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Savory Greek Lemon Chicken Soup Recipe

As winter fades and spring arrives, our nights are still chilly and soups are most definitely still on the menu. This particular recipe hits all the high notes: easy to make, hands-off cooking time, nourishing, delicious, and a hit with everyone at the table.

Greek lemon chicken soup in a white bowl.

Why I Love This Recipe

Recipes that use pantry staples, like my canned homemade bone broth, make me smile. It’s what allows lunch or dinner to be ready in minutes (instead of hours) because you’ve already done the leg work of making homemade broth.

It’s recipes like this, along with my homemade hearty tomato soup, this easy bread soup, or even my homemade cream of chicken soup that help me get three home-cooked meals on the table every single day.

Serve it up with my 5-minute no-knead bread recipe slathered in homemade butter and enjoy. The combination of tender chicken, aromatic vegetables, and zesty lemon creates a satisfying and nourishing dish that everyone will love.

Fresh lemon juice takes the bright flavor over the top and gives the soup just the right amount of zip, while herbs bring an earthy balance. It’s a weeknight win.

How to Make Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

Supplies Needed

  • Instant Pot – Just your Instant Pot or multi-cooker is all you need for this recipe! I love a meal that is cooked and served all in one place.
  • Cutting Board & Knife – For the prep work, have a cutting board and sturdy knife handy for chopping your vegetables, herbs and cooked chicken.
Overhead shot of ingredients for Greek lemon chicken soup.

Ingredients Needed

To make this Greek Lemon Chicken Soup, you’ll need a few key ingredients.

  • Chicken Breast – Start with boneless skinless chicken breast, which can be shredded to add protein and heartiness to the soup. Or, to make it even more frugal, just use whatever leftover chicken you have on hand.
  • Mirepoix – Just a fancy word for onions, celery and carrots sautéed together.
  • Garlic – While the mirepoix adds a savory base, the garlic adds a great depth of flavor to this soup.
  • Herbs – Fresh thyme, dried parsley, dried oregano and dried dill all add a nice earthy balance to the soup.
  • Rice – We like to use short-grain rice. It’s the secret to the creamy texture of this soup.
  • Chicken Broth – Soup just isn’t a soup without homemade bone broth. This flavorful liquid brings the whole recipe together.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice – To finish the soup off, a squeeze of fresh lemon gives the dish a bright and tangy taste.

Step-By-Step Directions

  1. Set multicooker (Instant Pot) to sauté function and allow it to heat. Add oil once the cooker is hot.
  2. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken, then sear both sides of the chicken in the pot for 2-3 minutes per side. This will likely need to be done in batches. Once chicken is seared, remove from pot and set aside.
  3. After all chicken is seared, add more oil to the pot if needed, then add onion, carrots and celery. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, until beginning to soften. Add garlic and cook one minute more, until fragrant.
  4. Cancel sauté function. Add herbs (thyme, parsley, oregano, dill) and rice; stir to evenly distribute through the vegetables. Place seared chicken on top of the evenly distributed vegetables and rice, then pour chicken broth over everything. Do not add lemon juice at this step.
  5. Close the lid of the multicooker and set the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. (Be aware that while this means 10 minutes of active pressure cooking, the cooker will take time to come to full pressure– possibly 15 minutes or more– before beginning to count down cook time).
  6. Once the multicooker finishes the cook time, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes. Then release the pressure manually by turning the pressure knob away from sealing. Watch out for hot steam!
  7. Once the pressure releases entirely, remove the chicken into a bowl and shred it into bite-sized pieces with two forks. Be careful, it will be very hot!
  8. Return the shredded chicken to the pot and add the lemon juice, stirring to integrate. Allow the soup to sit on the warm setting for 5 minutes to let flavors distribute, then serve. This soup is delicious topped with a bit of shredded Parmesan cheese.

This homemade Greek Lemon Chicken Soup recipe is a weeknight win. It’s easy to make, hands-off in terms of cooking time, nourishing, and absolutely delicious.

With the fresh lemon juice and herb combination, it hits all the right notes, providing a comforting and flavorful dish that will warm you up during those chilly nights.

Give it a try and enjoy a bowl of this homemade goodness.

Did you make this recipe? If so, please leave a star rating in the recipe card below. Then, snap a photo of your soup and tag us on social media @homesteadingfamily so we can see!

Greek lemon chicken soup in a yellow stock pot.

