Classic Matzo Ball Soup (Jewish Penicillin)

8 reader reviews / 4.5 stars average

The only matzo ball soup recipe you’ll ever need, each bowl is brimming with deep chicken flavor and light, fluffy matzo balls. 

Classic Matzo Ball Soup

The time has finally come – I am so excited to share my Aunt Patsy’s famous matzo ball soup recipe! You may remember Aunt P from her banana bread fame but she also happens to make the best matzo ball soup I’ve ever eaten.

Aunt Patsy and Jacob

In addition to being an incredible cook, she is also well known as the Baby Whisperer. She has an uncanny ability to make any fussy boy calm down and fall asleep immediately. Having raised three boys of her own, I am always trying to take notes from her!

Family Passover Photo - The Lemon Bowl

This year we celebrated Passover at my mother’s house and we were blessed with a beautiful spring day full of sunshine and birds chirping. A major improvement from last year’s snowy holiday.

Passover Family Photos - The Lemon Bowl
We celebrated with my younger sisters Anne and Jessie pictured Top Left as well as Jessie’s family: Matt, Aria (1) and Eli (3). Jacob and Asher were hamming it up for the camera as well.
Patsy and Paula - The Lemon Bowl

We each took turns reading the Passover service including Aunt Paula (left) and Aunt Patsy (right) but in the back of our heads, we were all just waiting for one thing and one thing only….

Traditional Matzo Ball Soup Recipe

Matzo ball soup…the pièce de résistance. Light, fluffy matzo balls floating in rich, velvety, almost silky chicken stock. There’s a reason they call it Jewish penicillin. This soup cures all.

Matzo Ball Soup Recipe

Whether you’re celebrating Passover or simply can’t resist a comforting bowl of matzo ball soup, I urge you to try my Aunt Patsy’s recipe. You will not be disappointed.

Your spoon is waiting.

Frequently asked questions:

Where can I find chicken fat (schmaltz)?

You can find it at most butcher shops or at your grocery store’s butcher counter. Alternatively, you can make it yourself by roasting chicken skin in the oven until crispy and saving the reserved fat (schmaltz.)

Is matzo ball soup freezer friendly?

Yes! It will remain good in the freezer for 3-6 months if stored properly in an air-tight container.

Can this soup be made Gluten-free?

Substitute gluten-free matzo ball soup mix 

Matzo Ball Soup Recipe

Classic Matzo Ball Soup (Jewish penicillin)

8 reader reviews / 4.5 stars average
The only matzo ball soup recipe you’ll ever need, each bowl is brimming with deep chicken flavor and light, fluffy matzo balls.
PREP: 1 hr
COOK: 2 hrs
TOTAL: 3 hrs
Servings: 8


Chicken Stock

  • 1 whole chicken 4-5 pounds
  • 2 carrots (peeled and cut in thirds)
  • 5 celery ribs and leaves (cut in thirds)
  • 6 cloves garlic (smashed whole skin removed)
  • 1 large yellow onion (quartered outer layer removed)
  • 1 tablespoon chicken base (dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 10 tablespoon parsley sprigs (1 dried parsley)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)

Matzo Balls

  • 1 box Manischewitz Matzo Ball Mix
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup oil or chicken fat (schmaltz)
  • fresh or dried chives (optional garnish)


Preparing the Chicken Stock:

  • Place all of the chicken stock ingredients (whole chicken through thyme) in a large stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil the reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Remove lid and let the stock simmer on low until the chicken falls off the bones – about one hour.
  • Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly with more salt, pepper or herbs to taste.
  • Remove from heat and let cool. Refrigerate stock overnight so that you can easily scape off the fat from the chilled soup in the morning. In the morning, scrape off fat layer from the top while soup is still cold.
  • Reheat stock over medium heat until warmed through. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  • To strain, place a large mesh colander over another large stockpot and strain stock.

Prepare Matzo Balls:

  • Prepare according to package instructions. The key to fluffy, perfect balls is to cook them in a wide, deep soup pan so that the balls have space to expand. It doesn’t need to be as deep as it needs to be wide.

To Serve:

  • Ladle hot chicken broth into a bowl and add one or two matzo balls. Sprinkle with chives to serve.


To save time, you can use a high quality canned chicken stock instead of making your own.
My aunt discards the chicken from the stock-making process because she feels it’s quite flavorless and cooked through at that point but you’re welcome to reserve the meat and add to the soup later.
For gluten free, look for the Gluten Free Matzo Ball Mix.


Calories: 325kcalCarbohydrates: 29.3gProtein: 16.4gFat: 14.8gSaturated Fat: 2.5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12.3gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 1504mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 7.6g
DID YOU TRY THIS RECIPE? Mention @thelemonbowl or tag #thelemonbowl! I would LOVE to see!

For more Lebanese recipes, check out my Pinterest board!

34 thoughts on “Classic Matzo Ball Soup (Jewish Penicillin)”

  1. hope you all had a lovely passover, this year my Brother in law and nieces joined us after my sister passed away in January this year. So that made it more special. My mother in law always brings her matza ball soup as hers is light and fluffy where as mine are always like bombs! Hopefully your recipe will help! Thank you xoxo


      1. Are the matzo balls cooked separately from the chicken broth? If so, are they prepared in some type of seasoned broth and then added to the prepared broth?

        Thank you — Joann

        1. Micah and Jacob were twins on Easter! I love the pics so much. I really love matzo ball soup, it’s what I crave when I’m not feeling well actually. I have never made it at home but instead get it from a chain Jewish deli nearby…lol. I need to make this for my in laws! They would love it (and me!!!)

        2. Squeal!!!!! SO excited about this one!!!!! Every time I visit my grandparents in Ohio we go visit my favorite Jewish Deli and get a giant bowl of matzo ball soup!! Love.

        3. This recipe really takes me back – I haven’t had matzo ball soup since I was a child. My mother used to make it occasionally for my Jewish father and I remember liking it, though I would not describe her matzo balls as fluffy. I remember them being rather dense, but the flavor was wonderful. At some point I’ll have to try this recipe. Thanks for posting it and ‘for the memories’…

        4. I ate my weight in matzo ball soup (and chopped chicken liver – my mom’s famous recipe that will bring you to your knees!) Saturday night. It’s my sister’s recipe…one of these days I’ll need to make hers and your Aunt Patsy’s and battle it out for the title!

        5. Thank you thank you for posting this recipe!

          I am not Jewish, but grew up in Florida where I had many Jewish friends and learned to adore traditional Jewish food! Since moving to NC, I don’t have easy access to those foods and miss them dearly, I can’t wait to make this!
          I made your Challah bread recently and it was so wonderful!

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