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Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

This herby chicken and orzo soup with sweet carrots, celery, and tender mushrooms will be your new favorite fall soup. A sprinkle of red pepper flakes and a splash of lemon juice turn it into the ultimate comfort food.

Chicken and orzo soup in a bowl with sweet carrots, celery, and tender mushrooms.

Easy Chicken and Orzo Soup Recipe

A bowl of this hearty chicken and orzo soup is just what you need to warm up once the leaves start falling. With hints of fragrant garlic, Italian seasoning, and spicy red pepper flakes, it packs more flavor than most other 20-minute soups. Celery, carrots, and mushrooms also add natural sweetness and umami. Served on its own or with toasty baguettes, you’ll be making this satisfying recipe on repeat when fall comes around.

Why This Lemon Chicken and Orzo Soup Works

This will be the only soup recipe in your repertoire that goes around and around because of how quick, easy, and comforting it is.

  • Family-friendly. Add more of your favorite veggies (or remove disliked ones) if you’ve got picky eaters at home.
  • Comforting. Think of it as chicken noodle soup but with orzo and some herby Italian flair.
  • Quick. This is practically a simmer-only soup that’s ready in just 20 minutes.
  • Freezer-friendly. Keep it in the freezer for hectic or lazy weeknights when you don’t want to cook.
Over-head view of chicken and orzo soup with fresh veggies.

What You’ll Need

Celery, sweet carrots, and fragrant garlic are the base of any truly Italian recipe. Scroll to the bottom of the post for exact ingredient amounts.

  • Orzo – I used gluten-free.
  • Coconut oil – Go for olive or avocado oil if you prefer.
  • Celery – Don’t worry if it’s not as crunchy anymore.
  • Carrots – Feel free to chop up leftover baby carrots.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic or garlic paste is best.
  • Mushrooms – Baby bellas, creminis, and white button mushrooms are my favorite for this.
  • Chicken broth – Choose a low-sodium version.
  • Water – You can swap it for chicken or veggie broth.
  • Bay leaves – They add aroma, but feel free to skip them.
  • Italian seasoning – Make your own by mixing 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion power, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika.
  • Red pepper flakes – Cayenne pepper and chili oil are good swaps.
  • Rotisserie chicken – Homemade shredded chicken works too.
  • Lemon – Reduce the amount by half if you use limes.
Close-up of the chicken, orzo, and veggies in the bowl of soup.

How To Make Lemon Chicken and Orzo Soup

Watch your kitchen begin to warm up as this quick chicken and orzo soup comes together. Scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe card.

  • Prepare the orzo. Cook the orzo according to package instructions. Drain it and set it aside. Toss it in 1/2 tablespoon olive oil if you’re not using it right away.
  • Cook the veggies. Place a pot over medium-high heat and add the coconut oil. Add the celery, carrots, and garlic. Cook them for 3-4 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
  • Simmer it. Mix in the broth, water, bay leaves, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the soup simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the chicken. Place the orzo, mushrooms, and chicken in the pot. Add lemon zest and juice. Stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the stove.
  • Serve. Remove the bay leaves. Ladle the soup into bowls, serve, and enjoy.

Tips & Variations

Whether you swap the pasta type or decide to add sausage, this chicken and orzo soup is an easy weeknight dinner.

  • More veggies. Stir 1/2 cup peas, baby spinach, or diced zucchini into the soup for a heartier bite. You can also add diced potatoes but you’ll need to increase the cooking time by 10 minutes.
  • Make it creamy. Mix 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half into the soup during the last 5 minutes of cooking for creamy richness.
  • Swap the pasta. Swap the orzo for other types of short pasta like pastina, ditalini, or elbow macaroni.
  • Separate it. To keep the orzo from absorbing the broth, only mix the pasta into each serving bowl but don’t add it to the pot. Store them separately as well.
  • Add smokiness. Mix in 1/2 cup sliced Italian sausage and sautée it with the veggies until browned. Prepare the soup as usual, but it’ll have a lovely smokiness.
  • Use leftovers. Shredded turkey or leftover Turkey Meatballs are great for an easy variation of this soup.

Serving Suggestions

This chicken and orzo soup is a hearty dinner with pasta, chicken, and veggies in every spoonful. However, you can also serve it with veggie sides. Try my Sautéed Brussels Sprouts, Crispy Mini Potatoes, or Instant Pot Artichoke. Toasty, sliced baguettes or breadsticks are great for dipping into the soup as well.

Proper Storage

I recommend making 2 batches, one for the week and freeze the other for later.

  • Fridge: Place it in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Keep it away from direct heat and sunlight when on the counter for serving or reheating.
  • Freezer: You’ll need to freeze it without the orzo. Pour the soup into freezer-friendly bags or containers. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat it in a pot and stir in the pasta.
  • To reheat it: Microwave it for 30 seconds, stir, and microwave again until warm. You can also heat it in a pot over medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

More Easy Soup Recipes

Recipe card photo of chicken and orzo soup.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

5 from 1 vote
This 20-minute chicken and orzo soup recipe with fresh veggies and Italian seasoning is the perfect fall soup.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 4 ounces gluten free orzo pasta
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 celery stalks trimmed and diced {1 cup}
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced {1 cup}
  • 1 large garlic clove minced {1 tablespoon}
  • 4 ounces baby bella mushrooms stemmed removed and sliced {about 8-9 mushrooms}
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 rotissaire chicken shredded [skin discarded}
  • 1 organic lemon zested and juiced


  • Cook orzo according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  • While orzo is cooking in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat melt coconut oil. Add celery, carrots and garlic and cook until tender 3-4 minutes.
  • Add chicken broth, water, bay leaves, italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Bring to low boil, increase heat if needed. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove lid, stir in chicken, mushrooms. lemon zest, lemon juice and orzo pasta,
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
  • Discard bay leaves and serve.
Course: Dinner, Soup
Cuisine: American


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