Matzo balls are small dumplings made of seasoned matzo meal bound together with egg and chicken fat, traditionally served in a Jewish chicken soup. It is a staple in many Ashkenazic Jewish homes throughout the year but particularly during the Passover holiday.
Passover lasts for eight days which can mean that you are going to consume a lot of chicken soup with matzo balls. However, you don’t really want to be making them every day so can you make them in advance and freeze them?
The simple answer is yes, and in this article, we will be telling you how to freeze and defrost them. You can also freeze the chicken soup but you need to do this separately.
How To Freeze Matzo Balls
1. Make a big batch of matzo balls.
2. Flash freeze the matzo balls.
Take a flat baking tray and put a sheet of parchment paper on it. Lay out the matzo balls and make sure that they are not touching each other. This will ensure that they won’t stick together when you come to put them in freezer bags or airtight containers. Put the baking tray in the freezer for around two hours until the matzo balls are frozen solid.
3. Put the matzo balls in freezer bags or airtight containers.
If you are using a freezer bag, ensure that you squeeze out all the air from the bag so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. While the matzo balls will still be safe to eat, they will lose both taste and texture. Put a label on the bags or containers so that you know when you put the matzo balls in the freezer.
How To Make Matzo Ball Soup
Matzo ball soup is a delicious chicken soup made with chicken fat known as schmaltz. If you are making matzo balls in advance, it follows that you should make matzo ball soup to freeze as well. It will save time in the long run if you do make both in advance particularly if you are celebrating with a large group of people. The only thing to remember is that you have to freeze the matzo balls and chicken soup separately. This is the way to freeze the soup.
1. Make the soup with your favorite recipe.
2. Cool down the soup.
Transfer the soup to a cold bowl to speed up the cooling process. You don’t want to leave the soup out for longer than two hours, as after this time bacteria can start to form. You also don’t want to put the soup in the freezer while it is still warm as this can raise the temperature. Other food in the freezer may start to defrost and when it refreezes, bacteria can develop.
3. Portion out the soup and put it in containers.
It is a good idea to portion out the soup into meal-size portions so that you only defrost what you need and don’t end up wasting any. It is better to use airtight containers to store your soup as freezer bags could split and you might end up with a mess in your freezer. Don’t fill the containers right up to the top as the soup will expand when it is being frozen. You can wrap the containers in a couple of layers of cling film for extra security from spills and to ensure that they are completely airtight. Put a label on the containers with the date you put them in the freezer. If you are freezing different soups, it is also a good idea to put the type of soup on the label as you won’t be able to tell just by looking at the container.
Tips For Freezing Matzo Balls
- Flash freeze the matzo balls to ensure that they don’t stick together when you come to bag them up.
- Use an airtight container rather than a freezer bag if you want to ensure that the matzo balls don’t get squashed in the freezer. It’s all too easy to accidentally place something on a freezer bag particularly if you have a full freezer.
- If you do use freezer bags, make sure that you squeeze out all the air from them so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. A tip is to insert a straw into the bag to suck the air out before sealing. You can use a vacuum sealer if you are lucky enough to have one.
For How Long Can You Freeze Matzo Balls?
Matzo balls can be kept in the freezer for up to three months. After this time, both taste and texture will deteriorate. The chicken soup can be kept in the freezer for four to six months.
How Do You Defrost Matzo Balls and Chicken Soup?
The best way to defrost matzo balls and chicken soup is to take them out of the freezer and put them in the fridge to defrost slowly overnight. Defrosting slowly helps to stop bacteria from forming.
However, there is an alternative. You can defrost the chicken soup overnight but instead, add the matzo balls into the soup when you are heating it up. Make sure that the matzo balls are cooked through before serving.
Can You Refreeze Matzo Balls?
We don’t think it’s a good idea to refreeze matzo balls. They will change slightly in texture with the first freeze and then even more with the second. They will probably end up mushy if you freeze them twice.
It’s also not a good idea to refreeze the chicken soup. It’s made from chicken fat and stock and it’s always difficult when it comes to freezing meat products as it is easy for bacteria to form. The soup was probably at room temperature for around two hours while it was cooling down before the first freeze and this is the maximum time you should leave it out. If you reheat it after it has been frozen, you would need to cool it down again and this would be another two hours. This is dangerous, so it’s better not to do it.
Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Matzo Balls?
Matzo balls generally freeze well. They may change a little in texture but you will be hard-pressed to tell the difference between frozen matzo balls and fresh ones.
Chicken soup also freezes well as do most soups. However, don’t refreeze either the soup or the matzo balls.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing matzo balls but if you want to know more about them or matzo in general, we have answered a few questions here.
Can you freeze matzo crackers?
It is safe to freeze matzo crackers (see also Can You Freeze Crackers?) but unfortunately, the texture can change quite dramatically so it is better not to bother. However, you can freeze matzo cracker dough. If you divide it into portions you can then just defrost as much as you need for the meal.
Can you freeze matzo meal?
There is no point in freezing matzo meal as it is like flour and has a very long shelf life if stored in an airtight container in a cool place and away from the light.
What else can I make from matzo meal?
You can make lots of different things with matzo meal. For example, try making pizza, French toast or banana bread. Matzo-crusted chicken cutlets are delicious as is spring greens matzo frittata.