Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Dinner, Soup | January 27, 2019 | By

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup made all in one pot, loaded with tender bites of chicken, orzo, carrots, spinach, dill and of course, tangy lemon flavor.

For the flu-stricken, cold-stricken or anyone in need of a little comfort, this recipe is it. It’s National Soup Month and although this Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup won’t cure what ails you, it’ll sustain you until it passes.

A little Chicken Soup for the soul . . .

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup ~ loaded with tender bites chicken, orzo, carrots, spinach, fresh dill and tangy lemon flavor. Cooks in just one pot.

My friend Audrey emailed me a recipe from Bon Appetit for Lemony Chicken and Orzo Soup. She said it was the “best soup” she had had in a log time and strongly urged eating it with some crusty bread.

I said maybe we should make this soup for our next book club meeting. Forget the fact that our book club has only read wine labels since I don’t know when, but that’s for another post.

She emailed back right away ~ “no seriously. I know you will love this soup, but make sure to squeeze lemon into the bowl before you eat it”.

lemon chicken orzo soup ~

The Bon Appetit Recipe

Now I love Bon Appetit, but how can they call it Lemony Chicken and Orzo Soup when it doesn’t get a drop of lemon until it hits the table?  

So I switched up the recipe a bit, subbing green onions for leeks, adding carrots for extra flavor and a pop of color, celery, a bunch of fresh spinach, dill and yes . . . fresh squeezed lemon and lemon zest right in the broth. Make sure to use fresh dill not the dry stuff for this recipe. The simple flavor is just what this soup needs to tie everything together.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is a quick one pot meal making it ideal for weeknights. Feel free to serve it to company too. No one needs to know how easy it is.  

If there’s extra, pack a bowl for lunch the next day but shove it in the back of the fridge so no one else calls dibs on it.  Oh ~ and take Audrey’s recommendation about the crusty bread. You won’t regret it.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • green onions (note: 1)
  • celery
  • carrots
  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts (boneless thighs may also be used)
  • chicken stock
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • orzo
  • fresh spinach (note: 2)
  • whole lemon
  • fresh dill

(note: 1) Trim the root end of the onions then slice just the white and pale green areas above the root, throwing out the dark green leaves.

(note: 2) Measure the spinach after rough chopping.

lemon chicken orzo soup ~ closeup of soup loaded with shredded chicken, carrots, orzo, fresh dill sprigs and a slice of lemon.

Instructions:

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat then add the onions, celery and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and cook 5-8 minutes stirring frequently until tender then move the vegetables to the sides of the pot.

Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel, season with salt and pepper and add to the pot, searing on both sides.

Pour the chicken stock into the pot, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through then transfer the chicken to a plate. While the chicken cooks, rough chop the spinach.

Bring the broth to a full boil, add the orzo and spinach and cook 8-10 minutes or until the orzo is tender.  Shred the chicken then add it back to the pot along with the lemon juice, zest and dill.

I used the juice from the entire lemon for a bold lemony taste, but recommend you start with half, then taste and adjust as you like. Also add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Looking for more easy one pot meals? Chicken Pad Thai and  Creamy Cajun Pasta are big hits at my house.  

Enjoy!

If you tried this Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup recipe or any other recipe on the blog, please leave a comment or star rating ~ I love hearing from you!

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lemon chicken orzo soup ~ overhead view showing broth with shredded chicken, diced carrots, orzo, fresh dill and a slice of lemon

5 from 1 vote
lemon chicken orzo rice ~ overhead shot of soup with pieces of chicken, carrots, orzo and spinach.
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

One Pot Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is loaded with tender bites chicken, orzo, carrots, spinach, fresh dill and tangy lemon flavor.

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: chicken orzo soup
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup green onions sliced Note: (1)
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 1 cup carrots diced
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts boneless thighs may also be used
  • 6 ½ cups chicken stock
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • ½ cup orzo
  • 3 cups fresh spinach rough chopped Note: (2)
  • 1 lemon juice and zest
  • ¼ cup fresh dill finely chopped
Instructions
NOTES
  1. (note: 1) Trim the root end of the onions then slice just the white and pale green areas above the root, throwing out the dark green leaves.

    (note: 2) Measure the spinach after rough chopping.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy soup pot over medium heat then add the onions, celery and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and cook 5-8 minutes stirring frequently until tender then move the vegetables to the sides of the pot.

  3. Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel, season with salt and pepper and add to the pot, searing on both sides.

  4. Pour the chicken stock into the pot over the chicken then cover and bring to a boil.

  5. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through (about 15 minutes) then transfer the chicken to a plate.
  6. Bring the broth to a full boil then add the orzo and spinach. Cook 8-10 minutes or until the orzo is al dente.
  7. Shred the chicken then add it back to the pot along with the lemon juice, zest from the entire lemon and dill. NOTE: I used the juice from entire lemon for a bold lemony taste, but recommend you start with juicing half of the lemon.

  8. Taste and adjust the lemon juice, salt and pepper as you like. 

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Ray
    January 27, 2019

    Chicken soup for the soul. Bernie is magic with her soups always adding a pinch of kindness to each serving.

    • Leave a Reply

      Bernie
      January 31, 2019

      Thanks Ray! That’s what a good meal is all about 🙂

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