Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Chicken Orzo Soup

The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
811 Calories
42g Fat
63g Carbs
45g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 811
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 42g 54%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 340mg 113%
Sodium 1001mg 44%
Total Carbohydrate 63g 23%
Dietary Fiber 9g 31%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 45g
Vitamin C 49mg 247%
Calcium 273mg 21%
Iron 6mg 33%
Potassium 1178mg 25%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you are looking for a hearty but not heavy supper, one that is healthy but is also quick to cook, look no further. This chicken orzo soup laden with vegetables, chicken, and pasta offers a nourishing and tasty one-dish meal. It may be called soup, but it is so much more.

Though there probably won't be much leftover, this soup is even delicious served cold the next day as the orzo continues to soak up the liquid and becomes more of a pasta dish.


  • 1 large free-range chicken breast

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

  • 1 large carrot, finely diced

  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced

  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced

  • 3 cups chicken stock

  • 1 cup orzo

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 3 kale leaves

  • 3 spring green or collard green leaves

  • 1 handful fresh parsley leaves

  • Lemon zest, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chicken orzo soup ingredients

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  2. Generously season the chicken breast with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a griddle or skillet over high. Add the chicken breast, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes on one side. Flip and cook for 5 minutes on the other side. Remove from the heat and let rest.

    Chicken grilling in pan

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a sauté pan or skillet over medium. Add the carrots, onions, and celery. Cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables are softened but not browned, stirring occasionally. If the vegetables start to brown, reduce the heat.

    Carrots, onions, and celery in pot

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  4. Add the chicken stock to the skillet and bring to a gentle boil. Add the chicken and poach for 5 minutes.

    Add chicken and chicken broth to pot

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  5. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool completely. Increase the heat to medium-high so that the stock is boiling a little more quickly. Stir in the orzo and continue to cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until the orzo is al dente, tender but not too soft.

    Add orzo to pot

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  6. Beat the egg yolks and water in a small bowl, then gradually whisk in the lemon juice. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Increase the heat of the soup to a steady boil, then very slowly stir in the egg mixture. Reduce the heat and cook gently for 5 minutes (avoid any boiling at this point or the egg may curdle).

    Add eggs and lemon to pot

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  7. While the soup is cooking, use 2 forks to coarsely pull the cooled chicken breast into chunky pieces.

    Shredded chicken breast

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  8. Finely shred or cut the kale, spring greens, and parsley.

    Shredded kale, spring greens, and parsely

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  9. Gently stir the shredded chicken, kale, greens, and half of the parsley into the soup. Cook for 5 minutes or until the greens are wilted.

    Add greens and chicken to pot

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  10. Serve immediately in warmed bowls. Garnish with the remaining parsley and lemon zest.

    Chicken Orzo Soup

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm


To save time, use 1 cup shredded precooked chicken breast or a rotisserie chicken in place of the raw chicken.

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