When I thought about what recipe I should start this blog with, it took me less than 2 seconds to come up with my grandmother’s Matzo Ball Soup. It started off every meal during the Jewish High Holidays. It kicked off family Thanksgiving dinner. My grandmother even kept a stash of matzo ball soup in the back of her freezer in case someone uttered those 4 magic words that every Jewish Grandmother has the cure for…”I don’t feel well.”
Well, the force is strong in me because when my son uttered those exact words not too long ago, I knew that I needed a batch of Grandma’s Jewish Penicillin. Sadly, I don’t have a stash in my freezer. How does an unprepared Jewish mom make an impromptu homemade matzo ball soup when all she has is a frozen whole chicken, matzo meal, and some veggies???
THE INSTANT POT!!!
But how do you make a rich broth from a frozen whole chicken and still have veggies and matzo balls that aren’t mush? Well I found a way.
Here is my step by step Instant Pot Matzo Ball Soup video tutorial:
**If you are making the soup for Pesach, do not add the noodles!**
Instant Pot Matzo Ball Chicken Soup Using a Whole FROZEN Chicken:
3-4 lb Frozen Whole Frozen Chicken
3 large Carrots cut in large chunks (I used multicolored carrots)
3 stalks Celery cut into chunks (I don’t really like celery so sometimes I don’t add it. It’s up to you.)
3 small onions quartered
32 oz Chicken Broth/Stock or 2 bouillon cubes /2 Tbl Better Than Bouillon dissolved in 32 oz water
Salt (about 1 Tbl Kosher)
Pepper (about 7 twists of the grinder)
Fine Egg Noodles
An addition that my grandmother always included was Pupiks (Hebrew word for chicken Gizzards). You can add these at the beginning. The gizzard is a muscle/stomach that chickens have that crush the grain before being digested. So make sure you clean them very well!
Matzo Ball mix (If you want to make mazto balls from scratch, follow this link to my recipe Matzo Balls from Scratch Recipe)
-Place trivet in IP and place frozen whole chicken directly on the trivet. (Make sure your chicken is not the one with the giblets in a bag. I use the Costco whole chicken so the giblets and neck are in the cavity without a bag so it’s safe to cook the whole thing.) Throw Carrots and Onions right on top of the chicken.
-Add salt and pepper directly into Pot. Use as little or as much as you like. Add Bay Leaf.
-Pour broth/stock into the pot and then add enough water to fill to the 4.5L line. I have a 6 QT so it was about 4 Cups of water. It’s ok with the chicken is not completely covered.
-Lock on lid, turn the vent to lock, and hit “Manual” button. Increase time to 60 minutes.
-When done, NR. During this time assemble the Matzo Balls up to the point that you put them in the fridge. Matzo balls need to be refrigerated for about 15-20 mins for the box mix or an hour if making them by scratch, so make sure to judge the timing right. Here is the link if you want to make the matzo balls from scratch. Matzo Ball from Scratch Recipe
-Take out the chicken and the vegetables so all that is left in the Instant Pot is the broth.
-Press “Sauté”. When liquid is boiling add the matzo balls. Lock lid, Lock vent. Press “Manual” and HP cook for 10 mins.
-While the Matzo balls are cooking, cut up the chicken. The chicken meat will fall off the bone so all you need to do is use a fork and maybe a butter knife to cut into pieces. Cut the pieces as small or as large as you like in your soup. You don’t have to add all the chicken. I usually only add one breast and the dark meat. I save the other breast meat for chicken salad.
-When Matzo balls are done, do a CQR or Controlled Quick Release (That’s where you turn the valve or press the release valve a little at a time, then stop. This keeps it from foaming and splattering everywhere.) Open the lid. If you are adding noodles (which I did here, but it is not necessary) press “Sauté” again and when boiling add the Fine Egg Noodles. Let boil for 4 mins. Add back veggies and chicken. Turn off the IP. Add salt and pepper to taste.
21 Comments Add yours
Heavenly looking matzo soup! Cannot wait to make a batch this weekend!
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Thank you so much. Let me know how you like it!
I am so sick and my only daughter lives far far away.. Guess I have to make my own IP MATZAH BALL SOUP.
I can’t find the recipe for your matzo balls. Thanks!
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I completely forgot to add it since I usually use the box mix. But I will add the recipe from my grandmother’s JCC cookbook tonight. ❤
I’d be interested in the make your own matzo ball recipe too!!!
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It seems like the carrots would be mushy after an hour in the IP???
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If you cut them in thick chuncks they won’t be. You can’t use baby carrots. ❤
How long would you cook the chicken for if it’s defrosted and not frozen?
Hi! It depends on the size of the chicken but 25 mins should be more than enough. I would cut the carrots to 1/2 inch thick pieces though because they won’t be cooking as long.
This is the second time I’m making your soup. My son loves it! How much of the fine noodles do you add?
Oh my I’m so happy he likes it. I can’t wait to tell my grandmother she would get a kick out of it. The fine noodles tend to disintegrate in the leftovers so I only add as much as I might serve that day. They cook so fast that when you heat up the leftovers you can always add more. Enjoy!
This was wonderful, although I didn’t know the exact size of my Costco chicken (bought a two-pack which must have been over eight pounds total. Separated and checked for giblets before freezing. If Costco never uses a bag for the giblets that Is really helpful). My chicken fit but was over the fill line — which I couldn’t see. The pot didn’t seal. Made for a long night. I was able to open the pot and rearrange the cooked chicken but for safety’s sake cooked until pot sealed. Much more flavorful than soup made on the stove and my matzoh balls were wonderful. Thank you!
I’m so glad you liked it even though it took longer to seal and cook. I have had the same type of issue when I bought a chicken that was the perfect size but when frozen kind of froze in a weird shape so it took up more room. I guess that was G-d’s way of telling me I need to buy the 8 Qt. 🙂
Funny, I was having that same conversation on the way to Costco this morning. We are usually only cooking for two so I didn’t want to store the larger eight quart. But the main thing I want to cook in there is a frozen chicken, either roast or soup, and I am really challenged by the size limitations. I asked the Costco rep if he had any smaller chickens and he said everything was out. The smallest package I could find wasn’t priced so he weighed and priced it for me. Just under eight pounds for the two. But because he said they don’t pack them there he couldn’t verify if they never put the giblets in a bag. I’ll have to go with your experience, and really mine at this point. Today’s chicken had just an unwrapped neck inside.
This is the best chicken soup I have ever made. Thank you.
Awe, thank you for telling me. I can’t wait to tell my grandmother. I’m so glad you liked it! Stay safe and happy cooking.
When making this on the stove, I make it it a day before I want to serve it so that I can skim the fat off of the top of the soup. Isn’t there fat on the top of the soup when it’s cooked in the instapot?
Yes and you can do the same. When you let it cool the fat will coagulate and you can skim it off the same way. If I make it ahead if time, I do that. But sometimes I serve it right after. It’s up to you.
Can you freeze this soup?
Absolutely, my grandmother would always have a huge jar frozen in her freezer. It's great frozen.