Made with fresh lemon, cooked chicken, and orzo pasta, this Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup makes a hearty yet light weeknight dinner. The bright citrus broth adds an incredible pop of flavor.
Easy Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
This lemon chicken orzo soup makes a hearty and filling yet light dinner. The bright citrusy broth gives it a light texture and keeps it from being too heavy, while the orzo and chicken are filling.
This chicken orzo soup with lemon is actually a bit of a twist on classic chicken noodle soup, using orzo pasta instead of regular pasta. I load it up with veggies so you still get that nourishing, warming feel from every bowl.
Why You’ll Love This Chicken Orzo Soup with Lemon
Here are a few reasons why I love this orzo soup recipe.
- Quick and easy. Orzo cooks quickly in just minutes and we start with cooked chicken, meaning this soup comes together in just 40 minutes.
- Bright citrus flavor. A combination of lemon zest and lemon juice gives this chicken orzo soup a bright citrus flavor.
- Hearty and filling. Thanks to the orzo, chicken, and veggies this soup is hearty and filling without being heavy. The citrus helps keep the flavor light too.
What You’ll Need
This easy chicken orzo soup is made with just a handful of ingredients. Scroll down to the recipe card for measurements.
- Unsalted butter – For cooking the veggies
- Veggies – Onion, carrots, and celery add flavor and texture to this chicken orzo soup.
- Seasonings – Minced garlic, dried thyme, salt, and pepper flavor the broth.
- Chicken stock – Broth will work too.
- Orzo – Orzo is not a grain, as many believe, but a tiny pasta.
- Chicken breast – Cooked and shredded. Leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken work well.
- Lemon – You’ll need both the lemon juice and lemon zest to add the bright citrus flavor.
- Parsley – For garnish.
How to Make Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
Here’s an overview of how to make this simple soup. Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions.
- Cook the veggies. Melt the butter then saute the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic until softened. Stir in the thyme salt, and pepper then cook for an additional minute or two.
- Simmer. Bring the broth to a boil then reduce to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the orzo and simmer for another 8-10 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients. Stir in the chicken, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!
Tips & Variations
Here are a few tips for making this chicken orzo soup with lemon.
- Adjust the lemon flavor. Feel free to adjust the amount of lemon juice and zest according to your preferences.
- Cook the orzo separately. If you plan on making your soup in advance or plan to have lots of extras or some to freeze, cook the orzo separately as it will soak up the broth.
- Use low sodium broth. To control the saltiness of the dish, use low sodium broth. If you use regular broth, you may find you need less salt.
Garnish your lemon chicken orzo soup with some fresh parsley. A sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan or an extra squeeze of lemon juice would make a lovely addition too.
With the orzo, chicken, and veggies, this soup is pretty hearty and filling on its own. Most of the time I just serve with a baguette or a slice of crusty bread. Some Olive Garden breadsticks would be great too.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- Fridge. Chicken orzo soup with lemon can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Note that the orzo will soak up the broth, so you may want to add more.
- Reheat. Reheat the soup over medium-low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
More Easy Soup Recipes
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- 1 Medium Onion Diced
- 4 Carrots Peeled and Diced
- 3 Celery Stalks Diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
- 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 6 Cups Chicken Stock or Broth
- 3/4 Cup Orzo
- 2 Cups Cooked and Shredded Chicken Breast
- Juice of 2 Lemons
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- Fresh Parsley (for garnish)
- In a large pot, melt the unsalted butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Saute until the vegetables are slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
- To the pot, stir in the thyme, salt and black pepper. Saute for another 1-2 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil, Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the orzo pasta and simmer for another 8-10 minutes, or until the orzo is tender.
- Stir in shredded chicken, lemon juice and lemon zest. Simmer for another 5 minutes to allow the soup to warm back up and the flavors to meld together.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!