Home Knowledge 10 Best Kosher Substitutes For Matzo Meal

10 Best Kosher Substitutes For Matzo Meal

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Matzo meal is a fine, breadcrumb-like ingredient that is made by grinding matzo crackers. To replace flour and breadcrumbs during Passover, matzo is a popular option. It is used in Jewish recipes like matzo ball soup, potato pancakes, meatballs, casseroles, and baked goods.

If you’ve got none in the pantry, then you’ll need a matzo meal substitute. We’ve created a list of suitable alternatives that are easy to find in store. While some can be used any time of year others aren’t suitable for Passover.

What are the best matzo meal alternatives?

To replace matzo meal during Passover make your own by processing matzo or use matzo cake meal, quinoa flour, or almond flour. Outside of Passover, try plain breadcrumbs, crushed coconut macaroons, or semolina as your best options.

Keep in mind that some ingredients will work in specific recipes but won’t be appropriate for others. You should also check the product packaging to ensure it is kosher-approved.

Easy option: Get yourself Manischewitz Passover Matzo and use a processor to make a matzo meal. Or get a cannister of ready-to-go Matzo Meal from Manischewitz on Amazon.

1. Plain breadcrumbs

Possible uses: kneidlach, meatloaf, Matzah Brei.
Suitable for: Outside of Passover.

Matzo meal is best used for breading and recipes like matzo balls and meatloaf where it acts as a binder. For these purposes, breadcrumbs will usually be the best substitute for matzo meal.

Breadcrumbs have their differences to matzo meal though. Most products contain yeast, so forget about using them for Pesach. Also, matzo meal contains less moisture, so you’ll find that breadcrumbs won’t expand the same way.

If you want to use yeast-free breadcrumbs during Passover, consider buying a loaf of kosher bread that isn’t made using yeast. Allow it to turn stale then break into pieces and process in a food processor until you get a fine crumb.

Naan bread or pita bread can also be left to turn stale before processing. You’ll get crumbs similar to matza.

2. Quinoa flour

Possible uses: Baked goods.
Suitable for: Any time of year including Passover.

Quinoa gained its fame as an on-trend superfood from South America. Over time, quinoa flour became a popular gluten-free baking ingredient and is now considered kosher for Passover.

Quinoa flour has a slightly bitter undertone that works better in savory baked goods. Sweet recipes that use strong flavors to overpower the flour will also work well. Chocolate cake or Pesach chocolate chip cookies are tasty examples to attempt.

Other useful parve flours for Passover include potato starch, coconut flour, and teff flour.

3. Make your own

Possible uses: Any recipe that calls for matzah meal.
Suitable for: Any time of year including Passover.

For authentic matzah, you can make your own at home, then process until it reaches a suitable consistency. Keep in mind there are strict requirements including:

  • when the flour and water are combined, it must be cooked and removed from the oven within 18 minutes for it to be used during Passover.
  • matzah bread that is kosher for Passover must be made with special Passover-approved flour and kept away from liquid.

Get the matzah bread recipe here.

Matzo Substitutes infographic

4. Matzo cake meal

Possible uses: Baked goods, kneidlach, soup, Pesach rolls, kugel.
Suitable for: Any time of year including Passover.

Cake meal is the same as matzo meal only it is ground finer. Its texture is closer to regular flour which makes it useful in baked goods. However, cake meal is made from already baked matzo, so it won’t develop structure in cakes as you’d get from wheat flour.

Matzo cake meal also doesn’t absorb liquid particularly well so use it for baking desserts and baked goods with a delicate crumb.

If you are making kneidlach (matzo balls) then matzo cake meal will work in a pinch. They’ll have a much denser consistency than the traditional ones, which some people may prefer. Adding beaten egg whites will help to reduce the density of the balls, making fluffier kneidlach.

As cake meal is finer, you’ll need to use a little extra in recipes. If you need one cup of matzo meal, try using a cup of cake meal and adding an extra two tablespoons.

5. Almond meal

Possible uses: Baked goods, thickeners, and breading.
Suitable for: Any time of year including Passover.

