Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup (Instant Pot or stovetop)

This lemon chicken orzo soup is a delicious and easy recipe that comes together quickly. Perfect for a week night dinner!

Two bowls lemon chicken orzo soup from overhead with bread

And now I am updating this recipe to include new photos and Instant Pot instructions. You can also make it on the stovetop.

It is not any quicker to make this in the Instant Pot than it is on the stovetop. But it does infuse flavor, so I know a lot of you to prefer to make it that way, even if it is not faster.

I originally published this recipe right after Mallory’s birth. It was the first thing I made for the blog after she was born.🥰 You know that newborn cocoon phase? It seems like ages ago, but I am sure all you mamas can relate. Not much time for nonsense or extra anything.🤪

If you are in a newborn phase (or ANY busy life phase), don’t be afraid to use some short cuts! I used all the short cuts when I originally created this recipe.

Feel free to do the same. Pre-cut carrots from the grocery store, frozen diced onions (<- I did NOT even know these were a thing!), store-bought rotisserie chicken…basically anything to make cooking dinner a slightly more attainable goal.

diced onion carrot and celery with knife on wood cutting board

If you are in a more homemade and made-from-scratch mood, feel free to use homemade chicken bone broth or homemade whole chicken.

This recipe reminds me of my chicken noodle soup from scratch…but with an Italian twist. Instead of noodles, I use orzo. I am using whole wheat orzo today, but we also use regular orzo all the time. Both are delicious and work well in this recipe.😎👌🏻I do prefer the wheat, simply because it seems a little sturdier and stands up to reheating leftovers.

Lemon chicken orzo soup has a few different herbs like rosemary and thyme, plus a squeeze of fresh lemon juice at the end for a little pop of flavor. It is so, SO good! Warm, comforting, filling and delicious, y’all.

ladle dipping out chicken orzo soup from an Instant Pot


Lemon chicken orzo soup is a meal that also happens to be pretty healthy, which I love. It has tons of immunity boosting ingredients. 👊🏻 So it is great to make when you or somebody you love isn’t feeling well.

But it also tastes great. Everything I make has to feed my husband, son and ultra picky (now) three-year-old daughter as well. And they all enthusiastically approve.

lemon chicken orzo soup in a white bowl with a spoon

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Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup Recipe

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lemon chicken orzo soup in a white bowl with a spoon

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

This lemon chicken orzo soup is a delicious and easy recipe that comes together quickly. Perfect for a week night dinner!

Author Marjorie @APinchOfHealthy


  • cooking spray
    or 1 Tablespoon oil of choice: olive or avocado would be my top picks
  • 1
    medium onion
  • 3
    peeled and diced (I used 2 of pre-sliced carrot chips)
  • 2
    stalks celery
  • 3
  • 6
    chicken stock
  • 1
    cooked chicken
    shredded or cut into bite-sized chunks (I used store bought rotisserie chicken)
  • 1
    fresh thyme
    or half teaspoon of dried
  • 1
    sprig rosemary
    or half teaspoon dried
  • 2
  • 1
    uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
    to taste
  • Optional toppings: fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsley & parmesan cheese


Stovetop Instructions

  1. Heat cooking spray or oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat.

  2. Add onion, carrots and celery. Cook the vegetables, and stir occasionally until tender, about 5 minutes.

  3. Stir in garlic, thyme and bay leaves until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  4. Pour in the chicken stock, and bring to a boil.

  5. Stir in orzo, rosemary and cooked chicken.

  6. After re-boil, reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender, about 10 minutes.

  7. Stir in lemon juice, and add salt and pepper, to taste.

  8. Remove bay leaves and rosemary sprig.

  9. Top with parsley and parmesan cheese.

  10. Serve immediately.

Instant Pot Instructions

  1. Spray the inner pot with cooking spray (or add oil), and set to sauté, allowinbg the pot to heat up for a minute or two.

  2. Add onion, celery and carrots, and cook about 3 to 4 minutes.

  3. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.

  4. Add chicken stock, chicken, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and pasta.

  5. Place the lid on, and lock it to sealing.

  6. Cook on low pressure for 4 minutes. (Note: mine took about 20 minutes to come up to pressure.)

  7. Allow the pot to release naturally for 5 minutes, and then use the quick release lever to release the remaining pressure.

  8. Stir in lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information is approximate and was calculated using a recipe nutrition label generator.

Nutrition Facts

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Amount Per Serving

Calories 153
Calories from Fat 36

% Daily Value*

Fat 4g6%

Cholesterol 5mg2%

Sodium 300mg13%

Potassium 420mg12%

Carbohydrates 22g7%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 5g6%

Protein 7g14%

Vitamin A 8090IU162%

Vitamin C 5.4mg7%

Calcium 38mg4%

Iron 1.2mg7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Note: This recipe originally appeared on A Pinch of Healthy January 29, 2016. The recipe is the same, but I refreshed the photos.


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