RecipeLemon Chicken Soup with Orzo

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 14 g
  • Total Fat: 1.5 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 1.5 g
    • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 30 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 10 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1 g
  • Total Sugar: 2 g
    • Natural Sugar: 2 g
    • Added Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 440 mg

This soup, which combines tender chicken, delicate orzo and citrusy goodness, is a great big bowl of sunshine on a chilly day. It’s flavorful and cozy, but also a breeze to make—you can whip it up and slurp away, or freeze for future meals. You can also make easy swaps to personalize: any small whole-grain pasta works, choose the seasonings you like best, and add in whatever veggies you prefer or have on hand. You can even use a store-bought rotisserie or leftover chicken to make it incredibly simple. I’m a soup-er fan of this recipe and I’m hoping you love it as much as I do!

• You can make this soup ahead of time and freeze for future meals. The only thing to keep in mind is the orzo tends to lose its shape and will disintegrate into the soup, creating a thicker, starchier—but just as delish—result. It’s not as textured as if you were to make and enjoy it fresh. If it’s too thick for you, you can add a bit more broth to thin it out when reheating.

  • Prep time
  • Total Time
This recipe makes 10 cups
  • • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • • 4 medium carrots, diced into thin coins (about 2 cups)
  • • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • • 8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • • 1 cup whole-grain orzo (or any small whole-grain pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch + 1 tablespoon water*
  • • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken*
  • • ¼ to ½ cup roughly chopped fresh dill, optional

*You can use 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour instead of cornstarch. Mix it with 2 tablespoons water to dissolve before adding to soup.

**You can use rotisserie chicken or any leftover cooked chicken and shred by hand.


Liberally coat a large pot with olive oil spray and warm over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, salt, and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes, until veggies are softened. Add garlic and lemon zest and cook 1 minute. Stir often to prevent the garlic from burning.

Add chicken broth to the pot, increase heat to high, and bring soup to a boil. Add orzo, reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the orzo from sticking to the bottom of the pot, for about 6 minutes or until orzo reaches al dente. Meanwhile, make the cornstarch slurry by adding the cornstarch and water to a small bowl, and whisking until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.

Once orzo is cooked, add shredded chicken, lemon juice, and cornstarch slurry to the pot and mix everything together. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes to allow soup to thicken. Add additional salt, pepper and fresh dill, if desired, and serve piping hot.

It will last a few days in the fridge or you can stash in the freezer for a few months. It will thicken in the freezer, but should thin out when heating. You can add a little more broth if desired.

Nutrition provided for 1 cup.

Try this Non-Dairy Cream of Mushroom Soup!

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