Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup Recipe


This lemon chicken orzo soup is just what the doctor ordered for those cold, winter afternoons. Add a tossed green salad or hunk of warm, homemade bread and settle into a spot by the fireplace. A rotisserie chicken is a great solution when needing a quick and easy dinner, and one will also work well in this soup, making the prep time even shorter. If using pre-cooked chicken, add 3 cups towards the end of the recipe while the orzo cooks. This will give the chicken time to heat thoroughly.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling; Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
6 serves


  • 1 large lemon

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 large shallots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

  • 8 cups unsalted chicken stock

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 4 cups)

  • 3 (8-oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 2 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 3/4 cup uncooked orzo

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove 6 (2-inch) lemon peel strips from lemon. Squeeze lemon to equal 2 tablespoons juice. Set aside strips and juice.

  2. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add shallots and rosemary. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add lemon peel strips, stock, and potatoes. Bring to a boil over high; reduce heat to medium. Add chicken and salt, and cook 10 minutes. Add orzo, and cook until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of chicken registers 165°F and potatoes and orzo are tender, about 10 minutes more.

  3. Remove and discard lemon peel strips. Remove and shred chicken; return to soup. Stir in lemon juice. Ladle soup into bowls; sprinkle evenly with chopped parsley.

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