Bright and hearty homemade lemon chicken orzo soup is swimming in a flavorful broth. This lemon chicken orzo soup can’t be beat.
Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup
Orzo is one of my favorite forms of pasta. It’s a small type of pasta that is shaped like a big grain of rice. It has a little bit of a bite to it and it goes deliciously in this lemon chicken soup. It also cooks super fast – under 5 minutes! For this recipe you want to cook the orzo so that it’s just partially cooked. Drain the pasta and rinse it with cold water so that it stops cooking.
I love soup! This lemon orzo chicken soup is a great alternative to the classic chicken noodle soup. The lemon juice gives it a zesty flavor that is irresistible. And the chunks of chicken with the orzo pasta is a delicious bite. Plus all of the best veggies in there as well! It’s comfort food with a refreshing light feel to it. The best of both worlds if you ask me.
This soup can be made in 30 minutes so you won’t be slaving in the kitchen all day. It also serves about 12 people which means it makes a lot. And we all know reheated soup is always delicious.
How to Make Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup
SAUTE. In a soup pot, sauté the carrots and celery until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the herbs, salt and pepper and continue cooking while adding in the chicken broth.
SIMMER. Once the soup is boiling, partially cover it, reduce the heat, and cook for 10 minutes until the veggies are soft and tender. Stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest. We reduced the quantity of lemon juice by a bit, but you can definitely add another ¼ cup if you really like the lemon flavor.
COMBINE + SERVE. Add in the cubed chicken (for our favorite baked chicken recipe GO HERE) and orzo pasta and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the spinach last and let it wilt.
Tips + Storing Info
Garnish ideas for this soup:
- shredded parmesan cheese
Make in the slow cooker: Add the chopped carrots, celery, chicken broth, and seasonings to your crock pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 3-4. Around 30 minutes prior to serving the soup, add the cooked chicken, lemon juice, spinach, and orzo to the slow cooker. Stir frequently so the orzo doesn’t stick to the bottom. Season with salt & pepper, and garnish with lemon and parmesan cheese.
Shredded and cubed chicken both work great on this recipe!
If you want to have fresh lemon juice, start with 2 medium lemons and squeeze out all of their juice.
Healthy: This soup has all the same health benefits as classic Chicken Noodle Soup. The orzo is a good hybrid between rice and pasta, so it is filling like pasta, but a healthier option like brown rice. The chicken adds some great protein and the veggies provide necessary vitamins and minerals. To make it healthier you could use low sodium chicken broth, substitute the spinach for kale, and omit the parmesan cheese.
- The orzo might soak up a lot of the liquid, so you may need to add more chicken broth through the cooking process.
- Orzo puffs up as it freezes, so it is recommended that if you are making this soup as a freezer meal that you leave the orzo out and add it when you’re reheating it.
STORE leftovers in an air-tight container and keep it in the fridge or you can even freeze it. Add it back to a pot and heat up to thaw and recook. Easy!
One of my favorite things to do it put some of the soup into a big mason jar with a lid and deliver it to a friend who is under the weather or just doesn’t have time to make dinner.
We hope you enjoy a big bowl of this lemon chicken orzo soup!
For more chicken soup recipes, check out:
- Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Chicken and Rice Soup
- Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
- Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Chicken and Dumplings Soup
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup Recipe
- 8 oz orzo pasta
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3 carrots chopped
- 3 celery sticks chopped
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 32 oz chicken broth
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 lemon zested
- 8 oz cooked chicken chopped
- 1 8 oz pkg baby spinach leaves
- 1 lemon sliced, for garnish
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- Cook orzo in boiling water about 5 minutes, until partially cooked through but not yet soft; drain and rinse with cold water until cooled.
- Saute carrots and celery until they just begin to soften. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper; continue cooking another 30 seconds then add chicken broth.
- Bring to a boil; partially cover pot, reduce heat, and cook about 10 minutes until vegetables are tender.
- Stir orzo, lemon juice, lemon zest, and chicken into the broth and cook an additional 5 minutes, until orzo has softened. Add spinach and let wilt. Serve into bowls and garnish with lemon slices and Parmesan cheese.