• Yield: 4 servings

  • Time: 13 to 16 minutes (pressure cook time) cooking, 55 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling (25 minutes active time) total

When it comes to cooking matzo balls, there are two schools of thought. Some people like to simmer them in their own pot of stock or heavily salted water and then add them to the soup bowls for serving. This gives you the clearest soup, without the starch of the matzo balls clouding the broth. Others go the simpler route, cooking the balls directly in the soup pot. This recipe follows the latter, easier path. The broth does get a bit cloudy, but the flavor is not impacted, and I’ll go for ease over looks any day. If you do, however, want a  crystal-clear broth, you can make the soup, remove it from the pressure cooker pot, then cook the matzo balls in plain chicken stock or 2 quarts well-salted water on high pressure for 13 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the matzo balls after cooking, then add them to the soup just before serving


For The Matzo Balls

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 2 tablespoons schmaltz or neutral oil, such as grapeseed or sunflower

  • 2 tablespoons chicken stock, preferably homemade (recipe follows)

  • 1/2 cup matzo meal

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley, plus more for serving

  • 1 fat garlic clove, finely grated or minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

For The Soup

  • 2 tablespoons schmaltz or neutral oil

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced

  • 2 quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade (recipe follows)

Comfort in an Instant Comfort in an Instant by Melissa Clark


1. Make the matzo balls: In a large bowl, stir together the eggs, schmaltz, chicken stock, matzo meal, parsley, garlic, salt, cayenne, and nutmeg. Refrigerate, uncovered, until very cold, at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

2. Make the soup: Using the sauté function, heat the schmaltz in the pressure cooker pot. Stir in the onion, celery, and a pinch of salt and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the carrots and stock and bring to a simmer. Keep the sauté function on while you form the matzo balls.

3. Wet your hands and form matzo balls the size of golf balls. Slip them directly into the pot as you make them. You should have 11 or 12 balls.

4. Lock the lid into place and cook on high pressure for 13 minutes. Drape a kitchen towel over the vent and manually release the pressure. (This prevents the brothy steam from splattering everywhere.) Check a matzo ball to make sure it’s cooked all the way through. If not, lock the lid back into place and cook on high pressure for another 2 to 3 minutes.

5. To serve, ladle 2 or 3 balls into serving bowls, along with the soup. Sprinkle with fresh parsley

Chicken Stock
Active Time: 10 minues
Pressure Cook Time: 1 to 5 hours
Total time: 1 to 5 hours
Yield: 3 quarts


  • 3 pounds chicken or mixed poultry bones

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse sea salt, or to taste

  • 1 to 2 celery stalks, to taste

  • 1 large carrot

  • 1 large onion, 2 leeks, or a bunch of leek greens

  • 1 whole clove or star anise pod

  • 2 to 6 garlic cloves, to taste

  • About 6 sprigs fresh thyme or dill

  • About 6 sprigs fresh parsley

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • 2 to 4 coins (1-inch-thick) peeled fresh ginger (optional)


1. If you want to roast the chicken and poultry bones first, preheat the oven to 450°F. Lay the bones out on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until well browned, 25 to 35 minutes.

2. Put the bones (roasted or not) in the pressure cooker pot and add all the remaining ingredients. Cover with 3 to 3 1/2 quarts water (the water shouldn’t come more than two-thirds of the way up the side of the pot).

3. Cook on high pressure for 60 minutes. 

4. Let the pressure release naturally. Strain the liquid, discarding the solids. Use the broth or stock right away, or store it in the refrigerator or freezer. Bone broth and regular stock will keep for 5 days refrigerated or up to 6 months frozen.


In the pressure cooker, combine 3 sliced onions and/or leeks, 3 sliced carrots, 3 sliced celery stalks with leaves, 2 garlic cloves, 1 halved plum tomato, 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, a large pinch of sea salt, 4 parsley sprigs, and a cup or so of mushrooms, if you have them. Add water to cover by 2 inches, lock the lid in place, and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. Strain the liquid, discarding the solids.


Reprinted from Comfort in an Instant. Copyright © 2018 by Melissa Clark. Photographs copyright © 2018 by Christopher Testani. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.”

Melissa Clark
Melissa Clark is a food writer, author, and host of our new podcast Weeknight Kitchen with Melissa Clark. She is a food columnist for The New York Times, and has written more than 30 cookbooks including Dinner in an Instant, Cook This Now, and In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite.