This post may contain affiliate links, view our disclosure.

This Chicken Matzo Ball Soup recipe is a classic Jewish Passover dish with fluffy matzo balls, tender chicken, and savory vegetables in a rich, flavorful homemade chicken broth. It has all the earmarks of nourishing comfort food, so don’t wait for Passover to make it!

front view of bowls of chicken matzo balls soup with bite taken out of one ball to show fluffy texture

Before you even taste it, the aroma will draw you in.

Rich, flavorful broth with tender pieces of chicken, aromatic vegetables, and fluffy, light, and flavorful matzo ball dumplings.

This soup is perfect cold weather comfort food for the soul.

Chicken matzo ball soup is a traditional Passover dish. But really, it’s so good you’ll want it all winter long. It has a similar flavor profile as chicken noodle soup, but with fluffy dumplings replacing the noodles. Give it a try and discover a new favorite.

hands holding bowl of matzo ball soup with vegetables

What is Matzo Ball Soup?

To answer this, first we need to know what is a matzo ball?

Matzo balls, aka kneidlach in Yiddish, are light and fluffy dumplings made from a matzo meal base. (Note that matzo is transliterated several ways, including matzah and matzoh.)

These dumplings cook in a flavorful broth (usually chicken broth) and absorb the rich flavor of the broth. Sometimes vegetables like onion, carrot, and celery are added to the soup along with chicken.

The result is a flavorful, warming, healthy comfort food soup!

close up of matzo ball soup showing fluffy texture of matzah balls

The Best Easy Chicken Matzo Ball Soup Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions

Ingredients Explained

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas where applicable. For the full recipe (including the ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

ingredients in chicken matzo ball soup with manischewitz box mix

Ingredients in Vegetable Chicken Soup with Homemade Stock

  • Olive oil – to sear the chicken
  • Bone-in skin-on chicken thighs – boiling bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs is a trick to making a quick and easy homemade chicken stock! And rich homemade chicken stock will result in the most flavorful matzo balls
  • Kosher salt and black pepper – to season the soup
  • Onion – adds great depth of flavor
  • Chicken stock – you can use water instead, but a good stock is a great base for any soup
  • Bay leaf – add it if you have it, but don’t worry if you don’t
  • Carrot and celery – these aromatic vegetables bump up the flavor and nutrition
  • Garlic – friends, this isn’t the time to go light on the garlic
  • Fresh thyme and parsley – just a little bit of fresh herbs really brightens the flavor of this hearty soup

Matzo Balls Ingredients (Made with Manischewitz Mix)

  • Vegetable oil – light olive oil also works well
  • Eggs – act as a binder and help make our matzo ball dumplings light and fluffy
  • Manischewitz Matzo Ball Mix – this is the brand I use because I love the seasonings and I find that it makes light, fluffy, and flavorful matzo balls; remember that matzo ball mix from a box is just pre-measured ingredients

Instructions

Step 1: Make the Chicken Vegetable Soup

how to make easy matzo ball soup with homemade chicken stock
  1. Heat the oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven over high heat. Once hot, add the chicken, skin-side-down. Sprinkle on the salt and black pepper. Sear until the chicken skin is golden brown, about 2 to 4 minutes, and then flip the chicken over.
  2. Add the onion, nestling it down on the sides of the chicken in the pot. Cook 1 minute, stirring the onion as best you can.
  3. Add 5 cups of chicken stock and the bay leaf, and bring it up to a boil. Cover the pot and cook until the chicken is fully cooked, about 20 minutes, turning the heat down as necessary.
  4. Once the chicken is fully cooked, use tongs to remove it.
  5. Let it cool, then pull the chicken off the bone and chop it up (discard the skin and bones).
  6. Stir the remaining 5 cups chicken stock, chopped chicken, carrot, celery, garlic, and thyme into the soup. Bring back up to a boil, and then boil 5 minutes.

Note that at this point the vegetables aren’t fully cooked. The soup cooks for an additional 20 minutes after we add the matzo balls.

Step 2: Make the Matzo Ball Mixture and Let it Chill

how to make matzo balls with box mix
  1. While the chicken cooks, make the matzo ball mixture. Whisk together the oil and eggs in a medium bowl. Stir in the matzo ball mix packet until combined.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 3: Add the Kneidlach to the Soup and Cook

how to cook matzo balls in chicken broth
  1. Use a 1-tablespoon scoop to measure the chilled matzo ball mixture. Once the mixture is measured out, roll into balls between the palms of your hands (it helps to wet your hands).
  2. Drop the matzo balls into the boiling water. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes, turning the heat down as necessary. Add the parsley and serve.

Storage and Reheating

You can store chicken matzo ball soup covered in the fridge for up to 4 days. This soup reheats well in the microwave or on the stovetop. If you’re warming it up on the stovetop, just bring it to a gentle simmer.

ladling jewish passover matzo ball soup from pot into bowls

Tips

  • Start with bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. Yes, you can just use rotisserie chicken meat instead. However, the rich, flavorful broth that we get from searing the chicken skin and then boiling the chicken thighs with the bones makes the best matzo balls.
  • Wet your hands when you roll out the matzo ball mix. It helps prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands! Also, make sure you chill the mixture long enough.
overhead view of bowls of chicken matzo ball soup on marble countertop

Chicken Matzo Ball Soup Recipe FAQs

What Are Matzo Balls Called in Yiddish?

A singular matzo ball is called knaidl, and other transliterations include knaidel, kneidl, kneidel, knaydel, and kneydl. The plural form (meaning matzo balls) is kneidlach, and is also transliterated kneidlach and kneydlach. (Read more about the many transliterations of matzah balls on Wikipedia.)

