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Chicken soup in a white bowl, topped with pesto.

Pesto Chicken Orzo Soup

  • Author: Jessie
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: American


This orzo soup with pesto and chicken is hearty, comforting, and super easy to make!


  • 6 cups chicken stock, turkey stock, or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups cooked chicken (chopped or shredded chicken are both good)
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil pesto
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • shredded parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)


  1. Garnish with shaved parmesan cheese (optional) and serve immediately.


Additions & Substitutions. Use any pasta shape you like (ditalini, cavatelli, elbows, and shells all work well here). Add extra veggies (carrots, celery, kale, spinach, chick peas, butter beans) to make this soup a bit heartier. Swap turkey or Italian sausage for the chicken if you like. For a creamier soup, reduce the chicken stock by 1 cup and add a cup of heavy cream just before the orzo is done cooking.

What kind of chicken should I use? We like using a rotisserie chicken or some meal prepped shredded chicken to keep things easy. Leftover grilled or baked chicken or leftover turkey also work well. If you don't have any cooked chicken ready to go, bring the chicken stock to a boil and cook chicken breasts or thighs in the stock until cooked through, then shred and complete the soup as directed. 

Serve this soup with our Easy Crusty Bread or a lemon arugula side salad for a complete meal.

Keywords: winter, stew, soup