Lemon Chicken Artichoke Soup is a healthy and flavor-packed soup that's perfect for a cold night. Packed with tender chicken, brown rice, artichoke hearts, carrots, celery, onions, and lots of fresh lemon juice and parsley.
This Lemon Chicken Artichoke Soup is one of those soups that sounds fancy and complex, but actually couldn't be easier to make. In fact, to make this recipe all you need to do is add 8 simple ingredients to the slow cooker and walk away. It's that easy!
Truth be told, this soup is inspired by one of my favorite Whole Foods soups, but at over $6 per serving, I knew I could make a more affordable and delicious version at home.
After a few attempts, I was able to develop an at-home version that I liked even more than the store-bought option. Plus this chicken artichoke soup is made in the slow cooker for super easy meal prep.
To save time, I used canned artichoke hearts, lemon juice, and boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You do have to shred or cut the chicken after it's cooked, but the rest you just put right into the slow cooker and don't give it another thought.
The secret to this soup recipe lies in letting the rice cook down with everything else until it gets thick and adds a creamy element to the soup. (Note: If you don’t like rice with that texture, make it separately and add it to the soup at the end.) Then wait until the soup is finished cooking to add lots of fresh lemon juice and parsley to brighten everything up.
Why You'll Love This Lemon Chicken Artichoke Soup
There are so many reasons to love this cozy soup.
- Easy to make: The most difficult part of making this soup is chopping the veggies. Then simply dump everything in the slow cooker and dinner is done.
- Nutritious: Packed with lean protein, tons of veggies, and whole grains - this soup is packed with good-for-you ingredients. Plus it is naturally gluten-free and can easily be adapted to be low-carb and Paleo as well.
- Versatile: Change up the veggies, use a different protein, add beans or lentils, try different spices - use this recipe as a base to make all kinds of delicious soup.
Ingredients, Swaps, and Shortcuts
Here is everything you need to make this delicious chicken soup with artichokes.
- Chicken: This recipe turns out with any type of chicken including chicken breasts, chicken thighs, drumsticks, and even a whole chicken. If you use bone-in and/or skin-on chicken, just make sure to remove the bones and skin before serving.
- Artichoke hearts: Make sure to use artichoke hearts in this recipe for best results. Canned, jarred, and frozen artichokes all work. When using jarred artichokes packed in olive oil and spices, drain off the extra oil first.
- Carrots, celery, onions, and garlic cloves: These aromatics create the base of the soup and add tons of flavor. Adding the leaves from the celery stalks is another excellent way to build flavor. For extra veggies, consider adding bell peppers.
- Rice or grains: If you plan to cook the rice in the slow cooker, make sure to use a long grain, slow cooking rice. Otherwise, cook your rice or grains separately and add them before serving so they don’t overcook. The rice in this soup gets creamy and acts as a thickening agent. If you don’t like that texture, cook the rice separately and thicken the soup with cornstarch if needed.
- Chicken stock: Make sure to choose a really flavorful chicken stock or broth since it is super important to the flavor of the soup. Vegetable broth can be used as well.
- Lemon juice: Since lemon is a key flavor in this soup, make sure to use fresh lemon juice. Add to taste.
- Parsley: Fresh herbs brighten up the flavor of the soup. Swap in basil, oregano, cilantro, or dill if you prefer.
- Shortcuts: This soup can easily be made in less than 30 minutes with a few shortcuts. Swap in rotisserie chicken and frozen or packaged rice for a really quick option that can be made stovetop.
How to Make Lemon Chicken Artichoke Soup: Slow Cooker, Instant Pot, and Stovetop
Making lemon chicken artichoke soup is a piece of cake.
- Slow cooker: Get everything except the lemon juice and parsley into the slow cooker. Set it in on low and cook it for 8 hours. Shred the chicken using two forks. Add the fresh lemon juice and parsley. Taste and season with salt and black pepper as needed. The amount of salt will vary a lot depending on the chicken stock you use.
- Instant Pot: Turn the Instant Pot to the saute mode. Add some olive oil and saute the onions, celery, and carrots. Once softened, add the garlic and cook for 60 seconds until nice and fragrant. Add the chicken, rice, artichoke hearts, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and chicken stock. Close the Instant Pot and cook for 13 minutes. Let naturally release for at least 10 minutes. Shred the chicken. Add the lemon juice and parsley. Season as needed.
