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Vegan Matzo Balls

This recipe comes from Vegan Holiday Kitchen (Sterling) by Nava Atlas, an essential resource if you are vegetarian or vegan or are cooking for someone who is.

Read our review of the book.

vegan matzo ballsNava Atlas writes: These are not going to be like your Bubbe’s big, fluffy matzo balls, but neither are they cannonballs. They’re easy to make and quite tasty. Cooked quinoa flakes are what binds them together. A lot of the vegan matzo ball recipes out there use silken tofu as a binder, which, for many Jews, is not an allowed Passover food. The trick here is to bake them at a low temperature rather than boiling them. Without egg as a binder, vegan matzo balls are more likely than not to fall apart in water.

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.

Good news! If you need a gluten-free option, this recipe offers just that. By using only quinoa flakes (instead of the quinoa flakes/matzo meal combo), technically there’s nothing “matzo” about the gluten-free variation, but truth be told, I think they’re even better that way.

1 cup quinoa flakes
2 cups boiling water
1 cup matzo meal (see gluten-free variation, below)
1/4 cup light vegetable oil (such as safflower)
1/4 teaspoon salt
A few grindings of black pepper
Pinch each of onion and garlic powder, optional

  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 along with the oil, salt, pepper, and optional seasonings; 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. Roll 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 firm to the touch; don’t let them brown.
  6. If making ahead of time, let the matzo balls cool completely, then cover until needed. Warm them briefly in a medium oven and distribute them among the soup bowls, allowing 3 or 4 matzo balls per serving.

Makes about 24.

VARIATION: To make these gluten-free, substitute 1 1/4 cups quinoa flakes for the matzo meal. Don’t add them to the original quantity of quinoa flakes; this is a separate measure to use dry. A bit more is needed than the quantity of matzo meal for the purpose, as the quinoa flakes are less dense.

Note: Ancient Harvest quinoa flakes are Kosher for Passover.

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