A heartwarming one-pot lemon chicken orzo soup combines onions, celery, carrots, parsley, and chicken in a perfectly seasoned chicken broth with a touch of lemon. Ready in less than 45 minutes, this Greek lemon chicken soup is guaranteed to impress.

Can’t get enough chicken soups? Be sure to check out our chicken taco soup or chicken and vegetable soup recipe

A bowl of lemon chicken orzo soup.

This Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup Recipe Rocks Because

  1. It is made with 10 simple everyday ingredients (plus salt & pepper) in one pot in under 45 minutes. 
  2. The addition of a squeeze of lemon combined with fresh parsley brightens the chicken stock and makes it a super flavorful chicken soup that you will make over and over again.
  3. A cup of orzo added in the last minutes of cooking gives the soup a velvety finish, thickening the soup perfectly. 

Ingredients

To make this chicken lemon orzo soup you will need olive oil, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, flour, chicken thighs, chicken stock, and salt and pepper.

Ingredients for the recipe are laid out on a white backdrop

Substitutions

  • Chicken Stock: You can use chicken stock you make yourself or a store-bought one in this recipe. If you decide to go with store-bought chicken stock, low sodium chicken stock works best so that you can adjust the seasoning according to your taste buds.
  • Chicken: If you are looking for a lean chicken soup, use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs. If you are short on time, you can also use leftover shredded rotisserie chicken. 
  • Gluten-Free Orzo: If you are following a gluten-free diet, feel free to use gluten-free orzo.

How To Make Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Four images showing how to make the recipe
  1. Cook vegetables: Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven. Add in onion, carrots, and celery. Sautee for 6-7 minutes or until all they are softened. Add garlic and cook for a minute or so.
  2. Add flour:  To thicken the soup, add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for a minute. 
  3. Make the soup: Add the chicken thighs, chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Put the lid on, bring to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add the orzo and cook for another 10 minutes or until it is fully cooked.
  4. Shred the chicken: Remove the chicken from the pot and shred it into smaller bite-sized pieces. Put it back into the pot and bring it to a boil.
  5. Serve: Stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Give it a taste and add more seasoning if necessary. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with lemon wedges and crusty bread on the side.
Person mixing hot lemon chicken orzo soup in a pot

Storage and Freezing Instructions

  • Storage: You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When ready to serve, heat on the stove. You may have to add half a cup of water to thin it out if it is too thick. 
  • Freezing Instructions: This soup freezes well. However, it's best to reserve the portion you plan to freeze before adding the orzo in as freezing soup with pasta makes it mushy. Place the soup in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months.
  • Thawing Instructions: Thaw the frozen soup in the fridge a day before you are ready to serve. Bring the soup to a boil on the stovetop and add in the orzo. Cook until the pasta is cooked through. Add in lemon juice and parsley right before serving.

Variations

  • Add in spinach: To make this Greek chicken soup even healthier, add 2 cups of baby spinach after the orzo is cooked. It should take no more than 1-2 minutes for it to wilt. 
  • Lemon zest: If you are a fan of citrusy flavors, add the zest of a lemon before serving. It will make it even more zesty and flavorful.
  • Add a bay leaf into the soup: If you are using store-bought chicken stock, you can add in a bay leaf to make the stock more flavorful. Be sure to fish it out before serving the soup.
A bowl of Chicken Soup served with lemon on the side.
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup in a bowl with a spoon on the side

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup Recipe

A heartwarming and delicious lemon chicken orzo soup recipe that happens to be healthy. Made in one pot, this easy soup recipe is made with every day ingredients and comes together in 45 minutes.
5 stars (3 ratings)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 2 stalks of celery, cut into small pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour, gluten-free, if needed
  • 7 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, or chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup orzo, gluten-free, if needed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • Lemon wedges, to serve with

Instructions 

  • Heat olive oil in a large heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Add in onion, carrots, and celery. Sautee, stirring occasionally, for 6-7 minutes or until all the vegetables are softened. Add in garlic and saute for another minute.
  • Sprinkle the flour into the pot and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute. The flour will coat the vegetables creating a glue-like paste around them, which is normal.
  • Pour in the chicken stock and add in the chicken, salt, and pepper. Put the lid on, bring to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Add the orzo and cook for another 10 minutes or until it is cooked through. Stir frequently to make sure that orzo doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Remove the now-cooked chicken from the pot and shred into smaller bite-sized pieces. Put it back into the pot and bring it to a boil to one last time.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and fresh parsley right before serving. Serve with lemon wedges and crusty bread on the side.

Notes

  • Storage: You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When ready to serve, heat on the stove. You may have to add half a cup of water to thin it out if it is too thick. 
  • Freezing Instructions: This soup freezes well. However, reserving the portion you plan to freeze before adding the orzo works best as freezing soup with pasta makes it mushy. Place the soup in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months.
  • Thawing Instructions: Thaw the frozen soup in the fridge a day before you are ready to serve. Bring the soup to a boil on the stovetop and add in the orzo. Cook until the pasta is cooked through. Add in lemon juice and parsley right before serving.
Calories: 605kcal, Carbohydrates: 54g, Protein: 50g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 174mg, Sodium: 1373mg, Potassium: 1178mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 8024IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 70mg, Iron: 3mg
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Lemon chicken orzo soup in a bowl with the recipe title on top of the picture.