Matzo brei, made into pancakes, turns the tedious breadless Passover breakfast into a pleasure.
It's so easy and quick to make that I usually cook a serving at a time, but you can double the recipe if you wish. Leftovers are great too!
Matzo is not the most exciting food. The only way to make it more palatable is by spreading it with generous amounts of butter, charoset, or chocolate hazelnut spread.
That's why matzo brei is so genius. It's actually the same idea as bread pudding - using eggs, milk, cinnamon and butter to turn dry uninspiring bread into something delicious, comforting, even - dare I say it? - delectable.
Here's an overview of the ingredients you'll need to make this Passover recipe. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.
Matzo: It's best to use plain matzo, not flavored.
Eggs: I use large eggs in almost all of my recipes, this one included.
Ground cinnamon: Make sure it's fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Vanilla extract: Try to use the real thing - pure vanilla extract - and not the artificially flavored stuff.
Butter: For frying. I love using creamy European butter, but any butter will be great. Coconut oil is another tasty option.
Making matzo brei is so easy. The recipe card below lists the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Break the matzo into small pieces and cover the pieces with very hot tap water. Let stand and soften for about a minute, then drain.
Whisk together the egg, cinnamon, and vanilla. Then add the drained matzo pieces. Mix into a uniform batter.
Cook mounds of the mixture in butter in a nonstick skillet until golden and cooked through. Serve with your favorite toppings.
How long you soak the matzo will depend on how soft or crispy you want the end result to be. Soak just 30 seconds for crispier pancakes, and 5 minutes for softer ones.
Frequently asked questions
"Brei" means "seared" in Yiddish. So basically it means "sauteed matzo." This makes sense because that's exactly what we're doing here - sauteing softened and flavored matzo in butter.
Yes! This recipe makes one serving. But you can easily double it and cook the pancakes in two skillets, in a double-burner griddle, or in batches. Keep those that you've already cooked in a warm oven.
Yes, absolutely. That's the easiest way to make this recipe. Simply scramble the mixture in warm butter until golden and cooked through. Over medium heat, this should take around 4 minutes.
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- Cook the matzo in coconut oil instead of butter. If you like the flavor of coconut, you can also replace the vanilla extract with coconut extract.
- Add a few chocolate chips to the mixture - try 1-2 tablespoons.
- For even richer results, you can soak the matzo in hot milk instead of using water.
- I don't usually sweeten these pancakes because I serve them with maple syrup. But if you'd like, you can add a tablespoon of any granulated sweetener.
- To make a savory version, omit the cinnamon and vanilla. Add a pinch of salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese.
I usually serve these pancakes topped with warm maple syrup. Here are a few more tasty options:
- Sweet butter
- A drizzle of honey
- Jam (as shown in the photos)
- Whipped cream
- Chocolate hazelnut spread
- Almond butter
- Blueberry compote
- Strawberry compote
Leftovers can be refrigerated in a sealed container for 3-4 days. They actually keep quite well! You can reheat them in the microwave on 50% power.
You can also freeze the leftovers for up to three months. If you stack them, make sure to separate them with wax paper.
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- 1 matzo
- 1 large egg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Break the matzo into small pieces. Place the pieces in a medium bowl.
- Cover the matzo pieces with very hot tap water. Let stand and soften for about a minute, then drain into a colander.
- Wipe your bowl clean with a paper towel and use it to whisk together the egg, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.
- Add the drained matzo pieces to the egg mixture. Using a fork, mix well, until the ingredients turn into a batter.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and brush to coat. When the butter starts foaming, spoon the batter into the griddle, measuring ¼ cup per pancake. You should get 3 pancakes. Gently flatten each mound with a fork.
- Fry the pancakes until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Serve immediately, with your favorite toppings.
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