This Gluten-Free Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup recipe is easy to make and satisfying! A velvety broth with tender chicken and vegetables has all the comfort of chicken noodle soup but with the added brightness of flavorful lemon and dill. Try it and it might just become your new favorite chicken soup recipe!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Gluten-free comfort foods are kind of my thing and let me tell ya, this take on Greek lemon chicken orzo soup is like a warm hug on a cold day!
This recipe might just become your new favorite chicken soup recipe for when a loved one is sick or just to brighten a cold and gloomy day.
Don't get me wrong, I love a classic gluten-free chicken noodle soup recipe but this recipe takes chicken noodle to a whole new level. The lemon and dill don't overpower the soup but rather add a delicate brightness and so much flavor!
Not to mention, this is one of those easy recipes to make. All you need to do is chop a few veggies and toss everything in a pot to simmer. Add a few finishing touches and you're done!
If you love a good soup as much as I do, be sure to check out some of my other favorites! Like this Panera copycat gluten-free broccoli cheddar soup, simple gluten-free potato soup, gluten-free spinach tortellini soup, or this gluten-free chili!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Chicken: Use boneless skinless chicken breasts, thighs, or leftover cooked chicken. It all works!
- Chicken Broth or Chicken Stock: Watch out for bouillons and broths on a gluten-free diet. Not all are gluten free.
- Gluten-Free Orzo: Regular orzo is not gluten-free but you can find a gluten-free version from Dellalo or Jovial foods. If you prefer, substitute long grain rice, brown rice, or another gluten-free pasta.
- White Wine: This is totally optional! It will add a little extra flavor though.
- Eggs: When tempered and added to the broth, eggs add a special creaminess to the broth without dairy! But if you can't tolerate or don't want to add eggs, they can be omitted. It won't affect the flavor but rather the thickness of the broth.
- Dill & Bay Leaf: These herbs add so much flavor without being overpowering. Feel free to use fresh or dried herbs. Fresh dill will be a little stronger in flavor than dried but either is delicious! If you really don't like dill, feel free to use Thyme or even Italian seasoning.
- Fresh Lemon Juice: A bit of lemon juice adds just the right amount of brightness and flavor. It really takes this soup from good to spectacular!
- Spinach: A few handfuls of fresh spinach add another layer of nutrition and texture. Omit if you like. Kale would be a good substitute here, but be sure to simmer it a little longer since its leaves are a little tougher than spinach. This spinach and ricotta quiche is a great way to use up any extra spinach left after making this recipe.
- Carrots, celery, onion, and garlic: This dynamic vegetable quartet is the base of flavor for this soup!
Other Dietary Considerations
- Dairy Free: This soup is naturally dairy-free!
- Egg Free: You can simply omit the eggs. The soup will be more brothy, but just as delicious. If you'd like to thicken the soup, whisk 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water, then add to the soup along with the spinach. Allow to simmer gently until the soup has thickened slightly.
- Lower Carb: Substitute 2 cups frozen cauliflower rice for the orzo.
- Sauté the vegetables in olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot or large dutch oven over medium heat.
- Once tender, deglaze the bottom of the pot with the white wine. Then add the chicken, broth, and herbs.
- Allow the soup to simmer on low until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate and add the gluten-free orzo.
- While the orzo cooks, shred the chicken with two forks or dice it up with a knife on a cutting board.
- Meanwhile, temper the eggs. Remove some of the hot broth from the pan and set aside. Whisk the eggs in a small measuring cup or bowl.
- Slowly whisk the warm broth into the eggs. This will warm up the eggs so they don't scramble when added to the soup.
- Once the orzo is al dente, add the spinach and chicken back to the pot.
- Lastly, slowly pour the egg mixture back into the soup while stirring continuously.
Once everything is back in the pot, stir until the spinach has wilted. Then it's time to serve with your favorite gluten-free crackers! Garnish the soup with fresh parsley or parmesan cheese, if desired.
How Can I Make It Faster?
The best tip for making this soup in less time is to use pre-cooked chicken, whether that be shredded store-bought rotisserie chicken from a gluten-free Costco run or leftover baked and diced chicken.
If you use precooked chicken, you will not have to cook the soup quite as long, which will save you 15-20 minutes or so. Follow these modified steps:
- Sauté the veggies in the pot until tender.
- Deglaze with the wine.
- Add the broth, shredded gluten-free rotisserie chicken, herbs, and orzo.
- Simmer until the orzo is tender.
- Temper and add the eggs to the soup.
- Stir in the lemon juice and spinach.
Can I Make This Soup In a Slow Cooker?
