Avgolemono Soup is a traditional Greek Lemon Chicken Soup that gets richness from eggs and tang from fresh lemons. It’s silky smooth, light, bright, and wonderful!
My love for anything lemon knows no bounds. So, there’s no surprise how much I adore this Avgolemono soup, which is Greek Lemon Chicken Soup. It uses rice and eggs as a thickener, but the texture is velvety smooth and the flavor is light and bright.
(You can scroll down for the written recipe and video!)
Avgolemono (pronounced ah-vo-le-mo-no – “ah-vo”, which means “egg”, and “lemon-o”, which means “lemon”…the “g” is silent, just like in “gyro”) is basically Greek Penicillin – the equivalent to Greeks as Chicken Noodle Soup is to Americans. Perfect for when you have the sniffles or just want to curl up on the couch during a blistery winter day, longing for springtime. It’s heavenly!
Authentic Avgolemono soup uses two-hour+ long, from scratch, chicken stock from a whole chicken, and then using that to shred and add in at the end. But I don’t have that kind of time when I’m trying to get dinner on the table during the week. This is my cheater version and it never disappoints. It’s similar enough and just as comforting as the traditional soup. You will love it!
Key Steps in Making Avgolemono Soup
This soup is crazy simple, but there are two critical steps that you don’t want to dismiss when making it.
- Temper the avgolemono sauce. At the very end of cooking, 2 cups of the hot broth is whisked with the eggs and lemon juice and then slowly added back into the pot of soup, which becomes a thickening agent.
- Immediately remove the soup from the heat. Once you’ve added the sauce into the big pot of soup, you will need to immediately remove it from the heat. Otherwise, you could end up with scrambled eggs or stringy egg ribbons like in Egg Drop soup.
- Arborio rice is best for Avgolemono Soup because it absorbs the liquid and thickens the soup as it cooks, but I’ve also made this with Basmati rice and it was great. I’m sure even brown rice would work, but it will need to cook longer and you’ll end up needing additional broth.
- You can season and bake your own chicken or use rotisserie chicken for an even quicker meal!
- I highly recommend fresh dill and a little lemon zest at the end – it brings it all home. But you can omit that if you want.
How To Store Leftovers
- Wait for the soup to cool completely and store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Be aware that the rice continues to absorb the liquid and plump up as the soup cools, making it thicker. If you prefer a thinner soup, you can either separate the rice from the soup and store them separately, or simply add more broth as you heat the soup up.
- You can also freeze leftovers. Make sure to leave enough room in the container for the soup to expand. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat on the stovetop over medium heat; adding in a small amount of water or broth to the bottom of the pan, to prevent the rice and chicken from sticking or burning before the soup melts. The soup will separate when reheated, though (even if it wasn’t frozen), so make sure it is well stirred before serving.
When I make this soup, I usually serve it with garlic bread or Irish Soda Bread, which are both perfect to mop up the last dribbles at the bottom of the bowl, but Avgolemono is definitely satisfying on its own!
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Watch the Video For Avgolemono Soup
How To Make this Avgolemono Soup Recipe
Avgolemono Soup (Greek Lemon Chicken Soup)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small sweet onion , diced small
- 2 stalks celery , diced small
- 2 medium carrots , diced small
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (not table salt)
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup Arborio rice
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 large bay leaf
- 2 (6 ounces each) chicken breasts seasoned, cooked, and shredded
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in the onion, celery, and carrots; saute until the vegetables are tender and the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add in the garlic and saute until slightly browned and fragrant, 30-60 seconds.
- Add in the rice and stir to coat in the oil.
- Add in the chicken stock and bay leaf; bring to a simmer. Simmer until the rice is tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add in the shredded chicken and maintain a gentle simmer.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and eggs until light and frothy.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat (see note) and slowly whisk 2 cups of the hot broth into the egg mixture, then slowly pour the egg mixture back into the soup; stir and incorporate. (This process equalizes the temperature between the two mixtures to avoid curdling the eggs.)
- Stir in the dill.
- Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
- Ladle into bowls and serve immediately.
- *Do not put saucepan back on the heat once the egg mixture has been added or the eggs might scramble or turn into ribbons.
- For recipe tips and how to store leftovers, please refer to the full article.