Chicken Orzo Soup

5 from 9 votes
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This Chicken Orzo Soup is a cozy blend of juicy chicken, tender orzo pasta, and a warm broth brightened with a zest of fresh lemon juice, creating a comforting family favorite recipe.

overhead shot of chicken orzo soup in a dutch oven


 

I am a chicken soup connoisseur. From classic chicken noodle soup to chicken vegetable soup and matzoh ball soup, I love all of it. With this chicken orzo soup, I’m going simple, but I’m not sacrificing flavor. With fresh mirepoix – onions, carrots, and celery – savory broth, lemon juice, and shredded chicken, this easy soup is hearty and super tasty!

Why We Love This Soup

  • Easy: This soup embraces the beauty of easy-to-make without compromising on taste. It’s the kind of recipe perfect for a busy weeknight.
  • Cozy: Just like its many chicken soup cousins, this orzo variant delivers the same nourishing and comforting experience, making it a soul-soothing choice for any day.
  • Flavorful: The combination of fresh vegetables, zesty lemon juice, and hearty chicken creates a deeply satisfying, full-bodied taste that’s both homey and gourmet.
chicken orzo soup served in a white soup bowl with a spoon

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Olive Oil and Butter: For sauteing.
  • Onion: Dice up a small onion. I use yellow onions, but any kind will do!
  • Celery: You will need three celery stalks, washed and sliced.
  • Carrots: Slice two large carrots into thin coins.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste.
  • Fresh Garlic: I like this soup with a generous amount of garlic to contrast with the tangy lemon.
  • Shredded Chicken: Leftover shredded cooked chicken is perfect for this recipe, or you can use rotisserie chicken!
  • Dried Herbs: Dried rosemary, thyme, and oregano add instant flavor and fragrance.
  • Chicken Broth: About 8 to 10 cups. I usually go for low-sodium broth.
  • Lemon: Juice one fresh lemon to add a bright citrus flavor to this savory dish.
  • Bay Leaves: A couple of bay leaves add that special aroma to the soup broth.
  • Orzo: I absolutely love this tiny pasta, especially in a rich chicken soup!
  • Yellow Squash: Cut up one medium-sized yellow squash into rounds, and then cut each round into fourths.
  • Parsley: Chopped fresh parsley is the perfect garnish.
  • Lemon Wedges: For serving.

How to Make Chicken Orzo Soup

The secret to this recipe is making a very blonde roux with butter and onions sans flour. That’s a big reason why it turns out hearty and flavorful!

  1. Saute the Vegetables. Heat the oil and butter in a 6-quart Dutch Oven. Once the butter has melted, add the diced onion. Then, stir in the celery and carrots, and continue to cook until tender. 
  2. Add the Garlic, Chicken, and Seasonings. Next, stir in the garlic, shredded chicken, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.
  3. Simmer the Soup. Pour the chicken broth into the pot, along with the lemon juice and two bay leaves. Increase the heat to high so that the soup comes to a boil, and then add in your orzo and squash. Lower heat to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes or until the orzo is tender.
  4. Enjoy! Taste the finished soup for salt and pepper and adjust if needed. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with parsley, and serve with lemon wedges.

Recipe Tips And Variations

  • Meal Prep Perfection: If you’re into meal prepping, keep in mind that this recipe is perfect for using pre-made shredded chicken. Check out my easy tutorial on How to Boil Chicken for Meal Prep!
  • Swap the Pasta: No orzo, no problem! This recipe is also delicious with any small pasta or with your favorite white rice.
  • More Veggies: Lose the carbs entirely by making this recipe with extra veggies and no pasta! Spiralized zucchini or any frozen veggies that you love are great.
Chicken orzo soup served in a white soup bowl with a spoon

What to Serve with This Soup

A big bowl of chicken orzo soup is a meal in itself, but you can also fill out the menu with this yummy Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich and my Very Berry Avocado Salad. Add a crispy crunch to your bowl with some Garlic Parmesan Blue Cheese Crackers, too.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

  • To store leftover soup, place it in airtight soup containers and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days. If you want to freeze a batch of this soup, just make the recipe as written, but don’t add the orzo, and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw before reheating.
  • To reheat, place the desired portion in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until just simmering.

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5 from 9 votes

Chicken Orzo Soup

Flavorful broth, tender pasta, juicy shredded chicken, and a shot of lemon make this chicken orzo soup a cozy family favorite.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small yellow onion,, diced
  • 3 stalks celery,, sliced
  • 2 carrots,, thinly sliced
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper,, to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic,, pressed or minced
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 8 to 10 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 lemon,, juiced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¾ cups uncooked orzo
  • 1 yellow squash,, sliced into rounds and each round cut into fourths
  • Chopped fresh parsley,, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges,, for serving
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Instructions 

  • Heat oil and melt butter in a Dutch oven set over medium-high heat.
  • To the hot oil, add diced onion and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in sliced celery and carrots; season with salt and pepper, and continue to cook until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic and cook for 15 seconds, or until fragrant.
  • Stir in the shredded chicken.
  • Add oregano, thyme, and rosemary; stir to combine.
  • Stir in the chicken broth and lemon juice. Add bay leaves.
  • Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
  • Stir in orzo and sliced squash.
  • Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until orzo is tender.
  • Taste soup for salt and pepper; adjust accordingly.
  • Ladle soup into bowls.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 164kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 99mg | Potassium: 369mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1826IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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22 Comments

  1. Rae says:

    Made this soup Christmas Eve and everyone loved it!! Very tasty! Will definitely be making again! 😋