Chicken · dinner · soup

Italian Chicken & Orzo Soup

You ever open up your pantry and stand there for what seems like an eternity trying to decide what to make for dinner?

I do.

It happens to me more often than not. I’ve constantly got those gears churning in my head in the kitchen, trying to decide what to make with the haphazard ingredients I have laying around in my pantry and fridge. I can come up with some real duds, but a lot of the times I come up with some fantastic.

I made this soup dinner with things I already had on hand. I’ve got a random assortment of pasta and grains in my cupboard: wild rice mix, couscous, Israeli couscous, and orzo. Orzo works just fine in a soup, so I thought I’d go down that route.

This soup ended up pretty good. It wasn’t my favorite thing of the week, but it sufficed when I was needing a big ol’ hearty bowl of soup. Anybody else feeling the need for more soups in their life right now? I think it’s that comforting aspect that we’re seeking.

You really can throw whatever you want into soups, too. Wilted celery? Chunk it in there. Half a can of chicken broth? Add it. Close to fading spinach? Time for soup! I really should make soups more often–they’re the best recycler we have.


Italian Chicken & Orzo Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Zesty Italian chicken soup with zucchini, carrots, orzo and fresh basil.


  • 1 lb. chicken breast
  • 2 TBS. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 TBS. olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 2 zucchini, cut into half moons
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Shredded parmesan and fresh basil, for topping


  1. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large pot. Season chicken with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add chicken to pot and cook until browned and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove to a cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces.
  2. Heat remaining olive oil in pot and add onion and garlic. Saute until tender and fragrat, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in carrots and zucchini. Add tomatoes, orzo, chicken broth and red pepper flakes. Bring mixture to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Let mixture simmer for 8-10 minutes or until orzo is tender. Stir in cubed chicken and fresh basil. Serve topped with Parmesan and basil.

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