Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

5 from 1 vote

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THIS lemon chicken orzo soup recipe is amazing! This soup is cozy, hearty and SO delicious. Made with homemade chicken stock and loads of vegetables like carrots and celery, this is a spin on a traditional classic (might I add some of the best chicken soup I’ve ever made or tasted).

It’s finished off with orzo and loads of fresh lemon juice, as well as chopped fresh dill and parsley. Don’t forget to add a good amount of fresh cracked peppercorns to finish it off.

If you’re looking for even more chicken soup recipes, be sure to take a look at the below of ours!

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

What ingredients do you need to make this lemon chicken orzo recipe?

  • Butter: As the base of our soup, this gives the veggies a nice nutty flavor and silky broth when we build! Or substitute with extra-virgin olive oil to keep this dairy free.
  • Veggies/Mirepoix: We are using celery, carrots and onion as the base of the soup with flour to help thicken and lead some texture to the soup. Adding garlic here would be great, too!
  • Chicken broth and chicken: You can use store-bought broth, or use our homemade broth, which can be found at that recipe! If you do make homemade chicken broth, you can cook your chicken for the soup at the same time. Otherwise, you can use precooked, store-bought chicken, or any leftover you have available.
  • Orzo: Is cooked separately and then added in the soup when tender. You can opt to sub this with any rice of choice as well.
  • Lemon juice and herbs: I love to finish this soup off with a huge squeeze of lemon and herbs such as dill and parsley leaves.
  • Optional add-ins: Some parmesan cheese topped on this soup would also be awesome and add some saltiness and umami to the soup.
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Instructions to make this chicken lemon orzo soup

Make your chicken broth and chicken (if you are making that homemade!) If not then move onto the next step.

You can find our chicken broth and chicken base at our white bean chicken soup recipe.

Prepare your base of the soup

  • In a dutch oven or deep pot, or the same pot as your homemade broth, heat unsalted butter over medium-high heat until melted and glistening. Toss in your celery, carrots and onions. Stir for 5 to 10 minutes to sweat these out, you don’t want to bring on color here. Season with kosher salt and black pepper.
  • Next, on the same heat, add in your all-purpose flour and sauté and sweat out your vegetables for another 10 minutes, and until the flour has dissolved in.
  • Add in your chicken broth and simmer on medium-heat until the vegetables are soft, about 20 to 30 minutes. Adjust with kosher salt and black pepper.

Cook your orzo

  • While the vegetables are cooking, cook your orzo according to the package instruction and shred your chicken. Strain your orzo in a colander and do a light rinse (helps take out starch from the orzo so the soup doesn’t get as thick and clumpy!) and set that aside.

Assemble!

  • Once your vegetables are soft, adjust the heat to medium low, add in your shredded chicken and cooked orzo. Make sure all is warm and combined, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Finishing touches: Lemon juice and herbs!

  • Turn off the heat, add in fresh lemon juice (up to your preference, I’ll add about juice of 1 lemon) and fresh herbs (chopped parsley and dill). Serve immediately in bowls.
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Tips, Tricks and Substitutions

Why do you put lemon juice in chicken soup? I absolutely love the balance of flavors with tons of freshly squeezed lemon juice in my chicken soup. I find it really balances out the broth and pairs well with the herbs. It also adds really nice brightness to this recipe.

Can you freeze lemon chicken orzo soup? Yes, you can! Although I do recommend freezing without adding the orzo, so it doesn’t get mushy. Freeze without the orzo, and make the orzo when ready to serve. To serve, defrost your soup, warm up and then add your orzo.

How long does chicken soup last in the fridge? Store any leftovers in the fridge, transferring in an airtight containers for 3 to 4 days. Just warm up when ready to heat! The orzo won’t get AS mushy as in the freezer, but it might still get a little mushy. You can store any pre-cooked orzo in a separate container, and just add it in the soup separately when you are ready to eat.

What kind of chicken can I use for this lemon chicken soup? Anything goes here! You can poach some boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs (direct in your homemade broth, or in the soup pot, then shred), you can use leftover shredded rotisserie chicken as well. Any option tastes amazing!

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Looking for more soup recipes? Start below:

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Updated from February 2021

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Chicken Orzo Soup
5 from 1 vote

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

One of my favorite fall soups is this lemon chicken orzo soup! This soup is cozy, hearty and SO delicious. 
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 4

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 ribs of celery
  • 3 carrots, slice on a bias
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth, store-bought or homemade
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast, or leftover rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cooked orzo pasta
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus more if preferred
  • Handful of fresh dill and fresh parsley, finely chopped

Instructions 

  • Make your chicken broth and chicken (if you are making that homemade!) If not then move onto the next step. You can find our chicken broth and chicken base at our white bean chicken soup recipe.
  • In a dutch oven or deep pot, or the same pot as your homemade broth, heat unsalted butter over medium-high heat until melted and glistening. Toss in your celery, carrots and onions. Stir for 5 to 10 minutes to sweat these out, you don’t want to bring on color here. Season with kosher salt and black pepper.
  • Next, on the same heat, add in your all-purpose flour and sauté and sweat out your vegetables for another 10 minutes, and until the flour has dissolved in.
  • Add in your chicken broth and simmer on medium-heat until the vegetables are soft, about 20 to 30 minutes. Adjust with kosher salt and black pepper.
  • While the vegetables are cooking, cook your orzo according to the package instruction and shred your chicken. Strain your orzo in a colander and do a light rinse (helps take out starch from the orzo so the soup doesn’t get as thick and clumpy!) and set that aside.
  • Once your vegetables are soft, adjust the heat to medium low, add in your shredded chicken and cooked orzo. Make sure all is warm and combined, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, add in fresh lemon juice (up to your preference, I’ll add about juice of 1 lemon) and fresh herbs (chopped parsley and dill). Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 175kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 908mg, Potassium: 261mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 7837IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 37mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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2 Comments

    1. It is so good! Yes, you can definitely use store bought or already prepared chicken stock. I hope you love it! – Lindsey