Matzo Ball Soup

This easy Matzo Ball Soup features tender poached matzo balls floating in a bowl of warm soup made from chicken stock and carrots. Make this classic comfort food for Passover, Rosh Hashanah, or to warm your soul any day of the year; it’s a wonderful weeknight soup recipe!

A warm bowl of matzo ball soup on a yellow plate with a silver spoon in the bowl topped with parsley.

Years ago, after a trip to Florida where I celebrated Rosh Hashanah with my husband’s Jewish grandfather, I was eager to learn how to make a matzo ball soup that would make his grandfather proud!

This matzo ball soup is a very simple comfort food dish, made of chicken stock, sliced carrots, fresh parsley or dill, and, of course, matzo balls. This traditional Jewish soup typically appears around Passover and Rosh Hashanah but, like its mainstream counterpart, chicken noodle soup, it truly should be enjoyed year-round.

Not only is this recipe simple to make, but you can also prep this heartwarming soup in advance, making your meal all the easier to make. I love how this soup is both incredibly easy and satisfying all at once.

How to Make Matzo Ball Soup

This comforting soup recipe comes together with two main parts, the matzo balls and the soup. Each part cooks separately and comes together at the end for a warming meal everyone will enjoy!

What are Matzo Balls and How Do You Make Them?

Matzo balls are light and fluffy dumplings made of eggs, vegetable oil, water, matzo meal, and some simple salt and pepper seasoning. This recipe includes “floaters”, the kind of matzo balls that float in your soup as opposed to “sinkers”, matzo balls that sink to the bottom of the bowl. To make your own buoyant dumplings here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Whisk the eggs lightly in a medium bowl. Then whisk in vegetable oil and water.
  2. In a separate, small bowl, stir together the matzo meal, salt, and pepper.
  3. Gradually stir the matzo meal mixture into the egg mixture. This should result in a pancake batter-like consistency but will thicken immediately.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 4 hours.

A bowl of matzo ball dough with a silver spoon.

Cook the Matzo Balls

  1. Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. With moistened hands, take 1 tablespoon of the matzo ball mixture and form into balls about 1-inch in diameter.
  3. Drop the balls into the boiling water so each ball falls in the pot in a different place. Be careful not to over-crowd the pot. Once all of the matzo balls are in the boiling water, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove 1 matzo ball with a slotted spoon. Cut in half to check for doneness. The matzo ball is done when the inside is not dark or wet. If your matzo ball is not done, cook an additional 5-10 minutes.

A hand holding 1-inch ball of matzo ball dough with a silver spoon in a bowl of matzo ball dough.

Make the Soup

  1. While the matzo balls are cooking, bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large saucepan.
  2. Add the carrots, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until tender, about 6 minutes.
  3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the matzo balls to the soup. Stir in the fresh parsley and serve immediately.

A single layer of matzo balls boiling in a pot.

Recipe Notes and Tips

How long can matzo balls sit in the soup?

While matzo balls can cook in the soup, they tend to cloud the chicken broth. Try not to let the matzo balls sit in the soup longer than an hour or they may begin to absorb too much of the soup and fall apart. If separated from the soup, cooked matzo balls last about 5 days.

What kind of base should you use?

I like to use a base of chicken stock to make this matzo ball soup recipe. Matzo ball soup purists will definitely encourage you to make your own homemade broth from a whole chicken and vegetables for an authentic soup. You can totally do this, too, depending upon the time you have available to you. If you want to opt for a vegetarian version simply swap the chicken stock for vegetable stock instead.

Mix-ins and Variations

While I love the simplicity of this classic Matzo Ball Soup, there are many different ways to add your own flavor to this comforting dish.

  • Protein – Similar to chicken and dumplings, you can add shredded chicken or turkey to this soup for some added protein.
  • Vegetables – You can bulk up your soup with kale, celery, spinach, or mushrooms.
  • Spice it up! – Feel free to add additional spices into your matzo ball batter such as oregano, sage, or dill.
  • Schmaltz – Also known as rendered chicken fat, it helps make one incredible, flavorful dumpling. If you have access to schmaltz you can replace the vegetable oil with it for a truly delightful matzo ball.

