Sweet-And-Savory Matzo Brei

Your Passover meal isn't complete without it.

matzo brei
Photo: Photographer: Greg DuPree, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
Servings:
2

This dish, made with matzo and eggs, makes a delicious meal any time of year, but it is traditionally eaten for breakfast during the Jewish holiday of Passover, when observers abstain from leavened bread.

Matzo brei (rhymes with fry) can be savory or sweet, and this one is a bit of both, featuring lightly caramelized onions and sweet apples cooked in plenty of butter. Because matzo has the texture of crisp crackers, it benefits from a quick soak in the beaten egg mixture while the onions and apples cook. This step is similar to soaking bread in egg batter for French toast.

Matzo is widely available in grocery stores and supermarkets around the country. During Passover, be sure to check that the matzo is Kosher for Passover.

Ingredients for Matzo Brei

Chances are, you have a lot—if not all—of the ingredients for this matzo brei recipe on hand, especially if you’re making it around Passover when matzo reigns supreme in households abstaining from leavened bread.

In addition to the matzo, you’ll need eggs, butter, milk, an onion, one Honeycrisp apple, salt and pepper, sugar, and chives.

The recipe calls for 1 cup of thinly-sliced Honeycrisp apple, but other apple choices include Pink Lady, Fuji, and Enterprise. You could substitute chopped scallions for the chives or do without.

And if it’s unsalted butter you have, simply double the salt called for here, and be sure to taste to see if the dish needs more salt. 

Serving Ideas for Matzo Brei

This dish makes a great breakfast or weekend brunch during Passover when toast, bagels, and other classic breakfast items using leavened bread are absent. But it can just as easily work as a weekday lunch or early supper. It can also be enjoyed year-round, not just during the Jewish holiday. 

Similar to latkes or potato pancakes, matzo brei is often accompanied by a side of applesauce and/or sour cream. The sweet and sour accompaniments add an extra little zing to the dish.

Serve it with a bitter green salad or simple medley of fresh herbs lightly dressed in a mustard vinaigrette.

Why We Love This Recipe for Matzo Brei

Matzo, soaked in an egg-y milk mixture just like French toast, fried gently in butter until golden, aided by the subtle sweetness of the gently cooked onion, softened with butter and browned just slightly, and a sweet-tart apple slices—this recipe takes matzo to the next level, and it’s hard to argue with making something good even better.

Another great thing about matzo brei, besides its versatility and ability to be enjoyed at any time of day, is how substantial it is. This is a full breakfast in and of itself with the two eggs per person ratio (this recipe can easily be doubled—you’ll just need a larger pan!) and full matzo sheet.

Editorial contributions by Stacey Lastoe.

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons whole milk

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 matzo sheets

  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, divided

  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 1 cup thinly sliced Honeycrisp apple (from 1 large apple)

  • Chopped fresh chives

Directions

  1. Soak matzo pieces in egg mixture:

    Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Break up matzo sheets into bite-sized pieces; add to egg mixture, stirring gently until matzo is fully coated. Let stand while preparing onion and apple.

  2. Cook onion and apple:

    Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add onion; cook, stirring often, until softened and beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, sprinkle with sugar, and stir in apple slices.

  3. Cook matzo brei:

    Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to pan with onion and apple; cook until butter is melted. Add egg and matzo mixture; cook, stirring often, until eggs are fluffy and set and matzo has browned slightly, about 2 minutes. Divide evenly among 2 plates, and top with chives. Serve immediately.

Additional reporting by
Stacey Lastoe
Stacey Lastoe

Stacey Lastoe is a former senior editor for CNN Travel with an Emmy for her work. Now a freelancer, her work can be found in Allrecipes, Refinery29, American Way, The Kitchn, Fodor's, and Wine Enthusiast. Stacey lives with her husband and dog in New York.

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