Gluten Free Matzo Ball Soup

Just like grandma made it, but make it gluten-free! This classic Gluten-Free Matzo Ball Soup will become a family staple loved by all. It’s a flavorful soup that can be enjoyed all year round.

gluten free matzo ball soup

My Trusty Matzo Ball Soup Recipe 

My Classic Chicken Soup truly never fails, and when you add matzo balls, it’s a real star of a recipe. This soup is a riff on my nanny’s classic soup, but rather than cooking on the stove for hours upon hours, we used the Instant Pot (or slow cooker)! Adding fluffy gluten-free matzo balls is the perfect addition, so let’s get to it!

Ingredients Needed

Scroll down for the complete ingredient list and recipe!

Nanny’s Chicken Soup

  • Celery, Carrots, Onion, and Garlic: The start of any really great soup!
  • Chicken Pieces:  Bone-in, dark meat is always delicious and holds up really well. It also doesn’t become dry like the breast can. That’s why I like to use a whole chicken cut into pieces (ask your butcher!) or grab a variety of pieces: thighs, drumsticks, breasts…
  • Water: You can also use broth, but we make our own broth here, so it’s not really needed.
  • Fresh Dill: The Jewish chicken soup is essential!
  • Fine Sea Salt and Black Pepper: You’ll add, taste, and add more as desired, so keep them handy!

Matzo Balls

  • Gluten-Free Matzo Ball Mix: be sure to get a gluten-free mix, here is my favorite clean version.
  • Fresh Chopped Dill: it’s essentially necessary in this Jewish soup.
  • Black Pepper: add to your taste preference!
  • Salted Water: this infuses the perfect salt to the matzo balls
  • Note: Sub avocado oil for vegetable oil

First of All, What is Matzo Ball Soup?

Matzo Ball Soup is a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish soup often served during Passover and other Jewish holidays throughout the year. It’s a chicken soup filled with delicious matzo balls, fresh herbs, and nostalgic flavor.

If you grew up eating matzo ball soup like my family, you either had dense matzo balls that didn’t float or fluffy ones that floated in your soup. For us, fluffy is the only way!

What is in Matzo Ball Mix?

Typically, a matzo ball is a mix of matzo meal, salt and pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. However, this can vary with random additives, so read labels! I like Streit’s brand because they’re the cleanest I’ve found and wonderful!

Why I Use a Mix vs. Making My Own

Now you know I’m all about making things homemade—after all, this is my recipe blog! But I’m also about shortcuts and sourcing good-quality ingredients.

What I’ve found is that gluten-free matzo meal on its own has additives and things in it, so why not doctor up a mostly clean matzo ball mix and save ourselves a headache?

I have found not only Streit’s gluten-free matzo ball mix but Yehuda’s gluten-free matzo ball mix to be the cleanest, and with the tips below (scroll down), they’ll be fluffy and delicious!

How I spruce up a matzo ball mix:

Add chopped fresh dill plus freshly cracked black pepper to the mix! Trust me – it really elevates the matzo balls.

Tips for Really Good Matzo Balls

Salt your water. This is critical! The matzo balls will soak up the water, so if it’s plain, they’ll taste plain. If it’s too salty, they will be too. Salting your water is very important! You don’t need to use broth if you salt correctly! Roughly 3 tablespoons of salt to 3 quarts of water will create the perfect matzo ball!

Add fresh herbs. It’s a game-changer for flavor!

Let them set. Since we’re using a mix and sprucing it up a little, you will still follow the package and let them sit/set.

Don’t undercook! If you want them fluffy, don’t undercook!

Cook them separately. I don’t recommend cooking them with your chicken soup – add them once cooked!

Have Hard Matzo Balls?

If the mixture is used too soon, the matzo balls will fall apart when cooking. If the mixture rests for too long, it can end up very dense – read what the package recommends.

Fluffy matzo balls come from the ratio of eggs to matzo meal and the mixing and resting process. Too much oil added to the mix will make them sink, hence why the box here is a helpful shortcut! Removing the cover while they cook will also affect them! Be patient with your matzo balls!

The Chicken Soup Itself, AKA Jewish Penicillin

Growing up in a Jewish home, chicken soup was a staple (and still is) for holidays, and anytime someone started to come down with something. I’ve eaten a lot of chicken soup in my day, and this is hands down my nanny’s recipe is my favorite. Plus, it’s literally the easiest recipe to just throw together.

It has all the flavors of your classic chicken soup, just like grandma (or my nanny) used to make, which would simmer for hours on end. Packed with tons of veggies and tender chicken, this classic comfort soup is perfect for any time you need to warm yourself up on a chilly day, a Jewish holiday, or to have in the freezer should a sickness strike. The upside to the stove simmer is that the house had a wonderful smell all day long.

For Passover, I like chopping the vegetables larger and more rough (like Nanny did it!), but you can dice as well!

Can you make this chicken soup with shredded chicken?

Yes! It won’t be quite the same as grandma made it, but just make the soup as directed and add the pre-shredded chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken at the end.

