It’s my new twist on a classic Chicken Noodle recipe, but this particular one has much more flavor and it’s much more fun! It’s a delicious soup made with chicken meatballs, veggies, and orzo pasta.
For all of you picky eaters and those who try to feed picky eaters, this soup might just be your saving grace. Both of my kids can be quite impossible to feed and sometimes, even my husband whines when I make something with too many veggies.
So to try and please them, I put a fun twist on a classic chicken noodle soup with chicken meatballs instead of plain old chicken breast and orzo instead of noodles. They loved it! They loved the taste and they loves the addition of meatballs.
My secret with this recipe is in searing to get caramelization on onions and meatballs. So much great flavor comes from caramelized onion and meatballs, so make sure to get the onions golden brown and the meatballs too.
When you slowly add the stock, make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan with your wooden spoon to deglaze all that browned goodness off the bottom of the pan and mix it into the broth.
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN MEATBALL SOUP
Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs in the mixing bowl and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Use a cookie scoop to get equal amount of mixture for the meatballs. Cover a cutting board with parchment paper and place meatballs into the paper.
Preheat oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and shredded carrots and saute until it begins to caramelize. Make sure to stir often.
When it’s nicely golden, add crushed garlic and lower the heat to medium. Saute until garlic is fragrant then take the veggies out of the pot and set aside.
Add a little more oil and the meatballs. Cook meatballs on one side until golden brown and flip. Cook meatballs on the other side until golden brown as well. Once meatballs are almost cooked, add the veggies back into the pot and then pout in chicken stock.
Season with salt and pepper and add a bay leaf. Cover the pot with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes.
Stir in orzo and dill weed and cook until orzo is done. (About 10 minutes but make sure to taste the orzo to check.)
*Remember to discard bay leaf once the soup is done.*
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Chicken Meatball and Orzo Soup
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp fresh minced dill weed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil to cook vegetables
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 2 medium carrots shredded
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil to cook meatballs
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup uncooked orzo
- 1 tbsp minced fresh dill weed
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs in the mixing bowl and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
- Use a cookie scoop to get equal amount of mixture for the meatballs. Cover a cutting board with parchment paper and place meatballs onto the paper.
- Preheat oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and shredded carrots and saute until it begins to caramelize. Make sure to stir often.
- When it’s nicely golden, add crushed garlic and lower the heat to medium. Saute until garlic is fragrant then take the veggies out of the pot and set aside.
- Add a little more oil and the meatballs. Cook meatballs on one side until golden brown and flip. Cook meatballs on the other side until golden brown as well. Once meatballs are almost cooked, add the veggies back into the pot and then pout in chicken stock.
- Season with salt and pepper and add a bay leaf. Cover the pot with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes.
- Stir in orzo and dill weed and cook until orzo is done. (About 10 minutes but make sure to taste the orzo to check.)
- *Remember to discard bay leaf once the soup is done.*
Originally published on Will Cook For Smiles on November 3, 2013. Updated August 1, 2019.
This looks to be a perfect recipe for us- I get so tired of the chicken breast in soup, he loves dill- could be an excellent compromise. But I have a strange question. Your orzo looks so lovely and plump. The brand I buy is more rice shaped, and the texture is hard to get right, especially when I make soup. What brand orzo did you use? I must track it down.
Our daughter-in-law brought this soup to us when we came into town to help care for a couple of family members who were having surgery After a long day at the hospital, being able to come back to where we are staying and heat up this wonderful soup made the weariness of the day almost melt away! It is a recipe I know I will use again and again and will “pay it forward” to families need a lovely dish of comfort in a bowl. Thanks for posting it! I’d give it 10 stars if possible.
