Avgolemono, a delicious homemade Greek lemon chicken soup with arborio rice and vegetables is the perfect comfort food. This simple soup is packed with fresh flavors and can be made ahead and frozen for easy meal planning and prep.
Avgolemono is one of my favorite soups of all time! It’s simple to make and full of flavor. I like to add a lot of vegetables (onion, carrots, and celery) but you could easily leave them out or change them up. The best part is this soup can also be made ahead, frozen, and then reheated for an easy meal.
You’ll often find this Greek lemon chicken soup in diners and Greek restaurants. As I mentioned, it’s one of my favorites.
This chicken soup can vary a bit with types of vegetables and spices. I like to use whatever I have around which sometimes could be any combination of carrots, onions, and celery as well as dill, oregano, and/or parsley.
A more traditional or authentic version generally consists of boiling a whole chicken in water to make homemade chicken broth. But this version that I’m posting is quicker using precooked chicken (a rotisserie chicken is perfect) and premade broth. If you do have a rotisserie chicken, you can make your own broth using the bones from that before starting the soup. Using precooked chicken is definitely the way to go for a quick version.
What is Avgolemono soup?
Avgolemono soup is a traditional Greek soup made from chicken broth, rice, chicken, and vegetables. A lemon and egg mixture (avgolemono sauce) is added to the soup to thicken and give a nice creamy texture.
Avgolemono itself refers to a variety of sauces and soups made from an egg (sometimes just egg yolks) and lemon mixture.
How do you pronounce Avgolemono? It’s not the easiest name to spell or pronounce, and I’m certainly not a pro on this one but avgolemono pronunciation sounds like ahv-go-lem-in-oh to me. I’d love to hear your version in the comments.
Equipment You May Need
- Large Pot – You’ll need a good size pot to make this soup in especially if you double or triple the recipe.
- Whisk – A small or mini whisk will come in handy to mix the lemon and egg.
- Cutting Board – A good quality cutting board for chopping your vegetables.
- Strainer – A strainer helps when rinsing your rice before adding to the soup.
(Full printable recipe card is at bottom of post.)
- Olive Oil – Just a little to sauté the vegetables. Could use any kind of oil or butter if you prefer.
- Onions – Finely chopped white or yellow onions would work fine. Any combination of onions, carrots, and celery works well in the soup.
- Carrots – Peeled and finely chopped. I’m not a big fan of baby carrots but they’d work.
- Celery – Finely chopped.
- Garlic – You can add more or less garlic to your personal taste.
- Chicken Broth – I used regular chicken broth. But you could also use low sodium or could also use chicken stock. Homemade or store bought.
- Oregano – I used dried oregano, but you could also use dried dill and/or parsley. Or garnish the soup at the end with fresh herbs.
- Rice – Arborio rice is generally what is used. Be sure to rinse it really well. You could also use pasta such as orzo or broken up pieces of spaghetti, angel hair, etc. Be sure to adjust the cooking time if you are not using rice.
- Chicken – Precooked chicken (such as boneless skinless chicken breasts or whatever you have) or a rotisserie chicken works just fine.
- Lemon Juice – Fresh is so much better in this soup if you can swing it.
- Egg – One whole large egg. Some people just use the yolk but I used the whole egg.
- Salt & Pepper – Salt and pepper to taste. Chicken broth can be quite salty so give your soup a taste before serving.
How to Make Avgolemono Soup
Step One: Cook the vegetables and garlic until slightly soft.
Step Two: Add the broth and oregano and bring to a boil. Add the rice and cook about 20 minutes. Be sure to adjust the time if using something other than arborio rice.
Step Three: Add chicken.
Step Four: Make the avgolemono sauce by mixing together the egg and lemon juice. Temper the egg by slowly adding some hot soup to the egg and lemon.
Step Five: Add the warm egg and lemon mixture to the soup in the pot. The soup will start to thicken. Remove soup from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
(Full printable recipe card with full details is at bottom of post.)
- Serve with some bread or homemade rolls like these Garlic Cheddar Drop Biscuits or Homemade Dinner Rolls.
- Serve this soup right away or let it cool and freeze in plastic containers or resealable bags.
- This soup sometimes will thicken a lot overnight or after being frozen. It will thin a little after being heated, or add a little more chicken broth if you’d like.
- Garnish the soup with fresh herbs such as oregano, dill, and/or flat leaf parsley if you’d like.
- This chicken soup is also delicious with a Greek salad.
Quick Tips for Best Results
- Be sure to rinse your rice really well before using so it doesn’t suck up all the chicken broth.
