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Lemon Chicken Rice Soup

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This lemon chicken rice soup recipe is perfect for when you want a cozy bowl of warm and hearty soup.

While this soup is on the thicker side, from the rice and chicken, it's brightened up with the freshness of the lemon juice, leeks, carrots, and celery.

A closeup shot of a bowl of lemon chicken rice soup.

Why You'll Love this Tasty Soup

This lemon chicken soup recipe is the coziest! It's perfect for a chilly day and full of flavors that meld together well. This recipe goes hard on the veggies - adding several aromatics and fresh ingredients helps to keep the flavor of this soup bright and sharp.

But we love a good carb in a soup too - it makes it that much more satisfying. Whether it's adding potato, crusty bread, or rice; adding some heft to your soup is the way to go!

Because this recipe makes 6 servings, it's a perfect soup to make on the weekend and eat for several meals during the week.

Lemon chicken rice soup ingredients on a marble background.

Ingredients for Lemon Chicken Rice Soup

Here's what you'll need to make this recipe.

  • Fat - I like using butter in this recipe because it provides a lovely flavor for the chicken, but you can also use olive oil or canola oil if you'd prefer.
  • Chicken - you'll need boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe, or chicken thighs work too if that's what you have on hand.
  • Vegetables - you'll need a yellow onion, garlic, carrots, celery stalks, and a leek. This soup is heavy on veggies - they provide an excellent base, add lots of flavor, and make this a hearty soup.
  • Seasoning - you'll need kosher salt, ground black pepper, fresh thyme, a bay leaf, and a lemon.
  • Liquid - you'll need chicken stock and at least a cup of water.
  • Rice - I've made this recipe using both Jasmine and Basmati rice, and have a slight preference for how the Basmati holds up in this recipe. You can also use brown rice if you'd prefer, but give it 5 more minutes of simmering time.
Four bowls of chopped vegetables - including onion, leeks, garlic, carrots, and cucumber.

How to Make this Recipe

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat in a large pot or dutch oven. 
  2. Add chicken to the pot and cook until browned, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove chicken and set aside. 
  3. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pot and when melted, add the onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. 
  4. Add the carrots, celery, leek to the pot, and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  
  5. Add the salt, thyme, pepper, bay leaf, chicken stock, and chicken to the pot and stir to combine. Cover and bring to a low boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  6. Add the rice to the pot along with the cup of water and increase heat to bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. 
  7. Remove the soup from the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir and serve. 
Four pictures of a how to make lemon chicken soup.

More Soup Recipe to Try

What's not to love about a good cup of soup? Here are some other wonderful soup recipes for you to enjoy.

An overhead shot of a bowl of lemon chicken rice soup.

Helpful Tips for Making this Recipe

  • Make sure to heat the pot before adding your butter and make sure the butter is starting to bubble before adding your chicken - we want the chicken to brown quickly, but not fully cook through.
  • If your soup is getting too thick after you've added the rice, add an additional cup of water or stock.
  • Optional toppings - I love to add sliced lemons and a sprinkling of microgreens or parsley to the top of the soup. It's also great with a dusting of shredded parmesan, too!
Yield: 6 servings

Lemon Chicken Rice Soup

A closeup shot of a bowl of lemon chicken rice soup.

This lemon chicken rice soup recipe is perfect for when you want a cozy bowl of warm and hearty soup.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 leek, halved and sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 to 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat in a large pot or dutch oven. 
  2. Add chicken to the pot and cook until browned, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove chicken and set aside. 
  3. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pot and when melted, add the onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. 
  4. Add the carrots, celery, leek to the pot, and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  
  5. Add the salt, thyme, pepper, bay leaf, chicken stock, and chicken to the pot and stir to combine. Cover and bring to a low boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  6. Add the rice to the pot along with the cup of water and increase heat to bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. 
  7. Remove the soup from the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir and serve. 

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 340Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 1077mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 41g

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