Two Peas and Their Pod

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

A few weeks ago, I went out to lunch with some friends. I told my guys they had to fend for themselves. Our fridge was stocked, so I wasn’t worried. I knew they could find something to eat. When I got home, my boys were finishing up their lunch. No, they didn’t order pizza…although, Josh has done that a few times:) They were eating homemade Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup.

Josh said he wasn’t in the mood for a sandwich, so he made a big pot of Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup. Caleb played with pots and pans while dad made soup for lunch! I was kind of sad I missed out on all of the fun. Oh well, mama needed a day out and the guys had a fun afternoon together. 


Josh is pretty proud of this soup. Not only because he made it all by himself with Caleb at his feet, but because he says it’s the best soup he’s ever tasted. Maybe he needs a piece of humble pie, but the soup did look pretty good and Caleb loved it too! :)

This chicken soup has a light and refreshing lemony broth with orzo pasta, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and fresh parsley. The lemon gives the soup a fantastic flavor, along with a boost of vitamin C. This comforting chicken soup really does heal the soul. If you are feeling under the weather or just tired of the cold winter weather, make a pot of Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup. It is sure to hit the spot.

Josh went snowboarding the next day and as soon as he walked in the door he asked if I could heat him up a bowl of Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup. He couldn’t wait to enjoy another bowl of his soup! He said it tastes just as great the next day, especially after a long day on the slopes!

Josh insists you make his Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup. It’s his new favorite soup and he thinks you will enjoy it too!

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Yield: Serves 8

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Easy chicken soup made with a light and refreshing lemon broth, orzo pasta, and vegetables. This comforting soup is healthy and perfect for a cold day.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch thick
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
8 cups of chicken broth
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/3 cup)
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
2 cups cooked shredded chicken
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste


1. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery until tender, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice bay leaf and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until orzo is tender. Add the chicken and heat for about 5 minutes.

3. Remove the pot from the heat. Discard the bay leaf and stir in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve warm.

Note-You can use shredded rotisserie chicken in this soup.

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129 Responses to “Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup”

  1. Lauren — January 15, 2013 @ 8:41 pm

    Lemon Chicken is one of my favorite meals, and to put that into a soup is genious! This soup looks positively delicious and easy to make! I am so excited to make this over the weekend with some homemade garlic bread.

  2. Diana @ Eating Made Easy — January 15, 2013 @ 8:51 pm

    I’m on a MAJOR homemade soup kick right now, it’s been so chilly in LA. And, I’m always looking for a good reason to cook with orzo. Great recipe!

  3. Lori at Frugal Edmonton Mama — January 15, 2013 @ 10:22 pm

    I love the lightness that the lemon added to this soup. I made it this evening and the kiddos loved it. Thanks!

  4. MaryAnn — January 15, 2013 @ 11:04 pm

    I love Lemon Chicken Orzo soup. I’ve been making it for years. It’s one of my staple foods. In fact, I blogged about it on Friday. Great minds must think alike. I like to add a tempered egg into the soup at the very end. It makes the broth kind of creamy, without actually adding cream.

  5. heather — January 16, 2013 @ 12:22 am

    Made this tonight. Delish!

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  7. This sounds both light and comforting at the same time. Two things that don’t usually go together in food :) I’ve never tried orzo, but I’ve been curious how to use it.

  8. andrea — January 18, 2013 @ 1:55 pm

    Yum! I just made it for lunch today and it was delicious. I tweeked it a little bit….i added a jar of sliced mushrooms and i used cilantro because, oh i just love it…so much better than parsley in my opinion!! Way to go Josh. :-)

  9. Nicole P. — January 18, 2013 @ 2:02 pm

    This is on the menu for tomorrow. I think I may even be able to get my 4 year old to eat it!

  10. Nilam — January 21, 2013 @ 10:44 am

    I really am so excited about discovering your website…it’s witty and creative. I want to make the orzo soup for by husband. However, I have a very simplistic question. How do you cook the chicken properly. I have been a life long vegetarian and do not know the proper way to cook it.

    • Two Peas replied: — January 21st, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

      You can boil the chicken in water or chicken broth until cooked all the way through. You can also use rotisserie chicken for this recipe.

  11. Nilam — January 21, 2013 @ 10:46 am

    Sorry for the poor grammar.

  12. Lynn — January 21, 2013 @ 10:55 pm

    I though this recipe looked good when it was first posted recently. It looked even better today because my husband and I are both coming down with bad colds or the flu. It was easy to make and just delicious. It hit the spot and was a very warm and comforting bowl of chicken soup. I may need to add more broth for the leftovers because the orzo soaked up so much of it. The lemon and parsley added just the right brightness in flavor – much more tasty than regular chicken soup.

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  14. Rima Naja — January 23, 2013 @ 8:37 pm

    I just made this tonight! it was sooo good!!! thanks for the post.

  15. Nadine — January 24, 2013 @ 12:15 am

    made this tonight and my roommate and I LOOOOOVED it! DELICIOUS!

