This Avgolemono Soup recipe is an unforgettable silky, tangy, Greek Lemon Chicken Soup laced with fragrant rice, lemon and fresh herbs, that’s as equally cozy as it is refreshing!
Avgolemono Soup is a uniquely cozy, lemony, chicken soup loaded with refreshing, comforting, nutritious, feel-good ingredients. It’s made with juicy shredded chicken (or shortcut rotisserie), tender jasmine rice, carrots and celery, aromatic onions and garlic in a vibrant lemony broth infused with fresh dill and parsley. What sets Greek Lemon Chicken Soup apart, is it’s prepared Greek-style with avgolemono sauce (lemon-egg sauce) so the broth is extra silky, luxurious, vibrant and satisfying! Serve your Avgolemono Soup with dinner rolls and a Greek salad for a complete feast!
Warming up to a big bowl of chicken soup not only fills the belly and warms the soul, but makes great meal prep and/or leftovers. Don’t miss some of our favorite comforting chicken soup recipes such as Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup, Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, Lemon Chicken Tortellini Soup, Chicken Tortilla Soup.
How to Make Avgolemono Soup Video
What is Avgolemono Soup?
Avgolemono, (pronounced ah-vgo-le-mono with a light g or sometimes silent g) refers to a classic silky, Greek sauce made of eggs, lots of lemon and warm chicken broth. It’s used throughout Greece (and the Mediterranean under various names) to thicken and infuse dishes with richness and bright notes of lemon. The addition of more chicken broth, juicy shredded chicken, rice, vegetables and herbs transforms the sauce into a rich, satisfying Greek Lemon Chicken Soup.
Just like chili in the United States, there are untold versions of Greek Avgolemono Soup. Some laboriously begin with a whole chicken and homemade chicken stock, others are as simple as adding additional broth to avgolemono, some use a few eggs, others many eggs, some whip the egg whites separately, some use a moderately amount of lemon, most are heavy on the lemon. The constant key, however, is the avgolemono sauce in some form.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE this Avgolemono Soup recipe
Silky. Avgolemono Soup may begin like any ordinary chicken rice soup with onions, carrots, celery and broth, but the broth is enriched with lemon and eggs for an unforgettable rich, luxuriously silky, tangy broth that’s extra comforting.
Lemony. The avgolemono is generous with the sunny, bright lemon juice that enlivens the cozy soup with refreshing tanginess.
Well-seasoned. Garlic, onions, dried herbs, fresh dill and fresh parsley, plenty of salt and pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes combine along with the sunny lift from the citrus, for an alluring tapestry of aromatics, citrus and herbs.
Extremely versatile. Swap the jasmine rice for brown rice, orzo, quinoa or barley (see notes), add any veggies you like and use shortcut rotisserie chicken.
Crave worthy ingredients. The tender rice combined with the vegetables and juicy shredded chicken in the silky broth creates a crave-worthy medley of good-for-you textures.
Greek Lemon CHicken Soup Ingredients
Avgolemono Soup boasts rich and complex flavor, but it’s made with very basic ingredients you likely have on hand already! Let’s review what you’ll need to make this Greek soup (full recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):
Can a Rotisserie Chicken Be Used?
Absolutely! Rotisserie chicken is so easy to use in this recipe for Avgolemono Soup and tastes fantastic (I recommend it over chicken breasts). Rotisserie chicken comes lightly seasoned for a depth of flavor and is a mix of both light and dark meat. It also comes perfectly tender and ready to shred.
To use rotisserie chicken, shred the chicken, discard the bones, and add about 3 cups of shredded chicken to the soup after you’ve added the egg-lemon sauce, just to warm through.
Can I Use Brown Rice?
You can technically use brown rice, but be aware it takes about three times longer to cook in the soup, so be ready to add additional broth and waiting time or you can cook the rice separately:
-Rice cooker: Pop the brown rice in your rice cooker while you make the rest of the soup, then add it at the end.
-Microwave: Microwavable brown rice packets or quinoa work perfectly.
-Leftovers: Add leftover brown rice at the end of cooking, no need to warm first.
HOW TO MAKE Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
WHAT to serve with Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
This Avgolemono Soup recipe is hearty and comforting, full of protein, carbs and veggies, so it doesn’t need much as far as sides go. However, we love serving it with:
Can This Recipe Be Made in Advance?
Yes! The flavors of this Avgolemono Soup are fantastic the next day but the rice will soak up some broth while it sits so may need to stir in additional broth to reach desired consistency. Now, just reheat per below instructions.
Can This Recipe Be Prepped in Advance?
The ingredients for this Greek Lemon Chicken Soup can be prepped ahead of time, making dinner come together quickly. You can choose to complete all or just a few of the steps ahead of time:
-Chicken: trim, season and refrigerate or proceed to sear, then refrigerate.
-Vegetables and aromatics: chop and refrigerate, or sauté and refrigerate in the pot with the chicken, broth and seasonings.
