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Matzo Ball Soup in a bowl

Matzo Ball Soup

Fluffy dumplings in a savory broth -- chicken and dumplings? Nope, we're going more classic than that with my grandma-approved Matzo Ball Soup recipe!
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword How Do I Make Matzo Ball Soup, How To Make Matzo Ball Soup, Matzo Ball Soup, Matzo Ball Soup Recipe
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours
Servings 6 people
Calories 735kcal
Author Kathleen


Chicken Stock:

  • 1 (4-5 pounds) whole chicken
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken wings
  • 2 large yellow onions quartered
  • 6 large carrots cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 celery stalks cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 small turnip
  • 2 shallots quartered
  • 2 small heads garlic halved crosswise
  • 2 sprig fresh thyme
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 12-14 cups water use just enough to cover all Ingredients

Matzo Balls:

  • 4 large eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup rendered chicken fat from stock or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup seltzer water
  • 1 cup matzo meal
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder

To Finish:

  • 1 1/2 cups carrots 1/4-inch diced
  • 1 cup celery 1/4-inch diced
  • 1-2 large sprigs fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill


Make Chicken Stock:

  • Place all ingredients in a very large stockpot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and gently simmer, partially covered, for 1 1/2 hours. Carefully remove the whole chicken to a cutting board, allow to cool slightly, then remove all the breast meat. Shred the breast meat and when cool enough, wrap, store in the refrigerator.
  • Return the carcass and any skin that was removed back to the pot. Continue to simmer stock, skimming the surface occasionally, for another 1 1 /2 hours, or until the stock has been reduced by one third.
  • Strain chicken stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large, clean saucepan or heatproof container and discard the solids. You should have approximately 8 cups of stock. Allow to cool, then refrigerate. Remove solidified fat from the surface and save to use in Matzo Balls.  Can be made 2 days ahead.

Make The Matzo Balls:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the matzo meal, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, seltzer water, and schmaltz or vegetable oil. Mix in the matzo meal mixture to the dried ingredients. Refrigerate uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • Using a medium cookie scoop, form Matzo balls into 1 1/2 inch balls, wetting your hands and roll them to finish shaping them. Rewet your hands as needed.
  • Meanwhile, divide the chicken stock evenly into 2 large saucepans. Add the matzo balls to one of the saucepans, cover, and simmer until they're cooked through about 1 hour. In the other saucepan, add the carrots, celery, and 1-2 sprigs of dill simmer until they're tender. Remove dill sprigs.
  • When the matzo balls are cooked, using a slotted spoon, add them to the saucepan with the cooked carrots and celery, then pour the matzo ball cooking chicken broth through a fine sieve into the saucepan with the cooked veggies and matzo balls. Add the chopped dill.
  • Ladle soup into individual bowls and serve. Garnish with chopped dill.


  • While letting the stock simmer, the recipe calls for you to skim off the fat and foam at the top.
  • If you want a clearer soup, try straining out the cooked matzo and carrots using a sieve. 
  • No matter what texture of matzo balls you decide to go with, be careful how much matzo meal you add.
  • The recipe asks you to cook the matzo balls covered for at least 30 minutes. The key here is not to peek! Don’t pull off the lid to see how they’re doing until those 30 minutes are up. You make interrupt the cooking process at the critical moment!