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Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup

Let’s talk about a chicken soup recipe for your body, mind and soul…this easy and delicious Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup! It comforts, it satisfies. It has a simple yet absolutely gorgeous flavor, and it makes me want to jump into soup season like WHEEE!

Loaded with fragrant rice, shredded chicken, carrots and celery, this Lemon Chicken Rice Soup is cooked in a rich and flavorful herb lemon chicken broth that is savory with hints of citrus flavors.

Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup

An Easy Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe

One of my favorite soups to order at Greek/Mediterranean restaurants is the Greek Lemon Chicken soup, or also called the Avgolemono soup.

Since discovering it, when I am not ordering Avgolemono soup from restaurants, I make my own version of Lemon Chicken and Rice at home.

This is my take on Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup that is very much inspired by Avgolemono soup. While I cannot promise authenticity, I promise deliciousness!

I have made this for many, many years, and have tweaked and perfected it throughout the years. And I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

For this Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup recipe, chicken bone broth is infused and cooked with garlic, bay leaves and dill, and combined with tender shredded chicken breast, celery, carrots and onions.

And of course, lemon juice. Freshly squeezed lemon juice brings this light citrusy flavor that ties everything together.

This Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup recipe serves approximately 4 people as a main course dish, and 6-8 people as a side, and you can use a dutch oven or a pot to make it.

Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup

Besides being delicious, here are all the other reasons why you will love this:

  • Takes 30 minutes to make! A.k.a. perfect for a quick meal
  • One pot meal – because who doesn’t love that on a busy day?
  • Uses fresh and healthy ingredients
  • It’s the perfect cozy comfort food when the weather cools down!


This Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup calls for simple, pantry-friendly ingredients:

  • chicken bone broth – the heart of a good soup is a good broth. I like to use chicken bone broth because it gives a deep, hearty chicken flavor to the soup, but feel free to use regular chicken broth as that will work as well
  • chicken breast – feel free to use chicken thighs or tenders if that’s what you have at hand. I typically use boneless chicken but bone-in, skin-on chicken works as well. The skin and bones will need to be discarded when you shred the chicken.
  • lemon juice – freshly squeezed is always the best and most flavorful
  • basmati rice – other types of rice such as long grain, jasmine, brown rice, or even orzo pasta can be used as well
  • garlic – fresh garlic cloves are preferred. Avoid using garlic powder. The flavors are just not the same with garlic powder.
  • onion – yellow, white or sweet onion
  • celery 
  • carrots 
  • bay leaves
  • dill – fresh or dried works fine…use whatever you have at hand
  • salt and black pepper – such important spices to truly open up the flavors
  • chicken bouillon – an optional ingredient to further add more flavor to the broth if you desire

How to make Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup

To start making Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup, I like to first chop and prep all the vegetables.

Ingredients for Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup

Once that is done, heat up pot or dutch oven (here is my favorite dutch oven that I use all the time!) with olive oil, then add minced garlic and onions on the stovetop.

Sauté till you can smell the garlic and onion, but avoid burning them.

The idea is to infuse the oil with flavors from the garlic and onion, and subsequently the soup.

Next add carrots and celery. Saute for a minute or so, then add chicken bone broth, bay leaves, dill and lemon juice.

Bring to a boil, add chicken breast (cut into two pieces for quicker cooking) and basmati rice.

I like the texture of basmati rice, because I think it goes well with soup, but feel free to use another type of rice.

Bring the Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup to a boil again, then cook for 10-12 minutes. Once chicken is cooked, bring it out and shred the chicken.

Shredded chicken for Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup
Shredded chicken

Next, add shredded chicken back to the pot of soup.

Add salt and pepper to taste, and to open up the flavors.

If broth is still tasting a bit dull after adding a lot of salt, you can also add a little bit of chicken bouillon to make the broth more flavorful.

Then remove Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup from heat…and serve!

Yummy yummy, come to my tummy!

Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup

There is something soothing and comforting about chicken soups. When it is cold or rainy outside, I love to curl up on my coach, pull some blankets over me, and eating a warm bowl of soup.

Now that Fall is officially here (yes, finally!), I’m just going gaga over soups and stews.

And I’m not gonna lie, this Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup has been on my mind more than it’s probably normal! (Yes I think about food all the time!)

Tip and Tricks

A few things to note when making this Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup:

  • Use good broth! Good soups, especially good clear soups, is made out of good quality broth!
  • Do not overcook rice! Remove from heat promptly after cooking is done.
  • Use precook chicken to speed up the process! If you are press for time, add rotisserie chicken or pre cooked chicken at the end.
  • Add salt at the end to open up the flavors. You will be surprise how much more flavorful it gets with a tiny pinch of salt added! If you want to add even more flavor, add chicken bouillon as desired.

How to Serve It

Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup goes perfectly with some of these:

  • Warm, crusty bread: you really can’t go wrong with bread and soup!
  • Salads: want more veggies? add a side salad and make this a light and healthy meal!
  • By itself: honestly, anything extra is a bonus, not a necessity. Most of the time when I make Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup, I’m looking for an easy one-pot meal to feed the family, and this by itself is both easy and yummy!
Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup

Storage and Reheating

When storing Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup, let it cool for 20-30 minutes before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

When reheating, bring soup to defrost completely if it is frozen, then add a few table spoons of water and reheat in the microwave. Water is added because most likely some of the broth would have dried out and absorbed by the rice at that point.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use chicken thighs instead? How about bone-in, skin-on chicken?

Yes and yes! If using bone-in, skin-on chicken, discard bones and skin when shredding chicken.

How do I cook this with pre-cooked chicken?

Instead of shredding and adding shredded chicken back into the soup, go ahead and add your pre-cooked (shredded) chicken instead!

The broth seems to not be very flavorful…what can I do?

First, try adding a bit of salt and black pepper to open up the flavors. You’ll be surprise by how much flavor a little bit of salt can add to a soup. Next, if it’s still not to your liking, add some chicken bouillon to the soup to add more flavor. If you can, using bone broth or a good quality broth from the very beginning will make the soup a lot tastier. If you are really ambitious (and have time), a good homemade broth can make a big difference as well.

Don’t miss this soupy goodness that is Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup! Grab a spoon and dig in!

DID YOU ENJOY THIS RECIPE? Please comment below and give us a 5-star rating! This will help others find this recipe on Google and Pinterest. We very much appreciate your help! 🤍

Other Soup Recipes

Other Rice Recipes

a pot of chicken soup loaded with lemon, carrots, chicken and rice

Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup

Chicken bone broth infused with herbs, cooked with chicken, rice, lemon juice and lots of veggies. Comfort food for the soul!
4.98 from 35 votes
Print Pin
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 240kcal
Author: MinShien


  • 6 cups chicken broth / chicken bone broth
  • 1-2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 large onion or 1 small/medium onion
  • 1 cup celery sliced
  • 1 cup carrots sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp dill
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup basmati rice
  • 1 large chicken breast cut into two pieces
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • chicken bouillon optional


  • Prep the ingredients by cutting carrots and celery, mixing garlic, slicing onions, cutting chicken breast into two pieces, and juicing lemon.
  • Add olive oil to dutch oven or pot and heat it. Add garlic and onions. Sauté under medium high heat for 1-2 minutes until you can smell the garlic and onions. Avoid burning them.
  • Add carrots and celery to pot, saute for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add chicken bone broth, bay leaves, dill and lemon juice. Bring to a boil.
  • Add chicken breast (cut into two pieces) and rice. Bring to boil, and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until chicken is cooked.
  • Remove and shred chicken. Then bring shredded chicken back into the soup.
  • Remove bay leaves (if you cannot find it, don't worry about it!). Add salt and pepper to taste. Salt is used here to open up flavors – so if the soup isn't very flavorful at this point, salt will help! Optional: Add chicken bouillon to taste for even more flavor!
  • Remove from heat. Serve and enjoy!


Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 1691mg | Potassium: 722mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 5476IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Take a pic and tag me at @joyous.apron, or hashtag #joyousapron on Instagram!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I have to try this, it looks amazing! I don’t think I have ever had lemon in my soup, not sure why just never thought to add it. We always have bone broth here. When we have meat with bones, I put them in the freezer until I have enough to make homemade bone broth. It is very healthy for you!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      I hope you give it a try! And it will be amazing with homemade bone broth! Good broth makes all the difference! 🙂 Let me know what you think when you try it, Dawn! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    This was super simple and delicious, and a great way to kick off soup season! Followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfectly. I was worried about the broth ratio, but the veggies and meat give it a hearty balance.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      That’s wonderful to hear! Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  3. cindy dorn says:

    Did I miss the rice??
    Pre cooked??

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      It’s on there! Step 5 🙂 Add it along with the chicken. And nope – not pre-cooked!

  4. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I put all the ingredients into the slow cooker and simmered it for a few hours. Simple!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      That’s wonderful – so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you so much for the kind review! 🙂

    2. how long did/would you do in slow cooker?

    3. Joyous Apron says:

      3-4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low to fully cook the chicken!

    4. thank you! what if chicken only about 4 ounces each? was going to use 4-5 breast!

    5. Joyous Apron says:

      Same instruction! 🙂

    6. thank you. last question…does this freeze well?

    7. Joyous Apron says:

      Yep! It should freeze just fine!

  5. 5 stars
    We had this tonight for the first time, won’t be the last! Easy to fix, tasty, too even though my broth wasn’t the best quality — definitely upgrading my broth next time, this will be worth 6 stars! The lemon was not obvious and added such a nice extra to the chicken soup.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you so much for giving it a try! 🙂 Yes! Good broth makes such a difference but I am glad it was still enjoyable!

  6. Haven’t tried this yet but how much is a serving cup wise?

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Each serving is probably a little less than 2 cups.

  7. 5 stars
    This soup became a go-to this winter when we wanted something warm & cozy but still light & fresh! It is so full of flavor & everything comes together in a snap! Perfect for snowy nights….or honestly anytime of the year ♡

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      That’s wonderful to hear, April! We love this cozy soup for those colder days as well. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  8. Lynn Spencer says:

    5 stars
    This is the recipe I like to make when someone in the family feels under the weather.. It’s the perfect Chicken Soup for your Body and Soul.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      It’s so perfect for that. Thank you for making it and sharing

  9. 5 stars
    This soup is o fresh and delicious. It’s delicious comfort food without all of the fat.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thanks Jules! I love the healthier aspect of it too 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    Chicken and rice is such a classic combo. This was easy to make and everyone loved it. Great if you’re feeling under the weather too!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      That’s great Debi! So glad everyone loved it!

  11. susan | the wimpy vegetarian says:

    5 stars
    Now that our weather is getting chilly, it’s a perfect time to make this soup. It looks absolutely delicious!!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Soooo perfect for this colder season! Enjoy!

  12. 5 stars
    One of my favorite soups and this recipe was great!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you so much! So glad you liked it!

  13. 5 stars
    Have this on the stove right now and my house smells amazing, bringing it to my mom who had surgery. Though I might sneak a bowl out before I take it to her! Haha! Love your tip for adding a little bouillon, totally kicks up the flavor!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you for sharing Kathi! I hope you and your mom enjoy it.

  14. 5 stars
    Amazing flavor and so light!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Happy to hear you liked it!

  15. Dejai Trott says:

    5 stars
    Super simple and easy to make. Has the long stew taste but cooked in under 45 minutes. Sooo good and a new staple in our home

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you so much, Dejai! Love hearing that you all enjoyed it and it’s going to be a new staple 🙂

  16. 5 stars
    Absolutely loved this recipe! Such a great one to have for the winter blues.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Glad to hear you’ve been enjoying it!