The Washington Post

Not-Quite Matzoh Ball Soup

Not-Quite Matzoh Ball Soup 8.000

Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Apr 8, 2019

These “matzoh" balls are gluten-free, made with ground chicken and almond flour. While it's awkward to call them matzoh balls when they have no matzoh in them, they look just like the real deal, plus they are tasty.

Make Ahead: The "matzoh" balls can be made ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 1 day.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings; makes about 14 small matzoh balls

  • For the matzoh balls
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup no-salt-added chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons ground almonds/almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • For the soup
  • One whole 4-pound chicken, cut into quarters (giblet packet removed)
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed well and cut crosswise in half
  • 3 ribs celery, cut crosswise in half
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 turnip, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1 fennel bulb, quartered
  • 1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 8 cups water, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 large bunch parsley
  • 1/2 large bunch dill

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For the "matzoh" balls: Use your hands to mix together the ground chicken, broth, ground almonds, coconut flour, garlic, egg, oil, salt and white pepper in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Wet your hands in cold water and shape the cold batter into 1 1/2-inch balls. Place the balls on a plate, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the soup: Put the chicken pieces in a large pot. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, parsnip, turnip, fennel, mushrooms, if using, bay leaves and salt. Add the water and bring to a boil. (Add more water, if needed, to make sure the chicken and vegetables are fully submerged.) Use a large spoon to skim the scum off the top of the soup. Add the peppercorns; then cover the pot. Reduce the heat to low, and let the soup barely bubble at the edges, checking after 5 minutes and skimming off any additional scum. Add the parsley and dill, cover and let the soup barely bubble at the edges, about 2 hours. Let cool; then strain the soup through a large sieve, pressing on solids. Discard the vegetables and shred the chicken to add to the soup or use elsewhere. Taste and season with more salt, as needed.

When ready to serve, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the "matzoh" balls and reduce the heat, so the water is barely bubbling at the edges. Cook for about 8 minutes until the balls are no longer pink in the center (cut one in half to make sure). Ladle the soup into bowls; then follow with the "matzoh" balls and the chicken, if using.

Note: You can also make the soup in a pressure cooker. Place all of the soup ingredients in the pot, seal, and cook for 45 minutes at high pressure. Let the pressure release naturally, about 1 hour.

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Recipe Source

From cookbook author Paula Shoyer.

Tested by Diana Maxwell.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 130

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 8g 12%

Saturated Fat: 3g 15%

Cholesterol: 80mg 27%

Sodium: 380mg 16%

Total Carbohydrates: 2g 1%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 1g

Protein: 13g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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