Rustic Matzo Balls

Excerpted from The Gefilte Manifesto: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Foods

In the days before commercial matzo meal production, cooks used to make their own. Using our Make-at-Home Matzo, you can create your own incredible DIY matzo ball. These matzo balls are slightly more sinker than floater because of the heft of homemade matzo meal, but I like to think that they straddle the line. Schmaltz adds a lot of flavor, but the recipe also works with oil. If using oil, it’s best to use broth, not water, for additional depth. Fold in bits of chicken and parsley or carrot for flourish and texture. Serve matzo balls in a steaming bowl of chicken broth or vegetable broth.

Serving Size

Makes about 10 matzo balls


  • 3 whole matzos, store-bought or homemade
  • ¼ cup store-bought matzo meal
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus
  • 1½ tablespoons for boiling water
  • ½ cup Classic Chicken Soup broth or water, at room temperature, plus more broth for serving
  • 3 tablespoons schmaltz or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • 3 quarts water
  • ¼ cup bits of chicken, celery, and onions from making Classic Chicken Soup


  1. In a food processor, pulse the whole matzos until a coarse matzo meal forms and you see a dusting of powder on the sides of the processor bowl. (You can also crush the matzos in a large zip-top bag with a meat tenderizer or hammer. This can be an especially helpful method with homemade matzo, which sometimes doesn’t grind well in the processor.) Each piece of matzo is equivalent to about 1 cup matzo meal, so you should have 3 cup crushed matzo. Combine this homemade matzo meal with the store-bought meal in a small bowl.

  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, 3 teaspoon of the salt, the broth, and schmaltz or oil. Gently fold the matzo meal into the egg mixture, stirring well to combine, but don’t overmix. If desired, toss in some chopped parsley and bits of shredded chicken and vegetables. Cover with a plate or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  3. In a wide soup pot, heat the water with 11 tablespoons of the salt. Remove the bowl from the fridge and stir the matzo mixture so that the liquid in the bottom is integrated. Place a bowl of cold water nearby, and using clean, wet hands, form small balls of about 1 heaping tablespoon each from the matzo meal mixture (this will yield about 10 matzo balls total) and place them in the boiling water. They will expand as they cook. Cover and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes.

  4. Serve the matzo balls in individual bowls of heated broth. If not serving immediately, the cooked balls may be refrigerated for up to 5 days and brought to room temperature before being placed into hot soup.

Excerpted from the book THE GEFILTE MANIFESTO by Jeffrey Yoskowitz & Liz Alpern. Copyright ©2016 by Gefilte Manifesto LLC. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by Lauren Volo.