This Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup has been on repeat all winter long at our house. It very well may be my favorite soup and that says a lot because I consider myself quite the soup fanatic.
Not only is this soup incredibly nourishing but it is packed full of flavor and incredibly easy to make.
This has been a dish I have made a lot the past couple months for meal prep. It is the perfect make ahead dinner or lunch.
I don’t know if any of you have ever eaten at Tazikis but this lemon chicken and rice soup was kind of inspired by the one that they sell. I just wanted to create a healthier, homemade version.
Ingredients for Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup
Carrots, celery and onion
I consider these three ingredients the holy trinity base for chicken soup. You really can’t go wrong making a soup if you have these three ingredients. They add so much flavor and are also packed with nutrients.
Basil, dill and rosemary
Fresh herbs are not always something you see in chicken and rice soup but as I played around with different variations f this recipe I settled on this combination. They all bring different flavors to the soup and the freshness really permeates the whole dish.
The queen of this dish! In this chicken soup you will be using lemon juice and lemon zest. There is so much flavor to be found in the zest of the lemon so using a combination of the two really brings the lemon flavor to the forefront.
Is there a better combinations than chicken and rice? It is so incredibly nostalgic for me. This lemon soup recipe calls for shredded chicken and you can really use whatever kind of chicken you prefer. I often will just pick up a rotisserie chicken if I am in a hurry or some leftover shredded chicken from another meal.
So you don’t “need” the rice in this soup but it really does make it a lot heartier. Feel free to use whatever rice that you prefer. We typically use white for this soup but brown rice is also delicious.
How to Make Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup
Start by heating a large soup pot or dutch oven and then add the oil. Sauté the onion, celery, carrots and bell peppers for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
Next you want to add the herbs, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and lemon zest and cook until fragrant. This usually doesn’t take very long. 1-2 minutes.
Lastly, you add the lemon juice and broth to the soup and put a lid on top and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes or until everything is tender.
Add the cooked shredded chicken to the soup and let simmer for a few more minutes. You can add some cooked rice to your bowl and top with the lemon chicken soup and enjoy!
FAQS and Tips for Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup
How do I zest a lemon?
Zesting a lemon is actually really easy. You want to use a small grater or microplane like THIS and rub it along the peel of the lemon. The tiny sharp blades will remove the skin from the lemon. You want to get the top layer and avoid the white skin because it can have a bitter flavor.
How strong is the lemon flavor in this chicken soup?
Now this lemon chicken and rice soup has some serious lemon flavor. Everyone has a personal preference when it comes to the amount of citrus in a soup so if you are more shy with the lemon flavor I would recommend reducing the amount and tasting it as it cooks. You can always adjust the amount to your taste.
Should I use bone broth or stock?
Either one will work. I usually prefer to use bone broth because we make our own but I have used store-bought stock and the soup was just as tasty. This chicken soup contains a lot of broth so just purchase one that you really love the flavor of.
How do you buy fresh herbs?
Most local grocery stores will carry the fresh dill, rosemary and basil. They often are in small plastic packages near the produce. If you want find one of the fresh herbs don’t fret. You can just omit it and increase another of the herbs a little bit.
Is there a low-carb option for the rice?
If you are looking for a low-carb or keto option you could substitute cauliflower rice or just omit the rice completely.
Looking for some other soup recipes? Check out some of my personal favorites!
A zesty Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup. A simple and nourishing soup that can be thrown together in a matter of minutes.
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small white onion, diced (approximately 1 cup)
- 2 stalks celery, diced (approximately 1 cup)
- 2 carrots, diced (approximately 1 cup)
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped (approximately 1 cup)
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Zest of 3 lemons
- Juice of 3 lemons (or more to taste)
- 8 cups broth
- 3.5 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 2–3 cups cooked rice (optional)*
- Heat oil in large dutch oven. Add the onion, celery, carrots and bell pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
- Add the garlic, herbs, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Cook until fragrant. About 1-2 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice and broth and put a lid on the pot and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
- Add the shredded chicken and cook for a few more minutes. Taste and adjust salt and lemon if necessary and then serve while hot. Top with rice if desired.
- If you are looking for a low-carb option you can use cauliflower rice in place of regular or just serve without any rice.
Keywords: lemon chicken soup, healthy chicken soup, chicken and rice soup, gluten-free lemon chicken soup, easy chicken soup