Matzo Ball Soup

$6.90 recipe / $1.38 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.50 from 51 votes
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I kind of wore myself out this past weekend with long days and lots of exciting activities. So when I finally made it home to New Orleans, I was feeling tired, achy, and in the need of a warm cozy meal. Matzo ball soup has been on my “to do” list for a looooong time, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

Top view of a bowl of Matzo Ball Soup sitting on a blue and white stripped napkin

What Is Matzo Ball Soup?

Matzo or Matzah Ball Soup is a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish dish that is often served during Passover. It’s a chicken soup filled with delicious dumplings made out of matzah meal (crushed unleavened bread), eggs, chicken fat (or another fat or oil), and broth. The dumplings cook in the soup and soak up all the delicious flavor of the soup as they cook. This soup is absolutely delicious and soul-warming, and there’s just nothing in the world like it.

I’m a Newbie

I’ll readily admit, I’ve never made matzo ball soup before this week, but part of this blog is sharing with you as I learn how to make new things. I read through some fantastic tutorials and myth busters about matzo balls over at Serious Eats, looked through a bazillion matzo ball soup recipes, and then I finally felt confident trying it myself. I created a hybrid recipe between what was on the package of my matzo meal and the tips given by Serious Eats. They were surprisingly simple to make and the final soup was like a big, warm hug. Success!

Try These Authentic Matzo Ball Soup Recipes

Before you try the version I made below, make sure you check out some of these authentic Matzo Ball Soup Recipes to see what it’s really all about. And hopefully, you’ll get to learn some more about the rich culture and history behind this awesome soup in the process. 

Front view of a bowl of Matzo Ball Soup with a spoon on the side

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Matzo Ball Soup

4.50 from 51 votes
This is an easy, short-cut version of Matzo Ball Soup, a warm and comforting Jewish Soup served during Passover.  
Servings 5 (2 cups soup, 3 matzo balls each)
Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
Total 1 hr 40 mins

Ingredients

SOUP

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil ($0.04)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.37)
  • 3 carrots ($0.32)
  • 3 stalks celery ($0.56)
  • 1 chicken breast (about 3/4 lb.)* ($1.33)
  • 6 cups chicken broth** ($0.76)
  • 2 cups water ($0.00)
  • Freshly cracked pepper ($0.05)
  • Few sprigs fresh dill ($1.19)

MATZO BALLS

  • 3 large eggs ($1.13)
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil ($0.12)
  • 3/4 cup matzo meal ($0.80)
  • 1 tsp salt ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder ($0.02)
  • Freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)
  • 3 Tbsp water ($0.00)

Instructions 

  • Mince the garlic and dice the onion, celery, and carrots. Sauté the garlic, onion, celery, and carrots with the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat until the onions are soft and transparent (about five minutes).
  • Add the chicken breast, chicken broth, 2 cups water, some freshly cracked pepper, and one or two sprigs of dill to the pot. Place a lid on the pot and let it come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
  • While the soup is simmering, mix the matzo ball dough. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and vegetable oil. Add the matzo meal, salt, baking powder, and a little freshly cracked pepper to the eggs and oil. Stir until well combined. Finally, add 3 Tbsp water and stir until smooth again. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes to allow the matzo meal time to absorb the moisture.
  • After the chicken soup has simmered, carefully remove the chicken breast and shred it with a fork. Return the shredded chicken to the soup. Taste the broth and adjust the salt if needed.
  • Once the matzo ball mix has refrigerated and stiffened up, begin to form it into ping pong sized balls. Drop the balls into the simmering soup as they are formed, returning the lid to the pot after each one. Once all the matzo balls are in the soup, let them simmer for 20 minutes without removing the lid. Make sure the soup is gently simmering the entire time.
  • Add a couple sprigs of fresh dill just before serving.

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Notes

*My chicken breasts were on sale. You can use boneless, skinless or bone-in and skin on. Bone-in gives the best flavor, but be sure to remove the skin before adding it to the soup. The bones can be removed when you shred the chicken.
**I use Better Than Bouillon to make inexpensive broth in the exact quantity that I need.

