Chicken Orzo Soup

Chicken Orzo Soup

This soup is a perfect way to welcome spring with its fresh and bright flavors. It’s made with chicken, orzo, lemon, dill and coriander, and it’s easy to prepare with leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken. It’s also hearty and satisfying, with a tangy and earthy taste that will warm you up.


  • 1 leftover roasted chicken with at least 1-2 cups of meat on it (or 8-12 ounces of chicken breast and 8 cups of chicken stock – see notes)
  • 10 cups of water
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon of toasted coriander seeds (or 1 tablespoon of ground coriander)
  • 1 cup of orzo pasta
  • 2 lemons (1/4-1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of fresh dill, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. If using a leftover roasted chicken, place it in a large pot with water, onion and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for an hour. (If using chicken breast or thighs, skip this step and see notes below).
  2. Strain the broth and reserve it. Let the chicken cool slightly, then shred the meat and discard the bones and skin.
  3. In the same pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, celery and carrots and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the coriander seeds (or ground coriander) and lemon zest and stir well.
  5. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  6. Add the orzo and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until the orzo is tender.
  7. Stir in the chicken meat, lemon juice and dill. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Enjoy your soup with some crusty bread or a dollop of sour cream if you like.


  • If using chicken breast or thighs instead of leftover roasted chicken, season them with salt and pepper and bake them in a 375°F oven for 25 minutes or until cooked through. Cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Use store-bought or homemade chicken stock instead of water in step 1.


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