Thank you so much, Linda! I am so glad you enjoyed it 🙂
DELICIIOUS…I have been cooking for longer than I care to admit and I’m pretty good in the kitchen. My son who is a trained chef is home for the holidays and I thought this was something that I could throw together that everyone would enjoy. I purchased all of the ingredients and this morning I thought I would get a head start by making the meatballs, finishing the soup later when everyone was going to home for dinner. I went to visit a friend and when I returned home the meatballs had disappeared but the ingredients needed to remake them were in the fridge times two. My husband and son tried to blame the missing meatballs on the poor dog. I remade the meatballs and then finished the soup and it was VERY good. I like that it had plenty of flavor and was really delicious but didn’t require the long slow cooking time on the stove that some soups require. Ladies with children take notice…my son shared that it was dishes like this from his childhood that encouraged him to go into culinary as a profession. He said all of the time that he spent in the kitchen with me as a child- rolling meatballs, etc. that hooked him. Thank you for sharing your love and passion with us all =sending blessings to your family for the new year.
Wow! Thank you so much for the lovely complement! I am so glad you and your family enjoyed it!
Just made this last night, it was so so good! and easy to make, thank you for sharing!
Thank you, Kelly! 🙂
Love your recipes! Always simple to follow and delicious!
Thank you, Jennie! I love hearing that! 🙂
I prepared this soup and we loved it!
The photo is what drew me too it. The picture is deceiving as mine didn’t come close to yellow. With all the wonderful scrapings from the onion and garlic along with cooked carrots I’m not sure how the color yellow came about.
Next time I will use 1/2 the orzo as it sucks up the liquid so quickly it’s no longer soup but still so tasty especially the next day. Will make again.
Honestly, I’m not sure about the color because all my onion and carrot based soups come out quite yellow. Even potato soup that i make with onions and carrots comes out with a yellow tint. May be it the type of carrots.
I agree, when kept overnight, many pasta soups soak up a lot of liquid. If I know that we won’t be eating all the soup in one sitting, I add extra stock when I cook it.
Thank you, Laurie and I”m so happy you liked the soup!
Do you know how long to cook this in an Instant Pot?
Oh, I wish I could give you exact time. I haven’t made it in an instant pot. What I would do is saute veggies and meatballs in the Instant Pot, much like on stove-top, and then add broth and orzo and pressure cook on high for may be 5 minutes. I’d let it do a natural release for about 5 minutes and then do a quick release.
I haven’t tried making it in instant pot but that I what I would do. Orzo is quite fast to cook in instant pot and meatballs will me about half done after saute.
I hope it works out well!!
The chicken meatball with orzo is THE BOMB! I’ve made it lots, eaten it lots, shared it lots. We have tried to pre-make and freeze the meatballs, but end up just eating them up. It’s just sooo good.
That fresh dill really is the game changer.
Woo hoo! I love hearing that, Beth!
Valerie Vincent says
Love this soup! Have made it numerous times, the whole family loves it! Ty for a great recipe!!
Thank you, Valerie! That’s always great to hear 🙂
This soup was delicious. I loved it with chicken, rather than turkey, the meatballs stayed lovely and moist. The only changes I made were to double the stock, (to make sure I had enough soup for my big boys!) and I used just a wee bit of dried thyme in the meatballs, as I am not a fan of dill. I put fresh chopped garlic in the meatballs and made sure to season them really well with salt and pepper. Then I didn’t realize I needed more garlic for the soup portion, so I just sprinkled in a little garlic powder after the veggies were mostly caramelized. The broth came out dark and rich, very tasty. I added more salt and pepper to taste just before the orzo went in. We ate it with a French loaf and a French baguette. I much preferred the chicken meatballs to the turkey meatballs I have made in the past. This was perfect for a chilly November evening. Thanks for sharing!
Oh, my word this was good!!!!!!! Your recipes make me smile every time. This was soooooooo yummy!
Awe, thank you so much, Lyana! I hope you like it!
Chicken Meatball Orzo Soup : I found it quite bland as prepared by recipe instruction. I added 2 tsps. Old Bay seasoning to zest it up some rather than a bay leaf.