Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is the perfect light and summery meal. It comes together in just about 30 minutes and it’s pretty healthy!
On Friday, I unexpectedly got off work early and my husband happened to be off early, too. That never happens. We picked up Julia and went…to Sam’s Club. We go there pretty often for family date nights. We like to wander around and you can’t beat the price of the pizza combo for dinner. My how our lives as parents has changed. haha
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We were having some friends and family over on Saturday for a mini housewarming BBQ so we had to pick up some things. Giant bags of chips, a giant package of strawberries (you know, the usual from Sam’s Club), and the new 6-pack of Swanson Chicken Broth, which is great to have on hand because I use chicken broth all the time in cooking.
Our BBQ went really well. We had a ton of kids at the house, which Julia loved, and I remained fairly calm as I watched crackers and strawberries get smashed all over the living room.
After the kids went to bed, my friends helped me brainstorm what I wanted to make with my Swanson Chicken Broth (again, my how parties have changed post-baby). I knew I wanted to do a summery soup but there are only so many ways you can make a tortilla soup.
Then, my friend, Kristin, mentioned chicken lemon orzo. I completely forgot that that is my favorite soup from Panera and a copycat recipe would be perfect! Chicken, lemon, orzo, spinach – some of my favorite flavors.
I was originally going to make a slow cooker soup but then when I realized this soup comes together in about 30 minutes, I decided this is just as easy. You can go semi-homemade and pick up a rotisserie chicken to chop up (best idea ever), or boil and shred some chicken. It turned out so good. The more lemon the better, in my book. Julia loved it, too. She literally picked the bowl up and licked it.
- 1 cup orzo
- 1 carton (32 oz) Swanson's Chicken Broth
- 1.5 cups cooked chicken, chopped
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon
- 5 oz fresh baby spinach
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the orzo until partially cooked, but not fully cooked (about 5 minutes). Drain the pasta, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking, and set aside.
- While the orzo is cooking, heat another large pot over medium high heat, add the olive oil, then add the chopped onion. Cook until translucent, 5-7 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic to the onion and stir.
- Season the mixture with oregano, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Pour in the chicken broth.
- Bring the broth to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the cooked orzo, lemon juice, lemon zest, and chopped cooked chicken. Cook until the chicken is heated through.
- Add in the baby spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls and serve.
What’s your favorite summer soup? If you’re short on ideas, check out the #SwansonSummer hashtag for tons of great options!
Things you may need…