This lemon chicken orzo soup is simply bursting with Mediterranean flavors! It's a cozy and warming soup made with just a handful of ingredients that will definitely make any day better.
Few things are as comforting as a bowl of chicken soup, and this lemon chicken orzo soup takes flavors to the next level!
It's a soup with Greek vibes as it has loads of lemon juice and fresh dill to transform a simple soup into a real treat.
The orzo adds texture and makes this fresh, bright soup a little bit heartier. It's healthy food and comfort food all in one beautiful bowl of soup!
Why you'll love this lemon chicken orzo soup
- It's a soup that will warm you up to your core while being super easy to make.
- The soup is packed with nutritious veggies, lean chicken for protein and orzo to transform into a complete meal.
- The flavors are vibrant and take the concept of chicken soup to a whole new level!
What goes into chicken orzo soup
Olive oil - Sauteeing the veggies in a bit of olive oil starts off the flavors the right way. If you want even more flavor, you can add a knob of butter here.
Carrot and celery - I like to dice the carrot and celery on the smaller side so it cooks quickly.
Leek - You only need the white and green parts of the leek in this chicken and orzo soup. Make sure you wash it thoroughly, as leeks are notoriously dirty inside.
Garlic - The garlic flavor pairs perfectly with the lemon and dill. I find that two plump cloves are enough, so it doesn't become overpowering.
Chicken stock - Use a low-sodium chicken broth as needed. Both homemade and shop-bought are good options here.
Chicken - I like to make this lemon orzo soup with chicken breast fillets because they are super lean, but if you want some darker, fattier meat, you can use chicken thighs instead.
Rotisserie chicken is also a good option in this soup - simply add it at the end.
Orzo - Also called risoni, orzo is actually pasta, even though it looks like rice. You can use regular or wholewheat orzo in this soup. Make sure you check the directions on the package regarding cooking times.
If you don't have orzo pasta, you can transform this into a chicken noodle soup or a rice soup!
Lemon juice - The juice of a small lemon will infuse loads of citrusy flavor into this soup. That's approximately the equivalent of 2 tablespoons. For even more flavor, add the lemon zest as well.
Fresh dill - This is the secret ingredient that turns this soup into a masterpiece! Don't substitute with dried dill because the flavor is not the same.
How to make lemon chicken soup with orzo
Add the leek and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute.
Next, add the chicken stock and chicken fillets. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes with a lid placed ajar on the pot.
Meanwhile, shred the chicken using two forks. When the orzo is cooked, add the shredded chicken back to the pot together with the lemon juice and fresh dill.
Season to taste and serve immediately with your favorite crusty bread if you like.
Leftovers and storage
- Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days. Store them in an airtight container.
- Reheat the lemon orzo chicken soup gently on the stovetop, adding some extra chicken stock as needed. The orzo will soak up some of the liquid.
- I don't recommend freezing this soup unless you do it without adding the orzo in.
Recipe notes and tips
- Add some other veggies to this soup to make it even heartier. Peas, potatoes and parsnips are all great options.
- The soup is hearty enough to be a complete meal on its own, but you can serve it with your favorite crusty bread or garlic bread.
- Sprinkle a bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese on individual bowls before serving for extra flavor.
- Serve the soup with extra lemon slices so everyone can squeeze fresh lemon juice as they like.
- Other herbs that work in this orzo soup recipe include fresh thyme, fresh rosemary and parsley.
If you liked this lemon chicken orzo soup, you might also like some of my other easy soup recipes:
- Chicken Mulligatawny Soup
- Kielbasa Potato Soup
- Creamy White Lasagna Soup
- Instant Pot Beef Barley Soup
- Easy Italian Meatball Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 2-3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups (1.5 litres) chicken stock
- 2 chicken breasts (about ¾ lb / 350 g)
- 1 cup (225 g) orzo
- Juice of 1 small lemon
- 1 cup (30 g) fresh dill, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a stock pot or Dutch oven and cook the carrot and celery for 4-5 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the leek and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute.
- Next, add the chicken stock and chicken breasts. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes with a lid placed ajar on the pot.
- Take out the cooked chicken and set it aside on a plate. Add the orzo to the pot and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so the orzo doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Meanwhile, shred the chicken using two forks. When the orzo is cooked, add the shredded chicken back to the pot together with the lemon juice and fresh dill.
- Season to taste and serve immediately with your favorite crusty bread if you like.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 241Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 447mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 21g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.