Chicken-Vegetable Soup with Orzo

This homey soup shows just how quickly you can make chicken broth in the microwave. It also shows off the microwave's fabulous way with vegetables; they not only keep more color but also retain more vitamins.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup soup and 1 tablespoon cheese)
Recipe from Cooking Light

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 277
  • Calories from fat: 24%
  • Fat: 7.5g
  • Saturated fat: 2.6g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.2g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.5g
  • Protein: 36.9g
  • Carbohydrate: 14.5g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 121mg
  • Iron: 2.8mg
  • Sodium: 658mg
  • Calcium: 134mg


  • 5 cups water
  • 2 pounds chicken drumsticks, skinned
  • 2 cups small broccoli florets
  • 2 cups presliced mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced carrot
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese


  1. Combine water and chicken in a 3-quart casserole. Cover with lid; microwave at HIGH 30 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring after 15 minutes. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving cooking liquid. Cool chicken slightly. Remove chicken from bones, and discard bones. Shred chicken with 2 forks to measure 2 1/2 cups.
  2. Combine broccoli and next 4 ingredients (broccoli through basil) in casserole. Cover; microwave at HIGH 8 minutes or until tender, stirring after 4 minutes. Add the reserved cooking liquid, chicken, pasta, salt, and pepper. Cover; microwave at HIGH 6 minutes or until pasta is tender. Ladle soup into 6 bowls. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.
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