Home Recipes Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

This lemon chicken orzo soup is like a hug in a bowl! Tender chicken, orzo pasta, and a medley of veggies swim in a lemony, garlicky broth. 

It’s the perfect one-pot meal for chilly days or whenever you need a pick-me-up. It’s hearty enough for dinner but light enough for lunch.

Chicken soup with orzo pasta, carrots, green peas and spinach served in a white bowl.
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I like to garnish it with a sprinkle of parsley and Parmesan for the finishing touch.

But the best part is how easy it is to make. All it takes is some sauteing, simmering, and shredding!

Why You’ll Love This Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Bright Flavors: The combination of fresh lemon juice and zest adds a vibrant and citrusy note.

One-Pot Wonder: This complete meal comes together easily in a single pot. Cleanup is a breeze!

Cozy Comfort Food: It’s the ultimate comfort food, perfect for chilly days or soothing the soul.

Freezer-Friendly: Make a double batch and freeze the leftovers for a quick and satisfying meal whenever the craving strikes. 

Lemon chicken orzo soup in a white pot.

Ingredients

  • Chicken Breasts: I use boneless and skinless for the best results.
  • Orzo Pasta: It has a satisfying texture and helps thicken the soup.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: It brightens up the soup with its citrusy tang.
  • Lemon Zest: To intensify the lemon flavor and add a fresh, aromatic note.
  • Olive Oil: The foundation for sautéing and building flavor.
  • Vegetables: Throw in onion, carrots, celery ribs, and garlic. It’s a classic combination.
  • Dried Oregano, Dried Thyme, Red Pepper Flakes: They perfectly season the soup and add a kick of heat.
  • Chicken Broth: It brings all the ingredients together.
  • Frozen Peas: They add a nice pop of sweetness and color.
  • Fresh Baby Spinach: It’s stirred in at the end for a boost of nutrients.
  • Salt and Pepper: The essential seasoning duo is a must-have!
  • Fresh Parsley and Parmesan Cheese: These garnishes take the soup over the top.
Lemon chicken orzo soup garnished with parmesan cheese served in a white bowl.

How to Make Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

You’ll love how easy this soup recipe is! 

1. Sauté the vegetables. Heat the olive oil and sauté the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper for 5-7 minutes.|

2. Add the broth and chicken. Add the chicken broth and chicken breasts, and bring to a boil. Then simmer for 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

3. Shred the chicken. Remove the chicken breasts and shred with forks when cool enough to handle.

4. Cook the orzo. Bring the soup back to boil, add the orzo, and cook for 8-10 minutes until al dente.

5. Add the chicken and greens. Reduce the heat, and stir in the shredded chicken, peas, lemon juice, zest, and spinach. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until the spinach wilts.

6. Season and serve. Season with additional salt and pepper, ladle into bowls, and garnish with parsley and Parmesan.

Bowl with lemon chicken orzo soup with green peas, shredded chicken, carrots and spinach.

Tips For the Best Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

These tips will make your soup the best it can be. 

  • Thicken it up. Stir in a mixture of 3 tablespoons melted butter and 3 tablespoons flour after adding the orzo for a thicker broth.
  • Adjust as needed. Tasting and adjusting the salt and pepper at the end ensures a well-seasoned, flavorful soup.
  • Cook the orzo separately. To avoid the orzo absorbing too much broth, cook it separately and add to individual serving bowls rather than the soup pot.
  • Have fun and experiment. Try other small pasta shapes for the orzo, add white beans or chickpeas for more protein, or use kale or chard instead of spinach.
  • Add a little luxury. For a luxurious touch, stir a splash of heavy cream into the finished soup to add richness and body
  • Make it a meal. Serve this comforting soup with crusty bread, garlic croutons, extra lemon wedges, or a green salad on the side. 
Orzo pasta cooked with shredded chicken, veggies in lemony sauce with spinach served in a white bowl.

How to Store

Here’s how to store the soup to enjoy throughout the week.

To Store: Let the soup cool completely before transferring to an air-tight container and refrigerating for up to 4 days. The orzo will continue to absorb liquid as it sits. You may need to add some broth when reheating. 

To Freeze: Freeze the soup for up to 3 months in an air-tight freezer-safe container or bag. It’s best to freeze the soup without the orzo, then cook fresh orzo and add it when reheating to prevent it from becoming mushy.

To Reheat: Reheat portions in the microwave, stirring occasionally until heated through. For larger quantities, reheat on the stovetop over medium heat, adding a splash of broth as needed to thin the consistency. 

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Course: Main CourseCuisine: American
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

45

minutes
Calories

209

kcal

This lemon chicken orzo soup will warm you up from the inside out! It’s so easy to make and is perfect when you want some easy comfort food.

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 3 medium carrots, sliced

  • 3 celery ribs, sliced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 8 cups chicken broth

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 2 -3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Fresh parsley and parmesan cheese for garnish

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté until the vegetables soften, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth and chicken breasts to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate. Shred with two forks when cool enough to handle.
  • Increase the heat to bring the soup back to a boil. Add the orzo pasta and cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low and stir in the shredded chicken, peas, lemon juice, lemon zest, and spinach. Simmer until the spinach wilts and the peas are heated through, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.

Notes

  • For a thicker broth, you can optionally stir in a mixture of 3 tablespoons of melted butter and 3 tablespoons of flour after adding the orzo.
  • Cook the orzo separately if you plan to have leftovers, as it will absorb a lot of broth when stored.
  • Adjust the amount of lemon juice to your taste preferences. Start with less and add more as desired for a bold lemon flavor.

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author avatar
beautyeval - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm beautyeval. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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