This Keto Chicken Soup recipe is a healthy take on the classic Greek Avoglemono soup. Light, simple, and full of fresh flavor, and it has only 5.3g net carbs per serving.
We often think of soup as being heavy, hearty comfort food. The sort of thing you might make in the dead of winter when you need to warm up. And I have plenty of those kinds of keto soup recipes, believe me.
But this Greek-style Chicken Lemon Soup is lighter fare and it’s just right for an easy spring meal. I first tasted Avgolemono Soup a long time ago when having lunch with my aunt. We were both instantly taken with the bright, fresh flavor.
And now I’ve made it keto-friendly! And if you love these flavors, you need to try my Sheet Pan Greek Lemon Chicken too.
Why you need to try this
Classic Avgolemono takes orzo or rice along with the chicken, egg, and lemon. You simply replace the orzo with cauliflower rice or another low carb rice option to make it keto appropriate.
If you happen to have a copy of Keto Soups & Stews, this soup will look mighty familiar. But I did change it up a bit, adding a touch more lemon juice for more flavor.
I also added more chicken for a low carb high protein recipe. It’s still as fresh-tasting as it ever was, but now it’s a little more satisfying. It has 6.7g of carbs and 34g of protein. And it has a mere 6.5g of fat, for those of you who need a lighter meal.
Did I mention that it takes only 30 minutes to make? Easy peasy lemon squeezy, as my husband would say.
Ingredients you need
This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
- Lemons: The bright flavor of this keto chicken soup comes from fresh lemon juice.
- Cooked chicken: You can make avgolemono easily with pre-cooked chicken. Rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken is fine, or you can quickly broil a few thighs or breasts in the oven.
- Chicken broth: Choose a good bone broth for added nutrition. You can use homemade or store-bought. I like Kettle & Fire when using store-bought broth.
- Bay leaf: Simmering a bay leaf in the broth helps make the flavor of this soup even brighter. Remember to remove it before serving!
- Cauliflower rice: Conventional avgolemono soup calls for orzo, but I use cauliflower rice to make it keto-friendly. You can also use konjac rice or hearts of palm rice.
- Egg: Whisking an egg into the lemon juice makes the resulting soup thicker and gives it a silky quality.
- Pantry staples: Olive oil, salt, pepper.
Step by Step Directions
Keto Lemon Chicken Soup is astonishingly easy to make. And the bright lemony flavor can’t be beat!
1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onions and season lightly with salt and pepper. Sauté until the onions are translucent.
2. Add the broth and bay leaf and bring to a simmer, then add the chicken and cauliflower rice. Simmer for 10 minutes, until the cauliflower rice is just tender.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and the egg. Slowly laden about 1 cup of hot broth from the soup into the lemon-egg mixture. Then slowly whisk the lemon egg mixture back into the saucepan.
4. Discard the bay leaf and adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with lemon slices and chopped fresh parsley or green onions.
Adding egg to hot soup takes some care. This isn’t meant to be like egg drop soup, where the egg gets cooked as it hits the hot liquid. Instead, it helps thicken the broth slightly and give it a creamy quality. So make sure you take the time to whisk the egg and broth slowly so that the egg doesn’t curdle.
If you want to cook the chicken in the soup itself, you can follow a similar method that I use for my Keto Thai Chicken Soup. You will want about 1 to 1 ½ pounds of boneless, skinless chicken. You can slice it thinly or cut into bite-sized pieces. Then add it into the broth in Step 2 and let cook 5 minutes or so before adding the cauliflower rice.
Frequently Asked Questions
A direct translation of avgolemono is “egg lemon”. It can refer to sauces made with eggs and lemon, as well as to the classic lemon chicken soup.
The conventional version of this soup contains rice or orzo, so it is not very low carb. But this Keto Lemon Chicken Soup is made with cauliflower rice instead. It has 6.7g of carbs and 1.4g of fiber, so it has only 5.3g net carbs per serving.
