This classic chicken Matzo ball soup recipe only takes about half an hour to make and is super delicious and easy. Not only is simple and quick, but it looks quite impressive. Use up leftover chicken and those extra veggies hanging out in your fridge.
Classic chicken matzo ball soup is a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish dish that is often served during Passover or other Jewish holidays. This soup is very similar to a chicken noodle soup, but instead of noodles, there are matzo balls. Matzo balls are made out of eggs, crushed matzo meal, oil, baking powder and broth.
Make the chicken soup base with celery, onion, carrots, garlic, herbs and chicken broth. Then keep that on the stove waiting for the matzo balls and add the balls once they are ready. I used this chicken noodle soup recipe for the soup base.
- Matzo meal: A critical part for making matzo balls! Buy matzo meal at almost any grocery store.
- Eggs: The eggs act as the perfect binder to make the most perfect fluffy matzo balls.
- Oil or Schmaltz: Traditional matzo balls are made with schmaltz (chicken fat) but using a neutral cooking oil will work just as well.
- Aromatics: Celery, onion, garlic, and carrot all play a roll in the chicken soup part of this recipe.
- Chicken: Use chicken thigh or breast and sear raw chicken in the pan or dice up leftover rotisserie chicken and add just before serving.
- Broth: Make a chicken bone broth when cooking a full chicken, or use a store bought low sodium chicken broth.
Classic Matzo Ball Mix Recipe
Making this matzo balls mix recipe is simple. Mix together the matzo meal, fat, water, baking powder and eggs.
After your ingredients are mixed, your matzo ball batter should have the consistency of wet sand.
Stick the batter into the fridge and let it stiffen up for at least 2 hours. If this step is skipped, the matzo will fall apart when it is put into the boiling broth.
Common Questions About Classic Chicken Matzo Ball Soup
How do you know when the matzo balls are done?
Traditional matzo balls are finished cooking when they float to the surface and look fluffy. You can not overcook your matzo balls, so if you are unsure if they are cooked or not, continue to simmer them. Let them simmer in the broth for about 30 minutes.
How big should the matzo balls be?
Make the matzo balls about the size of a walnut. Remember, they will triple in size. So they might look small to start, but they will get much bigger as they cook.
How should I cook the matzo balls?
You can cook the matzo balls one of two ways.
- You can either cook the matzo balls directly in the soup
- or you can boil another pot of broth and cook the matzo separately from your soup and then add them once the balls are cooked.
The reason why I prefer method 2 of cooking the balls is that the matzo balls will triple in size and absorb most of the liquid that they are being cooked in. If you cook them in the soup you just made, you will have to make or add more chicken broth to your soup! Also, the broth may become cloudy.
How should I season the matzo balls?
Season the matzo balls to your liking. Keep in mind that the balls will absorb most of the liquid that they are being cooked in, so if you want a flavorful salty matzo ball, use a rich chicken broth to cook your matzo ball in.
Do I need to use schmaltz?
Schmaltz, also known as chicken fat, is generally a staple when making matzo balls. However, it is easy to replace schmaltz with oil or butter. Another fat will give you the same consistency that you are looking for in your matzo balls. The schmaltz is more so for the flavor element of the dish.
Can matzo balls be overcooked?
Truthfully, I’ve never seen an overcooked matzo ball. That being said, it’s much better to let the balls simmer longer than to cut the time short. When in doubt, let the matzo simmer for longer than you think.
What’s the best way to heat up matzo balls?
You can either re-boil the soup that the matzo balls are sitting in, or you can pop them in the microwave for a minute or two.
What Can I Eat During Passover?
When looking for recipes for traditional Jewish holidays, such as Passover, you will want to look for recipes that restrict the use of certain grains such as wheat flour, oats, barley, spelt and rye. During these holidays, you may only eat unleavened grains, such as matzo flour.
Meats such as beef, chicken, turkey, duck, and fish with scales are all acceptable for Jewish holidays. Dairy products are also okay as long as the dairy (such as yogurt or milk) is not mixed with corn syrup.
There are other nuances and traditions that different tribes and sects of Jewish communities that follow. One point of contention between groups is a staple food group – legumes. The Ashkenazi Jews, a European tribe, choose not to consume legumes, rice, seeds or corn when they observe Passover. This tradition dates all the way back to the 13th century, Rabbi Amy Levin tells NPR. Sephardic Jews, a tribe whose roots trace back to North Africa, have always considered legumes kosher for Jewish holidays.