And of course this soup is also lovingly referred to as “Jewish Penicillin”!

What Are Matzo Balls Made Of?

There are three main ingredients in matzo balls: matzo meal, eggs, and fat (such as oil or chicken fat, which is known as schmaltz). Matzo meal is simply matzo crackers that are finely ground. Of course every family makes their matzah balls a little differently with slightly different ingredient ratios.

Seasonings are frequently added as well, but they vary greatly. Salt and pepper are a must, and garlic powder, onion powder, and herbs (such as parsley or dill) are common as well.

Also, don’t forget that a lot of the flavor of matzo balls comes from the liquid in the soup that they’re cooked in. That’s why a well-seasoned, good-quality chicken broth is perfect for making this matzo soup recipe.

Is Matzo Ball Mix Good?

Matzo balls made from a boxed mix are delicious. Remember that matzo ball mix is just pre-measured ingredients!

My personal preference is Manischewitz matzo ball mix because the dumplings turn out light, fluffy, and flavorful every time. (And nope, this post isn’t sponsored!) Of course it’s important to cook them in a well-seasoned chicken broth because the matzo balls absorb the liquid as they cook.

close up front view of easy homemade matzo ball soup with chicken and vegetables in serving bowl

How Can I Make Homemade Matzo Balls From Scratch?

To make lovely light and fluffy matzo balls from scratch (that float!), you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup matzo meal (pulverized unleavened bread)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (use kosher for Passover baking powder if making for Passover)
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley (or 1/3 teaspoon dried dill instead)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, light olive oil, or melted schmaltz (chicken fat)

Here are the steps to make homemade matzo balls:

  1. Whisk together the matzo meal, baking powder, dried parsley (or dill), salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper in a small bowl.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and oil or melted schmaltz. Stir in the matzo meal mixture until combined.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  4. Cook the matzo balls in chicken broth as directed in the recipe below.

Can I Make This Matzo Ball Soup Recipe Without Chicken?

Yes! Start with step 6 of the instructions in the recipe card below. You can use store-bought chicken stock or broth. Or for the vegetarian version of this soup, you can use vegetable stock or broth.

When is Matzo Ball Soup Served?

This soup is a classic Ashkenazi Jewish dish served during Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew. During this festival, it’s forbidden to eat chametz (i.e., leaven) and fermented products of five grains, including wheat, spelt, barley, oats, and rye. You can read more about Passover on Chabad.

More Passover Soup Recipes to Make

easy matzo ball soup recipe with chicken

Let’s Connect

an edible mosaic submark initials

Did you make this recipe? Please rate it and leave a comment below. You can also tag @anediblemosaic on social media.

To stay up-to-date, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter!

Chicken Matzo Ball Soup Recipe (Kneidlach)

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Yields: 6 servings
This Chicken Matzo Ball Soup recipe is a classic Jewish Passover dish with fluffy matzo balls, tender chicken, and savory vegetables in a rich, flavorful homemade chicken broth. It has all the earmarks of comfort food, so don’t wait for Passover to make it!

Email This Recipe

Get this recipe link emailed straight to your inbox!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Ingredients
 

Chicken Soup:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 10 cups chicken stock divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 large carrots peeled and sliced
  • 4 large stalks celery sliced
  • 8 large cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Matzo Balls (Made with Manischewitz Mix):

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven over high heat. Once hot, add the chicken, skin-side-down. Sprinkle on the salt and black pepper. Sear until the chicken skin is golden brown, about 2 to 4 minutes, and then flip the chicken over.
  • Add the onion, nestling it down on the sides of the chicken in the pot. Cook 1 minute, stirring the onion as best you can.
  • Add 5 cups of chicken stock and the bay leaf, and bring it up to a boil. Cover the pot and cook until the chicken is fully cooked, about 20 minutes, turning the heat down as necessary.
  • Meanwhile, make the matzo ball mixture. Whisk together the oil and eggs in a medium bowl. Stir in the matzo ball mix packet until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Once the chicken is fully cooked, use tongs to remove it. Let it cool, then pull the chicken off the bone and chop it up (discard the skin and bones).
  • Stir the remaining 5 cups chicken stock, chopped chicken, carrot, celery, garlic, and thyme into the soup. Bring back up to a boil, and then boil 5 minutes.
  • Use a 1-tablespoon scoop to measure the chilled matzo ball mixture. Once the mixture is measured out, roll into balls between the palms of your hands (it helps to wet your hands).
  • Drop the matzo balls into the boiling water. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes, turning the heat down as necessary.
  • Add the parsley and serve.

Notes

  • Storage and Reheating: You can store chicken matzo ball soup covered in the fridge for up to 4 days. This soup reheats well in the microwave or on the stovetop. If you’re warming it up on the stovetop, just bring it to a gentle simmer.
  • Tips For Making Matzo Balls: Wet your hands when you roll out the matzo ball mix. It helps prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands! Also, make sure you chill the mixture long enough.

Nutrition

Calories: 540kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 161mg | Sodium: 1107mg | Potassium: 913mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 7306IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Jewish
Keyword: Best Matzo Ball Soup Recipe, Chicken Matzo Ball Soup, Chicken Matzo Ball Soup Recipe, Easy Matzo Ball Soup Recipe, Jewish Penicillin, Knaidel, Kneidlach, Matzah Ball, Matzo Ball Soup, Matzo Ball Soup Recipe, Matzo Soup

Share it with me on Instagram and leave a comment to let me know your thoughts!

easy matzo ball soup with homemade chicken broth pin
Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Similar Posts