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Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

5 from 2 votes

posted: 09/10/20

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is a delicious meal in a bowl. The light lemon flavor pairs perfectly with the ingredients to create a comforting and filling soup you will fall in love with.

overhead of a bowl of lemon chicken orzo soup garnished with fresh parsley and two lemon wedges

If you have been following along for a bit, you probably know that I am in love with soup. In fact, when I plan my editorial calendar in the fall and winter, I have to be on the lookout for soup recipes that are too close together.

I know not everyone has the love for soup that I have. I could (and do!) eat it all year long.

In my house, I’m steadily programing my kids to be soup lovers too. Like a secret mission. To me, there is something so homey and loving about my family huddling around the kitchen table on a cool evening, a steaming bowl of soup in front of each of us.

This Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup fits the bill for comforting soup. It checks all the boxes for me with it’s protein, veggies, pasta, and great flavor combination. Grab a crusty baguette, make this soup, and become a convert like me.

Reader Review

Love, love this soup!!

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup Ingredients

The ingredients for this soup are simple enough, but when combined they have the best flavor.

  • Chicken
  • Orzo
  • Fresh Lemon
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Bay Leaf
  • Chicken Stock
  • White Wine

Using White Wine

The wine in this recipe adds on another layer of flavor that I think is really wonderful. It’s a hidden note in the background that you won’t be able to put your finger on, but you will love.

If your family doesn’t drink wine often, I suggest buying a pack of four mini bottles to make this recipe. That way you don’t need to crack open a whole bottle just for one recipe, and you will have three more bottles for other recipes that use white wine – like my Beef and Noodles or my Linguine and Clams.

Alternatively, you can skip the wine in this recipe, and just replace it with more chicken stock. It won’t be the same exact flavor but it will be delicious.

overhead of a dutch oven full of lemon chicken orzo soup

Cooking the Chicken

A key to this recipe is cooking the chicken in the broth. It is the same method I use in my Chicken Noodle Soup recipe. Cooking the chicken in the broth deepens the flavor of the soup, and it is very easy.

It does, however, add a chunk of time to this recipe. If you wanted to cut the time on this, purchase cooked chicken and use about 3 cups. Additionally, you will want to cut the liquid in this recipe by about 2 cups.

Lemon Flavor

As you can guess from the name of this soup, it has a great lemon flavor to it. You can’t miss the lemon flavor in this recipe, it is bold. That being said, if you aren’t a lemon lover, I would suggest you add about half the amount of lemon to start.

Start with 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Taste your soup and add more from there.

Making Ahead of Time

If you make this recipe ahead of time, stop at step 3. When you are ready to serve the soup, bring it to a boil, cook the orzo, and then add in the lemon and spinach.

The orzo in this soup is amazing, but in left overs it does absorb quite a bit of liquid. You will enjoy it more if you add it to the soup right before eating.

Alternatively, if you know there is going to be left overs to this soup, cook the orzo separately. You can add it to the soup as you eat it.

Can I Freeze This Soup?

If you are planning on making and freezing this soup, I suggest that you leave the orzo out. Cook it separately and add it to the soup once you thaw and reheat it.

Other Great Soup Recipes

Did I make you a soup lover like me with this recipe?! YES! Mission complete. Here are a few more you will love:

If you make his Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup recipe or any of my other recipes leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

side view of a bowl of lemon chicken orzo soup

Recommended Tools:

Instant Read Thermometer: This will allow you to know when your chicken is completely cooked through.

Dutch Oven: I love this pot. You can see it featured in so many of my photos. It is a workhorse.

Measuring Spoons: These are so handy. Magnetic and double sided, which is perfect for a busy cook.

overhead of a bowl of lemon chicken orzo soup garnished with fresh parsley and two lemon wedges
5 from 2 votes

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Serves: 6 servings
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
This Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is a delicious meal in a bowl. The light lemon flavor pairs perfectly with the ingredients to create a comforting and filling soup you will fall in love with.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 carrots peeled and diced
  • 3 ribs celery diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 64 ounces chicken stock
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound chicken breast uncooked
  • 8 ounces orzo pasta uncooked
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 6 ounces baby spinach


  • In a heavy bottomed dutch oven (or large soup pot), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the carrtos, celery, onion, and garlic. Stir to combine. Add the thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes until the vegetables are tender the onions are translucent.
  • Add the white wine, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Add in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaf and the chicken, and reduce the heat a little so it is a strong simmer. Cook until the chicken registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Remove the cooked chicken from the stock, and set aside. Bring the liquid back to a boil and then add the orzo. Cook for the length of time indicated on the box. If it is a range (i.e. 8 to 10 minutes) pick the lower end of the range (i.e. 8 minutes).
  • Shred the chicken and return it to the pot when the orzo is done. Reduce the heat to low and add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and baby spinach.
  • Serve and enjoy!
Serving: 2cups Calories: 448kcal (22%) Carbohydrates: 38g (13%) Protein: 39g (78%) Fat: 18g (28%) Saturated Fat: 2g (13%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Sodium: 430mg (19%) Potassium: 513mg (15%) Fiber: 6g (25%) Sugar: 6g (7%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
overhead of a bowl of lemon chicken orzo soup garnished with fresh parsley and two lemon wedges

did you make this

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


    Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you & seeing what you made!

    Rate This Recipe:

  1. johncrosby Crosby says

    can u freeze the soup

    • Lisa Longley says

      You can, but if you want to do that I suggest cooking the orzo separately and not freezing it with the soup.

  2. zara pyatt says

    Hey, another soup lover here. Will definitely make this one. Chicken, orzo, spinach – what’s not to love!!!!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Yay!! I hope you love it!

  3. Thandie says

    Mhmmm sound delicious cant wait to do it 😋😋😋

    • Lisa Longley says

      I hope you love it Thandie!

  4. Irene Cloyd says

    Can you add a different veggie instead of spinach? I
    Would love the spinach but my daughter won’t eat it.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Hi Irene! You can try kale or turnip greens. Though, I suspect that if someone doesn’t like spinach, those will be a no go as well. This soup is very delicious without the spinach, so you could skip it all together. Maybe add an extra carrot and more celery or some zucchini.

  5. Mary Hand says

    5 stars
    Love, love this soup!!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you like it!

  6. Janelle says

    Hi! I’m so excited to make this soup. My mouth waters every time I look at the recipe :) I am gluten free however, so I was thinking about swapping out the orzo pasta for rice. Do you think that would work? Tia!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m sure it would work but you would need to alter cooking time and probably broth amount. I would want to test it before giving you the green light. Do you think you could find gluten free small pasta to use instead?

  7. Janet says

    My hubby loved it, will definitely make it again.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners