Lemon Chicken and Spinach Orzo Soup


A chicken soup that’s loaded with tiny bits of tender orzo, lean, protein rich chicken breasts, veggies (carrots, celery and spinach) and it’s enhanced with a nice zip of bright lemon. A delicious soup to serve any day of the year!

Lemon Chicken and Spinach Orzo Soup | Cooking Classy

Such a Bright and Flavorful Chicken Soup!

Fall hits and all I want for dinner is soup! Every and any kind of soup. One of my go to soups is chicken noodle soup but I decided I wanted to try a different variation on it, something a little more vibrant.

And what is more vibrantly flavorful than lemon? Plus lemon pairs so well with chicken, especially when you add in a blend of Greek herbs and fresh spinach.

Lemon Chicken and Spinach Orzo Soup | Cooking Classy

I really couldn’t get over how much I loved this Lemon Chicken and Spinach Orzo Soup! It will definitely be added to our dinner rotation and it was a soup my whole family enjoyed.

It’s one of those one pot, easy to make soups that you’ll be craving during the entire cold season – and even come those warm months I’m sure I’ll still be wanting this one.

Lemon Chicken and Spinach Orzo Soup | Cooking Classy

Scuh a comforting soup if you come down with a cold or when you’re just getting over the flu (knock on wood).

Plus, to me, it even seems like a detox soup with the generous amount of spinach, the fresh lemon juice, garlic and other veggies.

It’s a perfectly filling soup and it’s an ideal way to relax after a long day – with a big bowl of this and a thick slice of fresh french bread slathered with butter. Don’t mind if I do.

Lemon Chicken and Spinach Orzo Soup | Cooking Classy

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Lemon Chicken and Spinach Orzo Soup

4.96 from 25 votes

A chicken soup that's loaded with tiny bits of tender orzo, lean, protein rich chicken breasts, veggies (carrots, celery and spinach) and it's enhanced with a nice zip of bright lemon. A delicious soup to serve any day of the year!

Servings: 5
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots (about 3 large)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 medium)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp each dried basil, thyme and rosemary
  • 1 cup (5.8 oz) dried orzo pasta
  • 1 parmesan rind, plus shredded parmesan for serving
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 5 oz (5 packed cups) fresh spinach, roughly chopped


  1. Place chicken on a cutting board, cover with plastic wrap and pound evenly to about 1/2-inch thickness. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. 
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil a large enameled cast iron pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sear on both sides until browned, about 2 - 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate leaving oil in pan. 
  3. Add an additional 1/2 Tbsp olive oil to pan then add carrots, celery and onion and saute 3 minutes. Move veggies to the side, add garlic and saute 1 minute. 
  4. Pour in chicken broth, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary and season with salt and pepper to taste. Return chicken to pot and bring to a simmer. 
  5. Add orzo and parmesan rind, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer stirring occasionally, about 8 - 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (it should register 165 degrees in center on an instant read thermometer). 
  6. Remove parmesan rind and chicken and transfer chicken to a cutting board. Let chicken rest 5 minutes then cut into very small cubes, about the length of the orzo. Meanwhile continue to cook soup, covered while chicken is resting.

  7. Return chicken to soup along with lemon juice, lemon zest and spinach and heat through. Serve warm with parmesan cheese. Note that as soup rests the pasta will absorb the broth so you can as a little more broth as desired.
Nutrition Facts
Lemon Chicken and Spinach Orzo Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 395 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 58mg 19%
Sodium 514mg 21%
Potassium 1151mg 33%
Total Carbohydrates 41g 14%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 6g
Protein 28g 56%
Vitamin A 184.7%
Vitamin C 28.9%
Calcium 10.2%
Iron 15.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: chicken soup, Orzo Soup
Calories: 395 kcal
Author: Jaclyn


  • Carrol: Made on this cold winter day and it was delicious. My husband was cleaning the back bathroom and kept coming out saying he was drawn to the kitchen by the aromas coming from the kitchen! Even more fun is he does the majority of the cooking and I the cleaning so it was a fun reversal. We added a crusty loaf of French bread and butter and warmed our bodies and our hearts. Thank you for posting the recipe. February 17, 2019 at 6:36pm Reply

  • Michelle: One of the best lemon orzo soups I have ever had! Didn’t use the Parmesan rind and I did use frozen spinach – the whole family enjoyed it and I’ll make it again!!! February 12, 2019 at 7:01pm Reply

  • Christine Savinelli: This soup is so yummy, thanks for sharing. I make this with Jasmine Rice instead of Orzo myself.😀 February 7, 2019 at 7:24pm Reply

  • Gardener&Cook: Mighty tasty. Best freshly made. Omitted the chicken breast but otherwise followed the recipe, halving the quantities to serve 2. Used homemade chicken broth. December 15, 2018 at 10:33am Reply

  • Barbara Pfeiffer: Wonderful! December 5, 2018 at 2:18pm Reply

  • Pamela Ventorini: This was delicious. It is definitely a remake. The only thing I would do differently is add more spinach. Thanks for a quick and easy soup. September 24, 2018 at 4:21pm Reply

  • Brandy RN: Great soup. Made it the first time as per the recipe. It was fantastic! I then took liberty with using my own turkey stock, garden vegetables ( and substituting my garden kale for the spinach) & using leftover rice from Chinese take out instead of pasta. Superoir results even w/substitutions! It will freeze nicely using rice or barley. Take this recipe & use what you have. It’s SO nourishing and tastes wonderful! September 8, 2018 at 11:49am Reply

  • Brandy Van: Absolutely delicious! I just made this to ease my sniffles and make myself feel better and, man, did it hit the spot! The only changes I made were to caramelize the onions first and I used wild rice instead of orzo pasta. I love the addition of the parmesan rind! I’ve never even heard of that, bit it added a great flavor to the broth. This is going in my favorites stash and will be my go to under the weather elixir. Thanks so much! August 7, 2018 at 12:27pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the feedback! August 7, 2018 at 2:38pm Reply

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