This creamy chicken orzo soup is truly the epitome of fall. It’s made with tons of veggies, chicken breast, orzo pasta, and a simple creamy broth.
Start by sautéing the veggies. Then add the chicken and broth and bring to a boil to cook the chicken. Meanwhile, cook the orzo and then add that in after you shred the chicken. Finally, make a simple roux and add that into the soup to thicken things up and top it off with a little heavy cream!
What You Need for this Chicken Orzo Soup Recipe
- Chicken: chicken breast is a no-brainer for this creamy chicken noodle soup. Feel free to swap it for boneless chicken thighs or even omit if you are vegetarian. You can supplement the protein for a can of beans, instead!
- Veggies: this soup is veggie-packed and rightfully so! We used classic chicken noodle soup veggies in this recipe but added russet potatoes and peas to add color and texture. Here’s what you need: carrots, celery, garlic, onion, potato, and peas.
- Spices: classic chicken noodle soup spices really do the trick for this creamy variation. We recommend using a coarse Italian seasoning similar to our homemade Italian seasoning because the spices are whole and so flavorful! Feel free to add any other fresh spices such as rosemary or basil.
- Roux: a roux is our secret weapon for thick and creamy soup. Our is simple and made with butter, flour, and a little heavy cream.
- Orzo: of course this orzo soup wouldn’t be orzo soup without the orzo!
Orzo Soup Variations
Chicken: Feel free to swap the chicken breast for boneless chicken thighs or even omit them if you are vegetarian. You can supplement the protein with a can of beans, instead!
Veggies: When it comes to chicken soup and veggies, you can really use whatever you have on hand. I’ve made this recipe with the addition of chopped mushrooms and it was delightful.
Broth: not a huge creamy soup fan? Feel free to leave this soup brothy and skip the roux and cream.
How do you thicken chicken and noodles?
To thicken chicken and noodles, we recommend a roux. However, you can also use cornstarch, too!
What kind of noodles can you use in this soup?
Good news! You can use any kind of noodle you want! Because we recommend cooking your noodles separately before adding to this soup, all noodles are your oyster.
What is orzo?
Orzo may look like rice, but it’s actually a small pasta that is quite perfect for soups! Don’t have orzo? No problem! Use whatever kind of noodle you have on hand!
Is orzo more healthy than pasta?
Orzo is pasta so the answer is yes and no!
Can you freeze creamy chicken orzo soup?
Chicken orzo soup is not the BEST soup to freeze as is, but it can be done! Often times when you freeze a soup that has either noodles or dairy in it, you risk squishy noodles when reheating and curdling dairy.
So, what is the fix? Make the recipe as-is, but do not add the orzo or heavy cream. Then, you can move forward and follow our soup freezing tutorial.
When ready to serve: Thaw the soup and reheat on the stovetop. Assess if you need to add more broth (you likely will) and then add cooked orzo and heavy cream.
We loved eating this creamy chicken orzo soup with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a side of Italian bread.
Creamy Chicken Orzo Soup
Our creamy chicken orzo soup recipe is packed with veggies, cooked orzo pasta, shredded chicken, and a roux-based broth.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 4 large carrots finely diced (1.5 cups)
- 4 large celery stalks finely diced (1 cup)
- 1/2 medium yellow onion finely diced
- 2 medium russet potatoes finely diced
- 2 tablespoons coarse Italian seasoning we recommend a course Italian seasoning like THIS*
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or more, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
- 8 sprigs thyme bundled
- 1.5 cups frozen peas
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1.5 cups uncooked orzo pasta
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large stockpot and heat over medium/high heat.
When olive oil is fragrant, add garlic, carrot, celery, onion, and potato. Saute for around 5 minutes. Then, season with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and mix. Add broth and stir.
Submerge raw chicken breast in the broth and add thyme bundle. Bring soup to a rolling boil over medium/high heat.
Once boiling, turn heat down to low and cover. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, prepare orzo pasta by following the directions on the back of the box. Once done, drain and set aside.
When the soup is done simmering, remove herb bundle from the soup and discard. Remove chicken breast from soup and shred with two forks, and set aside.
Now, prepare your roux. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium/high heat. Lower heat to medium heat and slowly add flour to butter. Mix with a whisk until mixture turns into a crumble. Remove from heat.
Immediately add roux to the soup and turn heat back to medium/high heat and bring to a boil. Use a wooden spoon to break up the roux, makings sure there are no chunks in the soup.
One boiling, turn heat off and stir in frozen peas, cooked orzo pasta, and shredded chicken and mix again.
Finally, add 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and mix.
Tips & Notes
- Italian seasoning: if you do not have a coarse Italian seasoning like the one we used, we recommend adding a few red pepper flakes and potentially more salt!
Calories: 417kcal Carbohydrates: 46g Protein: 28g Fat: 13g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 5g