Mediterranean Chicken Orzo Soup

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 25 min.


6 servings (2-1/2 quarts)

Updated: Jun. 30, 2023
My husband is Greek, so I'm always trying new Mediterranean recipes. This lemon chicken orzo soup is his favorite dish that I make. Serve it with a little feta or Parmesan and a side of toast. —Kristine Kosturos, Olympia, Washington.
Mediterranean Chicken Orzo Soup Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine or additional reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 carton (32 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Minced fresh parsley, optional


  1. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 6-8 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove from pan.
  2. In same pan, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add vegetables, salt, oregano and pepper; cook and stir 4-6 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add wine, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Stir in broth, rosemary and bay leaf; bring to a boil.
  3. Add orzo. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 15-18 minutes or until orzo is tender, stirring occasionally. Return chicken to pan; heat through. Stir in lemon zest and juice; remove bay leaf. If desired, top each serving with parsley.

Mediterranean Chicken Orzo Soup Tips

Can you put raw chicken in boiling soup?

Yes, it is considered safe to boil raw chicken in soup. But searing your meat first when making this lemon chicken orzo soup recipe gives the chicken a different texture and more flavor.

Can you overcook chicken in soup?

Yes, unfortunately, you can. Overcooked chicken will taste dry and tough, even if it's in a broth. Stick to the cook time in this recipe to keep everything tasting fresh and tender.

What goes well with lemon chicken orzo soup?

This chicken orzo soup contains veggies, meat and starch all in one, so you don't really need anything else. But it does go well with a slice of?home-baked bread,?or make a?simple Mediterranean salad?to serve on the side.

Research contributed by Elizabeth Harris

Nutrition Facts

1-2/3 cups: 223 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 31mg cholesterol, 630mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 5g fiber), 17g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.