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Large bowl of chicken lemon orzo soup garnished with mint

Chicken Lemon Orzo Soup

This Chicken Lemon Orzo Soup if similar to chicken noodle soup. It's full of juicy shredded chicken, heart-healthy vegetables and a delightful lemony broth!
5 from 6 votes
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 207kcal
Author: Yumna Jawad

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 large carrots peeled, halved lengthwise and finely sliced
  • 3 celery stalks small diced
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 3/4 cup orzo pasta
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric optional
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons to taste
  • Fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Place chicken and scraps from the outer layers and end of the onions, carrots and celery along with a couple bay leaves in a large stock pot. Add bay leaves and 8-10 cups water and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until chicken is fork-tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Remove chicken and shred; then strain the chicken broth using a fine-mesh sieve and discard the vegetable scraps and bay leave
  • Heat oil in a the same pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, carrots, celery, garlic and cook until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the shredded chicken, orzo, rosemary and turmeric (if using). Then return the broth to the stockpot and bring a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer until the orzo is cooked, about 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with fresh parsley or mint, if desired.

Video

Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. The soup will stay fresh for about 4-5 days.
Make Ahead Tips: You can make the homemade chicken broth ahead of time and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use the broth, just thaw in the fridge overnight or for at least 4-6 hours.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.
  • Instead of orzo, you can use white rice or brown rice. If you're using brown rice, be sure to add an extra 25 minutes to the cooking time though. You can also use potatoes, riced cauliflower, celery root or chopped zucchini for some grain free and/or low carb options.
  • If you don't have rosemary, feel free to use thyme, oregano, parsley, cilantro or other herbs.
Nutrition: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.  This information should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 86mg | Potassium: 468mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3545IU | Vitamin C: 3.5mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 0.8mg