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Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

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This Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup recipe is the perfect blend of tangy and savory flavors. With cooked chicken, tender orzo pasta, and a burst of zesty lemon, this soup is sure to brighten your day.


Main image for lemon chicken orzo soup


You are going to love the fresh flavor in this lemon chicken orzo soup with kale. Sometimes soups can feel heavy and you have leftover soup in your fridge that lasts forever because you just aren’t feeling up to it.

Not this recipe! This is packed with kale, carrots, orzo, and chicken all smothered in a lemon broth that makes it feel light but also fills you up. It is a magical soup indeed!

Lemon orzo chicken soup is easily customizable too. If you don’t have kale, you can use fresh spinach though that will change the texture of the finished soup.

I like it better than a classic chicken noodle soup. Chicken lemon orzo soup is a delicious soup you will reach for again and again.


Cooked onions with carrots


What is Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup?

Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup is a comforting and nourishing dish that combines tender chicken, wholesome orzo, and fresh kale in a flavorful broth infused with zesty lemon juice and slices.

It is a perfect soup for a chilly day or those sick days when you need a burst of citrus flavor.

What ingredients are in Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup?

  • Onion: gives a flavorful base to the soup.
  • Carrot: adds sweetness and color to the soup base.
  • Chicken Broth or Stock: gives the soup a rich and flavorful base.
  • Chicken: chopped pieces of chicken make the soup hearty and satisfying.
  • Kale: remove the ribs and finely chop the leaves to add nutritious leafy greens to the soup.
  • Orzo: a small rice-shaped pasta that gives the soup body and texture.
  • Lemon (juice and slices): this gives you a lemony broth that gives the whole dish a refreshing citrus flavor.
  • Olive Oil: use this to sauté the onions and carrots, enhancing the overall taste.

Pro Tip: Use a rotisserie chicken to pull out meat for the lemon chicken soup with orzo. Then for an even more flavorful soup, use the bones to make a homemade chicken stock instead of store-bought broth.


Chicken stock added to carrots and onions


How to Make Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup:

  1. Sauté onion in olive oil over medium heat until translucent, then add shredded carrots and sauté for another minute.
  2. Pour in chicken stock/broth, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium.
  3. Add orzo and cook for 6 minutes.
  4. Stir in chopped chicken and kale, and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, add lemon juice and lemon slices, and stir well.

Pro Tip: If you prefer a creamier texture in your chicken orzo lemon soup, you can add a splash of heavy cream just before serving.


orzo added to soup


Is Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup Healthy?

Yes Chicken Orzo Soup is healthy! This soup is packed with nutritious ingredients like lean chicken, kale, and carrots, which gives you a wholesome and balanced meal. To make this dish even healthier, use whole wheat orzo to give you added fiber.

What kind of chicken should I use in Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup?

You can use any kind of chicken to make Lemon Orzo Soup. You could use chicken thighs, boneless skinless chicken breasts, or a mix of light and dark meat by using a rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store. My favorite kind of chicken is whatever leftover chicken I have from the night before.

The next time you have chicken leftovers, make a large pot of this Greek lemon chicken orzo soup and eat it throughout the week.


chicken and kale added to soup


What to Serve with Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup:

Serve Lemon and Chicken Orzo Soup with a side of garlic bread or a fresh green salad. I like to serve all my favorite soups with homemade crusty bread at dinner and then with an easy salad the next day for lunch. 

Pro Tip: Don’t forget your favorite garnishes! I like to use a little fresh parsley, lemon zest, and black pepper.

How to Store Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup:

Store leftover Orzo Soup with lemon and chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. The fresh lemon juice will keep the other ingredients fresh as it sits. 

When you reheat it, you may need to add extra broth if the orzo soaks up too much liquid as it sits. Pasta likes to do that.

Note: Be sure to remove the lemon slices before storing orzo soup to prevent bitterness. Lemon rinds can turn the whole soup bitter.


Soup Pot of Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup


Can Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup Be Frozen?

Yes, Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup can be frozen. You can freeze this soup for up to 2-3 months. Just remember to leave out the lemon slices before freezing. Lemon rind can turn your liquid broth bitter.

Can Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup Be Made Ahead of Time?

Yes Orzo Soup with chicken can be made ahead of time! This is a great dish to make one day and then reheat it when ready to serve. Just remember to remove the lemon slices before storing.

Pro Tip: This is a great on the go lunch item. Reheat it in the morning and ladle soup into a thermos that keeps things hot. Then at lunch you will have a hot soup ready to eat!


wooden spoon held above pot of soup full of orzo soup

Additional Award Winning Soups You’ll Love…

This Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is a quick and nourishing meal that will brighten up your day!


Zoomed in image of bowl of lemon chicken orzo soup

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

With cooked chicken, tender orzo pasta, and a burst of zesty lemon, this Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is sure to brighten your day.


  1. Sauté chopped onion in olive oil until translucent, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add carrots to onion, and sauté another minute.
  3. Add chicken broth to onions and carrots and bring to a boil.
  4. Lower heat to medium, and add orzo.
  5. After 6 minutes, add chopped chicken and kale, cook for 1-2 minutes more.
  6. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice and add lemon slices to soup.


If storing leftover soup, remove lemon slices...if left in soup, it will get bitter.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 298Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 1923mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 24g
Originally Posted: November 30, 2015 

Photos and Text Updated: August 22, 2023


Saturday 16th of November 2019

This is my kind of soup! The lemon was the perfect addition to really make all of the flavors pop! My family loved it!


Sunday 10th of November 2019

I keep seeing this recipe, it's a must try soon! I adore citrus in my soup, totally brightens the soup!

Julie Menghini

Sunday 10th of November 2019

This soup looks fresh and bright. I eat soup about every day and love that this one wont put me in a food coma


Saturday 9th of November 2019

Orzo is my favorite pasta, so how could I not make this recipe. It's easy to make and very yummy. comforting. Thanks!


Thursday 7th of March 2019

Made this soup last night and it was wonderful!!! It’s goung to be a new staple in our house! My mom was visitor and is on a health kick so we changed the orzo to barley, but I left everything else the same. Wonderful recipe, thank you for sharing!

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