Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is a delightful weeknight meal that's both light and flavorful. It's packed with sunshine thanks to the vibrant lemon and chicken combo, and the tiny orzo pasta adds a fun textural element. This recipe comes together quickly and easily, making it perfect for busy schedules.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped (or other vegetables you like)
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 8 ounces cooked, shredded chicken breast
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (optional)


  1. Sauté the Aromatics: Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.

  2. Build the Flavor: Pour in the chicken broth and bay leaf (if using). Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.

  3. Lemon Zest and Juice: Stir in the lemon zest and fresh lemon juice. Let the flavors meld for a couple of minutes.

  4. Orzo Time!: Add the uncooked orzo pasta to the pot. Cook according to package instructions, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is tender.

  5. Chicken Time!: Stir in the shredded cooked chicken and heat through for a few minutes.

  6. Seasoning and Herbs: Remove the bay leaf (if using) and season the soup with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning (optional) to taste.

  7. Fresh Touch: Stir in the chopped fresh parsley right before serving.

Tips and Variations:

  • Creamy Comfort: For a richer soup, stir in a tablespoon of butter or a swirl of heavy cream before serving.
  • Veggie Extravaganza: Leftover vegetables? Don't toss them! This soup is a great way to use up odds and ends in your fridge. Chopped broccoli, zucchini, or spinach would all be delicious additions.
  • Vegetarian Delight: Make it vegetarian! Skip the chicken and add chickpeas or lentils for a plant-based protein boost.
  • Spicy Kick: Want a bit of heat? Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a chopped jalapeno for a spicy twist.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is a delightful dish that's perfect for any occasion. It's easy to make, bursting with flavor, and sure to become a family favorite. So grab your ingredients, put them in a pot, and get ready for a taste of sunshine in a bowl!

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