- Tempering eggs can be a little tricky if you haven’t done it before. Slowly add some of the hot soup to the egg and lemon juice until it’s warm. If you add the egg and lemon right to the soup, the eggs will curdle and you’ll have scrambled eggs in your soup.
- The soup tends to thicken after it’s been refrigerated or frozen. It will thin a bit when reheated, but you can also add a little more chicken broth (or water) to think if you’d like.
How should I store the Greek lemon chicken soup?
Store the soup in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Can I freeze the soup?
Yes! Freeze in an airtight container or resealable bag (place flat) getting out as much air as possible. As the soup sits it can thicken quite a bit. It will thin a little when reheated or add a little more broth if you’d like.
How long will the Avgolemono last?
It should last a few days in the fridge and a few months in the freezer.
Can you make Avgolemono in an Instant Pot or slow cooker (crockpot)?
I haven’t tried it, but I would think you could put all the ingredients (except egg and lemon) in an Instant Pot and use the rice setting. Then mix in the egg and lemon mixture. Again, I haven’t tried it but that’s how I would try it. As far as a slow cooker, that would be a little tricky with the rice but probably could be done.
Instead of the rice you could use orzo or broken up long thin pasta. Avgolemono with orzo is quite popular. Instead of the dried oregano, you could use parsley and/or dill. You can omit the carrots, onions, and/or celery and add more of another one of the vegetables. If you want to make this soup without chicken, you can just leave it out or use your favorite protein substitute. Mini meatballs would be a great substitute.
Can I use low-fat ingredients?
There’s nothing really high fat in the soup besides the egg. The egg does thicken the soup so I would not suggest omitting it.
What else can I add to this recipe?
You can add your favorite vegetables and or spices and herbs.
Can I use brown rice or another grain?
I haven’t tried it but would think you could use your favorite grain or rice like brown rice, quinoa, farro, etc. However, the cooking time would vary.
Can I make this vegan/vegetarian/low carb/gluten-free?
Here are some suggestions, but I can’t guarantee results. Be sure as always to check particular brands and ingredients if you’re following a specific diet or have diet restrictions or allergies.
Vegan – You could use vegetable broth and omit the chicken. To make without egg, you could use your favorite thickener.
Vegetarian – You can omit the chicken and use vegetable broth.
Low-Carb – Instead of rice or pasta, you could use cauliflower rice. See my other version… Low Carb Greek Lemon Chicken Soup.
Gluten-Free – It’s gluten-free just double check your brands and ingredients.
Other Soup Recipes You May Enjoy
- Chicken Alfredo Soup – A rich and creamy soup inspired by Fettuccine Alfredo.
- Slow Cooker French Onion Soup – An easy version of the French Onion classic soup.
- Egg Roll Soup – A low carb soup based on the popular Chinese appetizer.
- Chicken Tortilla Soup – Another family favorite! Serve with all your favorite taco toppings.
Hope you enjoy this delicious homemade chicken Avgolemono soup. Tell me in the comments if you made any changes!
If you like this recipe, you may also like this DIY Everyday Greek Seasoning or these easy Baked Greek French Fries!
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
- 1/2 cup carrots finely chopped
- 1/2 cup celery finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 cup arborio rice rinsed very well
- 1 cup precooked shredded chicken (or finely chopped)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 large egg
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Add olive oil to a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery and stir and cook about one minute. Stir in garlic.
- Stir in chicken broth and oregano. Cover and bring to a boil. Add rice and reduce heat to simmer. Cook about 20 minutes or until rice is soft.
- Stir in shredded chicken.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and egg. Slowly spoon some (about 1/2 to one cup) of the hot soup into the bowl with the eggs while whisking to slowly raise the temperature of the eggs without curdling.
- Pour the egg and lemon mixture into the soup in the pot and stir to combine. Remove soup from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
(Nutrition data is provided when available for informational purposes only and calculated using an online nutritional calculator. For the most accurate information please calculate based on specific ingredients and brands you use as well as any changes you made to the recipe. I am not a certified nutritionist or registered dietician and any nutritional information provided should only be used as a general guideline and estimate.)
We really loved this delicious soup! The lemon and egg take chicken and rice to the next level. I highly reccomend this recipe.
I loved chicken and rice soup when I was a kid and this was an amazing glow up! The lemon is perfect at balancing the soup and bringing a fresh taste.
This soup was so comforting and delicious! Perfect for the chilly weather. I loved your tip about rinsing the rice first!
I love that this soup recipe uses fresh vegetables! Can’t wait to try it!
This soup is so full of warm and comforting flavors! Perfect on a cold winter day!