Chicken–Stuffed Matzo Balls (aka Inside-Out Matzo Ball Soup)

April  8, 2020
Photo by Rebecca Firkser
Author Notes

You could serve matzo balls with chicken soup, or you could put the chicken soup inside the matzo ball. Well, sort of. I wasn’t able to literally create the xiao long bao (soup dumpling) version of matzo balls, but this is really close. Similar to Iraqi kubbeh, classic matzo ball batter is stuffed with a seasoned meat mixture. To channel chicken soup vibes, sauté onions, carrots, and celery until browned before incorporating lots of dill and ground chicken. To speak my truth, I think ground turkey is just as good as chicken here, so don’t be shy about a swap. (And if you want to be an overachiever and make your own ground chicken—surprisingly easy!—head here to learn how.) While you can poach matzo balls directly in chicken broth or soup, it can cloud the liquid in a strange way. I recommend cooking matzo balls in well-seasoned water—especially with this recipe, I’ve found that there’s no difference in flavor. —Rebecca Firkser

  • Prep time 45 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Makes 25 matzo balls
  • Matzo balls
  • 1 cup matzo meal
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
  • 2 tablespoons melted chicken fat or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped dill
  • Chicken broth or soup, for serving
  • Chicken-vegetable filling
  • 2 tablespoons chicken fat or vegetable oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about ⅓ cup)
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 small stalk celery, finely chopped (about ¼ cup)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/4 pound ground chicken or turkey
  • 2 tablespoons matzo meal
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
In This Recipe
  1. Add the matzo meal, stock (or water), 2 eggs, chicken fat, salt, pepper, baking powder, and dill to a bowl, and stir to combine. Refrigerate to allow the mixture time to hydrate while you prepare the filling.
  2. Heat the chicken fat (or vegetable oil) in a skillet over medium-high. Add the onion to the pan and season with a big pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is slightly soft and browning, about 10 minutes. Stir in carrot, celery, another pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft. Remove the pan from heat and let cool for at least 10 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cooled vegetables with the garlic, ground chicken, matzo meal, 1 egg, parsley, ½ teaspoon salt, more ground pepper, and red pepper flakes if using, until just combined.
  4. Gently form chicken mixture into 25 scant ½-inch meatballs and place on a sheet pan.
  5. Using a #100 cookie scoop (about 2 teaspoons), scoop out 25 balls of matzo meal mixture, then use damp hands to flatten each into a disk. Wrap each matzo disk around each meatball and roll the ball around with your hands to ensure it’s sealed.
  6. Meanwhile, in a large stockpot, bring 3 quarts of water seasoned with 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil.Gently transfer matzo balls to pot, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the dumplings are puffed, springy to the touch, and chicken is cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. I like to fish out a matzo ball and slice it in half as a test before removing the rest.
  7. Serve the matzo balls on their own, or with warm chicken broth or soup if you’d like. These matzo balls can be made up to 24 hours in advance and stored with a few tablespoons of their poaching liquid in airtight containers. You can freeze them solid on sheet trays (making sure they’re not touching) for 3 hours, then transfer to a bag or container. When you’re ready to eat, plop them in simmering water, broth, or soup and gently reheat.

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Rebecca Firkser is a freelance food writer and recipe developer. Her work has appeared in a number of publications, among them Food52, TASTE, Edible Manhattan, Extra Crispy, The Strategist, and Bon Appetit's Healthyish. She contributed recipes and words to the book "Breakfast: The Most Important Book About the Best Meal of the Day." Once upon a time, she studied theatre design and art history at Smith College, so if you need a last-minute avocado costume or want to talk about Wayne Thiebaud's cakes, she's your girl.