The Surprising Truth About Matzo Balls

Sometimes things are just better in pairs.  Take peanut butter and jelly or ice cream and brownies. Then of course there’s always milk and cookies. But none are more storied or tastier than chicken soup and matzo balls. The two are inseparable, but as all dynamic duos go, someone has to be the trusty sidekick. The truth is, it’s about time we let matzo balls step out from the shadow of chicken soup and into the limelight.

Matzo Ball Basics

Besides differences in swimming ability, all matzo balls are essentially made the same way. Now, that’s not to say they’re all equally tasty, but the basic blueprint for making a matzo ball might as well be etched in stone. It’s essentially four simple steps:

  1. Mix the matzo meal (you can use a premade mix like Manischewitz) with schmaltz or oil
  2. Refrigerate the mixture for at least two hours
  3. Shape the refrigerated mix into little balls
  4. Boil the balls in the soup for about 15 minutes

The matzo balls double in size and during that glorious growth spurt they go through a radical taste transformation—a simple ball of meal evolves into a glowing golden orb bursting with flavor. That savory chicken essence is now infused into the core of the matzo ball. Which begs the question, if it can absorb the flavor of chicken so well, what other flavors can it carry?

Your Matzo Ball Soups Will Never Be The Same

Here are a few matzo ball recipes ideas from the online underground of matzo ball non-conformists. How about adding some zest with a Mediterranean inspired lemon saffron soup? Or you could cash in on the pumpkin spice craze with a warm and cozy pumpkin spice soup for winter. You could even go global with an east-meets-west Asian mushroom soup. If kale, of all things, can manage to catch the attention of over-marketed chain restaurants, the sky’s the limit for matzo balls.

So the next time you’re thinking of using rice or noodles for your soup recipe—don’t. Matzo balls aren’t chicken soup’s doting sidekick anymore. And remember: what matzo balls can do for chicken soup, they can do the exact same thing for your next soup.


For more recipe inspiration, check out these popular matzo ball creations from Manischewitz:



Shabbat Shopping List

  • Candles
  • 2 loaves of Challah (or ingredients to make own, such as yeast, sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, salt, flour)
  • Grape juice and/or Wine
  • Gefilte fish
  • Horseradish
  • Salad and salad dressing
  • Ingredients for first course, such as soup mix
  • Ingredients for main course
  • Side dishes
  • Ingredients for dessert
  • Condiments
  • Cooking spray
  • Tea and coffee
  • Flowers for centerpiece