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This healthy Lemon Chicken Rice Soup recipe is so comforting and delicious. It’s full of juicy tender chicken and delicious vegetables. It’s perfect for a cold rainy day and is so easy to make. It needs 10 minutes of prep time and less than one hour to get everything together on your plate.

Overhead view of a bowl of lemon chicken rice soup.
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Let’s admit it, there is nothing better than a big bowl of chicken soup no matter what season we are in. It’s perfect for when there’s a cold going around or just when you need just a little bit of extra comfort in your life. This chicken and rice soup is almost like a warm hug in a bowl! 

Want more recipes that uses lemon? You’ll have to try my Lemon Blueberry Bread and my Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken Recipe. Both are perfect if you’ve got that lemon craving!

Why You’ll Love This Healthy Chicken Lemon Soup With Rice

  • It’s super tasty. We love chicken soup so combining it with lemon to make the best fresh and bright tasting lemon chicken, just hits the spot. You’ll love this twist on the traditional chicken rice soup.
  • It’s made in one pot. Who doesn’t love a one pot recipe? It makes cleaning up so much easily. Even better, this chicken lemon rice soup is done in less than an hour.
  • It’s healthy! This soup is made with delicious and wholesome ingredients that are good for you as well. Perfect for when you’re feeling under the weather.

Ingredients for Lemon Chicken Soup Recipe

  • Chicken thighs — boneless skinless. You can use chicken tenders or breast if you prefer white meat chicken.
  • Rice — I used jasmine rice but any long grain white rice would work.
  • Vegetables: celery, onions, zucchini, carrots, and garlic. You can use Calabasitas squash if you don’t have normal zucchini. In fact if I have those in hand, I always choose them over normal zucchini.
  • Seasoning: fresh ginger, chicken bouillon, salt, black pepper, oregano, and fresh cilantro. When I say fresh, don’t substitute with powder or dry. It makes a huge difference.
  • Olive oil– extra virgin olive oil give this dish a delicious flavor.
  • Lemon– a must in this recipe. Brings out all the flavors towards the end.
  • Bay leaves– they are not required but optional if you have them.

How to Make Chicken Lemon Rice Soup

  • Sauté your vegetables: On medium heat, add in the olive oil and sauté the diced onions, celery, carrots and garlic for about 2-3 minutes.
Set of two photos of vegetables being sauted in a pot.
  • Add in the chicken: Add in the boneless chicken thighs and sauté on both sides for 3-4 minutes.
Set of two photos of sauteing chicken thighs with vegetables and then adding in seasoning and rice.
  • Season and simmer: Add in the rice, cilantro, chicken bouillon, black pepper, salt, bay leaves, ginger pieces and the water or chicken broth. Cover and let them cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Set of two photos of chicken being removed from a pot and then shredded and added back in.
  • Shred the chicken: Open up the pot and remove the chicken. Shred them and return back into the pot along with the zucchini. Cover and cook again for 15 more minutes.
  • Finishing touches: Remove the pot from heat and stir in the fresh lemon juice. Serve and garnish with some lemon juice.
Soup being scooped out in a ladle.

Tips for making the Best Lemon Chicken Rice Soup

  • Be sure to add in the lemon at the very end. The lemon will cause the soup to taste bitter if you add it too early to the soup.
  • Vegetables: feel free to add whatever you have on hand. Have some peas? Add those in. Have spinach, kale, or swiss chard? Leafy greens go well with this lemon chicken rice soup.
  • Chicken: feel free to use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs if you wish. Alternatively, you can cut down on cooking time by using shredded rotisserie chicken instead. But reduce the salt if you do that because rotisserie chickens tend to have much more salt that normal cooked chicken.
  • Cilantro: this is very important for the flavor but if you’re not a fan of cilantro, feel free to substitute with any herb of your choice such as basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley, dill, etc. or just use some Italian seasoning instead.
  • Make this creamy: stir in ½ cup of heavy cream cream at the end of the soup to make it creamy. Don’t want to add cream? Stir in a little bit of grated parmesan cheese to make this lemon chicken soup creamy.
  • Rice: Don’t have rice? You can use orzo instead or vermicelli.
  • You want to make sure that your carrots, onions, celery, and zucchini are cut into bite sized pieces since you want a little bit of everything in each spoonful. 
Overhead photo of lemon chicken rice soup in a bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does Lemon Chicken Rice Soup keep?

