Dinner | Soup

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

This refreshing Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup recipe is a delightful combination of zesty flavors, tender chicken, and comforting orzo pasta. It's the perfect dish to brighten up a chilly day or to enjoy when you crave a light and nourishing meal.
April 20, 2024
By Kayley McCabe


  • 3 chicken thighs, bone in, skin removed 
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 6 sprigs thyme, stems removed, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth 
  • 1 cup orzo (uncooked)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of half a lemon 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Chopped parsley, to garnish


  1. Place the chicken thighs in a saucepan and cover with water to 1 inch above the chicken.
  2. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium, cover with a lid, and let simmer for 1 hour. Occasionally check on water levels.
  3. Remove chicken from heat and place chicken thighs in a bowl to cool. When chicken has cooled, use a fork to lightly shred into chunks. Set aside.
  4. Reserve the cooking water.
  5. While the chicken is cooling, add the butter and oil to a stock pot and place over medium/high heat. 
  6. Add the celery, onion, carrots, and thyme, and sauté for 3 minutes.
  7. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
  8. Add the flour and mix in well so that it becomes a paste that coats the vegetables.
  9. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for another 30 seconds.
  10. Pour in the chicken broth and bring mixture to a simmer.
  11. Add in the orzo and lemon zest and cook, stirring frequently to keep orzo from sticking to pot, until orzo is fully cooked, about 10 minutes.
  12. Add the chicken to the soup and gently stir in.
  13. Add more of the chicken cooking liquid if a thinner broth is desired.
  14. Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  15. Serve in bowls garnished with fresh parsley.

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