Easy, lemony, chicken orzo soup is a bright, tasty, filling bowl of comfort that uses easy ingredients and is done in just 30 minutes!
Lemon, grains, and chicken are one of those flavor combinations that just always works for me. Whether in a one-pot dish, as a combo dish (think, grilled chicken with lemon and an orzo salad side), or chicken and rice with lemon, I’m all the way IN.
So when an exceptionally chilly night blew through Utah, the first thing I thought of was a delightfully delicious lemon orzo soup. You can use a rotisserie chicken or any leftover chicken you have and add it to the soup with broth, veggies, orzo, lemon, and herbs. So easy! And it totally hit the spot!
Why This Recipe Works
Easy pantry ingredients — Nothing fancy here. I guarantee you already have at least half or more of the ingredients listed in your pantry and fridge right now. Go check…I’ll wait! See? I told you so!
Pre-cooked chicken — This recipe was made for a quick, grab-and-go rotisserie chicken, but I’ve also been known to just shred last night’s chicken leftovers and thrown them into a soup too.
Lemon juice — The key here is that fresh lemon juice! Bright, acidic, lemony, tasty, and just the perfect all-around ingredient in this easy chicken soup.
Great leftovers — I love this soup freshly made, right out of the pot, but I also love it the next day…and the day after that, and the day after that. Oh, and bonus? It freezes well too! Just add in another squeeze of a lemon if you like to bring it back to life just a bit.
Here’s How You Make It
- Bring two quarts of water to boil.
- Add the orzo and let it boil for 7-9 minutes until it’s tender. Drain the orzo, rinse it, and put it to the side while you make the rest of the soup.
- Melt butter over medium heat in a large stockpot.
- Add the onions, garlic, and celery and saute for 2-3 minutes so the ingredients can soften.
- Now add the chicken broth and bring it all to a boil.
- Add the chicken, lemon juice, carrots, orzo, salt, pepper, and rosemary to the broth. Let this simmer and come together for about 5 minutes.
- Salt and pepper to taste and serve with more lemon wedges for those who love lemon flavor, like me!
What’s the Best Way to Get Juice Out of a Lemon?
I simply squeeze my lemon halves over a small strainer to catch any seeds, but you can also microwave the lemons for about 10 to 20 seconds first before cutting in half and squeezing to get the juice warmed up and make it easier to squeeze. Of course you can also use a citrus squeezer, or any other tool you have for juicing citrus.
What to Serve with This Soup
- I love this soup with a nice crusty roll, sourdough bread, or a breadstick for dipping!
- You could pretend your house is a deli and serve a you-pick-two option with a side salad or half a sandwich. My favorites are an Italian green salad and a veggie wrap.
- Grilled cheese sandwiches also pair great with soups, don’t they? All that cheese and you can dip them into your soup…So. Good.
- You could also serve this soup in a bread bowl for extra deliciousness!
Can You Freeze Soup with Orzo in It?
Yes, you can freeze soup with orzo in it. You should wait for soup to cool completely before adding to freezer-safe containers and putting in the freezer for a later date. I always label and date my freezer items too so I don’t wonder what that container of mystery soup is later on!
Can I Substitute Rice for Orzo?
Don’t have orzo, or are gluten-free or just prefer rice? Then you can substitute long grain, white rice for the orzo in this easy chicken soup. Just make the same amount of rice according to package directions and add to the soup when the directions say to add the orzo. Still just as delicious!
- I recommend using fresh lemon juice in this chicken orzo soup because concentrate just doesn’t have the same flavor. And feel free to add more lemon juice to your personal taste!
- This soup will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days and in the freezer for up to 4 months.
If you don’t like the way pasta can sometimes get too mushy in leftover soups, you can always keep the orzo separate and add it right before serving, that way it will still have some bite to it and taste fresh with every reheating.
More Tasty Soup Recipes to Try Next
- Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup
- Tomato Basil Soup
- Easy Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
- Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- Lasagna Soup
Did you make this Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup recipe? YAY! Please rate the recipe below!
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- 3 cups shredded chicken - about 2 large breasts shredded
- 1 ½ cups uncooked orzo
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 white or yellow onion - diced
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 2 celery stalks - chopped
- juice of 1 large lemon - about 6 tablespoons
- 2 teaspoons salt - or to taste
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 3-4 rosemary sprigs
- additional lemon wedges - for servings
- Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add orzo, boil 7-9 minutes til tender. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
- In a large stock pot melt butter over medium heat.
- Add garlic, onions, and celery and saute 2-3 minutes til tender.
- Add broth and bring to a boil.
- Stir in chicken, lemon juice, salt and pepper, carrots, orzo, and rosemary. Simmer about 5 minutes.
- Taste, add salt and pepper if needed, and serve with fresh lemon wedges for squeezing right into your individual soup bowls.