Damn Delicious

Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup

Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup - The best kind of comfort in a bowl! It's so cozy and heartwarming, using a whole chicken for the most amazing homemade broth!

The best kind of comfort in a bowl! It’s so cozy and heartwarming, using a whole chicken for the most amazing homemade broth!

Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup - The best kind of comfort in a bowl! It's so cozy and heartwarming, using a whole chicken for the most amazing homemade broth!

So we packed our bags and left LA to head to Manhattan for Thanksgiving this year.

And I kid you not. It was the coldest Thanksgiving in New York’s City history since 1901.

It was a whopping 17 degrees F on Thursday. And all I really needed at that point was a piping hot bowl of this chicken and rice soup!

Instead, we froze our butts off, watching Charlie Brown go by in the parade.

But now that I’m home in 70 degree weather, I’m still whipping up this soup. AKA. My favorite soup of the month, of course.

The best part is that you get to simmer an entire whole chicken, creating the most amazing homemade broth ever. It’s cozy, comforting and incredibly heartwarming for any kind of weather.

And while, yes, the broth is bomb.com, the fresh dill and lemon juice really let this soup shine.

Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup - The best kind of comfort in a bowl! It's so cozy and heartwarming, using a whole chicken for the most amazing homemade broth!

Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup

The best kind of comfort in a bowl! It’s so cozy and heartwarming, using a whole chicken for the most amazing homemade broth!

20 minutes1 hour 30 minutes


  • 1 (3-4 pound) whole chicken, rinsed
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 carrots, halved
  • 2 celery ribs, halved
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2/3 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Place chicken, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves and 8 cups water in a large stockpot or Dutch oven; season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.
  2. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until chicken is fork-tender, about 1 hour. Remove chicken and shred; discard skin and bones. Set aside. Strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve; discard solids.
  3. Return broth to the pot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer. Stir in rice; cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in chicken, carrots and celery. Cook, covered, until the rice is tender, about 10 more minutes.
  5. Stir in dill and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Serve immediately.

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  1. Rated 4 out of 5

    Wondering if the photos of the soup with the slices of lemon were strictly for aesthetics? Should we add sliced lemon?

  2. This looks great! Quick question – when I make homemade broth I usually let it sit for 4 hours. Is it ok to let it sit longer than the hour you have suggested? Thank you!

  3. Rated 4 out of 5

    This recipe looked delicious, but I didn’t have carrots or celery, so instead I used zucchini, potatoes, and mushroom, and it came out delicious! I love your recipes, and I look at them for hours every single day! Can’t wait to try the actual recipe next time I go grocery shopping.

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    If I don’t have a stock pot, can I substitute the home made broth for a store bought cube? I know it wont taste as good but I’m really wanting to try this recipe! 

    • Rated 5 out of 5

      You don’t need broth, you’re going to make it while cooking the chicken. As a single person with a tiny european fridge, I made the recipe with two chicken thighs instead of the whole thing in a small pan, about 1/4 recipe, works super well!

  5. Can this soup be frozen?

  6. I also used rotisserie chicken to speed things up a bit. Added a few sliced mushrooms and fresh minced garlic and some sage, Spanish smoked patrols, and rosemary for a more complex flavor. I sautéed chopped onions, baby carrots, and chopped celery in butter before adding the other ingredients. I was thrilled with the delicious cooking smell and taste. Winter comfort food at its finest!!

  7. Could I make this in an instant pot?

    • What a great idea! But unfortunately, without having tried this myself, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment when making substitutions and modifications.

    • I have it going in the instant pot right now!  Just look at some instant pot recipes for time guidelines.  I soaked my rice, and now have it in with the vegetables on pressure.  When done, I’ll add the lemon juice and adjust seasonings.
      Should be done in about 10 minutes!

  8. Question- why are carrots and celery listed twice in the ingredients? How much do I actually need?

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    So so yummy!!  I just love lemon in soup and this was a delicious.  My senior brain got confused and I bought egg noodles instead of rice.  Didn’t matter.  This was a pretty easy recipe.  I had bought a rotisserie chicken for another dish, so I made broth from the carcass and added another quart of broth.  Thank you for the recipe.

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    This is FANTASTIC! I just made this for lunch (took a quick break from work). I really didn’t make too many changes…just extra few cloves of garlic and I used long grain jasmine brown rice. Since brown rice cooks long, I cooked the rice for about 30 minutes instead of the 10 you had for the white rice. Then after putting in the rest of the ingredients I cooked for the 10 minutes remaining to make a 40 min total cooking time for the brown rice.

    The flavor is absolutely incredible!!

  11. Rated 5 out of 5

    Oh my good Lord sweet Jesus, this soup is damned near PERFECT! Not only going into rotation, but shared with anyone who will listen. Even my husband who isn’t crazy about lemon thought it was so soft that he devoured it. 

  12. Is the water supposed to cover the chicken? What do you do if it doesn’t? 

  13. Rated 5 out of 5

    Great recipe! It’s perfect just as the recipe calls but I also made it again and tweaked it for my husband.  I substituted the final cup of celery and carrots with broccoli, added extra lemon juice, and topped with feta cheese. Both versions were fantastic! 

  14. Should the soup be covered when simmering?  It’s on the stove now!

  15. The idea of doing a whole chicken intimidates me! Do you think it would still taste good if done with whole chicken pieces instead??

  16. Rated 5 out of 5

    I want to make this soup tomorrow but I’m trying to get it finished before I go to work so I can just heat it up when I get home. Is this soup good reheated? Or is it better made fresh and eaten right away? I’ll make sure to cool it properly before putting it in the fridge. Thank you for your help! Looks so good! My family loves your recipes!  

  17. Rated 5 out of 5

    Looks great. Will try this in the next few days (as whole chicken defrost in fridge).

    One comment about rinsing chicken. USDA says consumers should NOT rinse raw poultry:
    ” Food Safety experts (including us at USDA) do not recommend washing raw meat and poultry before cooking. Many bacteria are quite loosely attached and when you rinse these foods the bacteria will be spread around your kitchen.”

    You might want to edit the ingedients to remove “rinsed”.

  18. Ah, I’ve always wanted to see the Macy’s parade!! How incredibly cool that you got to go!

    The soup looks delicious too! I have some of your cold fighting chicken noodle soup in my freezer. I’m not even really a soup eater, but that soup was fantastic!

  19. I know you hate it when people ask you about substitutions but I became a Pescarian for about three months and I love the this soup do you think I could drop some shrimp in it for three minutes before it’s done and use seafood stock do you think that would be OK thank you I love your site

  20. Rated 5 out of 5

    I first had a version of this soup in a little Greek restaurant in St Augustine, Florida. The Greek name is Avgolemono and it’s traditionally thickened with eggs. I love dill and lemon, this recipe is a keeper!

  21. Rated 4 out of 5

    Ahhh…. add eggs and Greek’s Avgolemono !

  22. Rated 5 out of 5

    Do you have the nutritional information on this? Calories, carbs, fat?

    Thank you! 🙂

    • Nutritional information is provided only for select recipes at this time. However, if it is not available for a specific recipe, we recommend using free online resources at your discretion (you can Google “nutritional calculator”) to obtain such information. Hope that helps!

  23. Rated 5 out of 5

    You’re so right – soups utterly amazing!!!! Big thanks for posting your fave.