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Avgolemono Soup (Chicken Soup with Egg and Lemon)

Avgolemono Soup is a creamy, comforting soup with tender chicken, orzo pasta and a bright lemon flavor.

Avgolemono Soup is a creamy, comforting soup with tender chicken, orzo pasta and a bright lemon flavor.  Delicious and incredibly easy!

There’s a fantastic Greek place in a strip mall near my home that serves some killer Greek food. The gyros are to die for and don’t even get me started on the Taramosalata, a dip made of “caviar and blended with lemon and evoo” that has an incredible smooth, dreamy texture. It’s served with soft, warm pita bread that has just a hint of an oily crunch on the ends. I’ve gone the dip sampler route but I always, always come back to the Taramosalata.

And then there’s the Avgolemono Soup. It’s yet another well-made dish at Opa’s that comes out consistently perfect every time. A hot, steaming bowl of creamy, lemony goodness with chunks of chicken and soft orzo pasta, made complete with a few pieces of that warm, soft pita bread I mentioned.

The thing is, I never order it anymore.

Going out to eat is, to me, such a treat that I try to never order anything that isn’t easily recreated at home. Gyro meat is going to be far too much of a pain and my Taramosalata, while likely fairly easy to figure out, is far enough off my beaten path that it’s still more trouble than it’s worth. But Avgolemono Soup – that’s an easy one.

Avgolemono Soup is just a delightful soup in every way. If you’re a chicken soup fan then be prepared to up your game significantly. The chicken broth becomes creamy and rich after eggs are tempered and added to the pot; the tiny orzo soak it up and it becomes much more thick and rich by the next day.

I make mine with a homemade broth (don’t let that scare you off, it’s incredibly simple) although you could substitute boxed broth if you must. I do use boxed broth frequently* but this soup just tastes so much better with its own. I use six pounds of split breasts which may seem like a lot but – trust me – your Avgolemono Soup will thank you for it!

*Get yourself in the habit of always buying reduced-sodium broth. If you’re making a dish that requires any type of reduction, the broth will reduce but the sodium does not which could make your dish too salty. Start with reduced-sodium so that you can control the seasoning. 

More delicious soup recipes:

Avgolemono Soup is a creamy, comforting soup with tender chicken, orzo pasta and a bright lemon flavor. Delicious and incredibly easy!

Avgolemono Soup (Chicken Soup with Egg and Lemon)

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours

This soup will become one of your family's favorites!


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 6 pounds split chicken breasts
  • 2 carrots, each cut into 6 pieces
  • 1 leek, split (top discarded)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/3-1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, start with 1/3 cup; add more at the end if you prefer a stronger lemon flavor
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
  • kosher salt, to taste (at least a few teaspoons)
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste (use liberally if desired, the pepper and lemon contrast is wonderful)


  1. Sweat onions in a medium skillet with the evoo until soft and translucent, about five minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place chicken in a large pot or dutch oven. Add water until it's covered by 1 inch. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for an hour.
  3. Remove chicken and set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove meat, discarding the bones. Add carrots, leek, bay leaves, chicken and onions back to pot; simmer another hour (or longer, I've simmered as long as two hours). Remove the carrots and leek (you can eat the carrots or discard).
  4. Bring to a boil and add orzo pasta. Cook until the orzo is done according to package directions.
  5. In a small bowl, beat the lemon juice and eggs together. Slowly stir in two cups of the broth, whisking continuously (this is called tempering). Pour the egg mixture back into the pot, stirring well.
  6. Season to taste (don't skimp on the seasoning!) and serve. The mixture will thicken a lot after sitting overnight in the refrigerator (I like it best after it's thickened but it's delicious both ways).
Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 663Saturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 256mgSodium: 220mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 63g
Kristy Bernardo
Latest posts by Kristy Bernardo (see all)


Tuesday 10th of March 2020

A great and authentic recipe. However, you can make this much easier and faster by using low sodium chicken bone broth and leftover rotisserie chicken. Lightly sauté the onion and garlic in the bottom of your pot. Add chicken, broth, herbs and orzo. Boil gently until orzo is cooked. Temper lemon and egg combo, then whisk into soup, and it’s done!

Kristy Bernardo

Tuesday 10th of March 2020

You can definitely make it using those shortcuts, and it's pretty good that way! Most of my recipes use similar shortcuts but for this recipe, I wanted the flavor of a homemade broth since it uses so few other ingredients. In any case, glad you're enjoying it!

M. Thomas

Saturday 30th of March 2019

I printed this recipe from your website and it printed the photo 8.5" x 11" along with the recipe. I can't say I was very happy about this. I imagine most people only need the recipe - it would be nice if you adjusted your settings for printing recipes. Printer ink is god-awful expensive.


Wednesday 26th of June 2019

The photo should not be that large. I suggest checking your printing settings.


Sunday 10th of June 2018

Hello, do you recommend using skin-on or skinless chicken breasts?


Saturday 16th of June 2018

I use skin-on breasts.

Michelle (What's Cooking with Kids)

Tuesday 19th of April 2016

This is one of my family's favorite recipes - especially on a cold night. I try to keep some homemade stock in the freezer - and we often use sushi rice in this dish when we want to mix it up a little :-) Thankfully, we have a lemon tree in the yard, so we can just go outside anytime for that special touch on this dish!

Kristy Bernardo

Tuesday 19th of April 2016

I'm so jealous of your lemon tree!! Great idea to use sushi rice, too. Thanks, Michelle! :)


Saturday 23rd of January 2016

I'm am going to try this tomorrow! When you are simmering, is the pot covered or uncovered? Thanks!! My daughter has been begging me to make this so I'm going to surprise her.

Kristy Bernardo

Saturday 23rd of January 2016

That's fantastic, how fun! It won't matter much but I usually leave it uncovered. You'll love this one, it's a favorite! Cheers :)

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