I recommend reheating this soup rather gently, so as not to curdle the egg. You can do it over medium low heat in a pan, or in short bursts in the microwave, stirring frequently.
More keto recipes you will enjoy
Lemon Chicken Soup Recipe (Avgolemono)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- Salt and pepper
- 3 ½ cups chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 2 cups frozen cauliflower rice
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 1 large egg
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onions and season lightly with salt and pepper. Sauté until the onions are translucent.
- Add the broth and bay leaf and bring to a simmer, then add the chicken and cauliflower rice. Simmer for 10 minutes, until the cauliflower rice is just tender.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and the egg. Slowly laden about 1 cup of hot broth from the soup into the lemon-egg mixture. Then slowly whisk the lemon egg mixture back into the saucepan.
- Discard the bay leaf and adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with lemon slices and chopped fresh parsley or green onions.
Diane K says
When this recipe showed up in my news feed, I could hardly wait to try it! I’ve been searching for a lemon orzo soup recipe to convert to a Keto friendly soup, that that was close to what a local restaurant used to make years ago, without any luck. This is as close as I think I can get to that recipe.
I used left over rotisserie chicken from Sam’s Club. It was a little shy of the 3 cups called for in the recipe, so I added a drained can of chicken breast. This was a mistake because the texture of it was rather nasty. Lessons learned.
As it turned out, since I like a brothy soup, I feel that there was a little too much chicken and I shouldn’t have bothered bringing the measure up with the canned stuff. So next time I’ll probably only use 2½ – 2¾ cups of chicken. Due to the fact that the soup uses cooked chicken, I can add more at the end if it’s needed to add more bulk. Just NOT canned chicken!
Thanks to the detailed instructions and simplicity of the ingredients, this is a very easy recipe to make. I felt that the flavor is slightly tart, but not overpowering by any means. It’s very enjoyable. My husband enjoyed it, too, but felt that it was a little too tart for his taste. He finished his bowl like a good boy. He’s very much a visual eater so I made sure to let him know that the color of the broth came from the egg, not the lemon, so he wouldn’t think there was too much lemon in the pot just by looking at it. lol
Knowing that once the leftovers are gone I will be wanting to make it again, I experimented a bit with some of the soup that would make it super yummy for both of us. I had a bowl for breakfast (Yes, I said breakfast!) and drizzled a bit of Half & Half in the bowl. Not much, maybe a teaspoon or two. Wow, it was good! It gave the lemon a more delicate taste that I’m sure he’ll love. We’ll see what he says when I warm up some for dinner tomorrow night.
Thanks, Carolyn, for the wonderful recipe!
Woke up to snow this morning and this recipe showed up in my feed. It is quick and easy and full of flavor. I am a big fan of all things lemon, and this has plenty which was fine for me but if you want less tang easy to start with a little less and adjust. I used Costco rotisserie chicken pieces which worked perfectly making this a very fast meal to put together.
So glad you enjoyed it!
Andrea Lechner says
Fantastic! Arriving with 80 degree temps in April in Chicago this week was a cold for my Keto-following husband. There is a favorite traditional chicken noodle soup we swear by when we are down for the count, but he could not have this, of course! Enter your very timely, new recipe. Simple, simple, simple….and very flavorful. I used a rotisserie chicken and added dried parsley per serving as I NEVER have fresh on hand. I love the traditional version of this soup – even though I am not keto, I often eat what I cook for my husband simply because I am not making multiple meals all of the time (I do sometimes). I look forward to seeing how the flavors meld overnight when we have this for lunch tomorrow. Thank you!!
So glad you liked it!
Maybe a very basic question but whats the best strategy to cook the chicken that is used for this dish?
I just brush mine with olive oil, add salt and pepper, some Italian seasoning maybe, and broil until done (flipping halfway through or so). If it’s thighs, I unfold them so the cooke more quickly.
What settings would you use to make this in the instant pot? Or would that not be a good option?