Avgolemono Soup (Greek Lemon Chicken & Rice Soup)

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If you love a good chicken and rice combo, this Greek Avgolemono soup is always a winner. Shredded chicken, rice, and a few simple vegetables are stirred into a silky smooth lemon-and-egg broth for a cozy balanced meal.

Avgolemono soup in a white bowl with a spoon

So, What’s Avgolemono Anyways?

If you’ve never had Avgolemono before, it’s a smooth Greek sauce made from an egg, lemon, and broth mixture. It’s often spooned on a variety of cooked vegetables and meats, but the taste of it in soup form really hits the spot for Grecian-style comfort food.

Now, I’m fully aware that I may be biased towards this recipe, given how much I love dishes with a Mediterranean flair (hence my one pan chicken and rice, Greek sheet pan chicken, or Greek chicken kabobs)… but I’m confident you’re going to love it too. And make it repeatedly during soup season. Because what’s a better feeling than cozying up with a big, hearty bowl of chicken soup?

Ingredients for Avgolemono soup on a table

Here’s the Ingredients You’ll Need

The ingredients are fairly simple, although, I will say I created a small shortcut. Instead of cooking a whole chicken from scratch to create the shredded chicken and broth, I’m using a rotisserie chicken and boxed chicken broth. I’m also using pre-cooked white rice.

Is this an authentic avgolemono soup? Technically, no, but it follows the same concept, with very similar results and flavor. You know me – I’m all for simplifying things as much as I can for a seamless (and easy!) cooking experience. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Vegetables: All you need are onions and celery to accompany the chicken in this soup. But for more ideas on other veggies to add, I’ve got some recommendations below.
  • Chicken: There’s a few ways to go about this – you can make my shredded chicken recipe with chicken breasts, you can make my slow cooker whole chicken, or you can shred a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the market (which is how I’m doing it today).
  • Chicken Broth: If you cooked a whole chicken, you’ll use the same broth. But if you’re making it with a store-bought bird, grab your favorite low-sodium chicken broth.
  • Eggs: Only two large eggs are needed to balance out the lemon ratio.
  • Lemons: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is needed here – no bottled versions!
  • Rice: Stick to short grain white rice such as arborio for a fluffier consistency that aligns with the soup’s creamy texture. And if you don’t have a rice cooker, I’ve got a full video on how to cook rice in a pot. I recommend making the rice a day or two before (meal prep it!) so you can whip up this recipe super fast during the week.
  • Herbs: All you need is fresh dill or parsley to sprinkle on top, or stirred into the soup!

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

Two bowls of Avgolemono Soup

How to Make Avgolemono Soup (the Easy Way)

While there’s many variations on the classic Avgolemono soup, I’m going to show you a quick and easy version, that leverages a little meal prep, so that you can get this nourishing and hearty soup on the table fast. Aka – it’s an easy weeknight meal!

Cooking vegetables in a pot for Avgolemono soup

Cook the vegetables. Saute the onion and celery in a large pan with oil for 3 to 4 minutes, until they’re slightly softened.

Pouring broth into a pot for Avgolemono soup

Add the broth. Then season with salt and pepper, and bring it to a simmer.

Blending the eggs and lemon juice together

Make the Avgolemono sauce. Traditionally, you’d whisk the eggs and lemon juice separately by hand, then temper the eggs with ladles full of simmering broth, while continuously whisking.

But if you’ve got a high powered blender, I’ll show you how to get the same creamy consistency – fast! Just blend the eggs, lemon juice, and ¼ cup of the rice for about 20 seconds. Then while blending, slowly stream 2 ladles full of hot broth from the saucepan to temper the eggs. This method is foolproof and it won’t curdle when you add it back to the pot! You can see how I do it on the video below.

Avgolemono soup in a big white pot with a ladle

Combine everything together. Stir the lemon-egg mixture into the lightly simmering stock, along with the rice and chicken. Let it keep cooking for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the chicken and rice is warmed through. Once that’s done, garnish with freshly chopped dill and you’re ready to serve!

