Creamy lemon chicken orzo soup (30-minute recipe)

A creamy, lemony, wholesome chicken soup packed with veggies and satisfying orzo or risoni. This creamy lemon chicken orzo soup is delicious, and you can have it on the table in just 30 minutes!
Course Soup
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword chicken recipe, orzo, orzo soup, pasta, soup
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (at least)
Calories 484kcal
Author Helen


  • 1 pound chicken thighs skinless & boneless, chopped into small pieces and rolled in about 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 carrots large, diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1.5 teaspoons Italian herbs dried, or ½ teaspoon each oregano, thyme, basil
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 1 parmesan rind (optional)
  • 7 cups chicken broth (UK/Australia = stock)
  • 0.75 cups orzo pasta dried (or other small pasta)
  • 0.33 cups cream
  • 2 handfuls spinach chopped
  • 1 lemon small (zest & juice), equal to about 3 tablespoons juice
  • salt and pepper


  • Pan fry the chicken pieces in a large saucepan or heavy-bottomed casserole dish in a large drizzle of oil for a few minutes until all the pieces have turned white. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Add a little more oil to the pan and saute the onion, carrots, and celery together for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the garlic and herbs to the pan and stir for a few seconds, then add the bay leaves and parmesan rind (if using), stock, and orzo. Add the chicken back into the pot. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the orzo is cooked.
  • Finally, add the cream, spinach, lemon zest and juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir and serve!


Orzo pasta is sometimes called risoni.
I actually didn’t have quite enough orzo left the last time I made this soup, so I made up the rest with giant couscous. Use any small pasta you like if you can’t find orzo! Gnocchi and tortellini also works well in this soup. Just adjust the cooking time according to the package instructions.
This soup is on the chunky side, but feel free to add a bit more water at the end if you think you’d prefer a thinner soup (obviously this will also make it go a bit further!).


Calories: 484kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 1652mg | Potassium: 968mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 6980IU | Vitamin C: 52.5mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 2.9mg