Nutrition

Serving: 2CupsCalories: 317.98kcalCarbohydrates: 23.36gProtein: 18.14gFat: 17.66gSodium: 1724.1mgFiber: 1.96g
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Close up of a label full of Matzo Ball Soup being held over the pot

 

How to Make Matzo Ball Soup – Step by Step Photos

Vegetables for Soup

I made a very simple/quick chicken soup as a vehicle for my matzo balls. It begins with 2 cloves garlic, one yellow onion, three carrots, and three stalks of celery. Mince the garlic and dice the onion, carrots, and celery.

Chopped softened veggies and chicken breast in pot cooking

Sauté the garlic, onion, carrots, and celery with 1 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil in a large pot over medium heat until the onions are soft and transparent (about five minutes). Once the onions are soft, add one chicken breast (about 3/4 lb.). You can buy skin on and bone in chicken, just be sure to remove the skin first. The bones can be removed when you shred the chicken and will give the soup great flavor. 

Jar of Chicken Better Than Bouillon

Also Add six cups of chicken broth and two cups of water (or all chicken broth, if you prefer). Also add a couple sprigs of dill and a little freshly cracked pepper. Place a lid on the pot, let it come up to a boil, then turn the heat down to low. Let the soup simmer for 30 minutes. I use Better Than Bouillon to make broth because it has great flavor, is quite inexpensive compared to boxed or canned broths, and it keeps in the refrigerator for just about forever.

Whisked Egg and Oil in mixing bowl

While the soup is simmering, mix the matzo ball dough. Add 3 large eggs and 3 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil to a bowl. Whisk until smooth.

Matza meal added to other ingredients in mixing bowl

Add 3/4 cup matzo meal, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking powder, a little freshly cracked pepper, and 3 Tbsp of water to the bowl. Stir until smooth. Let the mix refrigerate for 30 minutes so the matzo has time to absorb water and plump up.

Close up of Matzo Meal jar

This is what the matzo meal looks like, BTW. Kind of like bread crumbs, but it’s cracker crumbs. Take note, this is plain matzo meal, not matzo ball “mix”.

Shredded Chicken on plate

Once the soup has simmered for about 30 minutes, remove the chicken breast and use two forks to shred it. Return the shredded chicken to the soup. Taste the broth and adjust the salt if needed.

Chilled Matzo Ball Mix

After the matzo ball mix has refrigerated, it should be more stiff and dry.

Formed Matzo Ball on hand

Start forming the matzo ball dough into small balls, about the size of ping pong balls. Keep in mind that they’ll puff up a little as they cook. I got about 15 balls out of my mix. Drop the balls into the simmering soup one by one as they’re formed, making sure to return the lid after each one (to keep the broth simmering).

Simmering Matzo Balls in pot with veggies and broth

Once all the matzo balls are in the broth, let them simmer for about 20 minutes. Make sure the broth is simmering the whole time and the lid is not removed.

Top view of a pot of Finished Matzo Ball Soup

Once the matzo balls are puffed and cooked through, add a few more sprigs of fresh dill, then serve!

Top view of a bowl of Matzo Ball Soup sitting on a blue and white stripped napkin with a spoon on the side

Mmmm, so warm and delicious!

Close up of Matzo Ball Soup in pot

You can’t go wrong with chicken and dumplings… in any form!

Side view of a bowl of Matzo Ball Soup

Matzo Ball Soup - BudgetBytes.com
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Comments

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  1. I made with Better than Buillon vegetable so I could share with a vegetarian friend (I added rotisserie chicken after I portioned hers out). Huge hit. Getting ready to make again toay!

  2. I’m surprised this soup would be used for Passover since it includes baking powder.

  3. Can you freeze the matzo ball soup and if you can how do you go about it . Thank You

  4. Had trouble with the matzo balls. Was sticking to my hands too much. So didn’t have as many balls. Not sure where it went wrong.  Any advice would be good. 

    1. It sounds like the liquid to breadcrumb ratio was a bit off, which could have been caused by different measuring techniques, inconsistency in measuring cup accuracy, or even using a different size egg. In that situation, you could just try to mix in a little bit more breadcrumbs until the dough is manageable. :)

  5. Mostly vegetarian but this soup caught my eye. I have been craving some good old fashioned simple matzo ball soup for some time. This met every craving and them some!! Added an extra clove of garlic because garlic is the best. Seriously simple soup and so good!!

  6. I omit the dill because I don’t like dill and I add extra matzo meal because I like a dense matzo ball, but make no other adjustments. It’s outstanding every time.