This Lemon Chicken Soup recipe is just like the avgolomeno at Greek diners. It comes together in one pot – no blender or pre-cooked chicken or rice needed.

Teal bowls filled with an avgolemono soup recipe garnished with lemon wedges and fresh dill.

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

Lemon Chicken Rice Soup (often called by it’s Greek name of avgolemono), is a huge tradition here in metro Detroit.

No trip to a coney island (what you might just call a diner elsewhere in the country) is complete without this thick but light flavored, cozy soup.

Unlike others on the internet, this recipe doesn’t require having pre-cooked chicken or rice on hand – it all comes together in one pot at the same time! You also won’t need a blender.

What is avgolemono soup?

Avgolemono soup is a traditional Greek dish made with chicken broth, rice and lemon juice, and thickened with eggs. The result is a creamy (without any dairy!), tangy soup that’s both comforting and refreshing.

Why You’ll Love this Lemon Chicken Rice Soup

  • Nutritious and Filling. With a balance of protein from the chicken and carbohydrates from the rice, this soup is a satisfying meal that will keep you fueled.
  • Family Favorite. At least in my family, it’s loved by both kids and adults a like, so it’s a weeknight staple!
  • Easy to Make. With simple ingredients and straightforward instructions, even beginner home chefs can whip up a batch with confidence.
Ingredients on a light surface, including a chicken breast, rice, dill, eggs spices, onion, celery and lemon halves.

Avgolemono Soup Recipe Ingredients

  • olive oil – for sauteeing the celery and onion.
  • celery – adds a subtle sweetness to the base of this avgolemono soup recipe.
  • onion – the most aromatic base flavor for the soup.
  • chicken – boneless, skinless chicken breast serves as the main protein component. 12 ounces may be 1 very large breast, 2 small ones, or 1-1/2 medium ones.
  • chicken stock – the backbone of the soup.
  • rice – long grain white rice adds texture and bulk to the soup, and thickens it.
  • salt and pepper – simple seasoning to enhance the flavor.
  • eggs – used to thicken and enrich the soup and create the creamy and velvety texture that avgolemono is known for.
  • lemon juice – gives Greek lemon chicken soup it’s signature bright lemony flavor.
  • dill – an optional garnish that adds some fresh visual appeal and a pop of herby flavor at the end.

How to Make Greek Lemon Soup

A stainless steel pot filled with chopped celery and onion being sauteed.

1. SAUTE. Cook the celery and onion in a bit of oil until they are slightly softened.

A stainless steel pot filled with sauteed onion and celery, rice, a chicken breast, and chicken broth being poured in.

2. COOK CHICKEN. Add the chicken, chicken stock, rice, salt and pepper to the pot. Bring it to a boil and then cover and reduce the heat. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through.

A wooden cutting board with a cooked chicken breast on it, with two forks shredding it.

3. SHRED. Carefully remove the chicken from the pot, transfer it to a cutting board and shred or chop it up, then return the chicken to the pot.

A large liquid measuring cup with a mixture of raw eggs and lemon juice with a whisk in it, with lemon halves and lemon juicer next to it.

4. WHISK. In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk the eggs and lemon juice until smooth.

A stainless steel pot filled with chicken lemon rice soup, with an egg mixture being poured into it.

5. TEMPER. While whisking, slowly add a ladle of the hot soup mixture into the eggs to “temper” them (slowly raise their temperature to be closer to that of the soup, so that when you add the eggs to the soup, they incorporate and get creamy rather than scramble). Then, slowly add the tempered egg mixture into the soup pot, stirring constantly while you add.

A stainless steel pot filled with a lemon chicken soup recipe with a ladle scooping some out.

6. FINISH. Continue cooking the soup over low heat until the rice is tender, stirring occasionally. Serve the soup garnished with dill, if you want!

A light surface filled with bowls of Greek lemon soup, with fresh lemons and dill garnishing the scene.

How to Make this Lemon Rice Soup Recipe ahead of time

While some recipes recommend that to prepare avgolemono soup ahead of time, you should make the soup without the egg mixture, then add the egg mixture later, I haven’t found that to be necessary. Frankly, it’s extra work that’s not needed.

To make this lemon rice soup ahead of time, I’ve had great success simply preparing the soup as written, then transferring it to a container and placing it in the fridge with the lid off. Once the soup is completely chilled to fridge temperature, then you can place the lid on.

