Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is the perfect light, healthy, and comforting meal. It comes together in just about 30 minutes and has great flavor!
I was talking about food with my friend, Kristin, and she mentioned lemon chicken orzo soup. I completely forgot that that is my favorite soup from Panera and a copycat recipe would be perfect!
Filled with chicken, lemon, orzo, and spinach – some of my favorite flavors – it is both filling and cozy while also being light.
I was originally going to make this a slow cooker soup (and you still could), but it comes together in about 30 minutes on the stovetop.
You can go semi-homemade and pick up a rotisserie chicken to chop up (best idea ever), or boil some chicken breasts, or make some in the instant pot.
This soup is so good. The more lemon the better, in my book. Julia loved it, too. She literally picked the bowl up and licked it.
Ingredients needed to make Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup with Spinach
Below is a list of ingredients you’ll need to help you prep. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.
Orzo – Orzo is a rice shaped pasta.
Chicken Broth – You can use chicken broth or stock.
Chicken – To make this recipe quickly, use cooked chicken. Instant pot shredded chicken or a rotisserie chicken are my go-tos.
Lemon Juice & Zest – For the light flavor, you’ll squeeze in half a lemon and add the zest as well. You can add more or less, to taste. We like a lot of lemon flavor, just like in my crockpot lemon chicken.
Spinach – Fresh baby spinach. 5 oz will look like a lot but it quickly wilts down.
Seasonings – For flavor, you’ll add onion, garlic, dried oregano, bay leaf, and salt and pepper.
Equipment you’ll need to help you
Colander – You’ll need one with a mesh design so the orzo doesn’t slide through.
Silicone Spatulas – I use these for everything.
Veggie Chopper – This is one of my favorite tools – it makes chopping onions a breeze.
Lemon Zester – You can use a grater as well.
How to make Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
STEP ONE: First, boil the orzo in a large pot of salted water until al dente, then rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Meanwhile, while it is boiling, to another large pot, add some olive oil and then cook the diced onion until translucent. Add in the minced garlic and heat until fragrant, then season with oregano, salt, pepper, and the bay leaf. Pour in the chicken broth and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
STEP TWO: Next, stir in the cooked and drained orzo, cooked chicken, and lemon juice and zest. Let the soup simmer until the chicken is heated through.
STEP THREE: Finally, add in the spinach and stir until wilted.
Ladle into bowls and enjoy!
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Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- 1 cup orzo
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 medium bay leaf
- salt & pepper to taste
- 32 ounces chicken broth
- 1.5 cups cooked chicken chopped
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon
- 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 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.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
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