Chicken Matzo Ball Soup

Matzo Ball Soup
Melanie Acevedo/Photolibrary/Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
732 Calories
34g Fat
32g Carbs
69g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 732
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 44%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 293mg 98%
Sodium 540mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 12%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 69g
Vitamin C 13mg 66%
Calcium 87mg 7%
Iron 5mg 26%
Potassium 935mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

We believe that this Jewish comfort food classic is "foolproof." The matzo balls are lightened with whipped egg whites, but if that technique is too fussy for you, you can simplify things further by swapping them for these Za'atar matzo balls. (If you're making them for Passover and don't use kitniot, you can skip the za'atar, or mix in a little chopped fresh parsley, basil, or dill.)

Crave matzo ball soup but need a vegetarian recipe? Try this no-chicken matzo ball soup.


For the Soup: 

  • 1 (4-pound) whole chicken

  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced

  • 3 medium zucchini, trimmed, peeled, and chopped

  • 3 stalks celery, trimmed and sliced

  • 3 small onions, chopped

  • 2 small parsnips, peeled and sliced

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or sea salt

  • Ground black pepper, to taste

  • Chicken soup powder, optional, to taste

For the Matzo Balls: 

  • 4 large eggs, separated

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, or grapeseed oil

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 cup matzo meal

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

Make the Soup

  1. Gather the soup ingredients.

  2. Place chicken in a large soup pot. Add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, for 20 to 30 minutes, skimming and discarding the froth that rises to the top.

  3. Add the carrots, zucchini, celery, onions, parsnips, salt, and a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Adjust the seasoning to taste, adding a little chicken soup powder if desired to amplify the flavors. 

  4. Allow the soup to cool slightly, then refrigerate until cold. Spoon the solidified schmaltz (chicken fat) off the soup.

  5. Strain the soup, return the vegetables to the pot if desired, and reheat before serving.

Prepare the Matzo Balls

  1. Gather the matzo ball ingredients.

  2. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form in a stand mixer or using a hand mixer and large bowl.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, oil, and water. As an alternative to oil, you can also use the schmaltz (chicken fat) that you pulled from the soup as it cooled.

  4. In a third large bowl, mix the matzo meal with the salt and pepper. In alternate additions. gently fold the egg yolk mixture and matzo meal mixture into egg whites to form a light, firm dough. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

  5. In alternate additions. gently fold the egg yolk mixture and matzo meal mixture into egg whites to form a light, firm dough. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

  6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Flavor with a little bit of chicken soup mix if desired.

  7. With wet hands, form the matzo ball mixture into balls about the size of a walnut. Carefully drop the balls into the boiling water.

  8. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until puffed and cooked through. Don't uncover the pot while cooking as this can cause the balls to fall. Matzo balls can be stored for two days in a covered container in the refrigerator.

  9. To serve, reheat the chicken soup, strain the matzo balls from their cooking water, and transfer to the simmering soup. Keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.