Savory Passover Matzo Muffins are my newest way to deal with matzo. I’m willing to eat it (and forgo bread) for a week, but I’m not going to chomp on its original, cardboard form any more than I have to. Instead, I look for ways to transform it into delectable dishes and morsels.
A riff on felichikas, a traditional Passover muffin, they’re like mini savory kugels, only better.
This past weekend, my friends Steve and Andrea made a matzo brei feast. While Steve cooked, I watched his technique.
As we kibitzed, he mentioned a recipe from a mutual friend for matzo muffins. He took out a grease-stained recipe and a plastic bag of muffins he had made for the Passover week.
The muffins were plain, much like my own Passover rolls. Although they had bumps and a crusty exterior that made them look different from my matzo meal rolls, the basic ingredients were similar. Still, the concept intrigued me and I thought that a savory variation held possibilities.
Steve had the Yiddish name for the muffins, but got the spelling wrong. It turns out to be felichikas. Later I discovered that some call the muffins Kigelach, which I think means “small kugel.” That would make sense. Looking at my own matzo kugel, I can see the resemblance. I have no idea what felichikas means, or even if it can be translated.
Molly Yeh and I have the same system when we get an idea for a recipe. Look up every recipe in the same ballpark and see what others do before attempting your own version. I began with my old friend, Google. (By the way, on page 3 on a google search of “savory Passover matzo muffins”, I found Bacon Cheddar Poppy Seed Muffins. With flour, no less. Oy! So much for Google.) After searching through several pages of recipes, I realized that traditional recipes were just going to give me the basics.
The plainest versions, like the ones Steve showed me, were Bubbe’s Passover Muffins, Farfel Muffins, and Passover Matzo Muffins. The ones containing vegetables were these Passover Mushroom Muffins. Better, but still not there.
For inspiration on my own version, I looked deep into the recesses of my refrigerator. Pushing past the charoset and other Seder leftovers, I came up with several leeks, a strangely-shaped red bell pepper, and some shredded cheese. Add in celery, (always on hand around here, waiting for some hummus or peanut butter) and a bit of dried dill and I was “off to the races” as my mom would say.
How to describe Savory Passover Matzo Muffins? Crisp on the outside, soft on the inside. They’re less like “traditional” muffins and more like single serving vegetable kugels. I like them straight out of the oven, but they also reheat well. If you want to keep the outside crispy when reheating, wrap them in foil and reheat in a toaster oven or full oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes.
Play with the vegetables or add a new herb or spice to the “batter.” You can even take my beloved’s route and add hot sauce on the side. There are lots of ways to add your own touch to these Savory Passover Matzo Muffins. Whichever way you go, come back here to let us know how your variation worked out.
Savory Passover Matzo Muffins
These single serving, vegetable-filled muffins are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. They're a great way to use matzo when you're tired of the same old matzo.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 5 sheets Matzo, crunched into small bits About 5 ounces
- 1 cup leeks or onion, diced About 3 & 1/2 ounces
- 1/2 cup chopped celery About 2 & 1/2 ounces
- 1/4 cup red or yellow bell pepper, diced About 1 & 1/4 ounces
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4-5 turns freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Brush 1 tablespoon of the oil around 6 muffin cups and set aside.
Add enough cold water to the matzo bits to cover them and leave them for 8-10 minutes. When done, press out as much of the water as possible.
Mix the chopped leeks or onion, celery and bell pepper.
Preheat a skillet or frying pan with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes under medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
Add them to the eggs, along with the dill, salt, and pepper.
Add in the drained bits of matzo and mix the "batter" until it is well combined. The mixture should be lumpier than it appears in this photo. (In different batches, I tried soaking the matzo in cold water or boiling water. This photo shows the matzo after being in boiling water. I decided that I prefer the muffins with matzo soaked in cold water however, because it keeps its form a bit, rather than become oatmeal-like as it appears in this photo.)
Preheat the muffin tins (already brushed with oil) for 3-4 minutes. Spoon the mixture into the tins. Each tin will be quite full.
Top them with the shredded cheese (press the cheese down very slightly if it falls off) and bake the muffins on the middle rack of the oven for 40-50 minutes.
To prevent any bits of cheese or batter from dropping onto your oven floor, place a cookie sheet to catch drips on the rack below the one the muffin tin is on.