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A bowl of lemon chicken orzo soup.
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4.91 from 11 votes

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

This lemon chicken orzo soup combines fresh veggies, orzo pasta and shredded chicken in a lemony broth. It's healthy, comforting and packed full of flavor.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon chicken orzo soup
Servings: 6


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
  • 1 ½ cup carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup celery chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth plus more if desired
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon pepper plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt plus more to taste
  • 1.5 lbs boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta whole-wheat or regular
  • 4 cups curly green kale chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves finely chopped
  • Juice of two lemons
  • Lemon wedges for serving


Stove Top

  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, add the oil and heat over medium-high heat to warm. Add the onion, carrots and celery to Dutch oven and sauté for about 7 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently. Add the garlic and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes.
    Onion, carrots and celery in a Dutch oven.
  • Add the chicken broth, bay in leaves, oregano, thyme, rosemary, pepper, salt, and chicken.
    Pouring broth into Dutch oven.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.
    Removing cooked chicken breasts from Dutch oven.
  • When chicken is fully cooked, remove from pot and shred using two forks.
    Shredding chicken breasts on a cutting board.
  • Return soup to a simmer, add orzo, cook for 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent orzo from sticking. Want orzo to be al dente.
    Adding orzo to Dutch oven.
  • Add chicken back in along with kale, parsley and lemon juice.
    Adding shredded chicken and kale to Dutch oven.
  • Cook 3-5 more minutes until kale wilts.
  • Remove bay leaves, season to taste and add more liquid to reach desired consistency (I added 2 more cups).
  • Pour soup into bowls and serve with lemon wedges and crackers or bread, if desired.

Slow Cooker

  • Add everything except for the orzo, kale, parsley and lemon juice to slow cooker and cover with lid. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
  • Once chicken is cooked throughout, remove the chicken from the slow cooker to shred. 
  • Stir in orzo and kale, cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes or until orzo has cooked and kale has wilted. 
  • Remove bay leaves and stir in shredded chicken, parsley and lemon juice. Season to taste and add additional broth if desired.
  • Pour soup into bowls and serve with lemon wedges and crackers or bread, if desired.


Serving: 1/6 soup | Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 744mg | Potassium: 422mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 9g