Pro tip: A classic Avgolemono soup is quite full-bodied! If you’d like a thinner, more brothy soup, just add another cup or two of chicken broth. You’ll also get an extra serving that way!

Bowls and a pot of Avgolemono soup

A Few Tips to Tweak This Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup

  • Add more vegetables: You can stir in some baby spinach or arugula at the very end for a greens-boost!
  • Add more herbs: In this recipe, I only sprinkle the chopped dill on top for garnish. But you can also chop up some more herbs to stir into the soup.

Storage Options

  • To store: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
  • To freeze: Pour the soup into a freezer-safe container or silicone soup tray (like my favorite Souper Cubes). It will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
  • For reheating: Whether you’re reheating from the fridge or freezer, make sure to do it on medium-low heat. You can reheat in the microwave (for a single serving), or a bigger quantity in a pot on the stovetop. You may need to add more broth or water to thin it down when reheating.

Avgolemono Soup Recipe Video

Before you dive into tempering the eggs, give the below video a watch to make sure you don’t run into any complications!

More Easy, Comforting Soup Recipes

Although this Avgolemono soup will become a weeknight staple, I’ve got a few more soup recipes that are surely runner ups. Here’s a glimpse of some favorites below!

If you love to weave Mediterranean recipes into your routine, make sure to keep this Avgolemono soup in mind come fall and winter! And once you make it, let me know how you liked it in a comment below.

A bowl of Avgolemono soup next to dill

Avgolemono Soup (Greek Lemon Chicken & Rice Soup)

4.96 from 67 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

If you love a good chicken and rice combo, this Greek Avgolemono soup is comforting and delicious with a bright, lemony flavor. And my version is super easy to make – just watch the video above!

Video

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 celery rib, chopped
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1 to 2 lemons)
  • 1 ½ cup cooked white rice
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • chopped fresh dill for garnish

Instructions 

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, until softened.
    A pot of cooked vegetables for Avgolemono soup
  • Add the broth, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer.
    A big pot of broth for Avgolemono soup
  • In a blender, add the eggs, lemon juice, and ¼ cup of the rice. Blend until smooth, about 20 seconds. Then while blending, slowly stream 2 ladles full of hot broth from the saucepan to temper the eggs.
    Blending the eggs and lemon juice together
  • Stir the lemon egg puree into the lightly simmering stock along with the rice and chicken, until slightly thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Do not boil the soup as it can cause the egg mixture to curdle.
    Cooking Avgolemono soup in a big white pot
  • Garnish with dill before serving.
    Bowls of Avgolemono soup with a spoon

Nutrition

Calories: 309kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 134mg | Sodium: 158mg | Potassium: 475mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 158IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dinner, Soup
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: Avgolemono, Avgolemono Soup, Chicken and Rice Soup, Greek Soup
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




149 Comments

  1. I used to go to a Greek restaurant to get this delicious, creamy soup. Now I can make it at home anytime I want! I added a little extra fresh lemon because we love lemon and I only used one large egg. Blending the egg, lemon, and rice makes all the difference!5 stars

  2. Delicious. I had left over leeks from another recipe and used one instead of the onion. Can it be frozen? Thank you.5 stars

    1. picked a bunch of lemons off the tree and tried this recipe. it’s delish! the lemon flavor weren’t overwhelming. it’s such an easy recipe since I shredded the Costco rotisserie chicken the night before.5 stars

  3. Delicious! I love that this creamy soup is made dairy free….and without soaking cashews. Have made it 3 or 4 times now, figured it was time to leave a review!5 stars

  4. Well Lisa…you’ve done it again! Absolutely wonderful. Could add more veges of choice if available, but certainly not necessary. Could it be any easier to make??? Nope. I will be sharing recipe with my foodie friends. Thank you!5 stars

  5. This soup was super easy to make and super, super yummy and comforting on a cold winter day! As recommended by another commenter, I added 2 minced garlic cloves and shredded carrots (simply because I love my veggies). I also added 1/2 tsp each of dried parsley and dillweed. I can’t wait to have leftovers tomorrow. Wonderful recipe!5 stars

  6. Flavor was so good but I missed the part of using cooked white rice and mine is crunchy :( Will have to try again another time!

