Avgolemono Soup (Greek Lemon Chicken Rice Soup)

Chicken soup avgolemono is perhaps the most iconic of all Greek soups. It is on the menu at many Greek restaurants. Eggs act as a thickener to this chicken soup with rice which is brightened with the addition of lemon zest and juice. 

Avgolemono is also used as a white sauce, often the accompaniment for grape leaves stuffed with rice and meat.

Preparation Time: 20
Cooking Time: 2
Servings: 6-8 servings


  • 1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 lbs., with excess fat, trimmed and breast skin removed)
  • 12 cups water
  • 2 carrots (cut in half)
  • 2 celery stalks (cut in half)
  • 1 large onion (peeled and cut in half)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons salt (plus more for seasoning, to taste)
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 2 lemons (strained juice)


  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Add the chicken, water, carrots, celery stalks, onion, bay leaves, black peppercorns, and salt to a large stockpot. Bring to a rapid boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer partially covered for approximately an hour to an hour and a half.
  3. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a bowl and carefully strain the broth through a fine sieve into a separate large bowl. Return the strained broth to the stockpot and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the rice and cook, uncovered, for approximately 10 to 12 minutes until tender.
  5. While the rice is cooking, prepare the egg-lemon mixture. Using a whisk beat the eggs until nice and frothy in a bowl.
  6. Add the lemon zest and the lemon juice in a steady stream while continuing to whisk.
  7. When the rice has finished cooking, turn off the heat. Ladle about 2 cups of broth into a bowl or large measuring cup.
  8. Slowly add the hot broth to the egg-lemon mixture while continuing to whisk. This will temper the eggs and prevent them from curdling once they are added to the hot broth.
  9. Stir the egg-lemon mixture into the pot and heat over very low heat for approximately 5 to 10 minutes until heated through. Be careful not to boil the soup once the eggs have been added.
  10. Adjust your seasoning for salt and pepper.
  11. Traditionally, this soup is served without the chicken meat or vegetables. You can add them back or serve on the side as you prefer.
  12. Serve and enjoy, Bon Appétit!