This Greek Lemon Chicken Soup recipe will most definitely be a hit! It's hearty, bright, delicious, and so flavorful - it is creamy without being over the top or too rich. This soup is very similar to traditional Greek avgolemono soup - but without the egg - making this version MUCH easier to make.
Watch Greek Chicken Lemon Soup Video
You'll Love This Greek Lemon Soup with Orzo
"This soup is delicious! If you have ever made an avgolemono soup recipe, you will love this simplified version - NO tempering eggs, it's easy, and it has terrific flavor."
Eggless Avgolemono Soup
Greek lemon chicken soup is very similar to Avgolemono soup, but it just doesn't use any egg. The sauce base is chicken stock, egg, and lemon juice. When using eggs, you have to temper the soup, which can be a tedious task, so that is why I decided to make this soup without them. You can't even tell the difference!
When compared to the traditional Greek version of Avgolemono soup, this recipe is much faster to make. Enjoy a bowl of this delicious, tangy, indulgent soup in less than 40 minutes from start to finish!
This recipe is great because you can adapt it to your dietary needs.
Make it keto by replacing the orzo with cauliflower rice and using a full-fat dairy and chicken thighs instead of chicken breast! Use xanthan gum as the thickener.
Make it lower in fat by using fat-free half and half, chicken breast, and low-fat broth. Spinach is added so you can get more veggies in - and you can always sneak in more if you want.
Greek Lemon Soup with Chicken Ingredients
Here is an overview of the ingredients you will need to make this lemon chicken soup Greek recipe:
- Olive Oil - use any preferred oil option.
- Onion - use yellow or white onions.
- Celery Stalks
- Chicken Broth - you can get the fat-free or reduced sodium broth.
- Fresh Lemon Juice - fresh squeezed lemon juice has the best best flavor!
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast - you can use shredded chicken by adding whole chicken breasts, then simmering until they are very tender and then shredding.
- Dried Thyme - feel free to use fresh thyme in place of the dried.
- Dried Oregano - fresh can be used instead of dried.
- Bay Leaves - these are used during the cooking process but removed at the end before enjoying.
- Orzo - this looks like long-grain rice but is actually a type of pasta! Very commonly used in Italian dishes and more common in soups. It's delicious!
- Spinach - fresh spinach adds some color and fresh vegetables.
- White Wine - any kind of dry cooking wine of your choice.
- Half and Half - you can use any brand or fat content that you like.
- Cornstarch or Xanthan Gum - used as a thickening agent with the half and half in the soup to give it a rich, decadent end result.
For exact ingredient quantities, please see the recipe card below!
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Substitutions and Variations
- Feel free to substitute the chicken thighs with either chicken breasts, boneless thighs, or even rotisserie chicken. Add any cooked chicken after the pasta is cooked. Let the soup simmer until the chicken is warmed through.
- Use more vegetables such as carrots and zucchini.
- Substitute kale for the spinach.
- Make it keto by substituting the orzo with cauliflower rice.
- Adjust any of the seasonings to your liking.
- Use fat-free half and half and low-sodium chicken broth options to make it even healthier. Feel free to use chicken stock in place of the broth if preferred.
How To Make Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
Here is a brief overview for making this soup recipe. The recipe card at the bottom contains full details. Enjoy!
- Saute the onion and celery until soft and golden.
- Add broth, chicken breast, lemon juice, wine, thyme, oregano, and bay leaves.
- Cover and simmer to blend flavor.
- Add pasta and spinach and continue to cook until pasta is tender.
- Make the thickener and add to soup. Simmer until the desired thickness is reached.
- Remove bay leaves and serve.
How To Serve Lemon Greek Chicken Soup
Garnish with fresh herbs such as thyme, chives, or parsley. It adds color and a bright flavor!
Top your bowl with some crumbled feta cheese, freshly grated parmesan cheese, or fresh mozzarella cheese.
Meal idea! Serve this delicious Greek Lemon Soup with this super popular Greek Salad! Breadsticks or some great fresh bread go perfectly with this soup as well!
- Continue to whisk or stir your soup and watch the heat when adding the half and half. This will help reduce the chance of scorching.
- Once your vegetables are caramelized and ready for step 2, make sure to add the chicken stock to the pan first. This process is called the deglazing process, which picks up all of the flavors from the bottom of the pan.
- If using xanthan gum, dissolve it in oil (olive is fine) then whisk into half and half then slowly stir into the soup. Start with only ½ teaspoon and use more, if needed, in ¼ teaspoon increments. A little goes a long way.
Avgolemono means egg-lemon, but in Greece is known as a group of family sauces thickened with chicken broth, lemon juice, and egg yolks. Very tasty to most but time-consuming when tempering egg yolks into a hot sauce.
Chicken soup has salty and savory notes, which welcome the sweet, bright tang of the lemon juice. This ingredient helps round out and cut through the dish's saltiness from start to finish.
The top three ingredients that bring much-needed flavor to chicken soup are Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and fish sauce. What these ingredients bring is either acidity or umami to this dish. These sensories both bring much-added depth and roundedness to not only chicken soup but many other dishes as well.
To store your soup, allow it to cool, then cover it in an air-tight container and set it in the refrigerator to store for up to 4 days.
Reheat on low in a medium sauce pot until the soup has reached your desired level of warmth.
Cool first, then transfer to an air-tight container and freeze for up to 2 months. Remember that reheating frozen cream-based soups can be difficult because they tend to break and may need to be re-thickened.
Creamy Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 2 stalks celery (chopped)
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast (cut into ½" pieces)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or, 1 tablespoon fresh)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or, 1 tablespoon fresh)
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cup uncooked orzo pasta (Keto: substitute 1 cup riced cauliflower)
- 2 cups baby spinach
- ¼ cup white wine
- 1 cup half and half (Keto: use full fat or heavy cream)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch (Keto: start with ½ tsp Xanthan gum dissolved in 1 tsp olive oil.)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Add olive oil to a large pot and preheat over medium heat. Add onion and celery and saute until golden and soft, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add broth, chicken breast, lemon juice, wine, thyme, oregano, and bay leaves. Cover and reduce heat to simmer, 10 minutes.
- Add pasta and spinach and continue to cook 10 minutes or until pasta is tender.
- In a small bowl mix the half and half and cornstarch together. Slowly whisk into the soup. Continue to cook, stirring frequently until the soup thickens slightly.If using xanthan gum, dissolve it in olive oil then whisk into half and half then add to the soup. Start with only ½ teaspoon and add more, if needed, in ¼ teaspoon increments. A little goes a long way.
- Remove the bay leaves, adjust salt and pepper as needed. Serve.
- Don't miss all of our helpful hints, substitution ideas, cooking tips, and other delicious recipes that can be found in our post. Check it out!
- VARIATIONS: Fat free half and half can be used to reduce fat. Chicken thighs can be substituted for breast. Feel free to add other vegetables to your soup such as carrots or zucchini.
- MAKE IT KETO: use full fat half and half or heavy cream; use xanthan gum as the thickener; substitute riced cauliflower for the orzo.
- TOP TIPS: Slowly whisk in the cornstarch and half and half to prevent curdling.
- SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Adjust seasoning as needed. Serve garnished with sour cream, feta, or fresh herbs. Serve with a side of Greek Salad and breadsticks.
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More Chicken Soup Recipes
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