  7. Woop woop! I’ve got a new favorite soup!! This is FABULOUS! I followed the recipe almost exactly, since the amount of lemon is critical in this soup. But I did use rotisserie chicken instead of the chicken breasts, which was absolutely fine. My immersion blender worked well for the mixing component. My husband went nuts for it, too. My only suggestion …. make at least a double batch. You’ll want to eat this over and over.5 stars

  8. Instead of rice, I used Orzo. I never used onion or celery in my recipe, but it was a nice add-in. It was absolutely delicious!

    Thank you!5 stars

  9. It’s cold and rainy up in NorCal, the family has been fighting a cold. Instead of traditional chicken soup, I made this for them. It is so easy to make, so delicious, and most of all so satisfying on a cold night. If you haven’t made this, now is the time.5 stars

      1. Cooked the chicken using your shredded chicken recipe. Made this with brown rice because that’s what I had on hand and already cooked. I also added carrots with the celery and onion, then spinach at the end. So flavorful and creamy. Love your recipes and style of cooking.5 stars

  10. I would give this 1000 stars if I could! I’d never made an avgolemono soup but after making it the first time, I was instantly obsessed. It’s so yummy, creamy (without cream!) plus comforting. I’ve made it for others and it always get high praise – THE BEST EVER, WHAT A HIT, OMG, FANTASTIC and of course, MAY I HAVE THE RECIPE? Thank you very much for this heavenly recipe!5 stars

  11. This is my favorite soup – ever! Thank you for sharing it! It’s very delicious, with delicate flavor that you can make more intense and lemony, or dial it down and make it closer to regular “chicken soup.” I love lemon, so I go heavy on it!5 stars

  12. I love this recipe!! My grandfather was Greek and this delicious soup brings back memories of some of his dishes. Thank you, Lisa! Also thank you for your cookbook. My granddaughter & I each have a copy —- so good! (Beautiful pictures too!!)5 stars

    1. Thanks so much, Jane! I’m happy you loved this recipe and that it brought back fond memories for you. I’m also happy you love my cookbook, yay!

  13. This soup is SO deliciously unexpected, and pretty easy to make! I don’t have a blender I can stream liquid into while it’s running, so I used my immersion blender and it worked perfectly. I could eat this soup every week for the rest of my life!5 stars

    1. Yay, I’m so happy you loved it, Kristin! It really is one of those “regular rotation” kind of soups. Enjoy!

  14. My husband and I have made dozens of your recipes and they never miss! You are our go-to recipe site. This is one of our favorites, it turns out perfect every time. Making it tonight to combat the start of cold season. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful recipes!5 stars

  15. Super easy. Added about double the lemon juice. Tried both parsley & dill, definitely prefer the parsley5 stars

  16. Did not make your exact recipe. Added some changes. Whole Chicken which has skin removed, boiled until tender with celery and white parts of leek and some carrots. Removed Chicken from pot, strained vegies and set aside. The rest is pretty much the same, though in our family the eggs were separated and the whites were betted fluffy and the yolks were added along with lemon juice. Tempering process the same.

  17. Delicious and so easy to make! I used Costco “pulled chicken” in a bag to make this even easier. I’ve never tempered eggs before (or knew it was a thing) but the soup turned out perfect – I didn’t accidentally make egg drop soup. Didn’t need the suggestions for storing leftovers – what leftovers?5 stars

  18. My tween loves lemons but not soup, so I thought we would try this. She loved it! I was worried about tempering the eggs, but following the directions made it turn out perfect. Thank you for sharing this!5 stars

  19. I’ve made this several times now.  It’s so tasty, filling, and satisfying.  Thanks, Lisa!5 stars