Storage, Freezing, and Reheating

Whether you are saving the leftovers or making this soup in advance here is the best way to store, freeze, and reheat this dish:

  • Storing – To store leftover soup, separate the matzo balls from the soup. This will help keep the matzo balls from dissolving into the soup. Place them both in air-tight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Freezing – If you are going to save the soup for longer than 5 days I recommend freezing the soup and matzo balls separately. Place the matzo balls on a baking sheet and freeze, then transfer the balls to a freezer ziplock or a freezer-safe container. If you want to skip the pre-freezing step simply place the cooked and cooled matzo balls in a freezer-safe container, without stacking. Freeze the cooled soup in a freezer-safe container.
  • Thawing – To thaw the soup and matzo balls, move the refrigerator at least 12 hours before you plan to reheat them.
  • Reheating – Warm the soup in a pot over medium heat with the matzo balls for about 7-10 minutes.

More of My Favorite Jewish Recipes:

Love soup? Check out all of my soup recipes here.

A bowl of matzo ball soup with a spoon and a pot of matzo ball soup in the back.

Matzo Ball Soup

This warm and cozy soup is perfect for celebrating special holidays, but also a great weeknight dinner option. Switch it up by adding chicken, mushrooms, spinach, or your family’s favorite ingredients for a slightly different spin each time you make it.

If you make this recipe and love it, remember to stop back and give it a 5-star rating – it helps others find the recipe! ❤️️

Matzo Ball Soup

Servings 6 to 8 servings
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Chilling time 1 hour
Total 40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Michelle
An easy recipe for Matzo Ball soup, perfect for celebrating special Jewish holidays, or whipping up anytime throughout the year.

Ingredients:

For the Matzo Balls:

  • 4
    eggs
  • ¼
    cup
    vegetable oil
  • 7
    tablespoons
    water
  • 1
    cup
    matzo meal
  • teaspoons
    salt
  • ¼
    teaspoon
    freshly ground black pepper

For the Soup:

  • 2
    quarts
    chicken stock
  • 3
    small carrots
    (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 2
    tablespoons
    chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

  1. Make the Matzo Balls: In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Whisk in the vegetable oil, then the water. In a separate small bowl, stir together the matzo meal, salt and pepper. Stir the matzo mixture into the egg mixture. The consistency will initially be like pancake batter, but it will immediately begin to thicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 4 hours.
  2. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. With moistened hands, form 1 tablespoon of matzo mixture into balls about 1-inch in diameter. Drop the balls into the boiling water so that each falls into the pot in a different place, not crowding each other. When all of the balls are added, reduce the heat to medium-low heat and simmer, ­covered, for 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove one matzo ball, cut in half and check for doneness. The matzo ball is done when the inside is not dark or wet. If necessary, cook 5 to 10 additional minutes, or until the color is uniform throughout and the texture is light and fluffy (I did end up cooking mine for an additional 10 minutes).
  3. Make the Soup: While the matzo balls are cooking, bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the carrots, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the matzo balls to the soup. Stir in the fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes:

  • Matzo Meal: I use and recommend Manischewitz matzo meal. If using Streit's brand matzo meal, reduce the amount of water to 6 tablespoons.
  • Larger Matzo Balls: To create large matzo balls about 2½ inches in diameter, use 2 tablespoons of raw mixture and increase the cooking time to 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Chicken Broth: You can use homemade broth or substitute vegetable broth to make it a vegetarian dish.
  • Mix-ins/Variations: See the section above about adding proteins, additional vegetables, seasonings, and schmaltz to the soup.
  • Storing - To store leftover soup, separate the matzo balls from the soup. This will help keep the matzo balls from dissolving into the soup. Place them both in air-tight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Freezing - If you are going to save the soup for longer than 5 days I recommend freezing the soup and matzo balls separately. Place the matzo balls on a baking sheet and freeze, then transfer the balls to a freezer ziplock or a freezer-safe container. If you want to skip the pre-freezing step simply place the cooked and cooled matzo balls in a freezer-safe container, without stacking. Freeze the cooled soup in a freezer-safe container.
  • Thawing - To thaw the soup and matzo balls, move the refrigerator at least 12 hours before you plan to reheat them.
  • Reheating - Warm the soup in a pot over medium heat with the matzo balls for about 7-10 minutes.
  • Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Nutritional values are based on one serving

Nutrition:

Calories: 339kcal
Fat: 16g
Saturated fat: 9g
Cholesterol: 118mg
Sodium: 696mg
Potassium: 502mg
Carbohydrates: 33g
Fiber: 1g
Sugar: 6g
Protein: 14g
Vitamin A: 5375%
Vitamin C: 4.2%
Calcium: 41%
Iron: 2.1%

Did you make this recipe?

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