- Stovetop: Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot. Saute the onion, celery, and carrots until softened. Add the garlic and cook for about one minute until fragrant. Add the chicken, rice, chicken broth, artichokes, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes until the rice is tender. Remove and shred the chicken. Add it back to the soup with the fresh lemon juice and fresh herbs. Season as needed.
Side Dishes Ideas
This lemon artichoke chicken soup goes with quite a few sides. My favorites include:
- Salad: Soup and salad were just meant to be together. Whip up a fancy one, like this kale caesar or arugula salad, or make one out of whatever veggies you have in your vegetable crisper.
- Bread: I can't help it, I love soup with a handful of oyster crackers, a roll, some French bread, or a piece of baguette. We also love these 2 ingredient breadsticks and rolls.
- Mashed potatoes: I have a friend who loves to put soup over mashed potatoes. Don't knock it till you try it, it's quite good. You don't need much for the flavors to meld, and it makes for quite a hardy dish!
- Veggies: Whether roasted, sauteed, or grilled, a side of veggies is always a good, healthy, filling choice with any meal.
Recipe Ideas and Variations
Customizing soup is easy and there are so many options!
- Add more veggies: Add chopped zucchini, yellow squash, kale, mushrooms, cabbage, bell peppers, green beans, peas, or spinach. Add quick-cooking veggies during the last hour of cooking. Spinach and frozen peas can be folded in right before serving.
- Chicken thighs or rotisserie chicken: Chicken thighs stay super tender when cooked in soup and have a meatier texture. They are also usually more affordable. Or you could use shredded rotisserie chicken and add it to the slow cooker in the last 30 minutes.
- Make it low carb: Substitute cauliflower rice for the real deal (steam it and put it in the soup at the end of the cooking time) if you want to make this lemon chicken artichoke soup low carb, Paleo, or Whole30 friendly.
- Add beans: Add extra fiber to this soup with chickpeas, white beans, or lentils.
- Add cheese: Finish this soup with freshly shredded Parmesan cheese. For even more flavor, add a Parmesan rind to the soup while it cooks.
Storage and Freezing
This soup keeps very well in the fridge and freezer. In fact, we think it tastes even better after a night in the fridge.
Let is cool completely and then store it in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave or stovetop. This soup can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about making this soup.
The most common reason that soup tastes bland is due to a bland chicken stock or broth. To remedy this, add kosher salt and black pepper. Additionally adding lemon juice and fresh herbs can help improve the flavor. If the soup is very bland, consider adding chicken boullion.
It is best to add fresh lemon juice to soup right before serving since it will give you a bright, fresh flavor. Add lemon zest as well for extra lemon flavor.
Lemon Chicken Artichoke Soup (Slow Cooker, Instant Pot, or Stovetop)
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- 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
- 14 oz. canned artichoke hearts, packed in water, drained (frozen works as well)
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup brown rice (not quick cooking, white rice may cook more quickly if swapped)
- 6 cups chicken broth (up to 8 cups as needed)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
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Slow cooker: Get everything except the lemon juice and parsley into the slow cooker. Set it in on low and cook it for 8 hours. Shred the chicken using two forks. Add the fresh lemon juice and parsley. Taste and season with salt and black pepper as needed. The amount of salt will vary a lot depending on the chicken stock you use.
Instant Pot: Turn the Instant Pot to the saute mode. Add some olive oil and saute the onions, celery, and carrots. Once softened, add the garlic and cook fro 60 seconds until nice and fragrant. Add the chicken, rice, artichoke hearts, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and chicken stock. Close the Instant Pot and cook for 13 minutes. Let naturally release for at least 10 minutes. Shred the chicken. Add the lemon juice and parsley. Season as needed.
Stovetop: Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot. Saute the onion, celery, and carrots until softened. Add the garlic and cook for about one minute until fragrant. Add the chicken, rice, chicken broth, artichokes, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes until the rice is tender. Remove and shred the chicken. Add it back to the soup with the fresh lemon juice and fresh herbs. Season as needed.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
The rice in this soup gets very soft and acts to thicken the broth. If you prefer rice with more texture, cook the rice separately and add before serving.
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