Chicken Meatball and Orzo Soup
Serves: 6 servings
  • Meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • ⅓ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Soup:
  • 2 (32-ounce) cartons low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Garnish: fresh dill, fresh parsley
  1. For meatballs: In a large bowl, gently combine chicken, bread crumbs, cheese, salt, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Scoop mixture by heaping tablespoonfuls, and shape into balls.
  2. In a large enamel-coated cast-iron Dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat. Working in batches, cook meatballs, turning frequently, until browned. Remove meatballs. Wipe Dutch oven clean.
  3. For soup: Add broth, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, and bay leaves to Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Add orzo, lemon zest and juice, and salt; cook for 5 minutes. Add meatballs; cook for 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Garnish with dill and parsley, if desired.
Kitchen Tip
Have leftovers? Add more broth and lemon juice when reheating soup as the orzo will continue to absorb liquid (and flavor!) as it sits.
Recipe by Southern Cast Iron at