A 15-Minute Keeper

[Photo updated September 2023] This Greek chicken soup (aka Avgolemono) was the single most popular dinner we ran in Cookie magazine (RIP) when I was working there, most likely because it takes 15 minutes to whip up from start to finish, and yet…I had never actually tried it until last Thursday. At which point Phoebe picked up her bowl and drank every last drop, and at which point my husband nearly wept with joy, and at which point I began almost immediately emailing everyone I knew demanding they try it asap. (Abby will weigh in later, after her “15-20 exposures.”)


4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup uncooked orzo
salt and pepper
3 eggs
3 tablespoons lemon juice
handful fresh dill (chopped)
shredded rotisserie chicken (optional)

In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil.

Add the orzo and cook until tender but still al dente, about 7 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper and reduce heat to low; let simmer.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and lemon juice until smooth. Ladle about 1 cup of the hot broth into the egg-and-lemon mixture, whisking to combine.

Add the mixture back to the simmering saucepan. Stir just until the soup becomes opaque and thickens as the eggs cook, 1 to 2 minutes. Add dill, salt and pepper (to taste) and chicken if you have it, and serve.

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I have to agree – this recipe alone would make the book worth buying. SO good! And it’s a huge hit with both hubby and 6 year old.


You add the egg-lemon-broth mixture BACK to the broth that has been simmering on the stove. If you added the egg-lemon mixture all at once, the eggs would scramble. By adding a little hot broth first, you are tempering the mixture to prevent scrambling. Make sense?


Did you include some sort of herb in your soup? What are the pretty green bits in there? Thanks, thanks looks great!


oh my parents are Greek and I never thought id be able to make this as good as my mum does – but I gave it a go and now its my favourite soup to make – so easy too!
I think mine always ends up tastier than my mums, but i wont tell her that of course!


i second the question on the pretty green floating herbs in the sauce. is that dill?
whenever i make a chicken-based soup, i usually just add cilantro… making nearly all my chicken-based soups taste delicious, but the same.

what else do you suggest for putting in basic chicken soups?


Mmm I just tried it, had no chicken but smoked salmon (OK, surely not the same); so I added some more lemon juice and some chive and it is delicious! Can’t wait to try it tomorrow with chicken!!!


This soup was delicious! I did do a couple of things differently, though. First, I cooked a medium bone-in skin-on chicken breast in broth until done. I then discarded the bones and skin and proceeded with the recipe from there. At the end, I added some chopped spinach which would have been good had I let it cook long enough.

Overall, it’s a simple tasty soup that my “I don’t like food/don’t like to eat” three-year old enjoyed.


I love this soup! This is the recipe I give to friends who aren’t too confident in the kitchen.


This recipe is one of the BEST!!! I have the same recipe; although my “Greek” fiance LOVES lemon so I use an extra tbsp. Mmmm, mmmm, good!


It was sorta ho humm…but thenI added salt to my bowl, and that was like magic. I might have added too much chicken. It was incredibly fast, from start to finish. I added about a tsp finely chopped fresh italian flat leaf parsley. Next time maybe dried will be better. Looking forward to how it stands up reheated.


So much for freezing the stock that’s simmering away in my crockpot. This sounds like a better use for it – even if it is 65 degrees today in Texas!


This soup sounds wonderful I want to try it next week. Does anyone have suggestions for accompaniment? seems like I need something green to make this meal more rounded. What kid friendly dish would you serve?


So easy and so delicious! I am enjoying your book, both reading your stories and cooking your great recipes (and Andy’s). Thanks for sharing.


Finally got around to making this soup–very good! I doubled it, thinking my kids would eat more than one bowl, but then didn’t, of course. 4 y.o. and 10 m.o. loved it, 5 y.o. hated it. Hubs and I liked it and I gave some leftovers to two friends who also liked it. Reheats fine for the lady who asked about eggs curdling. Oh, served it with steamed green beans and homemade cheddar beer bread for a light supper.


Made this today. It was seriously gorgeous and comforting. It’s great to be able to achieve a creamy texture without having to add (fatty) cream.

Yes, for the people asking, the floaty bits look like dill leaves to me.


This was so delicious after a long day in surgery. I’m just a student, and this was a solo meal for tonight, but I have a feeling that this is going to be on the cooking rota really often throughout my doctoring years and hopefully, a family too! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Angela Gernhardt

With five children, I never finish a book, bit I finished yours. I laughed, I was inspired. Thanks for a great read.


Made this last night. And I am in love. This is now on the top of my list of favorite foods. And that is not an exageration.


I think that the pretty green floating things are rosemary sense it would taste DELICIOUS!!!!! And they resemble the rosemary leave entirely


Pinned this a while ago, sad I waited so long to make it! Had it for dinner last night. It was wonderful and so simple to put together. This will be my go to recipe for any extra chicken I have. Thanks for sharing!


For those who like precise measurements, I used 1/2 cup tiny pastilla for the orzo, 1 Tbsp dried bottled dill, and about a cup of finely cut up chicken. Two thumbs up from me and my 1 year old son.


I love this soup and thought of it when my dad was going through chemo and needed to get more protein and calories into his diet. He was eating a lot of soup, but couldn’t tolerate anything creamy. This was perfect – light enough to stay down but with protein from the egg and chicken. (Worked well with my morning sickness too.) Thanks so much.


I made this tonight using a large filet of white fish (not sure what kind) instead of chicken. I had almost 2x more broth than I needed to my own taste. My husband really liked it and it grew on me even though I’m not a huge fan of dill, so I’ll make it again for sure and try it with chicken at some point. Thanks very much!

amanda june

Wow, this is an old recipe, but got a link to it from somewhere and made it for the first time tonight. Came together quickly as promised and was delicious! I love that it’s “creamy” from the eggs and not dairy. Love the fresh lemon taste — a sort of spring take on chicken noodle soup. Will definitely make again, though my husband and I agreed more a higher ratio of orzo would be welcome. I had no fresh dill, but used dried (along with some dried basil); it was forgiving. 🙂


Hi. I visit your site for the first time and like it a lot. Just a small remark. In Greece (I am a Greek working mother of two, living in Greece) we just call the soup ” chicken soup” and not ” avgolemono”. Actually, avgolemono (meaning egg-lemon) is the name of the sauce, which we use in many many recipes (f.e. meatball soup with avgolemono, zucchini with avgolemono etc).


A miracle happened this evening in my home. My three year old, who barely weighs 25 lbs and refuses to eat pretty much anything, had every spoonful of this soup. She even asked for more. My husband and I are crying tears of joy into our own bowls of soup. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this awesome recipe!


Thanks Jenny for another fantastic recipe! I subbed 1/2 C arborio rice for the orzo to make it gluten free and it was fantastic. My two and five year olds loved it, and even the next day my husband was still talking about how much he loved dinner from the night before.


Throw in the whole remaining lemon after you squeeze the juice out and simmer it in there for a bit.