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Chicken Matzo Ball Soup

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This Chicken Matzo Ball Soup is an easy and authentic Jewish chicken soup recipe with light and fluffy matzo balls flavored with ginger and parsley. It’s soul warming, and utterly delicious! And truly, there’s nothing in the world just like it.

Top view of a bowl of Matzo Ball Soup with Chicken, vegetables, and herbs

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What I Love About This Chicken Matzo Ball Soup

My son asked me a few days ago why I love Matzo Ball Soup. “Not that I don’t love it too,” he said, “but you get really excited about it.

I had to smile because I guess he was right. I do absolutely love Matzo Ball Soup. Here’s why!

  • Matzo Balls, Flavor & Comfort: To me, these matzo balls are almost addictive. The soup is soul-satisfying, as many chicken soups are, healing to both the soul and the body.
  • Symbolism: I love this soup because it reminds me of the symbolism attached to it—a reminder that God delivers and provides for his children.
Top vertical view of Matzo Ball Soup in a white bowl with carrots, celery, and parsley.

What is Matzo Ball Soup?

Matzo or Matzah Ball Soup is a traditional soup often served during Passover. While I’m not Jewish, my family has long studied the history of the Hebrew people and enjoyed their recipes. You can find more on the 31Daily’s Passover Page.

While I’ve posted a vegetable based Matzo Ball Soup, this recipe is a bit different and a little more traditional. It’s a chicken-based soup with utterly delicious dumplings called matzo balls, which are made from crushed unleaved matzoh (or matzo meal), eggs, broth, oil, and herbs.

Chicken Matzo Ball Soup Ingredients

Top view of matzo ball ingredients on a round wood board.

For The Matzo Balls

  • Vegetable oil
  • Matzo (I used 1 packet of Manischewitz matzo)
  • Large eggs
  • Water
  • Finely ground almonds
  • Fresh parsley
  • Ginger or ground ginger
Top view of chicken soup ingredients on a round wood board.

For The Chicken Soup

  • Olive oil
  • Celery stalks
  • Large carrots
  • Yellow onion
  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts (or a combination of both)
  • Chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • Fresh dill and parsley
  • Bay leaves
Top view of Dutch oven with carrots, onion, and celery being sauteed.

How to Make Chicken Matzo Ball Soup

The step-by-step instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post, but here is a quick overview of how to make this delicious soup!

Let’s begin with the matzo balls.

How to Make Matzo Balls:

  1. Whisk the eggs and oil, then stir in matzoh, water, almonds, salt, parsley, and ginger. Refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. With wet hands, form the batter into 1 ½ inch matzo balls.
  3. Bring 10 to 12 cups of salted water to a boil. Carefully drop the matzo balls into simmering water. Cover and bring back to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the chicken soup.

How to Make Chicken Matzo Ball Soup:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot, then sauté onion, celery, and carrots until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Stir in the chicken, broth (store-bought or homemade), water, salt and pepper, and herbs. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken and shred it with a fork. Return to the soup and taste for seasoning.
  4. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, add the matzo balls and top with fresh parsley and dill.

History of Matzo Ball Soup

In 1838, Isaac Singer invented a matzah press, which would eventually automate the production of unleavened matzah by 1888, thus making it convenient and available to millions.

Manischewitz perfected the production and by 1920, they emerged as “the world’s largest matzah producer.” As it became more available and accessible, Jewish recipes, like as “Kneidlach,” (Yiddish for matzo ball) became popular.

Matzo Balls are a dumpling of Ashkenazi origins. “In pursuit to enjoy this recipe during Passover, Jews began using matzah meal to replace flour. In turn, matzah balls were born,” writes Mapping Viddish New York.

Top view of matzo ball soup in a tureen ready for serving.

When Do You Serve Matzo Ball Soup and Matzah Symbolism

This soup is traditionally served for Passover during the seder, which commemorates the Biblical story of Exodus — a story of deliverance when God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. So make sure if you are making it for an observant Passover meal the matzah you use are marked as suitable for Passover!