Because this soup has rice in it, it will keep at it’s best in the fridge for up to 3 days. Rice tender to get super mushy when it absorbs too much water and it becomes unpleasant to eat. To reheat, you can heat it up on the stovetop or in the microwave for a few minutes, stirring half way through. 

Can I freeze this lemon chicken soup?

I’d skip freezing this chicken rice soup with the rice in it. To freeze, cook it without the rice. Be sure to let the soup cool first then transfer the soup into either freezer safe bags or containers. If you are using bags, you can press all the air out and store it flat, taking up less room in the fridge. For the best results, I’d serve the soup within 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw the soup in the fridge overnight and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave and add in some extra cooked rice.

What can I serve with this soup?

While this soup can be enjoyed on its own, here are a few sides I like to serve with my lemon chicken rice soup: Roasted Garlic Bread or my No Knead Artisan Bread.

How do I thicken lemon rice soup?

If you feel like the soup is not heavy enough to your liking, you can make slurry by adding a couple tablespoons of water mix in with 1 tbsp. of corn starch and add into the soup while stirring to avoid any lumps.

Why do you add lemon juice to soup?

A small amount of an acid ingredient like lemon juice add at the end of cooking soups amplifies the flavor.

Overhead photo of lemon chicken rice soup in a bowl.

More Delicious Soup Recipes to Try

I hope you enjoy all the recipes I share with you, including this delicious Healthy Lemon Chicken Rice Soup recipe. I hope you try it, enjoy it, rate it and share it with your friends and family!

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5 from 3 votes

Best Lemon Chicken Rice Soup

This Lemon Chicken Rice Soup is so comforting and delicious. It’s perfect for a cold rainy day and is so easy to make. Full of protein and vegetables, this soup is also good for you!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients 

  • 4 large chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • 1 cup onion, petite diced
  • cup zucchini, diced
  • ¾ cup carrots, diced
  • ½ cup rice, washed, I used jasmine
  • 2 inch ginger stalk, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 7 cups water
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ¾ tsp. black pepper
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsps. olive oil
  • cup lemon juice
  • 1 whole lemon, sliced for garnishing
  • 2 bay leaves, dry or fresh

Instructions 

  • Bring a large pot over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Sauté the diced onions, celery, carrots and garlic for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in the boneless chicken thighs and sauté on both sides for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add in the rice, cilantro, chicken bouillon, black pepper, salt, bay leaves, ginger pieces and the water or chicken broth. Cover and let them cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  • Open up the pot and remove the chicken. Shred them and return back into the pot along with the zucchini. Cover and cook again for 15 more minutes.
  • Remove the pot from heat and stir in the fresh lemon juice. Serve and garnish with some lemon juice.

Notes

  • Vegetables: feel free to add whatever you have on hand. Have some peas? Add those in. Have spinach, kale, or swiss chard? Leafy greens go well with this lemon chicken rice soup.
  • Chicken: feel free to use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs if you wish. Alternatively, you can cut down on cooking time by using shredded rotisserie chicken instead.
  • Cilantro: if you’re not a fan of cilantro, feel free to substitute with any herb of your choice such as basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley, dill, etc.
  • Make this creamy: stir in ½ cup of heavy cream cream at the end of the soup to make it creamy. Don’t want to add cream? Stir in grated parmesan cheese to make this lemon chicken soup creamy.
  • Rice: Don’t have rice? You can use orzo instead. 
  • You want to make sure that your carrots, onions, celery, and zucchini are cut into bite sized pieces since you want a little bit of everything in each spoonful. 
  • Be sure to add in the lemon at the very end. The lemon will cause the soup to taste bitter if you add it too early to the soup.
 
 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 256mg | Potassium: 316mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2191IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is one of the best soups I’ve ever made! Made very minor modifications for the kiddo. Added cilantro to top of bowls at the end, used just a tad less lemon juice, and subbed chicken stock for the bouillon. So tasty my husband could not believe how delicious it was.