Pesto Chicken Orzo Soup

Chicken noodle soup! The best. Especially in winter. Because winter sucks. And I hate it. But you know this already.


Pesto Chicken Orzo Soup


The only good thing about winter is soup. Lots and lots and lots of soup. Soup that you can’t always eat in the summertime because sometimes its a million degrees outside and if you eat soup you feel like you’re boiling yourself from the inside out. Not pleasant. But I often do it anyway.


Pesto Chicken Orzo Soup


And THIS SOUP. YOU GUYS. I’ve made it at least once a week since the snow started to hit. Which was a long time ago. Which is a testament to how much I’m obsessed with this soup.


Pesto Chicken Orzo Soup


The other testament to this soup’s deliciousness is that it’s one of the very, very few recipes on this blog that Kyle hasn’t taste-tested. Because every time I make it I can’t control myself and eat the whole thing before he gets home from work. BECAUSE IT’S JUST SO SIMPLE AND YET SO PERFECT AND I CAN’T EVEN. (Sorry, Kyle).


Pesto Chicken Orzo Soup


The pesto and orzo give chicken noodle soup such a fun and fresh twist, and the little bit of lemon juice just makes the whole thing sing. Five ingredients and some salt and pepper are all you need. It’s super simple. It’s ready in half an hour. But quick and simple makes for the best food, I think. No muss, no fuss. And this soup hits the spot every time.


Pesto Chicken Orzo Soup

Pesto Chicken Orzo Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Inactive Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Serves 4


  • 6 cups chicken, turkey, or vegetable stock
  • 1.5 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded (mine was shredded)
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil pesto
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • shredded parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)


  1. In a large pot, bring chicken stock to a simmer, covered, over medium heat
  2. Add cooked chicken, orzo, pesto, lemon juice, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  3. Cook, uncovered, until orzo is al dente (about 8 minutes).
  4. Garnish with shredded parmesan cheese and serve immediately.


I love orzo in this soup, but you can use any type of pasta you like!


Pesto Chicken Orzo Soup


Leave a Comment

  • Margaret Kohlstaedt February 17, 2014, 11:32 AM

    I was sick yesterday and made this soup. It is the BEST chicken soup I have ever ate!!! I used couscous and store bought pesto. I would like to try making it the crockpot. Thank you SO much.

    • Jessie February 26, 2014, 5:46 PM

      I’m so happy to hear that! I think I’ve made this soup at least once a week all winter – I can’t stop eating it! It works fine in the crockpot as well – the only thing is the orzo can tend to get a little overcooked, which for me is a little annoying. But still, super easy and tasty! Thanks for letting me know how it turned out (and I hope you’re feeling better!)

  • Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps February 13, 2014, 8:57 PM

    I agree, the ONLY good thing about winter is soup, especially when it includes soup like this! Looks delish!