Chicken Soup is the perfect meal any time of day all year long! This Lemon Chicken Soup will warm you from the inside out, especially during this winter weather.  Cozy on up to a big bowl of t!

There’s a reason that chicken noodle soup is the universal comfort food… it just WORKS!  One spoonful of that familiar savory soup recipe and you’re transported back to childhood.

Bowls of greek lemon chicken soup

Chicken Soup for the Soul

Doesn’t that just look like pure comfort food?

I just love to serve delicious and hearty soups like Vegetable Soup, Ham Bone Soup, and this easy Chicken Orzo Soup! This is no ordinary chicken soup though, it comes with a bit of a twist!  This lemon chicken orzo soup has got plenty of fresh herbs like rosemary and oregano, uses orzo pasta, and has a squeeze of bright lemon juice.

How Do You Make Lemon Chicken Soup?

This soup can be made in about 30 minutes on the stovetop.  And you can even shave that time down by using precooked chicken. We like to make this soup extra quick with rotisserie chicken leftovers too! The steps to make easy chicken soup are:

  1. Cook the chicken and set aside
  2. Cook the vegetables
  3. Add broth and bring to a boil
  4. Shred chicken
  5. Add orzo, chicken and herbs to the broth

It’s that simple!

Do You Cook Orzo Before Adding to Soup?

Nope, it cooks right in the soup as it simmers, so there’s no need to dirty another pot!  I’m all about recipes that use less dishes.

Ladle of Greek lemon chicken soup

Can Other Pasta Shapes Be Used?  What About Rice?

Absolutely! Chicken soup can easily be made with any kind of pasta and this Greek inspired lemon soup is no exception. Any short cut of pasta will work, just simmer until the pasta is al dente.

Rice will work well to make a chicken lemon rice soup recipe, but keep in mind that different types of rice have different cook times.  White rice should be tender in about 12-15 minutes, just do a taste test to make sure.

Pot of Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

So the next time you get a craving for classic comfort food, give this delicious Chicken Soup recipe a try! Our favorite thing to have alongside chicken soup is my incredibly easy No Knead Artisan Bread!

More Delicious Soups to Try!

Bowls of greek lemon chicken soup
5 from 73 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Lemon Chicken Soup

Comforting and light, this Lemon Chicken Soup is ready in about 30 minutes! 
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 6 servings
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  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 2 chicken breasts boneless skinless, trimmed of fat
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 large celery stalk diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 cups chicken broth reduced sodium
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 cup orzo pasta dried uncooked
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh oregano
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley minced


  • Add olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter to a large dutch oven or stockpot and heat over medium heat.  Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper.  Add chicken to dutch oven and cook 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through.  Set chicken aside on a plate.
  • Add remaining butter to dutch oven, then add onion, carrots, celery and garlic.  Cook, stirring often, until soft, about 3 minutes.  Stir in dried thyme.
  • Pour in chicken broth and water, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits in the bottom of the dutch oven.  Bring to a boil.
  • While soup is coming up to a boil, shred chicken using two forks.  Once soup is starting to boil, stir in shredded chicken, orzo, bay leaf and add sprigs of rosemary and oregano.  Reduce heat and simmer 10-12 minutes, until orzo is tender.
  • Remove and discard bay leaf and rosemary/oregano sprigs.  Stir in lemon juice and fresh parsley.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
5 from 73 votes

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 217 | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 831mg | Potassium: 420mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3525IU | Vitamin C: 14.6mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1.1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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5 from 73 votes (58 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. This is absolutely delicious! I followed the recipe exactly the first time. Then I started adding my own creative touches to it. Now it’s turned into a whole new delicious soup that I never would’ve created without starting here. If anyone is interested, for my recipe I omit the orzo, add lime juice (in addition to the lemon), and add a bunch of fresh spinach. And finally, I make matzoh balls and throw those in. I call it “Mediterranean Matzoh Ball Soup”. It’s incredible! I’ve made both recipes several times and they’re always a hit. Thank you for the inspiration! :)5 stars

  2. What kind of chicken breasts are you using that are done 3-4 minutes per side? Are you only cooking to medium rare? Are you pounding them down first? Mine took triple the time you advise on medium high heat

    1. Chicken breasts can range in size from 5oz to 10oz so there can be some variation in cook time. You’ll want to ensure that the chicken reaches 165°F.

  3. Made this last week and can’t wait to make it again – my family just loved it! Simple and easy to make – I did cheat by using rotisserie chicken and add additional low sodium chicken broth. Refrigerated leftovers and added more broth the next day since the orzo soaked so much up. It was just as delicious the next day. This is a keeper – thank you!5 stars

  4. Yummy soup! Used leftover rotisserie chicken and orzo as suggested. We added 3-4 additional cups of broth, as we like our soup brothy. We also added red pepper flakes and NM green chile because we like things hot! Served with a baguette for dipping… delicious!

  5. What a nice soup! I used tubettini because I didn’t have orzo. Came out perfect. So easy to make, but tastes much more complicated. This is definitely replacing my old standby recipe. Thanks for sharing this.5 stars

  6. Did you have a slimming soup recipe several weeks ago? I accidently deleted it. If so could you send it again.

  7. This is not true Greek soup. The real Greek lemon soup is called avgolemono soup and has eggs in the recipe. My mother made it for me when I had mono and couldn’t eat anything else.