Autumn Chicken and Orzo Soup Recipe

Photo Credit: Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

There are so many great things about fall. The leaves changing, cooler weather, and sweaters. The start to football season. The feeling of change. But my favorite thing about fall is the beginning of soup season.

I love soup. I grew up eating chicken noodle soup every time I visited my grandfather’s house. His house smelled absolutely amazing, with the chicken noodle soup simmering on the stove all day. I looked forward to that soup every time we visited. It’s one of my fondest memories of childhood, and it’s made me a lifelong soup fan.

This autumn chicken and orzo soup recipe is an ode to early fall. It’s delicious, and it’s perfect for the first chilly fall evening. And it’s great for meal-prepping some healthy lunches for the week.

Orzo is fantastic because it adapts to any flavor.

My favorite part about this soup is the orzo. I absolutely love orzo — it’s so versatile. Orzo is essentially a pasta that’s shaped like rice. That means you can prepare it in red sauce or in pasta salads, or you can prepare it as rice, in a pilaf, or in a baked dish. Orzo is fantastic because it adapts to any flavor. For this soup, I recommend making the orzo separately and then adding it in individual portions. This will help the orzo retain its texture. If it sits in the broth too long, it will absorb the broth and become soggy.

This recipe calls for two cups of pulled chicken. To make this super easy, I like to buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it. You can save the leftovers for lunches or dinners, and it tastes absolutely delicious.


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 small white onion, chopped

  • 1 cup carrots, chopped

  • 1 cup celery, chopped

  • 8 cups chicken stock

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon thyme

  • 1 teaspoon rosemary

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 

  • 2 cups pulled chicken

  • Handful of spinach

  • 1 cup cooked orzo

  • Optional: fresh herbs for serving


In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onion is almost translucent and the carrots and celery are soft.

Add the stock, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, and rosemary to the pot. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes on medium heat.

Next, add cannellini beans and chicken. Stir well.

Finally, remove from heat and add a handful of spinach. Wilt the spinach and serve soup into bowls, then add orzo to each bowl. If desired, garnish with fresh herbs like rosemary or Italian parsley.

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