Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Simple ingredients make this delicious Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup an easy weeknight favorite. It’s clean-eating and hearty, and ready in 35 minutes!

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

I’m a big fan of soup.

And lemons.

And pasta.

And, well, chicken, too, for that matter.

So you can imagine my excitement that I have a new delicious recipe that uses all those wonderful things.

But, when I told Dustin I was going to make a Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup, he didn’t sound too excited.

In fact, he pretty much told me he didn’t plan on eating it – that he’d “figure something else out for dinner” that night.

Then, when he came home later that day and smelled how wonderful this soup had made the house smell, he decided to try a taste.

And he loved it! Hooray!

I laughed and told him I can always tell a winning recipe when it turns him from not even being interested into a full-on fan in one taste.

He went on to finish the entire bowl, by the way.

And had the left-overs the next day, too.

Winner, winner 🙂

Overhead view of ceramic bowls containing Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup, including orzo, chicken, and carrots.

HOW TO MAKE LEMON CHICKEN ORZO SOUP

This soup is so easy to make, I am sure you will add it to your roster of hearty dinner dishes. The orzo cooks right in the pot, making this a quick recipe for a bust night. In a nutshell, the steps are straightforward.

  • Dice slightly frozen chicken thighs
  • Brown them in olive oil in the stock pot
  • Remove the chicken and set aside
  • Add your veggies, chicken stock, and orzo as directed
  • Bring to a boil and then simmer
  • Add the lemon and enjoy

IS ORZO HEALTHY?

Orzo is a pasta that looks similar to grains of rice. To get full benefits from the fiber, buy a whole wheat orzo as opposed to one made with white flour. Orzo contains 7 grams of protein in every serving and pairing it with another protein as we do in Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup, ups the count even more. Orzo is also low-fat, with only 1 gram per serving.

Overhead close-up view of a ceramic bowl containing Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup, including carrots, chicken, and orzo.

WHAT ARE OTHER OPTIONS FOR ORZO IN LEMON CHICKEN ORZO SOUP?

Orzo is made from wheat semolina flour and can be used in both soups and salads. This small, versatile pasta resembles barley, which is the Italian translation for orzo. If you’d like to try this soup with something other than orzo, look to these options:

HOW TO MAKE GLUTEN-FREE LEMON CHICKEN ORZO SOUP

To make lemon chicken orzo soup gluten-free, just switch regular orzo for a gluten-free variety of pasta, similar in size. The alternatives, if you cannot find a gluten-free pasta that you’d like to use, are often quinoa or lentils. Short-grain brown rice works, too. Buy chicken broth that is a gluten-free brand as well, or make your own stock the next time you cook a chicken.

HOW TO MAKE LEMON CHICKEN ORZO SOUP VEGAN

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is easily made vegan by replacing the chicken with protein-rich chickpeas. Chickpeas are also high in fiber, folate, iron, phosphorus, and B vitamins, making them a great substitute for chicken. Many vegans will add ⅓ cup of tahini to add creaminess to the dish. Use low-sodium vegetable broth instead of chicken stock, and you are all set with a power-packed soup!

Overhead view of three ceramic bowls of Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup, including carrots, chicken, and orzo.

HOW TO MAKE LEMON CHICKEN ORZO SOUP PALEO AND KETO

For a paleo Chicken Orzo Soup, you simply replace the orzo with cauliflower rice. If you are on a keto regimen, use the same option of cauliflower rice. Most keto followers will leave out the carrots and use kale or spinach instead. 

HOW DO YOU STORE LEMON CHICKEN ORZO SOUP?

Store lemon chicken orzo soup in the fridge in an airtight container and reheat the next day for a repeat meal of deliciousness. To warm up Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup, place in a pot on the stove and add a bit more chicken stock. The orzo may absorb some of the liquid when stored, so adding stock will give it the liquid needed to make it savory and like a soup again. Don’t boil as your reheat, or you may toughen the chicken. This yummy soup can be frozen if you have any leftovers! Store in an airtight container and place in the freezer. Thaw in the fridge overnight to reheat the next day.

Side view of three ceramic bowls filled with Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup, including carrots, chicken, and orzo.

MORE HEALTHY SOUP RECIPES

If you are a soup lover like me, you will want to try more recipes. I suggest these healthy soups as a place to start!

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup Recipe Video

 

5 from 2 votes
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup Square Recipe Preview Image
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

Simple ingredients make this delicious Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup an easy to make weeknight favorite. It’s clean-eating and hearty, and ready in 35 minutes!

Categories: Soup
Difficulty: Easy
Keyword: lemon chicken and orzo soup, lemon chicken orzo soup, orzo soup
Servings: 4
Calories: 431 kcal
Author: Lacey Baier of A Sweet Pea Chef
Ingredients
  • 1 lb boneless and skinless chicken thighs about 6
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper plus more to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 3 carrots diced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 5 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup uncooked orzo
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice approx. 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Dice the chicken into bite-size cubes. This is easiest to do if the chicken is just slightly frozen.
  2. Season the chicken cubes with the salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a stock pot with 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned chicken and cook until well-browned, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes. Once browned, remove from stock pot and set aside, reserving the drippings in the pot.
  4. Add the remaining oil to the pot.
  5. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook until the onion is tender, about 6 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute, until fragrant.
  7. Add the thyme, rosemary, chicken stock, and orzo and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until orzo and carrots are tender, approx. 10-12 minutes.
  8. Add the lemon juice and parsley and stir to combine.
  9. Season to taste.
  10. *If storing for later, you will likely need to add additional chicken stock upon reheating since the orzo will absorb more liquid if not eaten right away.
Nutrition Facts
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 431 Calories from Fat 143
% Daily Value*
Fat 15.9g24%
Saturated Fat 3.4g17%
Cholesterol 116.5mg39%
Sodium 1346.1mg56%
Carbohydrates 36.1g12%
Fiber 3.1g12%
Sugar 9.7g11%
Protein 34.4g69%
Vitamin A 2250IU45%
Vitamin C 17.3mg21%
Calcium 70mg7%
Iron 2.5mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post contains affiliate links for products I use often and highly recommend.

Lacey Baier

Hey y’all, I’m Lacey Baier and I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, A Sweet Pea Chef. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

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