Classic Matzo Ball Soup (Jewish Penicillin)

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

Garnishing matzo ball soup.

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. What can I say, we’re a family that loves food! 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.


  • 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

Cutting carrots and celery

Start your matzo ball soup by making your chicken stock. You can also use store bought, but making it from scratch adds an extra punch of flavor.

Adding carrots to pot

In a large stock pot, add your cut carrots and celery.

Making chicken stock.

Then add a whole chicken, and cover with water.

Adding onion to pot

And add the cut onion and garlic.

Adding thyme to pot

Then add fresh parsley and thyme sprigs to the pot.

Adding chicken base

Pour in the chicken base.

Salting chicken stock

And finish with some salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about an hour, or until the chicken is fully cooked.

Straining chicken stock

Refrigerate so the fat all gathers at the top and you can easily skim it off. Then reheat and strain into another large pot so you’re left with just the broth. You can keep the chicken to add back into the soup or shred it to use in other dishes.

Whisking egg in bowl

To make the matzo balls, crack your eggs into a medium sized bowl and whisk them together.

Adding oil to bowl 1

Then add the oil or schmaltz.

Adding matzo mix to bowl

Then add the matzo ball mix.

Mixing matzo ball dough

Mix together until ingredients combine to make a dough.

Making matzo balls out of dough

Once dough is formed, use a tablespoon and your hands to form little dough balls.

Adding matzo balls to pot

Add the balls one by one to the hot pot, leaving plenty of room for the balls to expand.

cooked matzo balls

Let cook until the matzo balls have doubled in size.

Classic matzo ball soup.

Ladle some hot chicken broth into your bowls, and add a couple matzo balls to each. Serve garnished with chives or parsley, maybe adding some shredded chicken, 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

Classic matzo ball soup.

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.

Liz enjoying classic matzo ball soup.

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.

Matzo ball soup

Classic Matzo Ball Soup (Jewish penicillin)

4.58 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 hour
COOK: 2 hours
TOTAL: 3 hours
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, usually mixing the matzo ball mix, eggs, and oil into a dough.
  • Take about a tablespoons worth of dough and roll into a ball. 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. If you kept the chicken meat from making the stock, you can add that to the soup as well.


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

35 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. Joann Hutchings

        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!

    1. Yes!! Everyone loves matzo ball soup! In fact, Aunt Patsy isn’t Jewish either – she’s on my mom’s side, not the Jewish side of my family. :) I hope you love this!!

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