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A bowl of Greek lemon chicken orzo soup (avgolemono soup) on a striped napkin.

Greek Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup (Kotosoupa Avgolemono)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 25 reviews
  • Author: Asha
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Soups
  • Cuisine: Greek


This delicious Greek lemon chicken orzo soup is rich, velvety, and tangy, prepared with authentic avgolemono egg-lemon sauce.



2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 medium carrot, diced small

1 small onion, diced small

3 cloves garlic, minced

10 cups (2.4L) chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1 cup (210g) orzo, dry

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup (118ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 large eggs, room temperature

fresh herbs, chopped (Optional garnish. Parsley, dill, or chives.)


Small dice the onion and carrot, and mince the cloves of garlic. Cut the chicken into small, bite-sized pieces and season them with salt and pepper.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Sauté the chicken for 2-3 minutes, then remove from the pan and set aside for now.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the pot. Sauté the diced onion and carrot for 3-4 minutes, then add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add in the chicken broth and bay leaves, and raise the temperature to high heat.

Once the broth is boiling, add in the cooked chicken, dry orzo, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the orzo has cooked, about 10-12 minutes. Remove the soup pot from the heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice with the eggs.

Then very slowly pour in 2 ladle-fulls of broth from the pot, all the while continuing to whisk. The slow addition of the warm broth will temper the eggs, creating the avgolemono sauce. (Adding the broth too quickly will result in cooked pieces of egg.)

Pour the avgolemono sauce into the pot and stir it in to combine.

Serve and optionally garnish with some chopped fresh herbs.


  • Cooked, shredded chicken can be used instead of cooking raw chicken. You can boil is yourself or use rotisserie chicken to save time. Add it into the pot right before you add in the avgolemono sauce.
  • Rice can be used instead of orzo for a more traditional style and thicker soup. Arborio rice, an Italian short-grain rice, is often used because it thickens the soup nicely. If you don't have arborio, another short grain rice would be best. However, any type of rice can be used, such as jasmine, basmati, or brown. If you use rice, rinse it well first. And the simmer time will be longer until the rice is tender (about 15-20 minutes or so).


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 141
  • Sugar: 2.2 g
  • Sodium: 1020.2 mg
  • Fat: 5.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13 g
  • Protein: 9.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 74.9 mg
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