Greek Lemon Chicken Soup Two Ways (Video)
Greek Lemon Chicken Soup is traditionally made with rice, but it was equally delicious with cauliflower rice for a low-carb version! Use either type of rice you prefer for this delicious Greek Avgolemono Soup that’s thickened with a mixture of beaten egg and lemon juice.
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This Greek Lemon Chicken Soup Two Ways is officially called Greek Avgolemono Soup, and this is one of those dishes I’ve been passionately in love with ever since I tried it! And I think I first had this 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 first made this soup for the blog years ago and my version was adapted from The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines (affiliate link), a very old cookbook with lots of good ideas. I made 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!
And the Greek Lemon Chicken Soup made with cauliflower rice was really amazing for a low-carb soup. 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 ingredients do you need for this recipe?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- chicken broth (or use homemade chicken stock if you have some)
- olive oil
- Dried Parsley (affiliate link)
- Dried Thyme (affiliate link)
- frozen cauliflower rice or finely chopped fresh cauliflower rice, or use Ben’s Original Converted Rice (affiliate link) for the version with rice
- diced leftover chicken
- fresh lemon juice, I used my fresh-frozen lemon juice
- lemon zest (grated lemon rind)
What rice should you use for Greek Lemon Chicken Soup with rice?
If I was seriously in need of comfort food, I’d make this soup with rice for a treat and use the low-glycemic Ben’s Original Converted Rice (affiliate link) that so many Greek cooks use in the U.S. But I promise the soup was absolutely delicious and very low in carbs when we made it with cauliflower rice!
What is Avgolemono Sauce?
What makes this dish so special is the Avgolemono Sauce that you mix into the soup to thicken it. Avgolemono is 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. And the egg-lemon sauce that thickens the soup is one of the classic sauces in Greek cuisine! Avgolemono isn’t really that difficult to make, but you need to be careful not to let the soup boil after the sauce has been added or it will curdle the soup.
Want more soups with Cauliflower Rice?
You can check out Low-Carb and Keto Soups with Cauliflower Rice to find more tasty soup recipes that use cauliflower rice.
How to Make Greek Lemon Chicken Soup Two Ways:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- If you don’t have leftover cooked chicken, cook 3-4 chicken thighs or 2 small chicken breasts in some chicken broth.
- I had rotisserie chicken that I cut up to make 2 cups diced chicken. Use a bit more chicken if you prefer a thicker soup.
- Heat olive oil in soup pot and cook the onion the onion until it’s barely starting to brown.
- Then add Dried Parsley (affiliate link), and Dried Thyme (affiliate link) and cook a few minutes more.
- Add homemade chicken stock (or canned chicken broth) and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- 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.
- For rice, measure 1/2 cup rice, preferably Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice (affiliate link).
- 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.
- Add the diced chicken to the soup and simmer over very low heat for 5 minutes.
- Zest a lemon and measure out 1 teaspoon of lemon zest. Then squeeze that lemon and enough more lemons to get 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice. (You can also use fresh-frozen lemon juice.)
- Beat eggs until they look frothy, then whisk in the lemon zest and lemon juice.
- 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.
- Some Greeks make this soup with just chicken stock, rice, and the Avgolemono sauce, but I like the pieces of chicken in the soup.
Ten Delicious Ideas for Greek Chicken:
- Greek Chicken Bake
- Greek Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Greek Lemon Chicken
- Greek Chicken, Green Beans, and Tomatoes Sheet Pan Meal
- Greek Chicken Foil Packets
- Instant Pot Greek Chicken Tacos
- Instant Pot Cauliflower Rice Greek Chicken Bowls
- Very Greek Grilled Chicken
- Greek Chicken with Tomato, Olive and Feta Topping
- Greek Skillet Chicken
Greek Lemon Chicken Soup Two Ways
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.
- 6 cups chicken broth (see notes)
- 1/2 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 fresh or 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)
- 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.
- Add the dried parsley and dried thyme and cook a minute or two more.
- Add the 6 cups chicken broth or chicken stock to the soup pot and simmer 10-15 minutes.
- Add the rice or fresh cauliflower rice and simmer over medium-low heat until rice is tender or cauliflower is fully cooked, about 20-25 minutes.
- If you're using frozen cauliflower rice, the cooking time will be a bit less; I would check after 15 minutes.
- Then stir in the diced leftover chicken.
- Turn heat to lowest possible setting, and cook about 5 minutes more.
- Zest a lemon and then squeeze additional lemons to get 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice.
- Beat eggs with whisk until they are starting to get frothy; then whisk in lemon juice and lemon zest.
- Remove one cup of hot broth from the soup, let the broth cool slightly.
- Then whisk 1/2 cup broth and then another 1/2 cup into the egg mixture, beating well between each addition.
- Whisk this mixture into the big pot of soup (be sure the temperature is very low) and let the soup heat gently.
- DO NOT BOIL after the egg-lemon mixture has been added.
You can use fresh cauliflower that's finely chopped in the food processor to make cauliflower rice or frozen cauliflower rice for this recipe.
To make the soup with regular rice, use 1/2 cup Ben’s Original Converted Rice (not instant) for the traditional soup.
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.
Use low-sodium chicken broth if you prefer.
Nutritional information is for the soup with cauliflower rice.
Recipe adapted from The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines (affiliate link).
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 181Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2.7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6.4gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 1000mgCarbohydrates: 5.4gFiber: 1gSugar: 2.8gProtein: 16g
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.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Ben’s Original Converted Rice (affiliate link) is the lowest-glycemic type of white rice, and if you use that for this Greek 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 original South Beach Diet or any other type of low-carb or Keto eating plan.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Soup Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
I first made this delicious soup for the blog in 2006, probably without a single photo! The recipe was last updated with more information in 2023.
37 Comments on “Greek Lemon Chicken Soup Two Ways (Video)”
Anne hope you enjoy! I love seeing the improvement from the old photos.
Adding to my collection of cauliflower-rice-friendly recipes! Love those flavors. Also ADORE the 9 year old photo. Here's to evolution!
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.
Erin, so glad you like it!
This soup is lovely – thank you for sharing!
This will definitely be added to our soup list for the winter! It looks delicious and easy to make. Thank you for sharing!
Greek cuisine is wonderful, but… only with Greek ingredients!
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.
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.
This is such an original way to use leftover chicken or turkey. The brightness of the lemon in Avgolemono is always tempting.
Anna, good to know that we're both making it the same! I love this as well; one of my favorites for years!
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!
Good to know about the rice. Thanks Kalyn.
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.
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
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.
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.
I am a Greek food novice, but this looks fantastic. What is converted rice, exactly? Can I substitute regular rice?
Avgolemono is one of my favorite soups, and I'm intrigued because this version is so different from mine. Must give it a try.
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!