Tips and Variations for Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

Looking to add a unique twist to your Greek Lemon Chicken Soup? Here are some tips and variations to take your soup to the next level:

Create a Creamy Avgolemono Soup

If you’re craving a creamy and velvety texture, consider adding an egg mixture known as Avgolemono. Beat together eggs and lemon juice in a separate bowl, then gradually whisk in some of the hot broth. Finally, pour the egg mixture back into the soup and stir gently. The result is a luxurious and rich Avgolemono soup that will delight your taste buds.

Choose a High-Quality Olive Oil

Olive oil plays a significant role in Greek cuisine and can make a world of difference in your Greek Lemon Chicken Soup. Opt for a high-quality extra virgin olive oil to enhance the flavors of the soup. Drizzle it over the soup before serving or use it as a finishing touch to bring out the natural richness.

Greek lemon chicken soup in a yellow stock pot.

FAQ

Is Greek Lemon Chicken Soup hard to make?

Not at all! This recipe is surprisingly easy and can be made in just 30 minutes.

Can I use rotisserie chicken instead of cooking chicken from scratch?

Absolutely! Using pre-cooked rotisserie chicken will save you time and add a delicious flavor to the soup. Just shred the chicken before adding it to the soup.

Can I use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth?

Yes, you can substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth if you prefer a vegetarian version of the soup.

Can I freeze Greek Lemon Chicken Soup?

Yes, you can freeze the soup for up to 3 months. Just make sure to let it cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container.

Can I add other vegetables to the soup?

Absolutely! Feel free to add your favorite vegetables such as spinach, kale, or peas for extra nutrition and flavor.

Can I make the soup ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the soup ahead of time and reheat it when you are ready to serve. Just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Can I use fresh herbs instead of dried herbs?

Yes, you can use fresh herbs instead of dried herbs. Just keep in mind that you will need to use a larger quantity of fresh herbs compared to dried herbs.

Can I use other types of rice?

While short-grain rice is traditional for Greek Lemon Chicken Soup, you can use other types of rice such as long-grain or jasmine rice if that’s what you have on hand.

Can I make the soup dairy-free?

Yes, this recipe is naturally dairy-free. However, if you prefer a creamier version, you can add a dairy-free milk or cream substitute.

Can I make the soup gluten-free?

Yes, this recipe is naturally gluten-free.

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Greek lemon chicken soup in a white bowl.

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

If you're looking for a comforting and flavorful soup to warm up your evenings, look no further than homemade Greek Lemon Chicken Soup. With just 30 minutes of cooking time, this recipe is perfect for busy weeknights. The combination of tender chicken, aromatic vegetables, and zesty lemon creates a satisfying and nourishing dish that everyone will love.
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Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Greek
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 401kcal
Author: Carolyn Thomas

Equipment

  • Instant Pot or other multi-cooker

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken 3 large breasts or 8 thighs
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 4 medium carrots chopped
  • 4 stalks celery chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 1/2 Tablespoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 2 cups short grain rice
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice about two large lemons

Instructions

  • Set multicooker (Instant Pot) to sauté function and allow it to heat. Add oil once the cooker is hot.
  • Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken, then sear both sides of the chicken in the pot for 2-3 minutes per side. This will likely need to be done in batches. Once chicken is seared, remove from pot and set aside.
  • After all chicken is seared, add more oil to the pot if needed, then add onion, carrots and celery. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, until beginning to soften. Add garlic and cook one minute more, until fragrant.
  • Cancel sauté function. Add herbs (thyme, parsley, oregano, dill) and rice; stir to evenly distribute through the vegetables. Place seared chicken on top of the evenly distributed vegetables and rice, then pour chicken broth over everything. Do not add lemon juice at this step.
  • Close the lid of the multicooker and set the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. (Be aware that while this means 10 minutes of active pressure cooking, the cooker will take time to come to full pressure– possibly 15 minutes or more– before beginning to count down cook time).
  • Once the multicooker finishes the cook time, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes. Then release the pressure manually by turning the pressure knob away from sealing. Watch out for hot steam!
  • Once the pressure releases entirely, remove the chicken into a bowl and shred it into bite-sized pieces with two forks. Be careful, it will be very hot!
  • Return the shredded chicken to the pot and add the lemon juice, stirring to integrate. Allow the soup to sit on the warm setting for 5 minutes to let flavors distribute, then serve. This soup is delicious topped with a bit of shredded Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 1048mg | Potassium: 714mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 5267IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?We want to see! Tag @homesteadingfamily on Instagram.
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