This Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is light, cozy, and super easy to make. It uses healthy everyday ingredients like hearty vegetables and tender chicken in a bright and flavorful lemony broth. Satisfying and delicious, it is sure to become a family favorite.
Easy Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup
This lemon chicken orzo soup comes with delicious layers of fresh flavor thanks to its nourishing herb and lemon broth. A soup loved by the whole family, it’s like a ray of sunshine on a cold winter’s day. And unlike most pasta soups where I typically tell you to “cook the pasta separately!”, orzo is durable enough to be cooked directly in the pot, thus making this a true one-pot soup recipe.
What You’ll Need to Make This Recipe
- Butter and Olive Oil
- Onion, Carrots, and Celery
- Italian Seasoning and Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
- All-Purpose Flour (optional)
- Chicken Broth or Chicken Stock
- Chicken Thighs or Chicken Breasts
- Orzo Pasta
- Frozen Peas
Recipe Substitutions & Variations
- This recipe can be made using either chicken thighs or chicken breasts. Chicken thighs have more flavor and are less likely to dry out from prolonged cooking, so it’s usually my go-to when cooking soups.
- The all-purpose flour is optional. The flour helps to thicken the broth just a little, without making it feel heavy. To make this soup gluten-free, simply leave out the flour completely or substitute it with certified gluten-free flour.
- Try adding additional veggies like fresh baby spinach, kale, or zucchini.
How to Make Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
Full ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Cook the onion, carrots, and celery in a large pot or Dutch oven with butter and olive oil. Season with Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes or so, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the minced garlic, and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
Reduce the temperature to medium heat and sprinkle the veggies with 2-3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Mix well to combine the flour with the vegetables. Stirring continuously, slowly adding the chicken stock followed by the raw chicken pieces.
Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in the orzo and continue to cook, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes. Stir often.
Remove the chicken from the soup and shred or chop it into small bite-size pieces. Return the cooked chicken back to the soup and add the fresh lemon juice and frozen peas. Continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Season with additional salt and black pepper, as needed.
I love to garnish my bowl of soup with grated parmesan cheese or crumbled feta cheese and chopped parsley.
For even more lemon flavor, try adding some lemon zest. A Microplane grater makes zesting lemons super easy.
How to Serve
Just the other night I changed things up and served this delicious soup with refrigerated buttery biscuits (so easy!), but I usually serve it with whole wheat toast and butter. Sometimes I’ll add a light and fresh salad, like this arugula salad with shaved parmesan.
More Chicken Soup Recipes
- The Best Chicken Soup Recipe
- Lemon Chicken Soup Recipe
- Caldo de Pollo Recipe (Mexican Chicken Soup)
- Chicken Barley Soup
- Easy Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe
- Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup Recipe
- Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
If you try making this Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup Recipe, please leave me a comment below! I always love to read your thoughts and feedback!
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 yellow onions - diced
- 5 large carrots - chopped
- 4 celery stalks - chopped
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 3 tablespoon flour - see notes
- 10 cups chicken broth - or water
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs - or chicken breasts
- 1 cup orzo pasta - uncooked
- 1 large lemon - juiced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- fresh parsley - to garnish
- Add the butter and olive oil to a large soup pot or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Mix well to coat in the butter and oil. Cook for 5-8 minutes, or until softening, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic, mixing well to combine. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Reduce the stovetop heat to medium and sprinkle the vegetables with three tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Stir until the flour is combined and no dry spots remain.
- Slowly pour in the chicken broth, stirring continuously to prevent any clumps of flour from forming, then add the chicken. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer, cover with a lid, and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, stir in the orzo and continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes, stirring often as orzo likes to stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Carefully remove the chicken from the pot to a clean plate. Shred with a fork or chop into small pieces. Return the chicken back to the pot. Add the lemon juice and frozen peas and continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Season with additional salt and black pepper, to taste, and garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.
- The all-purpose flour is optional. The flour helps to thicken the broth just a little, without making it feel heavy.
- This soup can also be made using chicken breasts. Be careful not to overcook chicken breasts, however, as they tend to dry out.
- Storage: Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You may need to add a splash of chicken broth when reheating as the orzo will continue to absorb the broth as it cools.
- Freezing: Allow soup to cool before transferring to airtight, freezer-safe storage containers. Freeze for up to 3 months. Allow the soup to thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)