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This creamy lemon chicken orzo soup recipe is such a bright and comforting meal! It’s easy to make, and a touch of lemon juice gives this feel-good soup a special quality.

You may also like my Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup or Lemon Chicken Orzo next.

a bowl of creamy lemon chicken orzo soup with a spoon

Why you’ll love it

I adapted my reader favorite Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup for this creamy chicken soup recipe, and the results are just so good! It’s a hug in a bowl. The lemon is a game changer, and here we’re bringing together that bright, citrus magic with a rich and creamy broth.

This creamy lemon orzo soup is made even easier since we’re using rotisserie chicken. We’ve got hearty pasta, a kiss of lemon juice in the rich broth, and plenty of vegetables. It’s a go-to meal on a chilly day, if you’re under the weather, or just crave an irresistibly cozy soup.

What you’ll need

  • Butter and olive oil – for sautéing
  • Celery, carrots, onion, and garlic – a classic foundation to many soups
  • Italian seasoning – this tasty dried herb blend comes in a single jar
  • Flour – to thicken up the broth
  • Chicken broth – another layer of savory flavor
  • Heavy cream – for deliciously rich texture and taste! I do not recommend substituting for a lower fat option since it’s likely to curdle.
  • Orzo – you’ll find this rice-shaped pasta in the dry pasta aisle
  • Chicken – we’re using leftover/rotisserie for convenience
  • Lemon juice – add even more than I suggest if desired
  • Spinach and parsley – for a pop of freshness
ingredients for creamy lemon chicken orzo soup in prep bowls

Pro tip

If you’re not eating most of this soup right away, you may want to cook the orzo separately and add it in when reheating since it’ll soak up the broth over time.

How to make creamy lemon chicken orzo soup

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

sauteing carrots, onion, and celery in a soup pot and adding chicken broth

Heat up the butter and oil in a large pot. Cook the celery, onion, and carrots until softened and lightly browned. Stir in the garlic, Italian seasoning, and flour until fragrant. Pour in the chicken broth, stirring until the flour dissolves.

adding pasta, chicken, and spinach to a pot with creamy lemon chicken orzo soup

Pour in the cream, and add the orzo. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the pasta is al dente. Add the chicken, lemon, spinach, and parsley. Warm through, then season with salt & pepper generously. Add more lemon juice if desired.

Tools for this recipe

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Substitutions and variations

  • A bit of lemon zest would go great in here to punch up the lemony flavor even more.
  • Use at least 33% fat heavy cream or whipping cream so it won’t curdle due to the acidity of the lemon juice and the fairly high heat it’s cooked over. Coconut milk may work as a sub if you need it to be dairy-free.
  • Feel free to skip the spinach if that isn’t your thing!
  • You could swap the orzo for another small pasta shape like ditalini or acini de pepe. Or try my similar Creamy Lemon Chicken Tortellini Soup.

What to serve with this soup

Leftovers and storage

  • This soup will be good in the fridge for 3-4 days, but keep in mind that the orzo will soak up the broth the longer it sits, so you may need to add another splash of chicken broth or cream.
  • You can freeze this soup for up to 3 months, but it is likely to change texture a bit due to the cooked pasta and dairy. If you want to freeze the whole batch, you may want to add the cream, orzo, and spinach in when reheating.
a pot of creamy lemon chicken orzo soup with a ladle

If you made this creamy lemon chicken orzo soup, please leave a star rating and review below! It makes me happy to read your comments. Tag me on Instagram too!

a bowl of creamy lemon chicken orzo soup with a spoon
5 from 2 votes

Creamy Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

This creamy lemon chicken orzo soup recipe is such a bright and comforting meal! It's easy to make, and a touch of lemon juice gives this feel-good soup a special quality.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 sticks celery chopped finely
  • 2 medium carrots peeled & chopped finely
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy/whipping cream see note
  • 3/4 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 2 cups cooked/rotisserie chicken
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or more, to taste
  • 2 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Melt the butter and olive oil in a Dutch oven/soup pot over medium-high heat, then add in the celery, carrots, and onions, and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. They should lightly brown. If they're browning too fast, turn the heat down a bit.
  • Stir in the garlic, Italian seasoning, and flour, and cook for about a minute.
  • Slowly pour in the chicken broth and stir until the flour has dissolved.
  • Add in the cream and orzo. Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring often so the orzo doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Stir in the chicken, lemon juice, spinach, and parsley, and warm through for a few minutes. Season generously with salt & pepper. If you want the soup to be more lemony, squeeze in some more lemon juice as needed.

Notes

  • This soup feeds 4-6 depending on how much people eat/what else you serve it with.
  • I do NOT recommend subbing the cream for something lower fat as the acidity from the lemon juice and high heat the soup is cooked at is likely to curdle it. Whipping cream or heavy cream that’s at least 33% fat is recommended for this recipe. You could try subbing coconut milk if needed, but that may impact flavor.
  • If you’re planning on having lots of leftovers or freezing this soup, I suggest cooking the orzo separately and adding it in when reheating individual portions vs. all at once as it does soak up the broth.
  • This soup is the creamy version of my popular lemon chicken orzo soup.

Nutrition

Calories: 563kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 36g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 139mg, Sodium: 1038mg, Potassium: 606mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 7764IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 111mg, Iron: 2mg

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

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Hi! Iā€™m Natasha.

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4 Comments

    1. Hi Shana! You could try adding a cornstarch slurry in at the end. The orzo will release some starch too to help thicken it up.