How to Make Chicken Soup with Matzah Balls

Step-by-step directions to make chicken soup for holidays or all year.

The most requested meal in my house is undoubtedly chicken soup with matzah balls. My daughter loves it loaded up with noodles, kreplach and rice when I have the time, but she’ll also happily take it made simply with some super fluffy matzah goodness.

Chicken soup is one of the most beloved Jewish foods, and also one of the dishes we get asked about most often. It’s the kind of dish that can be made dozens of ways: with leeks, with turnips, ginger, garlic, with sautéed onions, with whole onions, with just bones, with a whole chicken and even with chicken that has already been roasted.

Here is the recipe I make time and time again — simple, delicious and infused with love, which is most certainly the secret ingredient.

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chicken soup with matzah balls

Chicken Soup with Matzah Balls

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.7 from 3 reviews

This comforting recipe is easily adjusted to your liking.

  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 8-10 servings



For the soup:

  • 6 quarts of cold water
  • 1 small broiler chicken + extra package of wings (around 1 lb)
  • 3 large carrots, peeled chopped
  • 3 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1 onion
  • 1 turnip, chopped
  • 2 parsnips, chopped
  • 1 bunch of dill
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • ½ Tbsp whole peppercorns
  • salt to taste

For the matzah balls:

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • cup vegetable oil (can also substitute half chicken fat)
  • ½ cup cold seltzer water
  • 1 ½ cups matzah meal
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp ground black pepper (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill (optional)


  1. Place chicken and vegetables in a 16 or 20 quart pot and cover with 6 quarts of water.
  2. Make a bouquet garni with the fresh dill, parsley, and peppercorns. Add bouquet garni to pot.
  3. Bring pot to boil and let simmer for 1 hour.
  4. Remove chicken and vegetables from pot, and remove breast and dark meat from bone. Put bones and other parts back into pot and let simmer another 1-2 hours on low-medium, covered.
  5. Allow soup to cool, and place in fridge. Skim the fat off the top (I suggest saving the fat to put it in your matzah balls, or chopped liver)
  6. Reheat to serve. Add chicken, matzah balls and desired vegetables.
  7. To make the matzah balls, combine eggs, oil and seltzer in a large bowl.
  8. Add matzah meal, salt and any seasoning (if desired) and mix with a fork until just combined. Do not overmix. Place in fridge for 30-60 minutes.
  9. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  10. Fill a small bowl with cold water and a few ice cubes. Dip hands in ice water and roll matzah balls gently with palms of hand. Dip hands in cold water in between each roll.
  11. Cook matzah balls in water covered on high for 35-40 minutes.
  12. Serve matzah balls with chicken soup, chicken, vegetables and fresh herbs.
  • Author: Shannon Sarna
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2-3 hours
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Basics


Leave a Comment

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  • Marcia Fleming

    Soup recipe was excellent. It is exactly how I make my soup – minus the bouquet garni. The very first time I made soup I asked my mother what spices to add – parsley, dill, celery. I did that – at the beginning of the soup process. Three hours later, I had chicken soup – green in colour! It tasted great, but in all my years of making soup since, I do not add anything green to the pot unless it is a garnish of parsley!
    Unfortunately (or fortunately, I use a store bought matza ball mix. They turn out just fine.

    • Shannon Sarna

      Honestly, we love matzah ball mix from the box! Comes out perfect every time.

    • Stu B.

      Truth be told, I too do not add anything green except dill at the time of service and my secret ingredient is 7 drops of yellow food coloring to the broth. People eat with their eyes first and everyone says the soup is soooooo rich. I use parsnips because they are sweet, not turnips they are like cabbages.

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