If you'd like to make this soup in a slow cooker, follow these modified directions:
- Sauté the vegetables in a skillet.
- Add the veggies, broth, chicken, and herbs to the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook on low 4-6 hours.
- Remove and shred the chicken.
- Return the chicken to the crock pot along with the orzo.
- Cook another 30 minutes or until the orzo is tender.
- Add the lemon juice, spinach, and tempered eggs (as instructed in the recipe).
- Stir to wilt the spinach.
- Keep on the warm setting or serve.
Can I Make It In The Instant Pot?
Technically, yes. Although in the end, as an Instant Pot recipe, there will not be much of a time savings for you. Also, the soup itself will be more soupy and bland. If you'd still like to make this soup in the Instant pot or pressure cooker, follow these modified steps:
- Set the Instant Pot to sauté and let heat until the display reads 'hot'. Add the oil and vegetables to the pot and then sauté until tender.
- Add in the herbs, chicken, and broth.
- Cook on High pressure for 20 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally or do a controlled quick release of the pressure.
- Remove the chicken and add the orzo.
- Cook on High pressure for 5 minutes (or half of the directed pasta cook time).
- Meanwhile, shred the chicken.
- Use a controlled quick release to release the pressure.
- Add the chicken back in along with the lemon juice and spinach.
- Stir in the tempered eggs.
- Serve with desired garnishes.
Any leftover soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Reheat in a saucepan on the stovetop or in the microwave. Add a little more water if needed to thin the broth.
Top Recipe Tips
- Don't overdo the lemon! When I first made the soup, I added the juice of a whole lemon. It was a bit much! Start with half a lemon and add more according to your tastes!
- If you want an extra lemony punch, add the lemon zest as well! Use a microplane grater to remove the zest before you cut open the lemon.
- Add additional broth. If the soup is thicker than you'd like, feel free to add more broth or water to thin it out.
- Be sure to temper the eggs properly! Otherwise you'll have scrambled eggs in your soup and no one wants that! The key is to whisk quickly while slowly adding the hot broth to the eggs. Then stir quickly while slowly adding the tempered eggs to the soup.
More Gluten-Free Chicken Recipes You'll Love
I hope you enjoy this greek lemon chicken soup recipe. This healthy soup is one of those simple recipes the whole family is sure love! It's a classic chicken soup that has been elevated just enough to be new and exciting, yet just as comforting. Be sure to check out more of my gluten-free soup recipes before you go!
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Gluten-Free Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 carrots
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt , more/less to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, more/less to taste
- ¼ cup white wine
- 1 lb chicken breasts
- 5 cups chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon dried dill, 2 teaspoons fresh
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup gluten-free orzo
- 2 large eggs, *see notes for substitution
- ½ lemon
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- Finely dice the onion, celery, and carrots. Mince the garlic. Heat large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat with the olive oil.
- Add the onion, celery, and carrots to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté the vegetables until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Once the vegetables are tender, add the white wine and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.
- Add the chicken, chicken broth, dill, and bay leaves to the pot. Place the lid on the pot and turn the heat medium-low. Allow the soup to simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. (Check with an instant read thermometer that the chicken has reached 165°F.)
- Once cooked, remove the chicken to a plate and add the gluten-free orzo to the soup. Simmer for the amount of time indicated on the package of orzo, usually about 10-11 minutes.
- While the orzo cooks, shred the chicken and temper the eggs.
- To temper the eggs: Whisk the eggs in a small measuring cup. Then slowly whisk some of the warm broth into the eggs, about ½ cup broth is fine. Set aside.
- Once the orzo is tender, add the spinach, juice from half of the lemon, and the shredded chicken to the pot. Stir to wilt the spinach. (Also add the cornstarch mixture during this step if ommiting the eggs. Simmer for a few minutes to thicken slightly, then serve.)
- While stirring continuously, slowly drizzle the egg mixture into the soup.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more lemon juice, salt, and/or pepper, if desired. Serve and enjoy.
- Don't overdo the lemon. Start with half a lemon and add more according to your tastes.
- If you want an extra lemony punch, add the zest from the lemon as well. Use a microplane grater to remove the zest before you cut open the lemon.
- Add more broth. If the soup is thicker than you'd like, feel free to add more broth or water to thin it out.
- Be sure to temper the eggs properly! The key is to whisk quickly while slowly adding the hot broth to the eggs. Then stir quickly while slowly adding the tempered eggs to the soup.
- Egg-Free Substitution: whisk 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water, then add to the soup along with the spinach. Allow to simmer gently until the soup has thickened slightly.