    I love this blog!!! So far I’ve made the orzo, brown butter banana waffles, and the spinach and asparagus quiche – ALL yummy! Thank youuuu.

    • Two Peas replied: — January 27th, 2013 @ 10:21 am

      Thanks so much!

  16. Kim — January 24, 2013 @ 10:41 am

    I made this last night for dinner and it was delicious!! I’ve never made homemade chicken soup before, but finally decided to try to make chicken stock at home, which then turned into your lemon chicken soup. My husband thought there was too much lemon flavor, so I might have to cut back to 1 next time, but other than that.. YUMMMM!!! I also had the same problem with the broth getting sucked up by the orzo, but can always just add some more. Thanks for your recipe!

  17. Gina — January 24, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

    So good!! I used a rotisserie chicken breast and it was so easy! Plus, I can freeze some for later!

  18. MJ — January 26, 2013 @ 5:45 pm

    I am curious as to how much lemon zest is actually required. I’ve never “zested” a lemon before, i am worried i would be putting in way too much. Would you have an approximate quantity, ie, about 1/4 cup or something like that??

    • Two Peas replied: — January 27th, 2013 @ 10:13 am

      The zest of one lemon usually equals a tablespoon.

  19. Jess — January 28, 2013 @ 4:03 am

    Did it make anyone else’s mouth tingle? I am wondering if I did something wrong? I don’t want to make my family sick and now I am worried.

  20. Lisa — January 29, 2013 @ 8:24 pm

    Just made this tonight – and it is as good as it sounds. Yum! I am all set for lunch tomorrow too.

  21. Krista — January 30, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

    Just came off the stove, delicious!

  22. Kris — February 2, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

    Just made this and LOVED it. Easy, refreshing and well just perfect!

  23. Maple — February 3, 2013 @ 7:21 pm

    Made this last night and it was delicious!!!! I love this website so much. I never enjoyed cooking until I came across this site. So, thank you! :)

    • Two Peas replied: — February 4th, 2013 @ 9:23 am

      Thanks so much! I am so glad you are enjoying our recipes and cooking!

  24. Diane Phillips — February 4, 2013 @ 12:23 am

    This is an awesome recipe. I made it last night for dinner and added some chicken Italian sausage since we didn’t have 2 cups of chicken left over from the roasted chicken I did the night before. Even tastes great the next day and almost like a totally different recipe since the liquid was absorbed by the orzo. This is definitely a make again recipe. My friend tried making it and loved it too! :)

    • Two Peas replied: — February 4th, 2013 @ 9:22 am

      So glad you liked the recipe!

  25. Mama2DnG — February 4, 2013 @ 7:14 pm

    Wow! Another one of your recipes that my hubby and kids all loved!! I made this tonight but used dittalini pasta (only b/c my daughter doesn’t like orzo). My son said he would not eat it bc of the lemon but after he tried it, he told me it was ‘astounding’ (he’s 7!). Pretty funny… I’ve made several of your recipes and all have been loved!! My kids think you’re a genius :-) Happy Birthday!!

    • Two Peas replied: — February 4th, 2013 @ 7:23 pm

      Your comment made our day! Thanks so much!

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  27. Emily — February 10, 2013 @ 10:02 pm

    Made this tonight for dinner and it was AMAZING!! I added more orzo because I like my soups noodle-y. It was the perfect blend of refreshing and satisfying. So good! Thank you for this!

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  31. Katelyn — February 28, 2013 @ 10:34 am

    I really loved this. Thanks for the recipe!

  32. Athena P — March 2, 2013 @ 7:55 pm

    This looks and sounds really good. I plan to make some as soon as I can. :)

  33. Brian @ A Thought For Food — March 4, 2013 @ 7:43 am

    If you’re going to spend your day outside in the cold, I think coming back to a bowl of soup is such a wonderful thing. This looks so hearty.

  34. Sarah R — March 10, 2013 @ 2:02 pm

    We just made your soup for lunch today. My family enjoyed it and even to toddler ate some! I used farro instead of the orzo and a rotisserie chicken it turned out great. Thanks for the recipe.

  35. JenS — March 11, 2013 @ 2:38 pm

    I made this today and it is great! Nice flavor from the lemon juice.

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  38. Blog is the New Black — March 23, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

    Amazing! Made it today and on my second bowl of the day- lunch AND dinner. :)

    • Two Peas replied: — March 24th, 2013 @ 9:47 am

      Glad you are enjoying the soup!

  39. Denise — March 27, 2013 @ 6:25 pm

    I love your blog. This recipe was awesome. I loved the lemony taste that the soup had.

  40. LynnO — April 15, 2013 @ 12:57 pm

    So I made this soup … and the orzo absorbed all the broth, making it essentially a pasta dish! I used the correct amounts of both orzo and broth … anyone else have this problem? I may add some more broth to it, though it’s not a bad pasta dish, haha.

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