Bright, creamy, and easy Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup features rotisserie chicken, dill, and tempered eggs for a satisfying 20-minute dinner. This creamy Greek lemon soup recipe is surprisingly dairy-free and sure to brighten your day.
Don’t be surprised if this weeknight soup recipe becomes a staple in your kitchen. It covers all of your bases: it’s healthy, protein-packed, easy to make and comes together in less than 20 minutes.
This is a fun short-cut recipe because you make it with rotisserie chicken. But each bowl of warm soup still has all the homemade touches of homemade chicken soup, including springy orzo pasta and tender veggies.
One thing I guarantee is that you won’t need to head to Panera for your favorite orzo soup anymore!
Here’s what you need for this creamy soup recipe:
- Chopped carrots and onions for color and a classic Greek flavor base.
- Low-sodium chicken broth
- Whole-wheat orzo, though you can substitute it with regular orzo if you prefer
- Shredded rotisserie chicken
- Juice from two fresh lemons
- Two eggs for tempering and thickening the soup without dairy
- Fresh spinach, for a pop of green
- Dried dill for flavor
How to Make Chicken Orzo Soup
Making this weeknight dinner is a matter of one pot, one bowl and a few pantry staple ingredeints.
This is a great recipe for beginner home cooks, as you get a head start with store-bought rotisserie chicken. The only cooking technique that might be new to you is tempering eggs (more on that below).
Otherwise, you’ll simply sauté carrots and onion in a bit of oil then add chicken broth to simmer the whole wheat orzo. Then you’ll thicken the broth with tempered eggs. Stirring in the shredded chicken and plenty of lemon juice to brighten things up. Finally, add spinach and cook until just wilted before seasoning the dish with dried dill for the classic Mediterranean flavor profile.
How to Temper Eggs into Creamy Lemon Soup
While it sounds advanced, tempering eggs is a quick and easy culinary technique that’s the key to creamy custards and thick, textured soups like this one.
Tempering means to bring the temperature of two different items (one hot, one cold), to the same level. In this case, you’re tempering cold beaten eggs into hot soup broth.
To temper the eggs, whisk them in a large bowl until smooth. Then add one ladle of hot soup into the bowl of eggs, whisking continuously. This warms the eggs up but not enough to cook them. Once this is whisked smooth, add all of the eggs into the soup pot. The eggs will cook slowly and evenly. This way, they’ll enrich and thicken the lemon chicken orzo soup, rather than leave you with clumps of scrambled eggs floating in your broth.
Is Greek Lemon Soup Dairy-Free?
Yes, even though this soup is incredibly creamy, it’s 100% dairy-free. All that thick, creamy texture comes from the eggs!
Can I Make Soup Ahead of Time?
Greek lemon chicken soup with orzo will stay fresh for up to four days in an airtight container in the fridge. Or you can freeze the fully cooled soup and keep it on hand for a fast weeknight dinner. To defrost, let the container thaw overnight in the fridge or run under cold water. Then simply reheat on the stove.
What to Serve with Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
Greek lemon chicken orzo soup is a complete meal all on its own alongside a torn piece of crusty bread. Or you can serve this recipe as a side dish with a hearty entree. I love to pair this soup with other Mediterranean flavors like:
- Greek Grilled Pork Chops
- Homemade Greek Flatbread from Curious Cusiniere
- Greek Zucchini Balls
- Greek Yogurt Lemon Pudding
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- 1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
- 2 carrots peeled, sliced
- 2 tbsp chopped onion
- 5 cups chicken broth
- ½ cup whole-wheat orzo
- 1 ½ cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- 2 lemons juiced
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup fresh spinach
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 teaspoons dried dill weed
- Beat the eggs and lemon juice in a bowl.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add the carrots and onion.
- Cook, stirring for 5 minutes.
- Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Add the orzo and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Ladle some of the broth into the bowl with the eggs and whisk to temper them.
- Pour the tempered eggs into the broth in the pot and stir to combine.
- Add the chicken and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted.
- Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper and add dill.
- Ladle soup into the bowls and serve.