Chicken Soup On the Stove

  1. In a large pot, add the chicken pieces, carrots, onion, garlic, and celery. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bring the soup to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and add in the fresh dill.
  3. Cover and simmer until the chicken is tender and the vegetables are soft.
  4. After about an hour, remove the chicken and shred it, discarding the skin and bones (or saving them for future broth!).
  5. Adjust salt, pepper, and dill as desired.
  6. Serve the soup with one or two matzo balls in each bowl, or cool down before storing it in the refrigerator.

Instant Pot Chicken Soup

  1. Place veggies in the bottom of your Instant Pot. Top with chicken, herbs, and spices. Add 6 cups water.
  2. Push manual and let cook for 30 minutes. Let slow release or use quick release.
    1. NOTE 1: For frozen chicken, cook for 40 minutes.
    2. NOTE 2: For chicken breasts, cook for 23 minutes.
  3. Shred chicken, discarding skin and bones (or save for future broth!).
  4. Adjust salt, pepper, and dill as desired.
  5. Serve the soup with one or two matzo balls in each bowl, or let it cool before storing it in the refrigerator.

Slow Cooker Chicken Soup

  1. Add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Shred the meat off of the chicken and stir it back into the soup.
  4. Adjust salt, pepper, and dill as desired.
  5. Serve the soup with one or two matzo balls in each bowl, or cool down before storing it in the refrigerator.

Tips for Really Good Matzo Soup

Use bone-in chicken pieces. We’re making broth here! The different pieces of chicken, fat, and bones, not all boneless breasts, will create serious flavor.

Fresh dill will be your best friend. It is quintessential in a classic matzo ball soup. If you don’t like dill, parsley would be a good addition.

Don’t skimp on salt and pepper. Keep it handy!

Add the matzo balls when serving. I do not recommend cooking the matzo balls and soup together.

If adding noodles, wait until serving to add, too!

Want to Add Noodles?

Go for it! In my experience, it’s better to add the cooked noodles directly to a single hot bowl of soup instead of to the whole pot! The noodles will continue to suck up the liquid of the soup in the pot and become waterlogged.

Storing, Reheating, and Freezing:

Store: Once cooled, store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Reheat: Let simmer on the stove!

Freeze: Freeze the chicken soup without the matzo balls!

Can you Make Matzo Balls in Advance?

Matzo balls can be made 2 days ahead. Transfer to an airtight container along with a few tablespoons of broth and chill.

Other Soup Recipes To Add Matzo Balls To:

Other Passover Recipes To Try:

Watch The Video:

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gluten free matzo ball soup
  • Nanny’s Chicken Soup
  • 1 celery heart 4 or 5 stalks, roughly chopped
  • 3 large carrots roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 3- pounds of bone-in chicken pieces
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper more to taste
  • Matzo Balls
  • 1 box gluten-free matzo ball mix see note
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • Salted water
  •  

For The Soup in the Instant Pot (see post above for slow cooker and stove top):

  • Place veggies in the bottom of your Instant Pot. Top with chicken, herbs, and spices.

  • Add 6 cups water.

  • Push manual and let cook for 30 minutes. Let slow release or use quick release.

  • NOTE 1: For frozen chicken, cook for 40 minutes.

  • NOTE 2: For boneless chicken breasts, cook for 23 minutes.

  • Shred chicken, discarding skin and bones. Adjust salt and pepper as desired.

  • Serve hot, or cool down before storing in the refrigerator.

For The Matzo Balls:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

  • Mix matzo ball mix as directed and add black pepper and dill.

  • Dip your hands in cold water and make about 12 matzo balls. Let stand.

  • Carefully place the matzo balls in the salted water (to avoid splatter).

  • Cover and simmer about 30-40 minutes until soft.

Matzo Balls:

  • I have found Streit’s gluten-free matzo ball mix and Yehuda gluten-free matzo ball mix to be the cleanest, and with the tips in the post above, they’ll be fluffy and delicious!
  • Note: I sub avocado oil for vegetable oil.
  • Salt your water. Matzo balls will soak up the water, so if it’s plain, they’ll taste plain. If it’s too salty, they will be too. Salting your water is very important! You don’t need to use broth if you salt correctly! Roughly 3 tablespoons of salt to 3 quarts of water will create the perfect matzo ball!
  • Add fresh herbs. It’s a game changer!
  • Let them set. Since we’re using a mix and sprucing it up, follow the package and let them sit/set.
  • Don’t undercook! If you want them fluffy, don’t undercook!
  • Cook them separate. I don’t recommend cooking them with your chicken soup!

Nanny’s Chicken Soup:

  • For Passover, I like chopping the vegetables larger and more rough (like Nanny did it!), but you can dice as well!
  • Use bone-in chicken pieces. We’re making broth here! The different pieces of chicken, fat and bones, not all boneless breasts, will create serious flavor.
  • Fresh dill will be your BFF. Dill is just quintessential in a classic matzo ball soup. If you don’ like dill, parsley would be a good addition.
  • Don’t skimp on salt and pepper. Keep it handy!
  • Add the matzo balls when serving. I do not recommend cooking the matzo balls and soup together.
  • If adding noodles, wait until serving to add, too!



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