Matzo Ball Soup

Homemade matzo ball soup for Passover or anytime! Fluffy matzo balls in a light, clear broth. Add chicken meat for a heartier meal.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Chilling time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 4 servings


For the matzo balls:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons schmaltz (chicken fat), melted, or any neutral-flavored oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal

For the soup:

  • 6 cups chicken stock, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced thinly (about 1/8-inch thick)
  • 2 inner ribs of celery, peeled and sliced thinly (about 1/8-inch thick)

To serve:

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or dill
  • Ground black pepper


1 Make the matzo ball mixture: Make the matzo ball mixture: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, schmaltz, water, salt, and pepper. Stir in the matzo meal. Cover the bowl tightly and chill it in the fridge for at least two hours, or up to a day ahead.

Matzo meal being added to bowl of mixed eggs, schmaltz, water, salt, and pepper Matzo meal being whisked in large mixing bowl

2 Shape and cook the matzo balls: In a large saucepan or soup pot, bring 3 quarts of water and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt to a boil. When the water is boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low.

Use your hands to roll the matzo ball mixture into approximately 1-inch balls. As you finish rolling each ball, gently drop it into the simmering water.

When all of the matzo balls are in the water, immediately cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Let the matzo balls simmer, covered, for 40 minutes, until they have floated to the top and roughly doubled in size. Avoid uncovering the pot while the matzo balls are cooking (a covered pot helps the matzo balls cook more evenly and quickly).

hand holding a homemade Matzo ball Matzo Balls simmering in large boiling pot Matzo Balls being boiled in a pot with glass lid on top

3 Warm the broth and vegetables: While the matzo balls are simmering, bring the chicken broth up to a simmer in a medium (3-quart) saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced carrots and celery and reduce the heat to low.

Simmer the vegetables in the broth until they’re tender, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and keep the broth covered so it stays hot while the matzo balls finish cooking.

Raw chopped carrots and celery on a cutting board Adding raw chopped vegetables to boiling broth

4 Serve the soup: Use a slotted spoon to transfer three matzo balls into each soup bowl, then ladle 1 1/2 cups of broth into each bowl. Garnish each bowl with a sprinkle of parsley or dill and a few grinds of black pepper. Serve piping hot.

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  • Mary

    Have been making matzo balls for a long time and this year I found a recipe that called for 1 tsp tumeric and 1 tsp cardomom. They were delicious.

  • Shari

    Why are the cooked in water instead of the soup ? I have always cooked mine right in the broth!

    • Coco Morante

      I find that cooking matzo balls in the soup results in a cloudy broth, and they’re also a bit too salty for my taste. To each their own, though! :-)

  • Ariel

    Floaters that fall apart are just as bad as sinkers. Ideal Matzo Balls are floating only partially above the water. They shouldn’t dissolve in the soup but they shouldn’t require a knife to cut either. I’ve been making Matzo Balls my whole life. I’ve always chilled the mix for 15 minutes and cooked for only 20 minutes. I’m curious about your longer times. Is there a reason for that?

    • Coco Morante

      I find that longer chilling and gentle, slow cooking results in smoother, more cohesive matzo balls.

  • Tori//

    This sounds delicious! I’ve never tried matzo balls but I’ve always wanted to.