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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???


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.


Instant Pot Matzo Ball Chicken Soup Using a Whole FROZEN Chicken:

3-4 lb Frozen Whole Frozen Chicken

Carrots cut in large chunks (I used multicolored carrots)

3 small onions quartered

32 oz Chicken Broth/Stock


Salt (about 1 Tbl Kosher)

Pepper (about 7 twists of the grinder)

Bay Leaf

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 (I will post the recipe for homemade matzo balls in a separate post however, you can use the box mix.)

-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 before cooking so doing this during the NR phase is perfect.


-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 QR. 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.





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Byron C

This looks great and I’m planning on trying it this weekend. I haven’t seen your post on matzo balls. Will that be posted soon I hope?


I just used the Manischewitz box of matzo ball mix. I have a family resevior for matzo balls from scratch but I find they don’t come out as good. If you still would like it I can definitely post it for you.

Amy pincus

I have a fresh chicken, not frozen, how would that effect this recipe?


I’ve done it using a fresh chicken at about 25 minutes. Other than that it doesn’t affect it at all. Just lessen the time you cook it for. 😁

Samantha A Grindell

Hi Lana! My name is Samantha Grindell, and I am an editorial intern with, and I’d like to use this recipe in a roundup I’m writing on Instant Pot dishes for Hanukkah. I wouldn’t print the whole article; just a description, an image, and a link back to your site. Would that be okay with you? Feel free to email me at with any questions!


Absolutely! I would love that.

Steve in Miami

How many people do you think this will serve at Passover?


I did this but the matzo balls turned into hard little rocks and had to be tossed.

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