Turkey Matzo Ball Soup


Soup is always an obvious choice for leftover turkey. And while I'm pleased with my matzo ball skills, I'm not sure how truly authentic these are, although mine are quite light and tender.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
3 hrs 45 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 5 mins
8 matzo balls


Turkey Broth:

  • 3 pounds roasted turkey bones and meat scraps, the fattier the better

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2 ribs celery, chopped

  • 2 quarts water or chicken broth, or more to cover bones

Matzo Balls:

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 2 tablespoons rendered melted turkey fat

  • 1 teaspoon fine salt

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

  • 2 tablespoons seltzer water or club soda

  • ½ cup matzo meal


  • 2 tablespoons rendered melted turkey fat

  • 1 cup diced onion

  • ½ cup diced carrot

  • ½ cup diced celery

  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

  • 6 cups homemade rich turkey broth or chicken broth

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill


  1. Place leftover turkey (meat, bones, skin) into a stock pot. Add 1 chopped onion and 2 ribs chopped celery and water or chicken broth (or half of each). Bring to a simmer over high heat; reduce heat to low and continue to cook at a low simmer. Skim off scum as it forms, but don't remove any fat. Cook until broth is rich and any turkey meat has been rendered flavorless, about 3 hours. While broth cooks, skim off fat as it rises to the surface and save it in a bowl. Save about 4 tablespoons turkey fat.

  2. After removing surface fat, strain broth into a bowl.

  3. Lightly whisk 2 eggs in a separate mixing bowl. Add 2 tablespoons cooled rendered turkey fat and whisk to mix. Whisk in salt, pepper, and cayenne. Mix in seltzer water. Add matzo meal and mix with a fork until mixture begins to thicken up, 1 or 2 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

  4. Heat 2 tablespoons turkey fat in a large pot over medium heat. Add 1 cup diced onions, 1/2 cup diced carrots, 1/2 cup diced celery, and salt. Cook until onions start to turn translucent, 6 or 7 minutes. Add sliced garlic and cook an additional minute. Add turkey broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Check seasoning and adjust salt, if necessary.

  5. Divide matzo ball dough into 8 pieces and roll each into a ball using your wet hands.

  6. Bring a pot of salted cold water to a boil. Gently place matzo balls into the boiling water. Reduce heat so they simmer gently; cover the pot. Simmer until matzo balls are cooked through, about 30 minutes, adjusting heat as they cook so a gentle simmer continues. Transfer to hot serving bowls, 2 per serving.

  7. Stir freshly chopped parsley and dill into soup. Ladle hot soup over the matzo balls.

Cook's Note:

My turkey was already very well seasoned, so I didn't need to add much to the stockpot. You can adjust your broth according, and can certainly add things like bay leaf, thyme springs, parsley stems, etc.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

842 Calories
33g Fat
21g Carbs
108g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 842
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 33g 43%
Saturated Fat 10g 51%
Cholesterol 374mg 125%
Sodium 2529mg 110%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 108g
Vitamin C 11mg 53%
Calcium 162mg 12%
Iron 13mg 71%
Potassium 1379mg 29%

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

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.