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Lemon Chicken & Rice Soup

Years ago, I fell hard for a lemony Greek soup at Panera Bread. It was just a special back then, and I re-created it at home so we could eat it whenever a craving hit! —Kristin Cherry, Bothell, Washington
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. Cook: 4-1/4 hours
  • Makes
    12 servings (4 quarts)


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard, kale or spinach
  • 2 large carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium lemon, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice


  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add half of the chicken; cook and stir until browned. Transfer to a 6-qt. slow cooker. Repeat with remaining oil and chicken.
  • Stir broth, vegetables, lemon slices, lemon juice, lemon zest and pepper into chicken. Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours or until chicken is tender. Stir in rice; heat through.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/3 cups: 203 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat), 42mg cholesterol, 612mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 2g fiber), 20g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat.

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Average Rating:
  • Jerry
    Feb 26, 2020

    Update to my 2.22.2020 review. I neglected to add: Do not add the rice! One should NOT steam pressure cook can recipes containing grains. Add steamed rice to the soup when opening a jar to re-heat.

  • Roseann
    Apr 30, 2019

    My family loves this recipe. Have made it a few times and have also shared the recipe with co-workers.

  • mommylu
    Sep 5, 2016

    My family loves this soup. I added 1/2 tsp. salt and used 6 cups of chicken broth and 4 cups of water. I used kale and will continue to...I don't think spinach would hold up well enough and the kale added great texture. I wash my lemons thoroughly and didn't notice any bitterness. The lemon was a great flavor, not too much at all if you like lemon. I also didn't add the rice to the full pot of soup, but instead added it to each dish before ladling the soup on top. I plan to freeze some of the leftovers and thought it would reheat better this way.

  • JCV4
    Jan 25, 2016

    This soup is VERY lemony! It was good, but if I make it again I will omit the thinly sliced lemon.

  • AWayOfLife
    Oct 18, 2014

    Soup was bitter. It had no favor. I would not make it again. To much rice in the recipe.

  • Paulette419
    Jul 8, 2014

    Loved this recipe!

  • CatMurphy
    Mar 23, 2014

    This was extremely too bitter for my tastes. I suggest using a quarter of the sliced lemon or maybe none at all.

  • matteliz
    Mar 12, 2014

    This was pretty good, extremely lemony and a bit sour if you like that. I used orzo instead of rice, for speed of preparation. Kind of a refreshingly sour, bright taste. We didn't rave about it, but if I had lots of lemons on hand I would probably make it again.

  • gucci65
    Feb 27, 2014

    After being sick for almost two month I decided to make this. I used preserved lemons instead and orzo. It was delish !!!!!!

  • ahmom
    Feb 25, 2014

    very good!