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+ servings

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup ~ Panera Style

Mediterranean inspired soup with lemon, chicken, and orzo pasta with tender chicken, vegetables, and a lemony chicken broth. So much flavor in a copycat Panera Bread soup recipe.
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken, copycat recipes, lemon, lemon orzo soup, orzo, panera, soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 351kcal


  • 1 Large pot


For the soup:

  • 1 tbs Olive oil
  • 1 medium Carrot
  • 1 stalk Celery
  • 1 small Onion or onion powder
  • 2 cloves Garlic or garlic powder
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 3 cups Chicken broth - low sodium or chicken stock
  • cup Orzo pasta uncooked
  • 1 Juice of a lemon fresh squeezed
  • 1 cup Chicken white or dark meat, diced or shredded
  • ½ teaspoon Chicken base
  • 1 Zest of a lemon
  • 1 cup Baby spinach fresh
  • 1 sprig Fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Black pepper freshly ground

For the garnish:

  • 2 Tbs Parmesan cheese grated
  • 4 Lemon slices
  • Crusty bread on the side


  • To a large pot over medium heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the diced carrot, celery and onion.
  • Cook, stirring frequently until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the garlic and bay leaf and cook for an additional minute. You do not want the vegetables to caramelize, you are just looking to soften them.
  • Over medium-high heat add four cups of broth (or stock) to the pot with the vegetables. Bring to a rolling boil then reduce the heat to medium-low.
  • Add the orzo pasta, the chicken base, and the lemon juice to the pot. Cook for 10-12 minutes.
  • Add the diced or shredded chicken. Reduce the heat to low. Add the fresh thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Cook for an additional two minutes.
  • Add the baby spinach to the pot and stir until the spinach is wilted. Taste the soup then season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Serve the fresh soup immediately in bowls, garnished with lemon slices and Parmesan cheese, with a slice of crusty French bread on the side.


Nutritional calculation does not include bread.


Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 994mg | Potassium: 829mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 6726IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 3mg