7 Best Matzo Ball Soup Recipes to Make Tonight
Growing up, we often went to my grandmother’s house on Friday nights for Shabbat dinner. Grandma often made traditional Jewish food, such as brisket or roast chicken, and matzo ball soup was almost always on the menu. While making matzo ball soup is most closely associated with the Jewish holiday of Passover, as it is a time of year with specific food laws for kosher households, many Jewish families enjoy sharing matzo ball soup recipes throughout the year, especially during holidays like Hanukkah. It’s the perfect comfort food to warm you up on cold winter days.
Of course, every Jewish family has their own idea of the perfect matzo ball soup recipe. My own mother’s matzo ball soup recipe, which is based on her mother’s recipe, includes carrots, parsnips, celery, and parsley. Other households may add ginger, garlic or onions. Some others may even use dill. As for the matzo balls, while I like mine firm and a bit peppery, others prefer them light and airy.
The best thing about this tradition, however, is that you make your own matzo ball soup, honoring the generations before you while adding our own personal touches to the dish. Some chefs and home cooks are also doing some pretty exciting things with their own take on the matzo ball soup tradition, and below are some of the most innovative spins on this classic dish. Be sure to check these out and try them out — and for more delicious recipe ideas to help you prepare meals during the winter holidays, check out 13 Best Latke Recipes — Just Like Bubbe Used To Make.
Mexican Jewish chef Pati Jinich’s Mushroom-Jalapeño Matzo Ball Soup draws on her Mexican, Austrian, and Jewish heritage. This matzo ball soup recipe features her rich family history, such as her grandfather’s love of chilies. It also has a mushroom base, giving the soup a more earthy base in this otherwise plain soup.
Get the recipe from Pati Jinich.
Matzo ball soup almost always consists of chicken broth. So while it’s absolutely delicious, it can be a dish that people find difficult to make vegetarian. While many recipes call for chicken and even additions to the matzo balls such as schmaltz (aka chicken fat), it is also possible to make this dish vegan and delicious. Including all the plant-based eaters at the party table, this soup is 100% vegan-friendly with fluffy matzo balls and tons of spicy flavor.
Get the recipe from Zardy Plants.
This recipe from Alison Cayne, the female founder and cookbook author behind Haven’s Kitchen, adds chimichurri to the matzo balls. This spicy and earthy element is a great touch, as matzo balls can sometimes be starchy and dense. Since fresh herbs have traditionally been a part of many matzo ball soup recipes, usually parsley or dill, this takes tradition and offers a fresh, modern approach.
Courtesy of Haven’s Kitchen.
Lemons and chicken are a match made in heaven, and there are also classic Greek soup recipes that include a mix of chicken and lemon. So, why not incorporate lemon into our matzo ball soup? This gives a fresh and lively flavor dimension, which is no surprise: this recipe comes from Lior Lev Sercarz of La Boîte, who is known for his herbal creations. He knows how to create flavor!
Get the recipe from La Boîte.
This soup from chef Alon Shaya is essentially a classic matzo ball soup. It has homemade matzo balls, as well as celery and carrots. But it then takes it to a whole new level with the addition of duck, schmaltz and even allspice berries, tomatoes and arugula. It really is an elevated matzo ball soup, and perfect for when you want to impress, such as when you have a special guest at the table this Hanukkah.
Get the recipe from My Jewish Learning.
Most of us are already quite familiar with Mofongo as a traditional Puerto Rican dish. Made with fried green plantains, chicken, and garlic, the flavorful dish takes a whole new direction when incorporated into traditional matzo ball soup — and the result is quite exciting.
Get the recipe from Trisha Pérez Kennealy via Instagram.
The best way to get a lot of flavor out of a classic homemade matzo ball soup is to let it sit on the stove and cook all day. But in reality, many of us don’t have time for that! This recipe uses the Instant Pot to get that all-day cooked-in flavor without having to stand over a hot stove all day—and I’m very grateful for that.
Get the recipe from Corrie Cooks.