Fat of the Land

The original “liquid gold” was not a processed cheese food. The true gilded elixir is every bubbie’s secret ingredient, the indescribable element that always made her matzo balls better than the rest. A staple of Ashkenazi Jewish cooking, schmaltz is made from rendered chicken fat cooked with onions. Even in the height of the farm-to-table cooking craze when duck fat fries were all the rage, this humble grease never gained more attention. To this day, I have yet to see a single vegan alternative offered. In a world where we have plant-based ghee, browned butter, and niter kibbeh, I’m not asking, I’m demanding: WHY.

Vegan shmaltz is everything you want as a cooking catalyst and nothing you don’t. It’s free of cholesterol, completely kosher, full of flavor, and won’t leave your kitchen smelling like a barnyard for a week. As a nice side benefit, you’ll end up with a tidy pile of caramelized onions to lavish over meatless burgers, toast, scrambles, pasta, and anything else that could use a little umami assist.

Step up your matzo ball game by making this easy swap to replace the bland vegetable oil originally called for, but don’t stop there. Anywhere you might use melted butter, try using schmaltz instead. It will open up a whole new world of riches, bathed in a golden glow.

Yield: Makes About 1 Cup; 16 Tablespoons

Vegan Schmaltz

Vegan Schmaltz

Replace bland vegetable oil with this liquid gold for richer savory flavor. It's inspired by the traditional Jewish staple of rendered chicken fat cooked with onions, made completely plant-based.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 1 Cup Refined Coconut Oil
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion, Sliced
  • 2 Teaspoons Vegan Chicken Bouillon Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Nutritional Yeast


  1. In a medium saucepan, add the coconut oil and onion. Set over medium heat and allow the coconut oil to fully melt. Reduce the heat to low and cook gently for 45 - 50 minutes, stirring periodically, until the onion is golden brown.
  2. Remove the onion pieces with a slotted spoon or strainer and reserve for another use. Whisk the bouillon powder and nutritional yeast into the oil until fully incorporated. Strain again if needed for perfect clarity.
  3. Transfer to a glass jar and let cool. Store at room temperature for up to a month, or in the fridge for 6 months. It will solidify when chilled; warm gently to liquefy.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 60mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.

4 thoughts on “Fat of the Land

  1. I had never heard of schmaltz until I went to an old fashioned Jewish restaurant in NYC years ago. On every table, was a glass and chrome syrup bottle with gold liquid in it. My husband told me what it was, then proceeded to pour some on his meal…I can’t remember what it was. 😊

    1. Wow, now that’s old school! I don’t think I’ve ever seen that… Nor can I imagine using it straight like a condiment, but I’m sure it was certainly rich and delicious that way.

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