This lemon chicken orzo soup recipe is light, healthy, and cozy. It uses wholesome everyday ingredients and is sure to become a family favorite!
Orzo is that tiny rice-shaped pasta. It looks like rice but cooks really fast, so you get that rice effect in less time. I don't cook with it too often, but I always enjoy it. I mean you can't really go wrong with pasta. Except for bowtie pasta, but that's a story for another day. 😉
This lemon chicken soup with orzo is simple to make. You just sauté the onions, carrots, and celery, stir in the garlic and flour, add the broth, seasoning, and chicken, and cook it for 15 minutes. By that point the chicken is getting cooked, and you can add in the orzo and cook it for another 10 minutes or so until the pasta is done. You take the chicken out and shred/cut it up, add it back to the soup, and then it's time to add the lemon juice, parsley, and salt & pepper.
Recipe notes & tips:
- You can substitute the chicken breasts for chicken thighs if you prefer.
- If you want to make this with already cooked/rotisserie chicken, I suggest adding the chicken in at the same time as the orzo so you don't overcook it.
- Use low-sodium chicken broth if you have concerns with salt.
- You may need to add more chicken broth to leftovers as the orzo soaks it up. This soup can be frozen, but the orzo does get a bit puffy. If you want to freeze the whole batch, I recommend adding the orzo in after you thaw it.
- If you really want a more intense pop of lemon in here, I suggest grating in some lemon zest. I love my Microplane zester/grater for that purpose.
- Want to make this soup in your slow cooker? Try my Crockpot Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup.
More delicious chicken soup recipes:
Questions about this soup? Leave me a comment below, and tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram if you've made it.
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- 2 sticks celery chopped finely
- 2 medium carrots peeled & chopped finely
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1.5 pounds uncooked chicken breasts
- 1 cup uncooked orzo
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley or to taste
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Sauté the celery, carrots, and onions in a large soup pot with the butter and oil over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, then add the flour and cook for another minute or so.
- Pour in chicken broth and stir until the flour has dissolved, then add the Italian seasoning and chicken. Bring the soup to a boil.
- Cover the soup (lid slightly ajar), and reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the orzo and cook for another 10 minutes or until the orzo is cooked through. I keep the lid off and stir it fairly often because it tends to stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Take the chicken out of the pot and cut it up, then add it back in. Add the lemon juice (you may want to add more than I suggest - I didn't want to make the soup too lemony for some people), parsley, and season the soup with salt & pepper as needed. Serve immediately.
- You can sub the chicken breasts for chicken thighs if you prefer.
- Chicken is safe to eat at 165F and can go from undercooked to overcooked quickly, so I recommend using an instant read meat thermometer whenever cooking chicken so you're not guessing.
- Use low-sodium chicken broth if you're sensitive to salt.
- You may need to add more chicken broth to leftovers as the orzo soaks it up.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.