup chia seeds
    covered w/cold water, let rest, until gooey

    Add 1/4 cup olive oil, chopped parsley, chopped dill, ginger juice, turmeric, salt, pepper to seed mixture

    Then mix w/ground up matzoh, add enough water
    to form matzoh ball mixture. Refrigerate overnight.

    Make balls, add to simmering water, after balls rise, remove w/slotted spoon.

    These are fragile, no eggs, but are matzoh balls that can be added to your vegan broth

  12. Nava Post author

    Sara, thank you for this interesting variation! Readers, if anyone tries this one, let us know what you think.

  13. Noore

    Hi,
    There are 3 different issues: kosher, kosher l’pessach and kitniot. Some items can be kosher but NOT kosher l’pessach ( and it is always best to ask a competent rabbi about it, as the certification for Pessach takes into account the processing and packaging procedures), and what is considered kitniot , kitniot change according to customs and interpretation.

  14. Sharon Chester

    Made the quinoa vegan matza balls for the first time this past Pesach and we were pleasantly surprised!! Didn’t have kfp quinoa flakes so just kept the quinoa whole, and I substituted 2 tbsp of applesauce for the oil. The consistency was great (not like a real matza ball, but tasty, firm, and pleasantly filling). I only added them to the soup right before serving. I didn’t store leftovers in the soup since they started falling apart and my husband preferred them whole. Delicious combo with the spring vegetable soup (which btw I didn’t use any water in that recipe; just all veg broth …..I could not find a kfp veg broth carton so just made my own.) Thank you VegKitchen for the vegan matza ball spring soup recipe!! Definitely planning on making next Passover………if not sooner!!

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