Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is a comforting and zesty dish that’s perfect for any season. This soup is light yet hearty, combining tender chicken, orzo pasta, and a bright lemon flavor. Here’s how to make it:

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 8 cups (1.9 liters) chicken broth
  • 1 cup (200g) orzo pasta
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed (you can use rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 cups (60-90g) fresh spinach or kale, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream (optional, for extra creaminess)
  • Fresh parsley or dill, chopped (for garnish)


  1. Sauté the Vegetables:
    • In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
    • Add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes.
    • Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  2. Add the Broth and Seasonings:
    • Pour in the chicken broth.
    • Add the dried thyme, dried oregano, and bay leaves. Stir to combine.
    • Bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Cook the Orzo:
    • Once the broth is boiling, add the orzo pasta.
    • Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until the orzo is tender.
  4. Add the Chicken and Spinach:
    • Stir in the cooked chicken and chopped spinach or kale.
    • Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the greens are wilted and the chicken is heated through.
  5. Finish the Soup:
    • Remove the bay leaves from the soup.
    • Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and heavy cream (if using).
    • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve:
    • Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley or dill.


  • Chicken: Use leftover cooked chicken or a rotisserie chicken for convenience. If cooking chicken specifically for this recipe, you can poach or bake boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs.
  • Orzo: Orzo pasta can absorb a lot of liquid, so if the soup gets too thick, you can add more chicken broth or water to reach your desired consistency.
  • Lemon Flavor: Adjust the amount of lemon juice to taste. If you prefer a more subtle lemon flavor, start with the juice of 1 lemon and add more as needed.
  • Vegetables: Feel free to add other vegetables like zucchini or peas for extra flavor and nutrition.

Enjoy your comforting and delicious Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup!

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