In Exodus 12, it is written, “So the people took their dough before the yeast was added, and carried it on their shoulders in kneading troughs wrapped in clothing,” as they were fleeing bondage.

And God said to Moses, “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance.” In Exodus 12:14, it is written: “You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwelling places you shall eat unleavened bread.”

Now you know what I know… are you ready to make some soup?

Matzo Ball Soup Frequently Asked Questions

Can you cook the matzo balls in the soup?

Absolutely! Although the matzo balls will absorb the liquid from the soup. That’s why I like to cook them separately and add them to the soup before serving. Do reheat any leftovers in leftover soup, however.

Is it possible to make matzo ball soup ahead?

I love to make matzo balls and even the soup ahead. To freeze the cooked matzo balls, freeze on a baking sheet until solid. Then transfer to a labeled freezer bag. To reheat, add the frozen matzo balls directly to the soup.

Wait… this matzo ball recipe looks a little different to ones I’ve tried before?

I love that there are so many different ways to make matzo balls!
I use vegetable oil as the fat as I also use this matzo ball recipe for my vegetarian soup, but schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) is more traditional. Melted butter or margarine can also be used, but remember if you need to keep this dish kosher / parve you can’t serve meat with dairy.
I’ve also used crumbled matzo as it is widely available, but I know lots of family recipes call for matzo meal instead. You want to use regular rather than fine matzo meal, and the same cup measurement. The ground almonds also don’t appear in many recipes, but I think they add a certain something.

Side view of chicken matzo ball soup in a serving bowl.

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Top view of a bowl of Matzo Ball Soup with Chicken, vegetables, and herbs

Chicken Matzo Ball Soup

This Matzo Ball Soup with Chicken is a simple chicken soup recipe made with matzo balls infused with ginger and parsley. It's soul warming, and utterly delicious! And truly, there's nothing in the world just like it.
4.9 from 8 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Author: Stephanie Wilson

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 celery stalks chopped
  • 5 large carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • handful of fresh dill
  • 2 bay leaves

Matzo Balls

  • 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup matzo
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons almonds finely ground
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Instructions

Make the Matzo Balls:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and oil together. Add the matzoh, water, almonds, salt, parsley, and ginger. Stir well. Refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes for the matzo to absorb the moisture.
  • With wet hands, form the matzo batter into 1 ½ inch balls; a cookie scoop (affiliate link) is handy for this.
  • Bring 10 to 12 cups of salted water to a boil in a separate large soup pot or Dutch oven.

Chicken Matzo Ball Soup:

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Then sauté the onion, celery, and carrots over medium heat until soft; about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Stir in the chicken, broth, water, salt and pepper, and a few sprigs of dill and bay leaves to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  • After the soup has simmered, remove the chicken and shred it with a fork. Return to the soup and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper to taste and bring back to a simmer.
  • Meanwhile, form the matzo balls and drop them into the separate soup pot, or into simmering soup. Cover and bring back to a simmer; cook for 20 minutes without removing the lid. It's important that the soup maintains a simmer to cook the matzo.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls, add the matzo balls and top with fresh parsley and dill.

Video

Notes

The matzo balls can be cooked in the soup if you prefer.
Schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) or melted butter (if you don’t need the soup to be kosher) can be substituted for the vegetable oil in the matzo balls. They can also be made with matzo meal if preferred. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 187mg | Sodium: 1262mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Tried this recipe? Pin it Today!Follow me on Pinterest for more and use the "Pin" button at the top of the recipe card.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Jewish
Keyword: matzo ball chicken soup, matzo ball soup, matzo ball soup recipe, matzo ball soup with chicken

2 Comments

  1. Excellent Delicious and so much better with thighs instead of dry white meat. Infinitely better. That’s why the 4 instead of 5 Stars..

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the Matzo Ball Soup, Robert. It’s one I crave every little bit. I might agree with you on the thigh meat. 🙂

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