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7 Best Matzo Ball Soup Recipes To Make Tonight

Rooted in Jewish tradition, this classic dish is a cozy delight you can't help but enjoy!
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Growing up, we often went to my grandma's house for Shabbat dinner on Friday nights. Grandma would often make traditional Jewish foods, such as brisket or roast chicken, and matzo ball soup was nearly always on the menu. Though making matzo ball soup is most closely associated with the Jewish holiday of Passover, as it is a time of year with specific dietary laws for kosher-keeping households, many Jewish families enjoy sharing matzo ball soup recipes year-round, 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 mom's matzo ball soup recipe—which is based on her mother's recipe—includes carrots, parsnips, celery, and parsley. Other households may add in ginger, garlic, or onions. Some others may even incorporate dill.As for the matzo balls, while I love mine firm and a little peppery, others may prefer them to be light and airy.

However, the most beautiful thing about this tradition is making it your own matzo ball soup, honoring the generations who can before you while adding our own personal touches to the dish. Some chefs and home cooks are also doing some pretty exciting things using 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 give them a try—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.

Mushroom-jalapeño Matzo Ball Soup

mushroom jalapeño matzo ball soup
Courtesy of Pati Jinich

Mexican-Jewish Chef Pati Jinich's Mushroom-Jalapeño Matzo Ball Soup is based on her Mexican, Austrian, and Jewish heritage. This matzo ball soup recipe incorporates her rich family history, such as her grandfather's love of chilies. It also has a mushroom base, giving the soup a more earthy foundation in this otherwise simple soup.

Get the recipe from Pati Jinich.

Vegan Matzo Ball Soup

vegan matzo ball soup
Courtesy of ZardyPlants

Matzo ball soup almost always involves chicken broth. So though absolutely delicious, it can be a dish that people find tough to make vegetarian-friendly. While many recipes do call for chicken and even additions to the matzo balls like schmaltz (aka chicken fat), it is also possible to make this dish vegan and delicious. Inclusive for any plant-based eaters at the holiday dinner table, this soup is 100% vegan-friendly with fluffy matzo balls and tons of herby flavor.

Get the recipe from Zardy Plants.

Semi-homemade Matzo Ball Soup

semi-homemade matzo ball soup
Courtesy of Haven's Kitchen

This recipe from Alison Cayne, the female founder and cookbook author behind Haven's Kitchen, adds chimichurri to the matzo balls. This herby and earthy element is a great touch, as matzo balls can sometimes be starchy and dense. As fresh herbs are traditionally a part of many matzo ball soup recipes, most often parsley or dill, this takes the tradition and offers a fresh, modern approach.

Courtesy of Haven's Kitchen.

Lemony Matzo Ball Soup

lemony matzo ball soup
Courtesy of La Boîte

Lemons and chicken are a match made in heaven, and there's classic Greek soup recipes that incorporate a blend of chicken and lemon, as well. So, why not incorporate lemon into our matzo ball soup? This gives a fresh and vibrant dimension of flavor, and it's no surprise: This recipe comes from Lior Lev Sercarz of La Boîte, who is famous for his spice creations. He knows how to create flavor!

Get the recipe from La Boîte.

Extra Fancy Matzah Ball Soup

duck matzah ball soup
Courtesy of Rush Jagoe

This soup via chef Alon Shaya, is at its heart a classic matzo ball soup. It has homemade matzo balls, as well as celery and carrots. But it then goes to a whole higher level with the incorporation of duck, schmaltz, and even allspice berries, tomatoes, and arugula. It's truly an elevated matzo ball soup, and perfect for when you want to impress—like maybe if there's a special guest at the table this Hanukkah.

Get the recipe from My Jewish Learning.

Mofongo Matzo Ball Soup

Courtesy of Reagan Byrne

Most of us are already pretty familiar with Mofongo as a traditional Puerto Rican dish. Made with fried green plantains, chicken, and garlic, the flavorful dish goes in a whole new direction when incorporated into traditional matzo ball soup—and the result is pretty exciting.

Get Trisha Pérez Kennealy's recipe via Instagram.

Instant Pot Matzo Ball Soup

Instant Pot Matzo Ball Soup
Courtesy of Corrie Cooks

The best way to get a ton 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, a lot of us don't have time for that! This recipe uses the Instant Pot to get that cooked-all-day flavor without actually having to stand over a hot stove all day—and for that, I'm very grateful.

Get the recipe from Corrie Cooks.

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