Matzo Ball Soup – Tastes Better From Scratch


Our favorite Matzo Ball Soup recipe is healthy, flavorful, and made with easy homemade matzo balls. It can be prepped ahead of time, and is freezer friendly.

Looking for more yummy soups? I recommend Lentil Soup, Roasted Cauliflower Soup, Chicken and Dumplings, and Potato Leek Soup.

An easy Matzo Ball Soup recipe with carrots, celery, shredded chicken, and three homemade matzo balls.

Why I love this recipe:

  • The Real Deal – if you want really traditional, amazing matzo ball soup, start with a whole raw chicken, cooked to make the broth for the soup. It’s an easy step that makes all the difference in flavor. (If you have to use store-bought chicken broth as a short-cut, I have those instructions too).
  • Cold-Buster – it’s the most comforting soup on a chilly night, and some people say the broth can cure any cold!
  • Matzo Balls are so easy to make from scratch and are the star of this soup.

How to make Matzo Ball Soup:

Make Broth: Add chicken to a large stock pot with celery, onion, carrot, bay leaf, parsley, peppercorns, and salt. Cover ingredients with about 3.5 quarts (14 cups) cold water. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium low and cook, uncovered, for about 2 hours. Skim off foam that rises to the surface.

A pot with chicken and veggies being cooked with vegetables to create a soup broth.

Remove chicken pieces to a large bowl and set aside until cool enough to handle and remove the meat from the bones.

Strain stock through a fine sieve strainer, discarding all vegetables and seasonings so you are only left with the stock. (You want at least 10 cups of broth, so if the broth reduced more than that, add additional water + bouillon, to the soup). If time permits, refrigerate stock for a few hours or overnight, so you can skim off any fat (schmaltz) to use to make the matzo balls.

A soup broth strained into a large bowl, with the chunks of vegetables still in the strainer.

Flavor: Return broth to a pot and add carrots and celery. Taste the broth and season broth with chicken bouillon base, salt and pepper, to taste, as needed to make a flavorful broth.

A homemade matzo ball soup broth in a large pot with chopped carrots and celery.

Make Matzo Balls: In a medium mixing bowl mix eggs and schmaltz (chicken fat) (or oil or melted butter) together with a fork. Add Matzo Meal, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder and mix until combined. Mix in seltzer water (or broth or water) until well combined. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to overnight.

Two images showing eggs and butter being mixed with a fork, then a dough mixture after matzo meal and seasonings are added to show how to make matzo balls.

Form Matzo Balls: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop matzo mixture into 15 golf-ball sized portions–about 1 1/2-tablespoon size–and gently, loosely roll into balls. Place on baking sheet. (Tip: wet hands will help keep the batter from sticking to them).

Easy matzo balls formed into balls and placed on a wax lined baking sheet.

Cook Matzo Balls: Heat a large pot of boiling water. Drop matzo balls into boiling water, cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes, flipping balls once or twice during cooking.

Homemade matzo balls being cooked in boiling water.

Finish and Serve: When matzo balls are halfway through cooking, start warming the chicken broth. Add cooked matzo balls to the hot broth, along with cooked chicken. Ladle chicken matzo ball soup into bowls and garnish with fresh dill and cracked black pepper.

The best Matzo Ball Soup recipe served in a white bowl with a spoon cutting into a homemade matzo ball.

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

To Make Ahead: I recommend making matzo ball soup over the course of 2 days. Day 1: make the broth and the matzo ball dough. Day 2: cook matzo balls and finish soup.

To Freeze: Freeze soup broth (without matzo balls) in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 3 months. To freeze matzo balls (cooked or uncooked) but them in a single layer on a lined baking sheet and “flash freeze” for 1 hour. Then place them in a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Matzo balls can be added to soup and simmered until cooked/warmed without the need to be thawed.

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Recipe

Cook 2 hours 30 minutes
Refrerigerate 30 minutes
Total 3 hours 30 minutes
Save Recipe
  • Make Broth: (Can be made ahead*) Add chicken to an 8-quart or larger stock pot. Add celery, onion, carrot, bay leaf, parsley, peppercorns, and salt. Cover the ingredients with about 3.5 quarts (14 cups) cold water. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium low and cook, uncovered, for about 2 hours. Skim off foam that rises to the surface.

  • Remove chicken pieces to a large bowl and set aside until cool enough to handle and remove the meat from the bones.

  • Strain stock through a fine sieve strainer, discarding all vegetables and seasonings so you are only left with the stock. (You want at least 10 cups of broth, so if the broth reduced more than that, add additional water + bouillon, to the soup). Return hot broth to the pot and add carrots and celery.

  • If time permits, refrigerate the stock for a few hours or overnight, until you can skim off any fat (schmaltz) that rises to the top. We use the schmaltz in the matzo balls, but oil or melted butter could be substituted.

  • Taste and season broth, as needed, with chicken bouillon base, salt and pepper, to make a flavorful broth.

  • Matzo Ball dough: (can be made ahead*). In a medium mixing bowl mix eggs and schmaltz/chicken fat (or oil or melted butter) together with a fork. Add Matzo Meal, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder and mix until combined. Mix in seltzer water (or broth or water) until well combined. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to overnight.

  • Form Matzo Balls: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop matzo mixture into 15 golf-ball sized portions (about 1 1/2-tablespoon size) and gently/loosely roll into balls (don’t densely roll them). Place on baking sheet. (Tip: wet hands will help keep the batter from sticking to them).

  • Cook Matzo Balls: Heat a large pot of boiling water. Drop matzo balls into boiling water, cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes, flipping balls once or twice during cooking.

  • Finish and Serve: When matzo balls are halfway through cooking, warm the pot of chicken broth. Add cooked matzo balls and shredded chicken to the soup. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh dill and cracked black pepper.

Serves 5 (3 matzo balls + 2 cups broth) Pro Tip: I recommend making matzo ball soup over the course of 2 days. Day 1: make the broth and the matzo ball dough. Day 2: cook matzo balls and finish soup. Chicken: You could use 3lbs of chicken pieces, like bone-in thighs, legs, breasts. Matzo Meal: We recommend the Manischewitz brand. Do not use matzo ball “mix”.  Schmaltz: If time permits, refrigerate homemade chicken stock overnight to allow the rendered chicken fat (schmaltz) from the stock to rise to rise to the top and harden. Scrape it off to use in the matzo balls. Or, use melted butter or oil. Seltzer: Using seltzer or club soda will make fluffier matzo balls, but broth or water will also work. Freezing Instructions: Freeze soup broth (without matzo balls) in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 3 months. To freeze matzo balls (cooked or uncooked) place them in a single layer on a lined baking sheet and “flash freeze” for 1 hour. Then add them to a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Boil matzo balls as instructed and then add to broth, or add cooked matzo balls to the broth and cook until warmed through.

Calories: 639kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 37gFat: 37gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 254mgSodium: 2569mgPotassium: 807mgFiber: 5gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 12366IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 106mgIron: 4mg

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