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! πŸ™‚

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

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.
5 from 1 vote


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced into ¼ inch thick
  • 1 celery stalk thinly sliced
  • 8 cups of chicken broth
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 2 lemons about ⅓ 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


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

Have you tried this recipe?

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. This soup sounds really good! I never think to put lemon in a soup for some reason, but it sounds refreshing.

  2. This is one of my all time favorite soups!! I make it all the time!! I love the lemon flavor to it, it brings out a nice zing!

  3. looks like supper to me! I even happen to have all the ingredients…and with the hap~hazard way the troops will be falling in to the homestead tonite around supper time due to out of town business meetings, high school play tryouts, and bible study tonite, this will suit our schedule just fine. Healthy eats, easy clean up, and done! Now if they could just make this vegetarian…
    Thanx for sharing!!


  4. First of all these pictures are gorgeous!
    And the soup looks over the moon perfect for a chilly night, or day or morning!
    What a treat to come home to a big pot of soup!
    Caleb is such a doll-baby!

  5. That looks really good! Maybe because it’s cold out, or maybe because there have been flu bugs going around, but that looks super tasty to me. I may be rearranging my meal plan!

  6. Looks beautiful and sounds delicious! I like lemon in unexpected spots. Great work Josh. And yayy for some mommy alone/with friends time!

  7. this soup looks SO good and i love everything that you’ve included in it!! the orzo is rockin’!

  8. I love lemon chicken soup! This looks delicious. If you are ever in Southern California, there is an incredible restaurant in Manhattan Beach that makes a delicious greek lemon chicken soup — it’s my favorite!

  9. This looks delicious Maria! I love the addition of the lemon. It adds such a wonderful flavor to the soup and perfect for this time of the year!

  10. We’ve been eating nonstop soup, stew, and chili – all delicious, but all either tomato based or deeply savory. This looks like such a refreshing change. And still wintry with all of that citrus flavor. Can’t wait to try this.

  11. The lemon addition is a great idea to shake up typical chicken noodle soup, and what a great addition for cold and flu season. Tell Josh thank you! I also love as the pasta for soups like this, it’s such a nice size and so easy for kiddos to eat. This reminds me of a fancy avgolemono.

  12. Sounds like the boys had fun and now we all have something delicious to try making. Pass on a big thanks! πŸ™‚

  13. When this came to my inbox this morning, I immediately ran to the store so I could make it for lunch! What an awesome recipe and great idea to add lemon. It was wonderful!

  14. Yes, Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is delicious! Too funny, I posted a Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup today too, great minds think alike. πŸ™‚

  15. Sounds so comforting, yet refreshing with the lemon. I could use a bowl of this today, it is COLD!

  16. I made this yummy soup for my friend and me on this cold cold day! It was really yummy, but I have a question: my Orzo soaked up all of the chicken broth/lemon juice. When reheating it tomorrow, should I put more broth and lemon juice in? I do like it to have a soupy consistency. Thx!

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

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

  20. 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.

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

  22. 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. πŸ™‚

  23. 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.

    1. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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!

  27. 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??

  28. 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.

  29. 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! πŸ™‚

  30. 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! πŸ™‚

  31. 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 πŸ™‚ Happy Birthday!!

  32. 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!

  33. 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. 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. 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.

  36. Made this for a bunch of friends tonight and they loved it! A nice break for them from college food. I will definitely be making this more often.

  37. That looks really good! Maybe because it’s cold out, or maybe because there have been flu bugs going around, but that looks super tasty to me. I may be rearranging my meal plan!

  38. For those that are having trouble with your pasta, Make your pasta in a seperte pot and then add to soup. Your soup doesn’t absorb into the pasta and doesn’t get starchy.

  39. I just made your chicken and rice soup and it was amazing, Im totally making this next!! Ill let you know how is turns out.

  40. I just made this soup and it is delicious. It was perfect for a cold winter night. Thanks for all of the great recipes.

  41. The traditional Greek soup, avgolemeno, has eggs in it. Most people who are sick want broth, not something creamy/thickened. This sounds great!

  42. Was looking for a easy, fresh, light chicken vegetable soup.
    I found this one! It’s absolutely perfect! My crew all had colds, made this soup and everyone loved it! Now were all better! Better living through homemade food!
    Thank you!

  43. My mom used to make this but she put chick peas in with it instead of the orzo – gives it extra fiber and is more filling to boot!

  44. This was a triple threat. Easy/Quick/Delicious

    I would say though add orzo at last minute. If you make ahead don’t add orzo on initial cooking, it quickly absorbs the broth. I’ll make a triple batch and freeze, then note to add/cook orzo right before serving.

    So good!

  45. Whole Foods makes a lemon chicken soup…it’s delicious! I’d love to give this one a try! Thanks for posting.

  46. I loved the soup! I forgot to put the bay leaf in (lol) but it was very yummy! Unfortunately the boys were not fans. Good news is I get the leftovers! ha! πŸ™‚

  47. I absolutely loved this soup! I will definitely be adding this to my recipe bank. The only thing I would really change would be to add less orzo since it soaked up all the broth. Thanks for the recipe!

  48. I made this for the first time last night. I used baked chicken breasts (which I seasoned liberally with garlic powder, black peper and Penzey’s 4S spicy seasoning salt). It is amazing! My husband is in love with this soup and we will make it again soon.

  49. This soup was delicious…light and lemony…did have a question, though, about the pasta/liquid ratio. The 1/2 cups of orzo grew so much that by the time you cooked it in the 8 cups of broth, there really wasn’t much broth left. I actually had to add more the next day. Any ideas?

  50. Amazingly delicious, especially if you have a cold or are not feeling well. I make the orzo on the site and add a little bit to each bowl as needed. Otherwise orzo sucks up the broth. Delicious even without the orzo.

  51. Would love to try some of your recipes, but wish they didn’t use so much ink when printing. A white background would be preferable to the current gray that pops up when you select >print.

    1. Click the print button on the recipe card. It is a printer friendly version.