Kalyn's Kitchen

Greek Egg-Lemon Chicken Soup with Rice or Cauliflower Rice

Greek Egg-Lemon Chicken Soup is traditionally made with rice, but it was equally delicious with cauliflower rice for a low-carb version! 

PIN Greek Egg-Lemon Chicken Soup to try it later!

Greek Egg-Lemon Chicken Soup with Rice or Cauliflower Rice title photo

This Greek Egg-Lemon Chicken Soup with Rice or Cauliflower Rice is a fun twist on Greek Avgolemono Soup, which is one of those dishes I’ve been passionately in love with ever since the first time I tried it! And I think I first had Egg Lemon Chicken Soup in college, so that’s a long time I’ve been loving this chicken and rice soup that’s thickened with eggs and lemon. I’m guessing I first tasted the soup at The Other Place, a Greek-American restaurant in Salt Lake City, and I still like their version of this classic Greek dish. 

I first made this soup for the blog in 2006 (!) and that version was adapted from The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines (affiliate link), a very old cookbook with lots of good ideas. I make the soup with leftover rotisserie chicken and chicken stock from the freezer, and I had those things on hand when the idea struck me to try making a low-carb version of this favorite soup by replacing the rice with cauliflower rice!

I have to be honest and say that if I was seriously in need of comfort food, I’d probably make this soup less often and use the low-glycemic Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice (affiliate link) that so many Greek cooks use in the U.S. But for a delicious low-carb soup, the Egg-Lemon Greek Chicken Soup with Cauliflower Rice was really good. And personally I think this is a pretty healthy soup no matter whether you use rice or cauliflower rice, and I’m featuring it for this week’s Friday Favorites post to see if I can entice you to make it; enjoy!

What is Avgolemono Sauce? 

What makes this soup special is the Avgolemono Sauce that you mix into the soup to thicken it, a mixture of beaten eggs, and fresh lemon juice and zest that’s mixed with some of the hot soup and then gently stirred back into the rest of the soup. The egg-lemon sauce that thickens the soup is one of the classic sauces in Greek cuisine! Avgolemono Sauce isn’t really that difficult to make, but you must be careful not to let the soup boil after it’s been added or it will curdle the soup.

Greek Egg-Lemon Chicken Soup with Rice or Cauliflower Rice process shots collage

How to Make Greek Egg-Lemon Chicken Soup with Rice or Cauliflower Rice:

(Scroll down for complete recipe including nutritional information.)

  1. If you don’t have leftover cooked chicken you’ll need to cook 3-4 chicken thighs or 2 chicken breasts in some chicken stock, but I had rotisserie chicken that I just cut up to make 2 cups diced chicken. Use a bit more chicken if you prefer a thicker soup.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot and saute the onion the onion until it’s barely starting to brown.
  3. Then add dried parsley, and dried thyme and cook a few minutes more. 
  4. Add homemade chicken stock (or canned chicken brother) and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  5. If you’re going to use cauliflower rice, buzz chopped cauliflower in the food processor until you have about 1 1/2 cups chopped cauliflower, or use frozen cauliflower rice if you want to make it easy. 
  6. For rice, measure 1/2 cup rice, preferably Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice (affiliate link). 
  7. Add the raw cauliflower (or rice) to the stock mixture and simmer until until it’s done, about 20-25 minutes for rice or fresh cauliflower rice, and slightly less for frozen cauliflower rice. 
  8. Add the diced chicken to the soup and simmer over very low heat for 5  minutes.
  9. Zest a lemon and measure out 1 teaspoon of lemon zest.  Then squeeze that lemon and enough more to get 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice.  (You can also use fresh-frozen lemon juice.) 
  10. Beat eggs until they look frothy, then whisk in the lemon zest and lemon juice.
  11. Remove one cup hot broth from the soup and whisk into the egg mixture a little at a time. Then stir the egg-lemon mixture back into the soup and cook over the lowest possible heat until it thickens, but do not boil. 
  12. Some Greeks make this soup with just chicken stock, rice, and the Avgolemono sauce, but I always like the pieces of chicken in the soup.

close-up photo of Greek Egg-Lemon Chicken Soup with Rice or Cauliflower Rice

Yes, I REALLY Love Greek Chicken:

Easy Low-Carb Greek Chicken Bake
Marinate All Day Greek Lemon Chicken 
Low-Carb Greek Chicken, Green Beans, and Tomatoes Sheet Pan Meal
Low-Carb Grilled Greek Chicken Packets
Instant Pot Low-Carb Greek Chicken Tacos
Instant Pot Low-Carb Cauliflower Rice Greek Chicken Bowls 
Very Greek Grilled Chicken

close-up photo of Greek Egg-Lemon Chicken Soup with Rice or Cauliflower Rice

Greek Egg-Lemon Chicken Soup with Rice or Cauliflower Rice

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Greek Egg-Lemon Chicken Soup is traditionally made with low-glycemic Uncle Ben's rice, but it was delicious with cauliflower rice for a low-carb option.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken stock (I use my homemade chicken stock)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley (or a little less)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme (or a little less)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen cauliflower rice (see notes)
  • 2 cups diced leftover chicken (see notes)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (or more if you like it really lemony)
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest (grated lemon rind)

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy soup pot, add the onion and cook over medium-high heat until the onion is softened and starting to brown.
  2. Add the dried parsley and dried thyme and cook a minute or two more.
  3. Add the 6 cups chicken stock to the soup pot and simmer 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add the rice or raw cauliflower rice and simmer over medium-low heat until rice is tender or cauliflower is fully cooked, about 20-25 minutes.
  5. Then stir in the diced leftover chicken.
  6. Turn heat to lowest possible setting, and cook about 5 minutes more.
  7. Zest a lemon and then squeeze additional lemons to get 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice.
  8. Beat eggs with whisk until they are starting to get frothy; then whisk in lemon juice and lemon zest.
  9. Remove one cup of hot broth from the soup, let the broth cool slightly.
  10. Then whisk 1/2 cup broth and then another 1/2 cup into the egg mixture, beating well between each addition.
  11. Whisk this mixture into the big pot of soup (be sure the temperature is very low) and let the soup heat gently.
  12. DO NOT BOIL after the egg-lemon mixture has been added.

