Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono)

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono) in a bowl
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
8-10 servings

After retiring from a long career in the restaurant industry, my grandfather loved cooking his handful of signature dishes for his grandchildren. One of those dishes was the classic Greek comfort soup, avgolemono. Avgolemono translates to egg-lemon sauce, which is exactly what gives this soup its signature silky texture.

In my family, it’s tradition to make avgolemono for someone when they come back from a trip to Greece — it’s the least we can do to ease the pain. With its fragrant, creamy broth and tender bites of chicken, this soup has all the makings of a perfect welcome home dish.

In some regions of Greece, they add celery, carrots and onion to their avgolemono, but my Pappou would never do such a thing. For him, it was all about a perfectly seasoned chicken broth and a lot of fresh lemon juice, which is what you’ll find in my recipe. I hope you give it a try and fall in love with it, too!

Related: My Greek Grandmother’s Moussaka



whole chicken, 3-4 pounds
cup of medium grain rice
eggs, room temperature
lemons, juiced
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Italian parsley, for garnish, optional


Ingredients for Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono)
Step 1

Place raw chicken in a pot and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil then simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the chicken is cooked through. Diligently skim the top of scum every 10-15 minutes for a clear and better tasting broth.

A whole chicken in a pot of water
Step 2

Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from pot and add rice. Cook on low for 20 minutes until the rice is soft. Meanwhile, shred the chicken into small pieces and separate the egg yolks from the whites.

Chicken broth in a pot
Step 3

In a medium sized bowl, whisk the egg whites and lemon juice until frothy. Stir in the yolk until thoroughly combined.

Egg-lemon mixture being whisked together
Step 4

A tablespoon at a time, gradually ladle some of the hot broth into the lemon egg mixture, and slowly start to whisk together. This tempering process is crucial, as we don’t want to scramble the eggs. Slowly continue to whisk in the hot broth until you have about 3 cups of liquid incorporated in with the egg and lemon mixture.

Step 5

Take the tempered soup and pour it into the rest of the pot and give it a good stir.

Egg-lemon mixture being added back to broth pot
Step 6

Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve warm.

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