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Matzo Ball Soup is a classic, warm and hearty bowl of chicken soup with tender dumplings made from matzo meal. This is the ultimate comfort food and tastes like a warm hug in a bowl.
Some of the best recipes you’ll ever taste are family recipes from your childhood. For me, that’s my Oma’s Authentic German Spaetzle, Creamy Cucumber Salad, Hungarian Goulash, and Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes.
This is her recipe for Matzo Ball Soup.Pin this recipe for later!
Table of Contents
What are Matzo Balls?
Matzo balls are round dumplings made from matzo cracker meal, eggs, oil, and spices. They are soft, fluffy and tender. Typically cooked in chicken broth, they are often served as a part of the Jewish Passover holiday celebration meal called a Seder. In Passover, matzo balls represent the unleavened bread, since they contain no yeast.
I will forever remember matzo ball soup as the chicken soup that my grandma made for us all the time. While it’s considered a Passover meal, we love it so much that we crave it year-round.
How To Make Matzo Ball Soup From Scratch
Chicken soup is the base, and the Matzo balls are dumplings that are added instead of egg noodles or rice.
- Make the soup. You can use your favorite chicken soup recipe and just add the dumplings to it, or you can follow the included recipe for my homemade chicken soup. To make the soup, boil chicken pieces in chicken broth in a large pot with vegetables and spices, then shred the meat.
- Form the matzo balls. While the chicken soup is simmering make the matzo dough and refrigerate it for about 15-30 minutes. Once you’ve added the chicken back to the soup, you can make the matzo balls by taking 2-inch balls of the matzo ball mixture and roll into a ball. Drop the balls of dough a few at a time into the soup, keeping the pot covered as much as possible to keep the soup simmering.
- Cook. Once you’ve added all the matzo balls to the soup, let it simmer for another 20 minutes to fully cook them.
- Serve. I always stir in some fresh parsley just before serving the soup for a bit of freshness and color. Ladle a few matzo balls along with some soup into a bowl and serve immediately.
Matzo ball soup can be a full meal, or a starter, depending on how you serve it.
As a meal: Plan on a large bowl of soup and at least 3 dumplings per person. Serve with a green salad, like my Butter Lettuce Salad, Olive Garden Salad Copycat, or simple Spinach Salad. Because the matzo balls are bread-like, you may not want to serve additional bread with your soup. But if you want to stretch the meal to serve a few more people, serve some breadsticks or a crusty loaf of French bread with it.
As a starter: Pour small bowls of the soup, with 1-2 dumplings. This is a great starter or appetizer for a meal. My grandma always served Matzo ball soup ahead of her famous Chicken Schnitzel and German Potato Salad.
Make Ahead, Storage, and Freezing
Make Ahead: Make your soup and matzo balls up to a few days in advance and keep covered in the fridge until ready to serve. It will last up to 5 days, but when making in advance keep in mind that guidelines for freshness are only as good as the freshness of the ingredients you use.
Storing Leftovers: Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in a covered container for up to 5 days. If you have prepared the soup in advance however, subtract that time. So if you made the soup and stored for 2 days before eating, it can be stored for 2-3 more days.
Freezing Matzo Ball Soup: This soup freezes beautifully! Unlike traditional chicken noodle soup where the integrity of the pasta is lost during freezing, matzo balls hold up really well. You can freeze the soup together or separately for up to 3 months for optimal freshness.
More Soup Recipes to Love
Matzo Ball Soup
- 5 ounce box Matzo ball mix use both packets
- 4 eggs
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 pounds bone-in skinless chicken (any cut)
- 32 ounces chicken stock
- 4 cups water
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2-3 large carrots peeled and sliced into bite sized pieces
- 2-3 stalks of celery washed and sliced into bite size pieces
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- In a large soup pot or dutch oven, bring chicken and 32 ounces of chicken stock and 4 cups of water to a boil. Skim foam. Add a couple teaspoons of salt, celery, carrots, onions, garlic thyme and bay leaves. Cover partially (leave the lid slightly open to let steam escape) and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer for 45-60 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and easily falls off the bone.
- While the soup is simmering, make the matzo ball dough. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together egg and vegetable oil with a wooden spoon. Stir in the matzo ball mix and a pinch of salt. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.
- Once the chicken is cooked, transfer to a cutting board. Remove and discard bones. Add chicken back to the soup and bring it back to a simmer.
- Take the matzo ball dough out of the fridge and divide into balls about 2 tablespoons each (about the size of a golf ball). Drop each ball of dough into the simmering broth (replace the lid after each one to keep it boiling). Simmer, covered, until cooked through, about 20 minutes.
- Stir in fresh chopped parsley and serve hot.