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If you want a bright, light and filling dinner, then this lemon chicken orzo soup is for you! A savory and vibrant lemon chicken broth combined with orzo pasta is the perfect pair for a flavorful and delicious soup that is as satisfying as it is tasty.

Lemon and chicken were made for each other! They taste so amazing together, I just can’t get enough. If you love lemon chicken, you’ve got to try this Easy Greek Lemon Chicken, this delicious Creamy Lemon Chicken Piccata, and this Creamy Lemon Parmesan Chicken.

Lemon chicken orzo soup in a bowl.

Chicken Lemon Orzo Soup

Lemon chicken orzo soup is like an elevated chicken noodle soup that is full of bright lemon flavor and tender orzo pasta. It is an absolute favorite at my house. The best part about it is it’s totally comfort food without being heavy in your stomach. It’s a light soup that is full of flavor and is always a hit. It also freezes really well so I love making extra to pull out of the freezer when someone is sick or I’m not in the mood to cook.

You want to make sure you have some cooked chicken ready to go. I love boiling chicken breast for a quick tender bite, but you can grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store to keep things simple. Baked chicken thighs are another go to 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 roasted chicken. Once the chicken is ready, the soup comes together in 20 minutes.

Ingredients

This lemon chicken orzo soup is made with only the best ingredients! Everything is fresh and flavorful, and a lot of these ingredients are staples in your kitchen already. Orzo is a pasta that looks like a grain of rice but bigger, you should be able to find it without any problems at your local grocery store. You can find the measurements below in the recipe card.

  • Chicken Breasts: Boneless skinless chicken breasts are what I use, but you can use any type of chicken meat. Make sure it is cooked first before adding to the soup.
  • Butter: This is the fat that you cook the veggies in before starting the soup.
  • Onion: Fresh onions add so much flavor, you can’t skip this one!
  • Carrots: You will peel and dice three medium carrots.
  • Celery: Chopped celery adds great texture to the soup.
  • Garlic: Adds a sweet and savory flavor. I dice fresh garlic cloves for the most flavor.
  • Italian Seasoning: I like to make my own blend so I know it’s fresh with no added salt.
  • Chicken Broth: Makes the perfect base for the soup. You could use vegetable stock if wanted.
  • Orzo: This pasta can be found at any local grocery store. It looks like large rice
  • Lemon Juice: Brightens 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.
Process photos showing how to make the mirepoix, adding the broth, the orzo, and finishing with lemon juice.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup Recipe

This lemon chicken orzo soup is so simple to make! It’s a quick one pot dinner that is filling and tasty. Your whole family will love this one. Chicken soup is so good fro the soul, and this is a quick recipe full of nutrients and flavor that your family will love. Here is how to make this recipe.

  1. Melt Butter: Add the butter to a large pot and melt over medium heat.
  2. Saute Veggies: Add the onions, carrots, and celery and saute for 7-8 minutes, until softened.
  3. Add Garlic: Add garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  4. Add Broth and Pasta: Stir in the chicken broth and dry orzo pasta. Cook for 9-13 minutes or until the orzo is cooked and plump.
  5. Simmer Until Thickened: Stir in chicken, Italian seasonings, fresh lemon juice, and lemon pepper. Let the soup heat up and thicken. The orzo pasta will soak up the chicken broth so you may need to add more. If you have leftover soup, add more broth before rewarming.
  6. Adjust Seasonings: Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. If you want extra lemon flavor, add fresh lemon zest.
  7. Garnish: Sprinkle with fresh rosemary and parsley. Serve with fresh parmesan cheese if you desire!
A look at the soup in a pot with a wooden spoon in it.

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 a lot of herbs that you can add to this soup, so feel free to get creative. I love adding 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 a staple in most soups. I believe that is what makes this recipe so incredibly flavorful with only a few simple ingredients. Other recipes that use a mirepoix base are chicken pot pie and of course the classic chicken noodle soup.
  • Avoid Overcooking the Orzo: If you want to make this recipe ahead of time, the only thing you need to worry about is the orzo. It will soak up the liquid over time and become soggy. It cooks really fast, so I would just add some when you are ready to serve it and are warming it up.
A close up on a bowl of lemon chicken orzo soup.

Storing Leftovers

Lemon chicken orzo soup makes the most amazing leftovers! You can reheat it again and again and it just gets more flavorful. The broth is amazing and blends together perfectly after a day or two. Here is how to store leftovers.

  • In the Refrigerator: You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • In the Freezer: You can store your leftovers in the freezer for up to 3 months. I would leave out the orzo and add it in when you are reheating the soup to avoid the pasta getting mushy or dissolving.

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Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

5 from 2 votes
By: Alyssa Rivers
If you want a bright, light and filling dinner, then this lemon chicken orzo soup is for you! A savory and vibrant lemon chicken broth combined with orzo pasta is the perfect pair for a flavorful and delicious soup that is as satisfying as it is tasty.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 23 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Add the butter to a large pot and melt over medium heat.
  • Add the onions, carrots, and celery and saute for 7-8 minutes, until softened.
  • Add garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Stir in the chicken broth and dry orzo pasta. Cook for 9-13 minutes or until the orzo is cooked and plump.
  • Stir in chicken, Italian seasonings, fresh lemon juice, and lemon pepper. Let the soup heat up and thicken. The orzo pasta will soak up the chicken broth so you may need to add more. If you have leftover soup, add more broth before rewarming.
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. If you want extra lemon flavor, add fresh lemon zest.
  • Sprinkle with fresh rosemary and parsley. Serve with fresh parmesan cheese if you desire!

Nutrition

Calories: 219kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 20gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 1013mgPotassium: 475mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 5251IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 1mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Dinner, Soup
Cuisine: American
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About Alyssa Rivers

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Alyssa Rivers and the food blogger behind The Recipe Critic. The blog launched in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved.

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8 Comments

    1. This depends on your taste! I would start with a pinch and go from there depending on how much you like the addition of the flavor.