Whole Living Daily

Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Matzo Ball Soup: Food Allergy Recipe Challenge #26

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I finally cracked the code. The matzo ball code. For those of you who read this blog regularly, you’ll know that I’ve been having some trouble with this particular recipe. In fact, I dubbed it “The Holy Grail of Allergy-Friendly”.  I’m not sure what finally shifted; perhaps it was the pressure.

I fell into a panic today. No sooner had I finished my various Thanksgiving recipe posts, and Thanksgiving leftovers recipe posts, then I realized Chanukah began December 1st. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, but this year, I’d made a promise to tackle those gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free matzo balls in time for the winter holidays. And I still hadn’t done it. I mean, I tried (see here), and tried again (see here), and, yes, I tried again. But ultimately, I’d decided to move on to other recipes and go back to the dreaded matzo balls, once inspiration overtook me.

I had long suspected that the solution to these allergy-friendly matzo balls lied within the other familiar players of Chanukah foods: potato, applesauce, and onions. Thankfully, I was right. I also realized corn flour could mimic the lovely golden hue traditionally imparted by egg yolk. And I used a bit of quinoa flakes to create the texture of matzo meal. This recipe was my hardest non-nut to crack. But I did, and I finally created a delicious bobbing ball recipe, which might even make my great-grandmother Dora proud. Happy Chanukah!

Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Matzo Ball Soup

(Gluten-free, Egg-free, Soy-free, Tree Nut-free)

Makes 4 servings

These matzo balls look just like traditional matzo balls and mimic the texture very nicely. Be prepared to serve and eat them right away.

  • 1/3 cup corn flour
  • ¼ cup potato starch
  • ¼ cup quinoa flakes
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 2 Tablespoons chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon applesauce
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 4¼ cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock (Kitchen Basics is allergy-friendly)
  • ¼ cup very finely minced yellow onion
  • 1 ½ teaspoons finely minced parsley, plus more for garnish
  • extra finely dill for garnish
  1. Measure out corn flour and potato starch by spooning into dry measuring cups, then leveling off with a straightedge or butter knife. Combine flours with quinoa flakes, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, and a few turns of freshly ground pepper. Whisk well, and set aside.
  2. Whisk together egg replacer, and applesauce. Add canola oil and ¼ cup chicken broth. Whisk well.
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add liquid ingredients, and stir with a wooden spoon. Add minced onion and minced parsley, stirring to combine.
  4. Heat the remaining 4 cups chicken broth over medium-high heat.
  5. Meanwhile, wet hands slightly with cool water, and roll dough into balls, about 1 ½-inches in diameter, wetting hands again as necessary.
  6. Once chicken broth has come to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and gently add matzo balls to pot. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and cook 10 minutes.  You don’t want to overcook them or they’ll get soggy, but cook them long enough to cook the onions. 15 minutes max.  Remove from heat.
  7. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Spinkle in some parsley or dill. Serve immediately.

Tip: If you have had to let the matzo balls sit before serving, by some misfortune, reheat the broth to a simmer and heat until matzo balls are bobbing again.

Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Matzo Balls (and Matzo Ball Soup)
© 2010 by Cybele Pascal

(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)

SAFETY NOTE: Because each person's food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns beforeconsumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.

Cybele Pascal is the award-winning author of "The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook" and the "Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook." She lives in Los Angeles with her food-allergic family: husband Adam, sons Lennon and Monte, and their dogs, Izzie and Carly (who also has food allergies). Please visit her website at CybelePascal.com or follow her on twitter @cybelepascal.

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Comments (19)

  • Cybele, have your ever tried making home-made phyllo dough? This is something I really miss!

  • Wow! it looks so delicious and perfect for my daughter because I'm always thinking what to cook everyday because she has an allergy..thanks for sharing your menu,=)

  • You did it!
    I wondered if you could create an allergy friendly spinach dip recipe? Something like the one served with pumpernickel bread or the baked kind served with nacho chips.

  • Hi Karen:

    No, not yet! I would like to try.

    thanks for the suggestion.



  • Dear Miami Allergy:
    Hope your daughter enjoys it!



  • Hi Trish:

    I used to make that dip in college with friends! I loved it! I will try. It's so great for parties.

    thanks for the request.



  • wow, you really did! I'm really amazed and wondered how you would after submitting my request. Now my daughter will be able to eat them while everyone else is too. btw, on another topic, what do you use as a glaze in place of egg or egg whites?
    Thanks again for your perseverence.

  • Dear Elana:

    I usually just brush on rice milk in place of egg whites to glaze. Hope that your daughter enjoys the matzo balls. all best,


  • Hi, Cybele! I LOVE your baking book- it's been a Godsend. :-)

    I wanted to ask if you have a good allergy-free Black and White cookie recipe (they are sometimes called- half moons)? These are my favorite kinds of cookies and they have a cakey consistency different from other cookies (I just learned this is because they were made from the left-over cake batter the bakery used. They added a bit more flour to keep the cookies from spreading too thin).

    I tied to adapt a cookie recipe from your book to make black and whites- but nothing seems right.

    What would you suggest?

    Thank-you so much!



  • I had a question for you, Cybele. I am looking for a soy milk egg nog recipe. My kids LOVED the Silk Nog, but now that they are making soy milk on the same equipment as almond milk (nice move, Silk) we don't buy their milk anymore. Do you know of a good soy nog recipe that doesn't use raw eggs? Happy holidays!

  • [...] up in holiday cookie baking. But luckily this year, a reader asked  for a recipe again (thanks, Cheryl!), so I forsook the oven and moved to [...]

  • Is there anything that works to substitute the corn flour? In addition to being gluten free, nut free, dairy, free, egg free (and a bunch of other random stuff free), I have to be corn free. I tried making matzo balls a little over a year ago using certified GF matzo meal (made from GF oats), but they didn't work out so well...

  • EenaKadeena.com makes a GREAT Gluten Free Matzo Ball mix.

    I just tryed them ... they are very simple to make and my family tells me that they taste just like the real thing!!

    And it was a whole lot simplier and cheaper then making them from scratch.

    I am about to order more for Passover this year... I think they are Kosher also.

  • Is there a way to make LEADEN gluten-free matzo balls? I grew up in that tradition, and the fluffy, floaty ones so treasured by many just won't DO for the holiday in my home.

    Pesach is coming, and I need something like Grandma made (substantial, shall we say...).

    Thank you!

  • I have been missing these for years! I never thought it could be done, especially without real egg. I'm SO excited to try this! Thank you!!!!!

  • I just made these for Passover and found them extremely heavy, not light and fluffy. This of course is not a surprise with gluten free egg free recipes. The flavor was pretty good though. I also believe they needed much longer to cook than the maximum of 15 minutes the recipe suggests. I wonder if more quinoa flakes versus cornmeal would make the difference.

  • Howdy I am so happy I found your blog page, I really found you by accident, while I was looking on Google for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a incredible post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at the moment but I have saved it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the fantastic work.

  • I am so hopeful that my son will now be able to eat matzo balls this Passover, but he cannot eat corn - is there another flour you can suggest substituting for the corn flour? Thank you!

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