-Lemons: can be juiced, zested and refrigerated.
-Eggs: whisk the eggs and egg yolks together with the lemon juice. Bring to room temperature before tempering.
-Fresh herbs: mince ahead of time and refrigerate.
HOW Do I Store AVGOLEMONO SOUP?
Let the soup cool to room temperature, cover and store in your Dutch oven or transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
CAn I Freeze AVGOLEMONO SOUP?
Yes! Because Greek Lemon Chicken Soup is creamy without any cream, it’s great to freeze! Freeze in a large freezer safe container or in smaller airtight containers for up to 3 months. Place in the refrigerator to thaw overnight.
How do I reheat AVGOLEMONO SOUP?
-Stove: The eggs will not scramble when reheated! Just make sure to reheat gently over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until warmed through, adding additional broth as needed.
-Microwave: For smaller batches or individual servings, transfer soup to a microwave-safe dish, add additional broth as needed, cover with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel. Microwave for 90 seconds, stir, then continue to microwave for 30-second intervals, if needed.
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Avgolemono Soup (Greek Lemon Chicken Soup)
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, patted dry (OR see notes for breasts or rotisserie chicken)
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2-3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- pinch-¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons granulated chicken bouillon, cubes or bouillon better than bouillon (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp EACH dried basil, dried thyme, salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup uncooked long-grain jasmine rice (see notes for brown)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 large eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- Sear chicken: Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven/soup pot. Season chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper then sear until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate but leave drippings.
- Saute vegetables: Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat in the drippings. Increase to medium-high heat and add onions, carrots and celery; sauté until tender, scraping up the golden bits on the bottom of the pan. Add garlic and red pepper (if using) and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add ingredients: Add chicken back to the pot along with lemon zest, bouillon, all seasonings and chicken broth.
- Simmer soup: Cover the soup to bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Simmer the soup (covered) until the chicken is tender enough to shred, about 12-15 minutes (longer for breasts). Meanwhile:
- Make avgolemono: While the soup is simmering, whisk together the lemon juice, eggs and egg yolks in a medium liquid measuring cup or mixing bowl; set aside.
- Shred chicken: Once chicken is tender, remove to a cutting board; shred once cool enough to handle, don’t add back to the pot yet.
- Simmer rice: Add the rice to the soup, cover, and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently until rice is almost tender, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. ***NOTE: Cooking time may vary depending on your rice and how long it takes to bring your soup to a simmer so I suggest checking the rice often until done. Don't cook until completely tender (should have a little "bite" to it) because the rice will continue to cook while the hot soup sits.
- Temper eggs: Using a ladle, slowly drizzle some of the hot soup into the egg and lemon mixture while whisking CONSTANTLY in order to temper the eggs. Repeat about 4 times, whisking constantly.
- Add eggs to soup: Off-heat, whisk the tempered egg mixture into the soup, whisking constantly.
- Add chicken and herbs: Stir the shredded chicken, fresh parsley and dill into the soup. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if desired.
- Chicken: I recommend juicier, more flavorful, boneless, skinless chicken thighs. However, you may swap out for chicken breasts (they’ll take longer to cook, but make sure not to overcook or they will be dry!) or better yet, use rotisserie chicken. To use shredded rotisserie chicken, add about 3 cups of shredded chicken to the soup after you’ve added the egg-lemon sauce.
- Omit protein: You can also omit the chicken completely, and/or even the vegetables for a simple Avgolemono Soup recipe.
- Brown rice: You can use brown rice, but it will take about 3 times longer to cook, so be prepared to add additional broth. Alternatively, use leftover cooked rice, cook it in your rice cooker or use microwavable packets and add it to the soup at the end of cooking.
- Pre-cooked rice: Add any pre-cooked rice or grain to the soup after the eggs are tempered. You will need less broth because it won’t be absorbed by the rice when cooking. I suggest starting with 6 cups broth then adding more as needed.
- Chicken bouillon:Use bouillon powder, bouillon cubes or better than bouillon. Add it to the soup without dissolving in liquid first. If using cubes, you will need 2, which you crush up and add directly to the broth.
- Add more or less lemon: As written, this recipe is heavily scented with lemon and quite tangy. You can start with less if you wish and add more to taste.
- Vegetables: Add any veggies you like! See post for lots of variation ideas!
- Prep ahead: The chicken can be trimmed, seasoned and refrigerated or seared, the vegetables can be chopped or and even sauteed, the lemons can be juiced and zested, the eggs can be whisked with the lemon juice and refrigerated and the herbs can be minced and refrigerated.
- Storage: Let the soup cool to room temperature, cover and store in your Dutch oven or transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4 days. To freeze, transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Place in the refrigerator to thaw overnight.
- To reheat: The eggs will not scramble when reheated! Just make sure to reheat gently over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until warmed through, adding additional broth as needed. You can also microwave individual servings.
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