Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

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Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is the meal you cook when your family is under the weather. Full of chicken, veggies, orzo, and lemon – this soup is one we make again and again.

Soup Season at our home looks like a constant rotations of flavors and textures. We love a spicy Turkey Taco Soup, some delicious Sweet Potato Curry Soup, or this healthy Detox Lentil Soup any given night of the week!

A hand squeezing lemon into a pot of chicken orzo soup.

Chicken Soup

Many of you can probably relate to the premise that chicken soup makes everything better. I grew up with a mom who made a lot of soup, and I do believe that it helps heal. But do you know what we were given for sore throats/colds? A big shot of whiskey!

My dad would pull out the bottle and make me swig when I was having trouble breathing. I’m not sure if it worked, but maybe it just knocked me out for the night. Because you know when you’re a parent, you suffer through countless sleepless nights, and you just want to SLEEP.

So you’re thinking….”Did you give your boys shots of whiskey?”. The answer is no. We went with conventional meds from the pharmacy, thank you very much. 😀

Overhead shot of a large bowl of lemon chicken orzo soup, with a gray and white napkin.

Ingredients needed for Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup:

  • Olive Oil – Use extra virgin olive oil for sautéing the veggies.
  • Veggies – The usuals – onion, carrots, celery, and garlic.
  • Seasonings – Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper are my mainstays.
  • Broth – I use lower sodium chicken broth so I can control the salt content better.
  • Chicken – Use a rotisserie chicken for a shortcut, or make your own. If making your own, cut the chicken into 2-3 inch chunks for uniform cooking.
  • Pasta – Use orzo, or any other pasta you prefer.
  • Lemon – The finishing touch that brings out a wonderful lemon-y flavor!
Overhead shot of a glass bowl with chopped celery, carrots, and onion plus a small bowl of minced garlic.
Overhead shot of a 4-cup measuring cup of shredded rotisserie chicken.

How to make Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup:

  1. Sauté Veggies. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, add olive oil and the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook until slightly softened, approximately 6-7 minutes. Then add garlic and seasonings, and stir for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add broth. Pour the broth into the stock pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Shred chicken. If using a rotisserie chicken, shred it and measure out about 4-5 cups for the soup. Add it to the soup.
  4. If cooking chicken. Season the chicken with salt, and add to the stock pot. Cook for approximately 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the pot and let cool slightly. When cooled, shred with two forks, or add to a standing mixer with a strong paddle attachment to shred. Add the shredded chicken to the pot after the orzo is finished cooking.
  5. Add orzo. Meanwhile, add orzo pasta and cook until al dente, approximately 8-10 minutes.
  6. Finish. Add the freshly squeezed lemon, and let simmer for a couple of minutes.
  7. Serve. Serve the soup with some extra freshly ground black pepper, and some salty crackers.

Other healing soups on the blog:

Side shot of a white bowl of lemon chicken orzo soup.

Make this soup recipe next: Detox Lentil Soup

Please let know if you try this recipe. Be sure to comment and leave a review on the blog so I can see what you think. You can also like my Facebook Page, follow me on Pinterest, and catch me on Instagram.

xoxo ~Sue

A hand squeezing lemon into a pot of chicken orzo soup.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is the meal you cook when your family is under the weather. Full of chicken, veggies, orzo, and lemon – this soup is one we make again and again.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 2-cup servings
Calories: 487kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion – diced
  • 3 large carrots – diced
  • 3 stalks celery – diced
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 10 cups lower sodium chicken broth
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 4 cups cooked rotisserie chicken – shredded (see notes to cook your own chicken)
  • 1 1/4 cups orzo pasta
  • 1 large lemon – freshly squeezed
  • rosemary sprig – optional, for flavoring


  • In a large stock pot over medium heat, add olive oil, and then the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook a few minutes (they will cook more later), and then add the garlic and seasonings. Stir for about 30 seconds. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  • If using rotiserrie chicken, add it here. If cooking your own chicken, cook it now. (See notes in blog post.)
  • Add the orzo pasta to the stock pot and cook until al dente, approximately 10 minutes. Turn heat to low. Squeeze the lemon juice directly into the pot and let cook for just another couple of minutes.
  • Serve with additional lemon wedges and some salty crackers.


  • If cooking your own chicken, add chunks of chicken breasts after step 1, and cook until done, approximately 15 minutes. Remove the chicken to cool slightly. Shred with two forks or use a standing mixer with a sturdy paddle attachment.


Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 59g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 700mg | Potassium: 1100mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 6132IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!


  1. Oh my, made this for Sunday dinner and it was sooo good!! Such a quick and easy recipe will come in handy if sick or not sick.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I’m so happy that you liked the soup, Shari! 🙂

  2. I might try both. The soup followed with a shot of whiskey… just in case your Dad was right. ❤️✅?

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