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Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

This Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is packed with great flavors and good-for-you ingredients. With a few shortcuts, you can have this soup on the table in 30 minutes or less!
Course Dinner, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword lemon chicken orzo soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Calories 161kcal
Author Chelsea Lords


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion ~1/2 large onion
  • 1 cup diced celery ~3-4 stalks
  • 1 cup diced carrot ~3 carrots
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chicken boullion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH: fine sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 cup uncooked orzo pasta Note 1
  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded/chopped Note 2
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped baby spinach
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest Note 3
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Optional: fresh thyme, Parmesan cheese, and crusty bread for serving


  • MIREPOIX: Add olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add in onion, celery, and carrots. Cook until the onion is translucent and veggies are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, for about 7-9 minutes (Reduce heat if veggies are browning too quickly) Add in the garlic and stir for 30 seconds. While veggies are cooking, measure out all the spices.
  • SEASON: Add in the spices (chicken bouillon powder, salt, pepper, parsley, oregano, thyme, and Italian seasoning) and stir for 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth and bay leaf and increase heat to a boil. Once boiling, add in the orzo pasta. Cook according to package directions, subtracting 2 minutes from what the package cooking time says.
  • CHICKEN/SPINACH: Stir in the shredded rotisserie chicken and then spinach. Gently stir to warm through chicken and allow spinach to wilt, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Season to taste if any additional salt/pepper is needed.
  • SERVE: Ladle into bowls and garnish, if desired, with fresh thyme. Add optional Parmesan cheese to individual bowls. Serve with crusty bread.


Note 1: Leftovers: If you want to have leftovers of this soup, I recommend cooking the orzo pasta separately and then adding a few spoonfuls into individual soup bowls. When storing this soup, the pasta continues to absorb the liquid.
Note 2: Rotisserie chicken: If your grocery store sells it, grab a lemon herb seasoned rotisserie chicken for extra lemon and herby flavor.
Note 3: Lemon: Add lemon juice and zest gradually, to personal taste preferences. This recipe is written the way we love it, but you may like slightly less or slightly more. If you're a big lemon fan, you can also add some lemon herb seasoning (such as Mrs. Dash) or lemon pepper instead of regular pepper to the soup.


Serving: 8servings | Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 14.2g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 6.5g | Cholesterol: 30.1mg | Sodium: 131mg | Fiber: 1.5g | Sugar: 2.6g