Almond meal is a surprisingly versatile kosher ingredient that isn’t just reserved for fancy French baking. Use it to whip up a mouth-watering chocolate pecan pie or a batch of fudgy brownies.

Almond meal (or flour) has its uses in savory dishes too. Use it to thicken sauces and for breading.

Quick tip: If you bake with almond meal, allow the baked goods to fully cool before moving or slicing to avoid unwanted collapses.

6. Coconut macaroons

Possible uses: Sweet pie crusts.
Suitable for: Outside of Passover.

Macaroon biscuits are a leftfield alternative that has limited use but are worth mentioning. They can be crushed and used as a base for pies, tarts, and cheesecakes.

7. Saltine crackers

Possible uses: Matza ball soup, breading, binding.
Suitable for: Outside of Passover.

Unsalted saltine crackers (aka soda crackers) are a handy pantry item you can pull out when you’ve got no matzo meal available. They’re another substitute that is well-suited to matzo balls and meatloaf.

Add the crackers to a blender and process until you get a fine texture without any lumps. Another way to turn them into a crumb is to bag them and use a rolling pin to crush. That’s how it was done before fancy appliances hit the shelves.

8. Panko crumbs

Possible uses: kneidlach, meatloaf, Pesach rolls, kugel.
Suitable for: Outside of Passover.

Panko crumbs are Japanese-style crumbs that are lighter and crispier than matzo meal. While panko isn’t suitable for baking, it’s great for recipes that involve coating food and frying. Matzo fried chicken will get a crispy texture if you replace the matzo meal with panko crumbs. Other ways to use panko include crab cakes and meatballs.

9. Semolina

Possible uses: Matzo balls.
Suitable for: Outside of Passover.

Semolina may not sound like a useful replacement for matzo meal but it works well. Check out this delicious-looking recipe for Griessnockerl, Austrian Style Semolina Dumplings, posted here.

10. Plain crushed biscuits

Possible uses: Sweet pie crusts.
Suitable for: Outside of Passover.

For sweet recipes, plain biscuits are an easy-to-find alternative. Marie biscuits and similar products will do a good job. Transform them into a powder using a blender or rolling pin. You can also check out our article on Digestive biscuit substitutes.

Triangles of matzo bread on a white background

Commonly asked questions

Can I use flour instead of matzo meal?

For most applications, flour is not recommended as a replacement for matzo meal. Flour is much finer and, unlike matzo meal, hasn’t been baked. During Passover, you can use approved flours like almond flour, quinoa flour, or teff flour for thickening sauces, breading, and some baked recipes.

What’s the difference between matzo cake meal, matzo meal, and matzo farfel?

Matzo cake meal is the finest consistency, useful for baking; the meal is a thicker texture, ideal for matzo balls, breading, and binding. Matzo farfel is thickly crumbled pieces or matzo, ideal for stuffing, kugels, and crunchy toppings.

What is Passover?

Passover, also known as Pesach, is a significant Jewish holiday that commemorates the exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. It is celebrated on the 15th day of Nisan on the Jewish calendar.

What is matzo bread?

Matzo, matza, or matzah is a flat, unleavened Jewish ritual bread used during Passover. It can be soft or crispy, but shops usually just sell the crispy variety as it is more shelf-stable.

Interesting reading:
What are some good German’s chocolate alternatives.

A dish of vegetable kugel

Summing up

If you’re cooking a Jewish recipe that calls for matzo meal, then it’s possible to finish the dish without it. Ingredients like matzo cake meal, quinoa flour, or almond meal will make useful replacements. Plain breadcrumbs, coconut macaroons, or semolina are also great substitutes if you’re not cooking during Passover.

For Jewish cooks, we also recommend checking with your local community to make sure whatever substitutes you use are acceptable for Passover.

We’ve also noticed some innovative food manufacturers are producing kosher for Passover baking mixes. Ranging from cake and bread mixes to scratch baking flours, be sure to do a quick online search. You may find an easy solution that is one click away.