Notes

You can use fresh cauliflower that's finely chopped in the food processor to make cauliflower rice or frozen cauliflower rice for this recipe, or use Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice (not instant) for the traditional soup if you don't care about carbs. Use a bit more chicken if you prefer a thicker soup.

This soup cannot be frozen and must be reheated carefully or the eggs will curdle the broth.  It will keep in the fridge for a few days, but it’s best freshly made.

Nutritional information is for the soup with cauliflower rice.

Recipe adapted from The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines (affiliate link).

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 261Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 143mgSodium: 420mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 21g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Greek Egg-Lemon Chicken Soup with Rice or Cauliflower Rice thumbnail photo

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice is the lowest-glycemic type of white rice, and if you use that for this Greek Egg-Lemon Chicken Soup it would be good for phase 2 or 3 of the original South Beach Diet. Using cauliflower rice would make this a very low-carb soup, suitable for any phase of the South Beach Diet or any other type of low-carb eating plan.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Soup Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
I first made this delicious Egg Lemon Chicken Soup for the blog in 2006. Recipe was updated with better instructions March, 2020.

Pinterest image of Greek Egg-Lemon Chicken Soup with Rice or Cauliflower Rice (Avgolemono Soup)

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    43 Comments on “Greek Egg-Lemon Chicken Soup with Rice or Cauliflower Rice”

  1. Your “White on Rice” photography inspiration is showing, Kalyn, lovely photo showing off your soup! And you are awfully brave to show off the old photos. I just delete them! PS Believe it or not, this is a soup I’ve never tried. Adding it to the list!

    • Thanks so much Alanna. I still have my days where I think the photos look awful, but sometimes I am pleased with them. You MUST try this soup right away. Seriously, it is so amazing.

  2. Erin, so glad you like it!

  3. This soup is lovely – thank you for sharing!

  4. This will definitely be added to our soup list for the winter! It looks delicious and easy to make. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Greek cuisine is wonderful, but… only with Greek ingredients!

  6. Hey Kalyn, your Avgolemono Soup is a Recipe Guessing Game on Knapkins. Think your friends can win?
    http://www.knapkins.com/guess_games/1027?source=blog

    Show your foodie love and vote here
    http://www.knapkins.com/duel?dish=15574

  7. Mmmm… love the look of this. On one of the LighterLife diet plans – Can't wait to eat proper food again. This sea bass recipe looks great too.

  8. YUM! I made this yesterday. Normally soup is not on the menu here in Brisbane, Australia at this time of the year due to the hot weather. However, it is a "chilly" 70DegF here at the moment, so we feel like it is winter! 🙂

    Best soup I have tasted in ages, and now on the favourites list.

  9. This is such an original way to use leftover chicken or turkey. The brightness of the lemon in Avgolemono is always tempting.

  10. Anna, good to know that we're both making it the same! I love this as well; one of my favorites for years!

  11. i just love this soup. it's one of my all time favourites because the lemon just lifts the flavour incridibly. a great one in winter to remember that fresh zing of summer.
    your recipe is very similar to my own, so good to know i'm doing it right!

  12. Good to know about the rice. Thanks Kalyn.

  13. This is a lovely version of the soup, Kalyn. It is a favorite of mine and I'm always looking for new ways to prepare it. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  14. Suzanne, I do sympathize, but I don't think that's a change I'd want to make; it would completely change the format of my blog posts and I have over 900 recipes and want to keep the format consistent. I will think about it though and see if I can come up with any ideas to help.

    Jeanette, that method of beating the egg whites separately may be more traditional, I'm not sure. But this method still produces a delicious creamy soup. I've had it without any added herbs or lemon zest in restaurants, and it's delicious that way as well.

  15. I've been sitting on a friend's recipe for Avgolemono the last few weeks. Made the stock/chicken and ended up freezing it and haven't gotten around to actually making the soup. Her version (from a Greek cookbook) is slightly different. The eggs whites are beaten separately until stiff, then the yolks are added back. She did mention too that it is a little tricky when adding the eggs into the broth. Interesting that converted rice is used, and I like the addition of thyme and lemon zest for extra zip.

  16. Love your recipes! Would it be possible for you to post the recipe at the top of your posts, before all of the method information with photos that take awhile to download on a slow connection?

  17. Lydia, now I must go check out your version!

    Zesty, "converted" rice has been parboiled so some of the starch is removed, which is what makes it better for South Beach. It was supposedly the only type of rice Julia Child would use! I think regular rice will work, but the converted rice stays firm in soup a little better. (And all my Greek friends tell me that converted rice is what they use.) I'd substitute Basmati if you have that, but regular long grain rice would be okay too.

  18. I am a Greek food novice, but this looks fantastic. What is converted rice, exactly? Can I substitute regular rice?

  19. Avgolemono is one of my favorite soups, and I'm intrigued because this version is so different from mine. Must give it a try.

  20. Thanks for the recipe – this tastes just like a Greek restaurant I used to love in Chicago! I think the soup was a bit too hot when I added the milk because I can see tiny pieces of what might be scrambled bits of egg, but it still tastes bright and soothing and yummy!