When ready to serve, reheat the soup over low heat, stirring occasionally. You will also likely need to add extra chicken broth or water, as the soup thickens substantially after being refrigerated.

A teal bowl filled with avgolemeno soup garnished with fresh dill.

Lemon Chicken Soup Recipe Substitutions & Variations

  • START WITH COOKED CHICKEN – If you have leftover cooked chicken or even some rotisserie chicken, you can use it for this Greek lemon soup. Follow the recipe below, except instead of adding raw chicken in Step 2, you can stir in your cooked, pulled chicken in Step 5. Obviously, skip all of Step 3.
  • EXTRA VEGGIES – Feel free to add carrots (in Step 1) and/or spinach (stir in right before serving) to this lemon rice soup recipe for extra nutrition.
  • ORZO – This soup is delicious with orzo in place of rice. Cooking times may vary a bit; taste and cook soup until orzo is tender. Add extra broth or water if necessary as orzo cooks.

Home Chef Tips for Chicken Lemon Rice Soup Home

  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice is the only possible option for Greek lemon chicken soup. Never the juice from one of those plastic lemons.
  • Adjust the amount of lemon juice according to your taste for a more or less tangy soup.
A white bowl filled with Greek lemon chicken soup garnished with fresh dill.

What to Serve with Avgolemono Soup

Lemon chicken soup goes well with a variety of pairings and side dishes, including:

How to Store Greek Lemon Soup

To store leftovers, transfer the soup to a storage container and place it in the fridge with the lid off. Once the soup is completely chilled to fridge temperature, then you can place the lid on and keep for up to 3 days.

Can you freeze avgolemono soup?

Yes, you can freeze chicken lemon rice soup for up to 3 months. Chill the soup in the fridge as directed above, but after you place the lid on, transfer to the freezer.

To serve, thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight before reheating it on the stove over low heat until warmed through. You will likely need to add extra chicken broth or water as it heats.

A teal bowl filled with lemon chicken soup garnished with dill.

Lemon Chicken Rice Soup FAQs

How to fix too much lemon juice in soup?

There’s not a GREAT way to do this, so if you’re worried it will be too lemony for your taste, I suggest adding the lemon juice gradually and tasting as you go.

If you still accidentally add too much lemon and it’s just too tangy, you can try to balance it out by adding sweetness. I suggest adding a teaspoon of honey. But, this will change the overall flavor profile of the soup, so the best thing to do if you’re worried about this is to just add the lemon juice gradually in the first place.

Why put lemon juice in chicken soup?

Lemon juice adds a refreshing citrusy flavor to chicken soup and brightens up the overall taste.

Is avgolemono good for you?

Yes, avgolemono soup can be a healthy option since it’s made with wholesome ingredients like chicken, rice, eggs and lemon juice. It offers a nice balance of protein and carbohydrates, and I find that it hits the spot for that “creamy soup” profile without using any dairy.

A teal bowl filled with lemon chicken soup garnished with dill.

Lemon Chicken Soup Recipe (Avgolemono Soup Recipe)

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This Lemon Chicken Soup recipe is just like the avgolomeno at Greek diners. It comes together in one pot - no blender or pre-cooked chicken or rice needed.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 12 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Finely chopped fresh dill, for garnish


  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add celery and onion and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until slightly softened.
  2. Add chicken, chicken stock, rice, salt and pepper, and stir until well combined. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 12 to 14 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees F. 
  3. Carefully transfer chicken to cutting board and roughly chop or shred. Return chicken to pot and leave pot over low heat. 
  4. In large liquid measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk eggs until smooth. Add lemon juice and whisk until well combined. 
  5. While whisking, slowly add a ladle of the hot soup mixture to the egg mixture (it’s OK if a little rice or veggies gets in there). Whisk until well combined, then slowly add the egg mixture back into the soup pot, stirring constantly while adding the egg mixture. 
  6. Continue cooking over medium-low heat 5 to 10 minutes, uncovered, or until rice is tender, stirring occasionally. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with additional salt to taste, if needed. Serve soup garnished with dill. Makes about 6-1/2 cups. 

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 329Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 172mgSodium: 778mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 37g

This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. Nutrition information does not include any optional ingredients or toppings. You should calculate the nutrition information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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