Vegan Matzo Balls (with a Gluten-Free Variation)
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.
- 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)
- In a large mixing bowl, cover the quinoa flakes with the water. Let stand for 2 or 3 minutes.
- 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.
- Just before baking, preheat the oven to 275º F.
- Form the matzo meal mixture into approximately 1-inch balls; don’t pack them too firmly. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- 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.