Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

ReneePaj 41

"Inspired by Panera Bread's version, this soup delivers on flavor. Tender chicken in a lemony broth with orzo pasta, carrots, onions, celery, and baby spinach. This has quickly become one of my family's very favorite soup recipes."
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1 h 20 m servings 167 cals
Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 12 servings



  • Calories:
  • 167 kcal
  • 8%
  • Fat:
  • 4.1 g
  • 6%
  • Carbs:
  • 21.7g
  • 7%
  • Protein:
  • 12.1 g
  • 24%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 20 mg
  • 7%
  • Sodium:
  • 187 mg
  • 7%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook orzo in the boiling water until partially cooked through but not yet soft, about 5 minutes; drain and rinse with cold water until cooled completely.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir carrots, celery, and onion in hot oil until the vegetables begin to soften and the onion becomes translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Season mixture with thyme, oregano, salt, black pepper, and bay leaf; continue cooking another 30 seconds before pouring chicken broth into the pot.
  3. Bring the broth to a boil. Partially cover the pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir orzo, lemon juice, and lemon zest into the broth; add chicken. Cook until the chicken and orzo are heated through, about 5 minutes. Add baby spinach; cook until the spinach wilts into the broth and the orzo is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with lemon slices and Parmesan cheese.


  1. 127 Ratings

Most helpful positive review

I made this for lunch and it was spectacular. The spices were right on. Really, really good!! I cut the recipe in half and added the lemon "to taste". I have made enough recipes with lemon to kn...

Most helpful critical review

Fine. May as well make avolemona instead

I made this for lunch and it was spectacular. The spices were right on. Really, really good!! I cut the recipe in half and added the lemon "to taste". I have made enough recipes with lemon to kn...

Wonderful soup. Only change was to keep the orzo and soup separate as I planned on eating this over several days and didn't want the orzo to absorb all the broth.

I reduced the serving size to four servings and added in more veggies and orzo, and half the fresh juiced lemon, all the called for spices but dashed until it reached the flavor I like. I took t...

I had been CRAVING that Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup that Panera bread only serves in the summer for 2 months and it was not to be found. I found this recipe and it totally nailed the soup!!! I was f...

Why would you cook the chicken first? Add the raw chicken to give the store bought broth more flavor. Make sure the chicken is cooked before serving.

I would give this recipe more than 5 stars if I could. It is that good. So fresh, lemony, savory...really excellent. Easy to make and fast for a soup. I agree with others that you should leave t...

Excited to try this recipe! Just had this for the first time at Panera this week! Making today

Made this as the Buzz Recipe Group selection. Since we enjoyed this so much, I would rate it higher than five stars if that were possible. For the chicken, I used the remains of a Roast Sticky ...

Oh my god this soup is AMAZING! It's so light but still has so much flavor. It's much better if you make your own chicken stock as well. The only thing I added was half a cup of dry white wine w...