Served with a light yet spicy broth, this Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup The perfect comforting recipe for a cold fall night. With plenty of vegetables and herbs like thyme and rosemary, every spoonful is hearty and comforting.
Light and Healthy Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
This lemony chicken orzo soup is like chicken noodle soup on steroids with a refreshing herb broth topped with sweet carrots and bitter kale. Filled with your favorite chicken broth, this pot is the perfect recipe for those cold fall nights when you’re not feeling well or need a nutritional boost.
Healthy fats, juicy chicken and silky chives are browned in olive oil and simmered until super cozy. Garlic, thyme, and rosemary add wonderful aromas, giving every spoonful of soup a slightly Italian flavor from the combination of ingredients. Drizzle with lemon juice to brighten things up and it’s pure weeknight bliss.
Ready in 30 minutes, filled with chewy orzo, don’t forget to top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. It makes all the difference! Keep it simple or spicy and it’ll quickly become your new favorite dinner.
Why you’ll love this Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
Whoever said chicken soup is for the soul was and always will be right, except this version of orzo soup is so much better.
- healthy. It’s packed with nutrients that help boost your immune system and keep you feeling full throughout the day. This is also a great recipe for when you’re not feeling well.
- self made. Once you try soup, you’ll stop buying soup at the store or restaurant. It’s so easy to make and tastes even better. Plus, you can add more of your favorite ingredients.
- Suitable for freezing. Double or triple the recipe and pop the leftovers in the refrigerator for a quick dinner later.
- Family friendly. Change up the veggies, add spiciness, or swap out some ingredients to make sure everyone is satisfied.
what do you need
A bowl of chicken, leek, kale, and herb soup is always super comforting. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact quantities.
- Olive oil – Feel free to use coconut, avocado, corn, or canola oil.
- Chicken Breast – Boneless chicken is easier to work with, but you can also use bone-in chicken.
- Chinese chives – Be sure to soak them in water first to remove dirt.
- garlic – Fresh garlic adds aroma and flavor, but garlic powder is good too.
- radish – Full size sliced carrots or baby carrots.
- lemon juice – You can also use lime juice, but only add 1-2 tablespoons at this time.
- lemon zest – Do not use dry peel as it will affect the freshness of the soup.
- chicken soup– Vegetable broth is a great alternative. I prefer the low sodium version.
- rice grains – Ditalini Pasta is a great choice.
- fresh thyme – If you are using dried thyme, add only half the amount.
- fresh rosemary – It adds a wonderful aroma.
- Salt – You can also use Himalaya.
- Kale – Use fresh or frozen. Baby kale is another good choice.
What is Ozo?
Orzo is a traditional pasta shape that looks like oversized rice grains or even water droplets. It is prepared and cooked just like regular pasta. Because of its smaller size, it’s chewier and nuttier. It has many more uses. Orzo is often added to soups, salads, and casseroles. It can also be eaten on its own with a thick sauce.
How to Make Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
Once the chicken is browned, just add the ingredients to the pan in the correct order. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for more detailed instructions.
- Brown the chicken. Add olive oil to a large pot and heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sauté until browned on all sides.
- Add vegetables. Add leeks, garlic and carrots. Let them cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add broth. Pour in chicken broth, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add rice grains. Stir and bring mixture to boil.
- Add herbs. Add thyme, rosemary and salt. Cook everything for 8 minutes. Stir in kale and cook 1 minute more or until wilted.
- Serve. Remove from heat. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve.
Tips for success
You can perfect and even improve any lemon chicken orzo soup if you follow these simple tips.
- Go organic. Using organic chicken tends to give soups more flavor than mass-produced chicken.
- Add richness. After removing the pot from the heat, replace the olive oil with cream, then add 1/2 cup heavy cream and stir into a creamy soup.
- Use homemade. If you have a homemade chicken or vegetable soup recipe, use it for this recipe. Leftover broth also works.
- Toasted orzo. Place the orzo in a pan, add a teaspoon of olive oil and heat over low heat. Stir for 6-7 minutes or until light golden brown. Then remove it from the heat. Roasting helps the rice grains retain their shape and texture.
- Vary the vegetables. You can use spinach instead of kale and swap out the carrots for mushroom slices or broccoli florets.
- Make it spicy. A sprinkle of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper will bring a touch of heat to your soup.
What to Serve with Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
This Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is the perfect dinner on its own. It contains protein, carbohydrates and lots of vegetables. However, you can definitely pair it with vegetables to make your meal healthier.i love it and mine Air Fryer Green Beans, Grilled Sweet Potato Salador corn on the cob On the side.
How to store and reheat leftovers
Once completely cooled, refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To prevent the rice grains from absorbing all the soup, strain it and store the liquid in a separate container. Mix it in a bowl or pot before reheating. To reheat, place in the microwave for one minute or until hot. You can also put it in a pot and heat it over medium-low heat for 7-8 minutes.
Can I freeze this?
Yes, but freeze without the rice grains for the best texture. Freezing the rice grains will soften them a lot and may turn the soup into porridge when thawed. Store in portion sizes in freezer-friendly containers. Omit the rice and freeze for up to 3 months. Stir before serving. For orzo, I only recommend freezing for 1 month.
More soup recipes to try
This easy lemony chicken orzo soup with kale and lots of fresh herbs is a 30-minute dinner you’ll love serving on a cold night.
- Heat a large Dutch oven to medium-high heat.
- Add olive oil and chicken pieces. Sauté until chicken is cooked through, about 4-6 minutes.
- Add leeks, garlic and carrots. Stir ingredients and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
- Next add the lemon juice, lemon zest and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer.
- Add orzo, thyme, rosemary and salt to taste. Cook pasta for 8 minutes. Add kale and cook for 1 minute.
- Remove soup from heat and serve!
- Optional: garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Serving size: 1 1/2 cups
- Calories: 179
- sugar: 4 grams
- sodium: 220 mg
- fat: 6 grams
- carbohydrate: 11 grams
- fiber: 2 grams
- protein: 21 grams
- cholesterol: 62 mg
Keywords: lemon chicken orzo soup, lemon chicken orzo soup