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Classic Matzo Ball Soup (Jewish Penicillin)

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

Traditional Matzo Ball Soup Recipe

I am so excited to share my Aunt Patsy’s famous Matzo Ball Soup recipe! While every Passover my family gets together for an enjoyable seder, I can’t say we aren’t distracted by the thoughts of dinner. 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, and doesn’t have to be eaten just at Passover.

Ingredients

  • Chicken stock: I like to make homemade, its super easy and you can make it in bulk and store it for later. But store bought chicken stock will also work nicely!
  • Matzo ball mix: My go to is Manischewitz, but your local grocery store might carry a different brand.
  • Eggs: Used as a binder for the matzo balls.
  • Chicken fat: Also known as schmaltz, it’s a common ingredient in Jewish cooking and adds rich, delicious flavor.

How To Make Matzo Ball Soup

Making chicken stock.

Start your Matzo Ball Soup by making chicken stock. I make mine by throwing a whole chicken into a large pot along with celery, carrots, garlic, onion, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. If you need to know how to make homemade chicken stock, I’ve got you covered.

Easy Matzo Ball Soup Recipe

Then you’ll make the matzo balls according to package instructions, ladle some hot chicken broth into your bowls, and add a couple matzo balls. Serve garnished with chives or parsley, and enjoy your Matzo Ball Soup!

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.)

What is the significance of matzo ball soup?

In the Passover meal, matzo represents the unleavened bread that the Jewish people ate while fleeing Egypt.

How do you store leftover matzo ball soup?

Keeping the matzo balls and chicken stock separate, store them in the fridge in air-tight containers for 4 days. Simply reheat in the microwave when ready to eat it again.

More Family Recipes

Passover Recipes

Eat It, Like It, Share It!

Did you try this soup? The next time you make it, snap a picture and share it to your socials! Tag @thelemonbowl and #thelemonbowl so we can admire and share your meal.

Whether you’re celebrating Passover or simply can’t resist a comforting bowl of matzo ball soup, I urge you to try my family recipe. Let me know how it goes in a comment below!

Your spoon is waiting.

Traditional Matzo Ball Soup Recipe

Classic Matzo Ball Soup (Jewish penicillin)

4.55 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
Save
Servings: 8

Ingredients
 

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)

Instructions
 

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.

Notes

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.

Nutrition

Calories: 325kcalCarbohydrates: 29.3gProtein: 16.4gFat: 14.8gSaturated Fat: 2.5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12.3gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 1504mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 7.6g

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Liz DellaCroce

Liz Della Croce is the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl, a healthy food blog. Since 2010, Liz has been sharing delicious recipes that just so happen to be healthy. By using real ingredients with an emphasis on seasonality, Liz has built a growing audience of loyal readers who crave good food for their families. Click Here To Subscribe to my newsletter:

34 Comments

  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

    SomethingAboutCupcakes

      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

  2. 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!!!)

  3. 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.

  4. 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’…

  5. 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!

  6. 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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