Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup | The recipe critic
If you want a crisp, light, and filling dinner, this lemon chicken orzo soup is for you! A savory and vibrant lemon chicken broth paired with orzo pasta is the perfect pairing for a flavorful and delicious soup that is as satisfying as it is delicious.
Lemon and chicken are made for each other! They taste so great together, I just can’t get enough of them. If you like lemon chicken, you must try this Easy Greek Lemon Chicken, this delicious Creamy Lemon Chicken Piccata and this Creamy Lemon Parmesan Chicken.
Chicken Lemon Orzo Soup
Lemon chicken orzo soup is like an elevated chicken noodle soup that is packed with a bright lemon flavor and soft orzo paste. It’s an absolute favorite at my house. The best thing about it is that it’s totally comfort food without being heavy in your stomach. It is a light soup that is full of flavor and always hits the spot. It also freezes very well, so I love making extra to take out of the freezer when someone is sick or when I don’t feel like cooking.
You want to make sure you have some cooked chicken ready to go. I love boiling chicken breasts for a quick, tender bite, but you can pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store to keep it simple. Baked chicken thighs are another choice because the dark meat is so flavorful! A great way to save money and still not spend a lot of time cooking chicken is this instant pot roast chicken. When the chicken is ready, the soup comes together in 20 minutes.
This lemon chicken orzo soup is made with only the best ingredients! Everything is fresh and flavorful, and many of these ingredients are already indispensable in your kitchen. Orzo is a paste that looks like a grain of rice but bigger, you should be able to find it at your local grocer without any problem. The dimensions can be found below in the recipe card.
- chicken breasts: I use boneless skinless chicken breasts, but you can use any type of chicken meat. Make sure it is cooked before adding it to the soup.
- Butter: This is the fat in which you cook the vegetables before you start the soup.
- Onion: Fresh onions add so much flavor, you can’t skip this one!
- Carrots: You are going to peel and dice three medium carrots.
- Celery: Chopped celery gives the soup a great texture.
- Garlic: Adds a sweet and savory flavor. I dice fresh garlic cloves for the most flavor.
- Italian spices: I like to make my own blend so I know it’s fresh with no added salt.
- Chicken bouillon: Makes the perfect base for the soup. If desired, you can use vegetable broth.
- Orzo: This paste can be found in any local supermarket. It looks like big rice
- Lemon juice: Brighten up the soup!
- lemon pepper: Adds a little heat and extra lemon flavor.
- Rosemary and Parsley: An optional garnish.
- Parmesan cheese: I like a little on top for extra flavor.
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup Recipe
This Chicken and Lemon Orzo Soup is so easy to make! It’s a quick one-pot dinner that’s filling and tasty. Your whole family will love this one. Chicken soup is so good for the soul, and this is a quick recipe full of nutrients and flavor that your family will love. Here’s how to make this recipe.
- Melt butter: Add the butter to a large saucepan and melt over medium heat.
- Sauté vegetables: Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook for 7-8 minutes, until softened.
- Add Garlic: Add garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add broth and pasta: Stir in chicken stock and dry orzo pasta. Cook for 9-13 minutes or until orzo is cooked through and firm.
- Simmer until thickened: Stir in chicken, Italian seasoning, fresh lemon juice and lemon pepper. Let the soup heat up and thicken. The orzo pasta will absorb the chicken broth, so you may need to add more. If you have leftover soup, add more stock before reheating.
- Adjust spices: Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. If you want extra lemon flavor, add fresh lemon zest.
- Garnish: Sprinkle with fresh rosemary and parsley. Serve with fresh Parmesan cheese if desired!
Tips for making lemon chicken orzo soup
You can make this lemon chicken orzo soup in so many different ways. You can get creative with the ingredients you add until this recipe is perfect for you. Here are a few tips for making this recipe.
- Additional garnishes: There are many spices you can add to this soup, so feel free to get creative. I like to add thyme, bay leaves, and baby spinach for extra nutrients and flavor.
- Mirepoix: Mirepoix is a combination of carrots, celery and onions. They are super flavorful and the French use them as the main ingredient in most soups. I believe this is what makes this recipe so incredibly flavorful with just a few simple ingredients. Other recipes that use a mirepoix base include chicken pot pie and, of course, the classic chicken noodle soup.
- Prevent the Orzo from overcooking: If you want to make this recipe ahead of time, all you have to worry about is the orzo. It will absorb the liquid over time and become soggy. It cooks really fast so I’d just add some when you’re ready to serve it and are heating up.
Lemon chicken orzo soup makes the most amazing leftovers! You can reheat it over and over again and it just gets tastier. The broth is great and blends perfectly after a day or two. Here’s how to store leftovers.
- In the fridge: You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- In the freezer: You can keep your leftovers in the freezer for up to 3 months. I’d omit the orzo and add it when you reheat the soup to prevent the pasta from getting mushy or dissolving.
- Add the butter to a large saucepan and melt over medium heat.
- Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook for 7-8 minutes, until softened.
Add garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
Stir in chicken stock and dry orzo pasta. Cook for 9-13 minutes or until orzo is cooked through and firm.
Stir in chicken, Italian seasoning, fresh lemon juice and lemon pepper. Let the soup heat up and thicken. The orzo pasta will absorb the chicken stock, so you may need to add more. If you have leftover soup, add more stock before reheating.
Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. If you want extra lemon flavor, add fresh lemon zest.
Sprinkle with fresh rosemary and parsley. Serve with fresh Parmesan cheese if desired!
Calories219kcal (11%)Carbohydrates19G (6%)Egg white20G (40%)Fat7G (11%)Saturated fat3G (15%)Polyunsaturated fat1GMonounsaturated fat2GTrans fat0.2Gcholesterol63mg (21%)Sodium1013mg (42%)Potassium475mg (14%)Fiber2G (8%)Sugar3G (3%)Vitamin A5251IU (105%)Vitamin C3mg (4%)Calcium36mg (4%)Iron1mg (6%)
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional content will vary depending on the brands you use, measurement methods and portion sizes per household.