Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Servings: 6
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

A soup filled with small pieces of soft orzo pasta, healthy chicken breasts, fresh vegetables and flavoured with lots of zesty lemon. It's a tasty Greek soup that will make you want to eat more!


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots (about 3 large)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 medium)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 parmesan rind, plus shredded parmesan for serving
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp each dried basil, thyme and rosemary
  • 1 cup (6 oz) dried orzo pasta
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • 5 oz (5 packed cups) fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


Recipe instructions Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

  1. Step 1

    Lay the chicken on a cutting board and cover with cling film. Gently pound the chicken until it is about 1/2-inch thick. Pat the chicken dry with kitchen paper and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.

  2. Step 2

    In a large enameled cast iron pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear on both sides until browned for about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate, leaving the oil in the pan.

  3. Step 3

    Add carrots, celery, and onion to the pan and cook for approximately 6 to 8 minutes until they nearly soften. Move vegetables to the side, add garlic and fry for 1 minute.

  4. Step 4

    Pour in chicken stock, add parmesan cheese crust, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary and season with salt and pepper as per taste. Return chicken to the pot and bring to a boil.

  5. Step 5

    Add orzo, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer while stirring occasionally, for about 4-8 minutes until the chicken is cooked through (it should register 165 degrees in the centre on an instant-read thermometer).

  6. Step 6

    Remove the parmesan crust and chicken and transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Allow the chicken to rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Cut the chicken into very small cubes, about the same length as the orzo pasta. At the same time, continue to simmer the soup until the orzo pasta is tender, typically for a few additional minutes.

  7. Step 7

    Add the chicken into the soup again, including lemon juice, lemon zest, and spinach, then heat everything. Serve the soup whilst it is warm, complemented with parmesan cheese. Note that the pasta will likely absorb the broth as the soup rests; thus, you could add a little more broth if desired.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 332
Fat: 10 g
Carbs: 35 g
Protein: 28 g