Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup Recipe

It doesn't need to be a cold day to enjoy a nice bowl of soup. This lemony chicken orzo soup is perfect for any occasion, and it's jam-packed with flavor. Chef Kristen Carli says that she eats it year-round, and she loves the citrus in the recipe. "This one is soooooo yummy! I love the lemon in this dish. It really brightens up the soup," she raves.

The soup base is made of orzo and chicken, which is enough to make your mouth water. Pair it with some fresh veggies and spices, and it's safe to say that this may be a new addition to your soup rotation. If you're a vegetarian, Carli says it's no problem at all. Feel free to leave out the chicken and "add more veggies and even chickpeas." The soup is also great paired with a delicious crusty bread. Because what good is soup without bread for dipping?

Keep reading to find out how to throw together the tastiest lemony chicken orzo soup. 

Gather the ingredients

For this recipe, you'll need quite a few items, but most of them you may already have at home. As with almost every dish, this one calls for olive oil. You'll also need a yellow onion, minced garlic, 2 carrots, and 2 celery stalks. About 2 cups of shredded chicken that has been pre-cooked, such as a store-bought rotisserie chicken, will work best with this soup. You'll also need a few cups of chicken broth and a lemon or two for juice and zest. A little parsley is perfect for the garnish.

The rest of the recipe features a few seasonings, including dried rosemary, salt, and pepper. Last but certainly not least is the orzo pasta. Keep reading to get this party started. 

Chop and heat the pot

First, make sure to chop up your onions, carrots, and celery. The onions and the celery should be diced and the carrots can be sliced into coins. Then, grab a large pot and put it over medium heat. Once you've done that, you can get your olive oil and drizzle it in the pot. When the oil appears to be hot enough, add your onion. Cook it by itself until it turns translucent and move on. 

Add more veggies to the pot

Now, you'll want to add the rest of the veggies to the pot. Once the onion is done, throw in your carrots, celery, and minced garlic. Sauté these with the onions for an additional 5 minutes. According to The Spruce Eats, it's vital to keep the pan hot while sautéing, since the "hot fat helps coat the food so that the surface will brown evenly." Hopefully this helpful piece of advice will up your sauté game. 

Add the base to the pot

Here's the part where you add the bulk of ingredients to the pot and you're well on your way to being done. First, grab the chicken broth and pour it in pot on top of the sautéed veggies. Next, you'll add the dried rosemary, salt, pepper, shredded chicken, and orzo. Turn the heat all the way up, bringing your soup to a boil. Once it starts to bubble, turn the temperature back down and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

The last step for Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup

When the soup is done cooking on the stovetop, you can turn off the heat. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest to the top. You can serve it in bowls and top each one with parsley. A slice of crusty bread for dipping goes along perfectly with this soup. If you have leftovers, Carli says to "store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days." Enjoy!

Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup Recipe
4.9 from 29 ratings
If you're looking for a spin on typical chicken noodle soup, why not try this lemony chicken orzo soup? The citrus flavor makes this soup light and delicious!
Prep Time
Cook Time
lemony chicken orzo soup in bowl
Total time: 35 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 ½ cups orzo
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon parsley for garnish
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the onion and sauté until translucent.
  3. Add the carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  4. Add chicken broth, dried rosemary, salt, pepper, chicken, and orzo. Bring to a boil, then reduce temperature and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest to the pot and stir.
  6. Serve in individual bowls and top each with parsley.
Calories per Serving 334
Total Fat 9.7 g
Saturated Fat 2.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 44.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 36.4 g
Dietary Fiber 2.2 g
Total Sugars 8.1 g
Sodium 907.8 mg
Protein 23.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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